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The LaSallian (September 2005)

The LaSallian (September 2005)

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Lasallian tops physician exams
 ANGELINE MONICA ARCENAS
MEE chair grabs Metrobank award
Dr. Manuel Belino, Chairman of Me-chanical Engineering Department,received the prestigious Metrobank Outstanding Teacher Award together with another professor from University of the Philippines (UP) - Manila bestingother nominees nationwide in the highereducation category.
BY AILEEN KRISTEL CHAM
MEE CHAIR, SEE PAGE 3STUDENT HANDBOOK, SEE PAGE 3
SC, DO resolveGrievance Booth issue
FRANCESCA STA. ANA
Diplomatic discussions resolved the misunder-standings that surfaced between the StudentCouncil (SC) and the Discipline Office (DO), when the Legislative Assembly’s (LA) Stu-dents Rights and Welfare (StRAW) Committeelaunched an activity entitled,
DO Grievance Booth: We want to know the real deal 
last July.
The root of the problem
The booth was set up from July 26 to 28 alongSJ Walk, and at the Gokongwei Lobby last July 29. In line with upholding students’ rights, thebooth was established for Lasallians who may haveencountered problems with the DO.Problems, which could range from denialof student’s rights, to hassles or difficulties thatmight have been caused by the office could beaired through the said booth. One of the booth’sobjectives was to collect first-hand student testi-monies about the aforementioned problems withthe DO. The SC will then compile and check the validity of these complaints, while at the same timemaintain their confidentiality. While complaints were coming in from thestudents, the DO also raised its objections on thebooth. They may have seen the Grievance Boothas a way to put down the image of the office.
Problems and solutions
 A concerned member of the DLSU com-munity observed that the DO Grievance Boothseemingly projected the DO as above all a studentapprehender. It was emphasized that DO enforcesrules and regulations and helps maintain orderin campus which are mainly for the students.These observations were addressed by LA Rep-resentative Madel Balane after meeting with theindividual who aired out his concerns.Moreover, Discipline Office Director Atty.Hilario Caraan filed a formal protest against theSC who “knowingly, willfully, and maliciously established the ‘DO Greivance Booth’ last Aug.1.” In the said protest, Caraan expressed hisindignations, and further stated that it was “un-fortunate that the DO’s sincere efforts to reachout to the students… are being deliberately destroyed.” Attached was a document whichsupposedly contained “baseless, unfounded, and worst, concocted” assertions against the DO andStudent Discipline Board (SDB).To resolve this, SC President Army Padilla andBalane met with Atty. Caraan to settle the issue.In the said meeting, the SC took into con-sideration the criticisms against the committee.The SC explained that they did not aim to stainthe image of the DO. Quite the contrary, as ac-cording to Balane they “merely wanted to helpthe DO by providing a venue for compiling firsthand testimonies of problems that students may have encountered with the DO, if there are any.”Moreover, the Legislative Assembly will use theaccounts gathered by the booth as “an aid in theon-going Student Handbook revisions.” TheFor the first time in history, a Lasallian has shown supremacy in the Physician Licensure Examination. Besting 2,863 otherexaminees, Dr. Jonah Lomibao Amora of De La Salle HealthSciences Campus (DLS-HSC), topped the said examinationgiven by the Board of Medicine in the cities of Manila andCebu last August 2005. With an average of 85.17, Amora was followed by Geral-dine Zamora, a University of the Philippines (UP) valedictori-an who obtained 84.83. Prior to his feat, Amora recalledthat the highest rank obtained by a DLSU graduate was that of third.The Makati Hope Chris-tian High School valedictoriangraduated with an HonorableMention in BS HumanBiology in June 2001 atDLSU-Manila. Human Biol-ogy allows qualified studentsto finish medicine in only six years, instead of the normaleight years. While the firsttwo years focus on in-tensive pre-medicinecourses, the third year simultaneously serves as the first year of medicine proper. Amora furthered in a telephone interview that Human Biol-ogy offered subjects such as Histology and Biochemistry thatare also taken up in medical school. The topnotcher sees thisas an advantage, making graduates of the course adequately prepared for medicine. Although he did not expect to top the test admitting thathe found the test tough, three months of self-review provedbeneficial for Amora. Amora had already reaped several honorsin medicine before. With a group of other HSC students, heplaced second both in the Medical Quiz Show and BrainstormInter-Medical Quiz Bee in September 2001 and March 2003,respectively. The “boy wonder” was the salutatorian of aroughly 200-strong batch. After taking some time off, Amora plans to spend hisresidency in either the De La Salle University Medical Centeror the Philippine General Hospital.In a phone interview, Amora mentioned that he intendedto specialize in internal medicine. While he plans to undergofurther training abroad, the board topnotcher plans to practicein the Philippines.
Christian Achievers, Forgotten Country?
 Although Amora sheds a ray of light on the local medi-cal landscape, he is sadly an exception and not the rule. In
I am greatly sorry - Baluyut
“Having realized the magnitude and impact of all these incidents that ourstudents have experienced, I would like to ask from them and from theschool my deepest apology...I wish to say 'I am greatly sorry' from thebottom of my heart." This was the gist of the letter Enrico Baluyut wroteto Atty. Emmanuel Sales, the chairman of the ad hoc subcommittee. It may be recalled that the former faculty member of the Accountancy Depart-ment was charged with sexual harassment by 10 male students last Aug 1.The said letter dated Aug. 8 was publicly notarized in Makati City.The student victims claimed that they were "harassed" by Baluyut inrest rooms and isolated places with his familiar phrase, "Can I hug youas a friend?" A professor for almost eight years, Baluyut explained thatin all the incidents wherein he approached the students, he had nevermeant to “inflict any harm to them.” He only wanted to make friends with the students, but considering his “highly sociable” personality, Bal-uyut admitted he “may have probably stepped on the line between whatis proper and improper.”The subcommitee formed under the Committee on Decorum andInvestigation found Baluyut guilty of the sexual harassment charge. Theformer faculty member’s case was rather quickly settled, partly becauseof his admission of guilt according to Vice President for Academics andResearch (VPAR) Dr. Julius Maridable. The VPAR furthered that Baluyut was terminated; this meant that he could no longer teach in DLSU-Manilaand other DLSU System schools.Baluyut emotionally closed in his letter, “...I pray hard to the Lordthat this most tragic chapter in my life will soon be over.” Although Baluyut had already been expelled, he was charged as afaculty member and not as a student with Master of Education in Math-ematics. Baluyut’s case as a student is currently pending in the StudentDiscipline Board.
Will the SC make the cut?
T
he great debate on the Student Handbook – the student version of the Constitution– has already begun.In view of ongoing deliberations by themulti-sectoral Student Handbook Revisions Com-mittee (SHRC), the Legislative Assembly (LA),the Student Council’s (SC) highest policy makingbody, is in the process of finalizing its intendedrevisions for the 2007-2010 edition.The Handbook expects students to "conductthemselves as to mantain discipline, uphold thegood order of the school, and preserve the fairname of the University." Among the provisions targeted for reform arethose regarding the dress code, attendance poli-cies, and awarding of honors. The SHRC begantalks before the start of the second term of thisacademic year. SC President Army Padilla, VP for Academics Oliver To, and Council of StudentOrganizations President Goldilyn Uy will hagglefor the targeted changes before the Dean of Stu-dent Affairs Dr. Carmelita Pabiton and Directorof the Discipline Office (DO) Atty. Hilario Caraanamong others. Will the SC's intended changes survive thegrilling at the committee?
Fashion emancipation and more
The abolition of the dress code - via the re-moval of the reference to the DO in Section 4.1- is arguably the most noticeable change proposedby the LA in the SH Social Norms section.If the SC will further have its way, eating anddrinking in classrooms will be optional and any member of the academic community can usethe chalk and blackboard if “permitted by anauthority.”Students will be allowed to submit the sameoriginal work or assignments to various courses as“it is [students’] discretion if [they] want to sub-mit it [the assignment] to different professors,”said BnE 2007 LA representative Madel Balane.The word “Christian” was substituted withthe terms “individual” and “Lasallian” in referringto the studentry. This was done to “recognizestudents here [in DLSU] who are not Christian,”according to Balane. A greater emphasis on stu-dent rights and obligations, stricter discriminationprovisions, and the removal of vague disciplinestipulations (e.g. the infamous “Any unbecomingbehavior” clause on 4.12), in addition, mark theLA’s overhauled Section 4.Even greater changes are being forwarded by the SC with regard to attendance (Section 6). Inthe LA’s proposals, sanctions related to tardinessand absences will be done away with altogether.In the succeeding section on examinations, profes-sors will be required to announce midterm andlong examination dates at least a week before.They will also be asked to give special tests forabsences due to sickness, conflicting schedules,and representation of the University in officialcontests or functions.Students, in the LA’s revised Section 6, willhave the right to inquire about their class stand-ing anytime within the term. Blank grades due tofailure to take final examinations, will in turn beconverted to a grade point equivalent not neces-
PAULO JOSE MUTUC
"Adventurous" Handbook changes sought
LASALLIAN TOPS, SEE PAGE 2
DONELLE GAN
PHOTO BY JOSEF LIM
Craftsmanship.
Like this Cebuana crafter, student leaders are expected to meticulously cut superficial rules in the Handbook.
SC, DO, SEE PAGE 2
JonahAmora.
LaSallian
The
VOL. XLVI NO. 4
THE OFFICIAL STUDENT PUBLICATION OF DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY
15 SEPTEMBER 2005
 
RAYMUND CHRISTOPHER CUESICO AILEEN KRISTEL CHAM
PHOTO COURTESYOF FIRA.NET
Owen Park, a South Korean exchange student hail-ing from the Korea Advanced Institute of Scienceand Technology (KAIST), with Dr. Elmer Dadiosof the Manufacturing Engineering and Management(MEM) Department, is conducting research on anew form of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the fieldof micro robot soccer.Soccer-playing robots incorporate the latest inelectronic hardware and artificial intelligence soft- ware. These tiny machines have been in existencesince 1995 with Korea and Japan pioneering theirlatest advancements. This field of research is usedas a medium to foster technological advancementsby having opposing robotic teams play in an actualsoccer game. These robots can pass the ball, block,shoot and even set coordinated plays just like realplayers, though in a limited way.It may be recalled that Professor Jong HwanKim of KAIST delivered a talk during the secondHNICEM hosted by De La Salle University Manilalast school year. HNICEM stands for InternationalConference on Humanoid, Nanotechnology, Infor-mation Technology, Communication and Control,Environment, and Management. Dr. Kim is ac-knowledged as an expert in the field of robotics.Park explained the two ways by which roboticsoccer works. One way is to have a central computercontrol each independent robot’s movement usingmachine vision or pattern recognition with a camera.The other more complex way is equipping each ro-bot with an independent brain that communicates with other team members.Park’s innovation in this field is the introductionof a machine referee. In previous occasions, a humanreferee is required in order to call fouls, take noteof the score and implement the standard rules of the game. Park is devising a way for computers torecognize and judge actual situations through theuse of fuzzy logic.Computers think in terms of ones and zeroes, yes and no, without any gray area. Fuzzy logic as aform of AI enables computers to address ambiguoussituations with numerical equivalents of “maybe.”In other words, a computer could be programmedto understand, say, very far, slightly far, slightly near,and very near.Dr. Dadios teaches artificial intelligence androbotics to MEM undergraduates, among otherteaching engagements.Through a lot of research and experimentation,Park has almost finished his study. He estimates thathe will complete his work by January and hopes totest it in actual competition.
SoKor student conducts soccer robot research
Technosport.
Robots battle it out like humans in the soccer robot field.
E
 very three years, the Student Handbook (SH) undergoes a facelift. Like amend-ing the Constitution through a conven-tion, representatives from different sectorsthrough the Student Handbook RevisionsCommittee (SHRC) go through discussionsto pinpoint portions of the handbook thatthey deem necessary to revise or overhaul.The SHRC is a venue of “lively” discus-sion where the outcome of the argumentsdetermine the future of the students for thenext three years.Philosophically, the main purpose of University rules is to develop the personaland social dimension of students. Part of thisis to rectify any wrongdoings of a studentthrough the offenses listed in the handbook.But Oliver To, VP for Academics and Researchof Student Council (SC), said that there arestill ambiguous portions in the handbook thatmay be “abused” by the interpreter.
 Ambiguous policies
The greatest challenge for the SC is topursue the removal of vague discipline stipula-tions, such as the one written in Section 4.12stating, “student exhibiting unbecomingbehavior automatically brings about an in-quiry by the Director of Discipline.” This isconspicuously mirrored in Section 13.3.2.1, which slaps a student a minor offense for“behavior of unbecoming of a young Chris-tian adult.” The SC calls provisions as “catchall” rules.Nowhere in the SH is unbecomingbehavior ever defined, hence other “viola-tions” may be lumped together under thisgeneric provision. However, the DisciplineOffice considers sleeping in class, writing inblackboard that is not related to academics, asgrounds for unbecoming behavior. In 2002,the SC’s proposal to remove this portion failedto materialize.For the SC, such “are superficial rulesthat infringe on the rights of students” andthe council will still lobby this to the SHRC.It may also be observed in certain parts of the handbook that references are made eitherto the SC or the Discipline Office (DO). Forinstance, a student has to refer to the saidoffices to see a list of inappropriate attire oractions classified as Public Display of Intimacy (PDPI).Though the handbook was revised in2002, the SC and DO have the chance tochange the rules on dress code and PDPI. Infact, the policy on slippers was just introducedlast June 2004 that became one of the debat-able provisions. Just this school year, the SCcompromised with the DO with regard to the“inappropriate” slippers.
By the book
During the last time the SC discussedhandbook revision, some of the resolutionsdecided by the Legislative Assembly (LA) thenmirror some of the resolutions filed now. Forinstance, the attendance policy was targeted tobe removed by the Student Council (Resolu-tion # 2002 - 16) but seemingly, their efforts were in vain. A significant fraction of revisions, pastand present, to the SH concerns word play.This involves addition or removal of a wordor phrases. Basing from Resolution # 2002 -18, the LA decided to add the word “violent”to the beginning of section 13.3.1.19, whichreads “acts of subversion or insurgency.” An-other instance is the addition of the phrase“an object, which is primarily used as a deadly  weapon” to further describe a deadly weapon.The present handbook does not contain thesetwo modifications.The inclusion of Student Charter in thehandbook was also an achievement for the SCfor the charter specified the rights of studentsin the campus such as academic rights, rightto organize, and right to due process duringdisciplinary proceedings.
What to expect now
Currently, the LA is drafting revisionson University offenses, the most crucial partof Handbook revisions. One of the primary concerns is the forms of cheating (Section13.3.1.1). Based on the Student Handbook,cheating includes unauthorized possessionof notes during exams, copying or allowinganother to copy from one’s exams, commu-nication of students during examination ortest without permission of teacher or proctor,and plagiarism.Such conditions maybe interpreted asonly “suspicion” on cheating. The professor’sdiscretion on offense is also a subjective view.Professors also file cheating when they noticethe similarities of student’s answers during ex-aminiations, especially if the type of question.In fact, this happened in a laboratory examsthree years ago though this was immediately resolved through a settlement.To said that cheating must only qualify if it is “deliberately done” or caught-in-the-act; thus including this in this school year’shandbook revision. An offense on what is known as proselyt-izing (Section 13.3.2.8) is also another policy that some SC officers wanted to remove. It isdefined as “an attempt to convert another toone’s faith by attacking or denigrating otherperson’s practices and beliefs, or by offeringspecial inducement. Yet, the minor offense may affect Born Again Christians, who are enthusiastically driven to share their faith that is fundamentally based on the Bible. The instances categorizedas proselytizing could be considered as limita-tion of religious and possibly even academicfreedom in the University.The SC is currently working on otherportions of SHB, which they deemed neces-sary to revise.
Vague discipline stipulations
In Review
PAUL DARWYNN GARILAO
Is DLSU ready forAUN accreditation?
If things go well for De La Salle University (DLSU), theuniversity may soon be at par with the best universitiesof the ASEAN University Network (AUN). AUN is anetwork of the two best universities of each ASEANmember country.DLSU is the only private institution among AUNmembers. Although AUN membership is given only to public universities, “they cannot disregard that LaSalle is the best university in the country so they got LaSalle as a member of AUN together with University of the Philippines,” stressed Dr. Julius Maridable, VP for Academics and Research. As a member of the network, it is expected that DL-SU’s educational standard is as that of other members.To this effect, the AUN will implement the accreditationfor the first time.If the university will be accredited, DLSU will beacquiring long-term benefits that could help the studentstremendously. One of the benefits involved is credittransfer, wherein the subject a student has taken up inDLSU will be credited in other AUN members.The university is hoping to work on the accredita-tion immediately and will be starting this month onthe preparation process where the visit is expected tocome early next year. “This is a major accomplishmentof the university to be accredited under the ASEAN,”emphasized Maridable. April 2004, another medical topnotcher, Dr. Emil ReyesJacinto, took a beating when he decided to become anurse abroad instead of pursuing his medical career inthe Philippines. According to bulatlat.com, statistics show that 5,000to 8000 nurses leave the Philippines on an annual basis.Pursuing more lucrative jobs abroad, around 2,000 areformer doctors. Considering that rate of immigrationand the current doctor-to-population ratio – a measly 1 to 26000 – the situation has long been a cause forconcern.One doctor should theoretically be able to attend to6000 citizens. Unfortunately, medical schools produceonly an average of 1000 doctors a year. With several med-ical schools closing over the past five years, this outputcannot adequately accommodate the needs of Filipinos.Considering the state of the Philippine economy and thesheer practicality of taking up nursing and other ‘care-giver’ courses, it may be understood why the numberof medicine students is declining rapidly.The exodus of physicians heightens the danger of health crises in the immediate future. A UP researchstudy confirms that various hospitals in Mindanao andIsabela have no doctors. “Because of the exodus of doc-tors from the Philippines, ‘
 yung mga naiiwang 
doctor
dito sa Pilipinas ay hindi na ganoon kaqualified 
,” (thedoctors who are left in the Philippines are not that quali-fied) Amora noted. The minority who are considerably competent yet do not migrate choose to practice inlarge, urban and highly-populated areas, as this ensures asteadier flow of income. As a result, rural regions usually become the victims of the maldistribution of doctors.Out of the 2,864 examinees, 1,471 or 51.36 percentpassed the medical board exams. The number that refuseto become what various opinion writers call ‘sell-outs’remains to be seen.sarily equivalent to 0.0 (Section 8.12).
With flying colors
The most radical modifications may, however, lie in the SC’s planned restructur-ing of the criteria for honors. Through the LA’s omission of Section 10.5.4, students with failures are given the chance to graduate with honors.The rationale behind this move is a study conducted by To which showed thatstudents with failures are less likely anyway to graduate with honors. To’s inquiry also revealed that many prominent foreign universities, such as Harvard University,largely base the awarding of honors only on students’ cumulative grade point averages.Only academic offenses are to prevent students from garnering graduation awards,according to the LA’s revisions.On trimestral honors, students not found guilty of cheating or academic dishonesty  within the term regardless of previous terms can be a Dean’s Lister.The SC also plans to tighten the leash on cheating. According to To, the SC willcontest that a student can only be filed a cheating case when it is done deliberately or caught-in-the-act. Presently, a student may be slapped with cheating even whenthere is just a suspicion. In addition, a student who has committed cheating must becaught by the professor for the case to hold ground. Aside from these adjustments, Balane reported that the Legislative Assembly islooking into deducting from the list of offenses in Section 13. Once the LA is finishedin coming up with proposed amendments, their work will be turned over to the SCdelegates in the SHRC.Belino received a gold medallion from embattled President Gloria Macapagal Ar-royo last Aug. 30 in the Malacañang Palace, and was awarded a trophy coupled witha cash prize of PhP 200,000 last September 2 by Vice President Noli de Castro at theMetrobank Plaza in Makati. 25,000 of the said cash prize will go to the University for faculty development.Dr. Belino was nominated by DLSU System President Br. Armin Luistro torepresent the University. The Harvard University doctoral graduate advanced to beamong the eight semifinalists in the prestigious search.Criteria for judging included personal qualities and character, instructional com-petence and teaching effectiveness, and professional and community involvement. ThePreliminary Board of Judges (PBJ) determined the semifinalists through documentssent by nominees detailing their accomplishments in the last 10 years. Education ex-perts from Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Department of Education(DepED) reviewed the documents.Qualified nominees were interviewed and asked to perform a teaching demon-stration to determine teaching effectiveness. The evaluators acted as students in thedemo and even tried to test their patience to assess their knowledge in class. “In theinterview, these people ask you questions that’s hardly dealing with your expertise,”the awardee added.Professors from Ateneo de Manila, DLSU, UP-Manila, and UP-Visayas emergedas finalists. The final judging is an interview conducted by another panel of judgescomposed of representatives from the political, juridical, academic, and media sectors.In the end, it was Dr. Belino and the UP-Manila professor who took the covetedaward.“The ‘ideal teacher for me is someone who plays the multi-faceted role of a mentoras exemplified by Telemachis in Homer’s Odysey. The mentor is described as: teacher.Counselor, advisor, surrogate father and friend,” Dr. Belino shared.
FROM PAGE 1, STUDENT HANDBOOKFROM PAGE 1, MEE CHAIRFROM PAGE 1, LASALLIAN TOPS
 After being awarded Level III status, the College of En-gineering (COE) will face reaccreditation this October by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Col-leges and Universities (PAASCU). Level III is the highestaccreditation level that a program can attain, while LevelIV is given only to institutions.Six courses of COE will be reaccredited: Electronicsand Communication, Chemical, Civil, Industrial, andMechanical Engineering. Manufacturing Engineeringand Management will be accredited for the first time. Dr.Julius Maridable, VP for Academics and Research (VPAR)and former COE dean, said the college was prepared sinceJuly but PAASCU delayed its visit letting new dean Dr.Pag-asa Gaspillo warm her seat first.
 About PAASCU
PAASCU is a private, voluntary, non-profit, andnon-stock corporationofficially recognized as anaccrediting agency by theDepartment of Education(DepEd). It evaluateseducational quality touplift the standard of localeducation via self-evalu-ation and judgment by academic peers.Institutions or pro-grams are accredited if ac-cepted standards of qual-ity or excellence are met.“The good thing aboutthe PAASCU is that youare forced to evaluate yourself,” stressed Den-nis Beng Hui, IndustrialEngineering DepartmentChair.
Short on cash yet prepared?
The VPAR said that COE administrators studied whatthe college had done after the last accreditation, appliedrecommended practices, and followed suggestions toimprove the college. However, he admitted lack of funds,seen most evidently in acquiring equipment.In spite of being financially shorthanded, COE hasbeen acquiring equipment it needs to educate studentsefficiently. Mechanical Engineering (MEE) departmentshared that whether or not there is reaccreditation, they have new state-of-the-art equipment for demonstrationpurposes.Moreover, two million-peso Spanish lathe machinesare already in the Machine Shop replacing some oldermachines. MEE Chair Dr. Belino stated that the plan isto replace the 3-decade-old machines, two per year. Thesaid machines are so expensive; while it is still serviceable,it is still used. But persistent servicing inevitably prejudicessafety. “
[Kahit] magagagamit pa pero kung hindi na [ligtas] sa gumagamit dapat palitan na natin kasi sobrang luma na 
,” (The machines may still be usable, but they have to be replaced since old machines make for unsafeuse) Dr. Maridable explained. According to
The LaSallian
article, Are we worldclass?, Dr. Ma Yong Sheng stated that in National Univer-sity of Singapore (NUS), equipment is replaced every five years. In a related article about ASEAN University Net- work Accreditation (see related article on page 2), NUS isalso part of the network. Dr. Maridable conceded that tui-tion alone can never pay for equipment acquisition unlessstudents agree to a very high tuitionfee increase. How-ever, sharing of labbudget among de-partments helps toacquire expensiveequipment.One source of funding for theCOE is throughthe research ef-forts of faculty.For instance,equipments of Sci-ence and Tech-nology ResearchCenter came fromexternally fundedresearch projects.“The faculty atDLSU have come into a level that they can ask for supportfrom external funding agencies,” declared Maridable.
The real deal
Dr. Maridable has high hopes for COE. DespiteCOE’s distinct limitations, the college has displayed crea-tivity in getting to where it is now, an esteemed positionin the local engineering landscape.
The LaSallian
, for Are we world-class?, conducted asurvey asking Lasallians to assess the “world-classness” of DLSU. Interestingly, majority of negative answers camefrom COE.
COE to face reaccreditation
 AILEEN KRISTEL CHAM
Proper tune up.
The COE's residence, Velasco Hall gears up.
PHOTO BYTIANELESPIRITU
O
il prices are not the only figures shooting up; legal casesin DLSU do too.
 A Staggering Increase
Baylon Bañez, president of DLSU Employees’ Association(DLSU-EA), explained that during Br. Rolando Dizon’s time aspresident of DLSU, only 10 labor cases were filed against DLSU.The EA president attributes the low number to the effective griev-ance procedure the school implemented.Under Br. Rolly’s leadership, the Administration and EA suc-cessfully devised a procedure to prevent the filing of labor andcriminal cases outside DLSU’s walls. The cases included unfairlabor practice, illegal suspension and harassment.Bañez revealed that the EA was givenrepresentation in the Discipline Boardand “free will to exercise our(EA) prerogative to ap-point the official andauthorized representa-tive of the union to thatparticular board.”Since then, cases have dou-bled. According to Dr. Car-melita Quebengco, DLSU-EVP, “From 1996 to thepresent time, the University  was sued and is facing around22 labor cases that are pending beforethe Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the National LaborRelations Commission, the National Conciliation MediationBoard, and various Labor Arbiters.”On the contrary, Bañez claimed that the EA has already filed28 cases against DLSU as of September 2005.
Cause behind the swelling
Being EA President for more than a decade, Bañez observedthat as the new administration came in, the grievance board waschanged and led to increased cases.“They (Administration) created a Discipline Board, whichhears the discipline cases of employees, without the representationof the union,” the EA president related, furthering that it was cre-ated in the guise of “exercise of management prerogative.”The EA perceives this as beyond the bounds of the law and theCollective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The CBA is a documentthat defines the relation between DSLU and the Employees withregard to employment regulations.Bañez maintains that the Administration, under the new system, has abused its exercise of management prerogative. Afterthe Administration suspended normal relations with the EA, itunilaterally changed the procedure, claimed the EA president. Asa result, the EA no longer had the opportunity to participate in themodification of discipline boards. “They went as far as exercisingtheir management prerogative by authorizing themselves to ap-point the representative of the employee to that Discipline Board.So they went out to the extent of exercising their prerogative,and at the same time exercising the prerogative of the union,”Bañez lamented.On the other hand, Dr. Quebengco reasoned that theincrease in cases is beyond their control, explaining that“whether a case will be filed or not depends on the com-plainant and not the university as a respondent.
Legal wages from tuition fees?
The school spends about two million pesos a year onlegal cases, Dr. Quebengco revealed. The money spent forlegal fees, the EVP asserted, are taken out of DLSU’s contin-gency fund, which is part of the University annual budget.Dr. Quebengco admitted that the student's tuition isused to pay for a significant portion of legal expenses. “Tui-tion, other school fees, plus other revenues are the sources of our annual budget, and part of that is the contingency fund, from which court case expenses are paid,” she explained.
The LaSallian
obtained a document from Branch and Met-ropolitan Court , detailing that the University had spent PhP800,000 in a theft case involving a former female employee. Theemployee was accused of 13 counts of theft worth PhP 18,000.The employee was acquited on 11 counts and finally faced PhP3,000 theft case.In another case based on court transcript dated Sept. 3,2003, ACRA law charged "us (Administration) on hourly basis, attorney'sfees, and all out pocket expenses shall be charged with Dela SalleUniversity." Another supporting document stated, "This is offeredin connection with Criminal Case Nos. 280700-12 to prove that ACCRALAW has so far billed DLSU for legal services renderedin the criminal case against the accused in the total amount of PhP807,591.00."
Harmonious Coexistence?
Bañez believes that the cases are not beyond settlement.Through an effective grievance machinery and constant dialogue, abetter relationship between the DLSU administration and DLSU-EA could be fostered.“It’s simple—let the grievance machinery work. Re-establishthe old Discipline Board to hear cases. If they (Admin) have already taken action, they should not repeat it again so as not to exacer-bate the situation. We have to sit down and we have to follow theprocedure,” the EA president said.Dr. Quebengco, on the Administration's part, believes thatin the end, harmonious relationship between the administrationand the Employees’ association is not beyond the realm of pos-sibility.The EVP remains optimistic about the resolution of all case,concluding, “If all of us have the same frame of mind and attitude,a labor dispute or even a student’s grievance can always be resolved justly, and its resolution should settle the dispute or grievancepeacefully and quickly.”
A legal dilemma brews
ROYCE ROBERT ZUÑIGA
What can two million pesos do?
 As stated by Dr. Quebengco, the University annually spendsapproximately two million pesos to pay for legal cases filed by the DLSU-EA. This is an indication that students are also af-fected on Admin-EA diputes through the years. Assuming a student population of 10,000, two million pesosmeans every student shells out 200 per year in payment to the ACCRA (Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz) and theLGCM offices, the law offices DLSU avail.2M pesos is enough:1). To waive the ID fees of 3,752 incoming freshmen (PhP533 per freshman).2). To give 667 students 1 month free board and lodging atthe Lasallian Center (3,000 per student per month).3). To waive 471 students’ miscellaneous fess for one term(4242 per student).4). To purchase 50 computer sets (PhP40,000 pesos per set).5). To pay the tuition fees of four students for their entirestay in DLSU (assuming tuition of PhP40,000 per term and4 year courses).SC’s intentions were then made clear, and the issue wasresolved.SC President Army Padilla also disclosed that priorto their meeting to address Atty. Caraan’s formal protest,concerned SC officers also met with the DO for the purpose of clarifying guidelineson slippers inside campus. She furthered that the SC and DO “try to maintain a dip-lomatic and a collaborative relationship in order for both offices to fulfill their rolesin better serving the students.”
FROM PAGE 1, SC, DOFROM PAGE 2, SC, DOSEE SC, DO, PAGE 3
 
15 September 2005215 September 20053
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Paul Darwynn GarilaoLuis Emmanuel De VeraDonelle GanJuan Carlos ChavezEarlene Clarissa ChingJan Michael JaudianEric SiyAlejandro Almendras IVKristel Kaye Chua
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15 SEPTEMBER 2005
The LaSallian
 
has its editorial office at 502 Bro. Gabriel Connon Hall, De La SalleUniversity, 2401 Taft Avenue, Manila 1004. TLS can be contacted through telephonenumber 5244611 loc. 701, or through its e-mail address, the_lasallian@yahoo.com. All contributions are subject to editing for clarity or space. None of the contentsof this publication may be reprinted without the express written permission of theEditorial Board.
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Joyce Anne Alfonso, Felice Ann Cariaso, Aileen Kristel Cham,Ross Vergel Delantar, Kristel Gayle Guzman, Arvin Alcanar Jo, MichellineKuon, Paulo Jose Mutuc, Royce Robert Zuñiga
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Nancy Chua, Franz Francisco Chan, Joseph Marc de Veyra,Rosanna Guintivano, Angeline Martha Manuel, Anne Lorraine Ng, MarianeLourdes Perez, Anjeli Pessumal, Karess Rubrico, Dianne Margareth Tang,Nicole Tangco
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Fritzie Ian Paz-De Vera
LaSallian
The
The bastion of issue-oriented critical thinking.
 
Fiction ideology
the impeachment complaint? It is timeto start the great debate on which camefirst, the egg or the chicken. What is theroot of the problem as our politicianssee it? As DLSU is but a microcosm of thereal world, maybe DLSU is exempted?DLSU is small, can’t we all be friends,someone once quipped. On a person-to-person basis, correct. But on a largescale, this is what I see as an easy way out, the superficial harmony that lullseveryone into a false sense of security.Maybe this is what ecumenism has ledus to thinking.To me, it’s an enigma why peopletend to connect loving DLSU with“praising” DLSU. To some extent, thisis the same as telling an ugly child thathe/she is the prettiest/handsomest kidin the world. Or the Backstreet Boys'“As Long as You Love Me” chorus.The question I rather ask myself is, “is there any difference betweenlove and tolerance?” Because seeingdifferences and taking action only toavoid clashes of principle, i.e. reach acommon ground, is not the same asseeing differences and taking action toresolve the differences though it’s notthe most pleasant option.The operative idea may be akin toa saying I read once. It says that peopletake praise by the bucket yet receivecriticism by the grain.That is why the issues are laid flatout for the DLSU community to see.People should find the banksia afascinating plant. Unlike normal plantsthat die upon contact with fire, banksiasneed fire before its seeds crack andgrow. I can see that institutions likeour government need to be more likethe banksia.Of course, this doesn’t mean theinstitution of 
The LaSallian
is perfect.If this was the requirement, then noteven God’s prophets can pass analyseson DLSU’s situations.There may be another installationon this topic soon.* * *Following DLSU's stand, let's taketo the streets. I would sure want tomeet the "concerned" Atenean again.Impressive.Happy thoughts?
 
"When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteousbut terror to evildoers." - Proverbs 21:15
Guards and IDsAdvocacyRevising De La Salle
EDITORIAL
Grievance is not amatter of faultfindingbut a manner of truthseeking.
O
ne of the strong grounds of democracy in the University is the right of sectors to air theirgrievances and report these to theproper authorities.Students may file complaints when they have academic concernsagainst their professors; the faculty may charge students, who would violate any rules prescribed in theStudent Handbook; or the employeesmay indict their employers for unfairlabor practices.From these general instances,one would conclude that there is no“one-size-fits-all” formula to resolve disputes in the University, because suchparties involved have different frames of mind and relative “truths” to address.They represent the interests and sentiments of their sectors, especially if theaggrieved party is affected in the issue.The past term witnessed disparities in the University. The most celebratedgrievance case last term was the “Can I hug you as a friend?” story that involveda faculty, who was filed with a sexual harassment complaint. Since strong evidence was presented in the campus court, the faculty was found guilty and justiceprevailed on the part of the 10 victims.Unknown to many, another controversial issue last term was the disputebetween the Student Council (SC) and the Discipline Office (DO). Becauseof the many “irregularities” in the discipline procedures, the SC created theDO Grievance Booth, a medium that has collated the unhappy sentiments of students who "committed" campus offenses. Yet this was counterattacked by the DO, though it was later resolved in an amicable settlement.***But I think the community has a misconception on grievance. Most students view it as a means to rant and get what they want. Some administrators considerit as a way to rectify actions of students, though in reality it may possibly beused as a method to encroach on student rights. Grievance is a process thatcan be used or abused, depending on the agenda of the individual/party thatraised the issue.Grievance must not only concern giving fair dealing to an individual butalso serving justice to the community. It's not just a matter of fault-finding buta manner of truth seeking. Thus, a grievance must be well equipped with anadvocacy. This means offering solution to the problem in a long-term scale tofurther improve the system.For instance, finding the faculty guilty in the recent sexual harassment casemust not be the end of resolution. Both the administration and faculty shoulddiscuss ways on how to prevent similar incidents. One good suggestion is tointensify the faculty hiring process through checking the psychological makeupof the faculty, though this is a challenging task. Special counseling is also areccomendation to discern problems encountered by faculty.Beyond University issues, I greatly admire the Center for Social Concernsand Action (COSCA) for adhering to its thrust as the “social development arm”of DLSU. While airing grievances against the Arroyo Administration, COSCA makes sure that the whole community is nurtured with information aboutthe political crisis, through inviting experts to discuss the issue. Interestingly,the office is also formulating ways on how the government can eradicate theinstitutionalized corruption in the country.There are ways to address grievances or just mere complaints. Action speakslouder than words, and these actions serve as a means to evaluate a person onhow respectable and ethical the manner he aired his concerns.The two major ways are the constructivist view and the personal attack. Theaforementioned advocacy on grievance is an example of the former. But thisconstructive criticism is not a matter of shooting holes on the already fortified walls of DLSU. It is not an attack against DLSU but
about 
DLSU.On the other hand, the personal one is the most famous in DLSU. Indebate, this is called
argumentum ad hominem 
. A personal criticism is only aiming to attack the credibility of another system, without really suggesting ways to improve the system. Whenever student leaders talk about airing their grievances for the sakeof defending their rights, they are sometimes counterattacked with personalreasons. The intention of DO Grievance Booth is to help the office improvedue process and other operations, yet it was conceived before as “grand schemeto initiate ‘hate campaign’ against the Discipline Office (DO) and the StudentDiscipline Board (SDB) by necessarily casting aspersions and unjustly causingirreparable damage on the reputation of the people working on the office.”But the project must NOT be conceived as a “hate campaign” againstthe office. In fact, the booth is for the further development of the disciplineprocedure. The intention of the booth is very noble. It does not intend tomalign the name of the office.***How about the grievances for campus journalists? One of the concerns thatSantugon President Ramon Rubio aired to us during a dialogue is that why wecriticized the SC and the Administration and yet “we cannot be criticized.” Thisis one of the misconceptions in the field of journalism. If there is an organizationthat is most criticized in this small campus, it is the publication.The fact that this publication has received comments and letters every issueis already an indication that this publication is not free from public criticisms.In the past 45 years, this publication has been criticized for wrong grammar,unbalanced articles, poor reviews, basketball fanaticism, dead center photos ormocking artworks.Definitely, journalists are not gods to criticize, but God gave them wisdomto point criticisms. After an interview, Dr. Maridable asked us, “How do you handle criticismsby the administration and students?” The reply is simple: part of our job is tocriticize and be criticized. At least, we were delighted when the administratoragreed and encouraged us that this is the opportune time to learn the tradeand face worse conditions in life.If we will stop constructing criticisms, then we would stop serving theUniversity and advocating to seek the truth. It is already our instinct to alwaysquestion systems. Conrado de Quiros said it best, “The business of journalists,much like those of artists and other writers is to keep an open mind, to probe asdeeply as resources and deadline permit, to challenge accepted truths, especially official ones.” Whatever University sectors we belong to, the best approach is to performour tasks and air our grievances with the motivation of improving the systemsin the University.
I
 
usually find most security guards ahassle because of the “inspection”they conduct before you enter anestablishment. It’s not that I getstalled for some seconds or minutes,rather it’s because I have this notionthat these security guards don’t know  what they are searching of. Sorry if Isound too cruel, but I don’t see thepoint of getting your bag to be pokedby a stick or metal detector when thesecurity guards look clueless with whatthey are searching.I usually ride the LRT when I goto school. Of course, before I couldenter, I should submit myself and my bag to the guard’s scrutiny. But I justcan’t help it whenever they just pokeeveryone’s bag with their stick or whenthey frisk a person and they do it justlike another ordinary routine. I justhope and pray that I won’t be part of another bombing tragedy.The same also goes with thesecurity guards at the malls. I find itfunny whenever I see an illustrationboard carrying pictures of bombaccessories that a terrorist supposedly  would have in his bag. I think it only gives the terrorist an advantage sincethey know what the guards would besearching of. It is also surprising at how some guards become discriminatory during inspection. The guards don’tgive much attention to me, wheneverI wear neat outfit like business attire.On the other hand, they seem to bemore cautious when I look more casualor rugged.Unfortunately, it’s also the samein school. Although I think that thesecurity guards are doing well on othertheir functions, like the rounds thatthey make in DLSU during the night,I think they are not effective manningthe gates of DLSU. Most security guards that we have simply poke theirsticks inside our bags in the searchof deadly weapons, as prescribed by the Handbook. Most of them are nobetter than finding out that the studentcarries a camera or laptop, which needsregistration. Moreover, I find it unfair when some guards allow students toenter without any inspection especially during the “lazy hours” of the day. Well, I guess there’s the premise thatno student in his right mind wouldbomb his own school or hurt any student or school personnel. But, whoknows? If there’s some psycho studentexisting in school, he or she could haveassembled and set off a bomb insideDLSU.*** After three years and one term,some ID102 students will be graduatingthis coming October. And as my OJTnears, the thought of graduation is justaround the corner. Whenever I think of our batch, the ID102 batch, one thingcomes to mind: our ID.I am proud to say that the ID wehad is unique. We are the only batchin DLSU that had the first ID with amagnetic strip that is originally color white. I think it was the coolest thinga college freshman could have asidefrom the latest cell phone models back in 2002.However the “coolest” ID lastedonly until third term of my freshman year. I realized that the 500 peso ID was not durable. Although my IDstayed inside my wallet for most of time, it faded easily. I cannot recognizemyself in the ID after two terms. It wasalso not as tough as my high school ID(which is about P100), since I foundout that the magnetic strip ID was easy to bend and break. And to my dismay,the 500 peso white magnetic strip IDturned out to be a “prototype” ID. It was replaced in third term by a new ID that has a new design. It was alsomore durable.I don’t know if you could considerthe “prototype” ID one of DLSU’sminor blunders, but I guess the“prototype” ID was a waste of money.It was like a product that is nothingbut good packaging. It was hyped by the fact that it has a magnetic stripand that it is an electronic wallet (yes, you can load it with money), which Ithink is useless and impractical sinceit’s limited to internal transactionsonly. I also believe that IDs shouldbe durable enough until the studentgraduate from the school; howeverthe “prototype” ID was not. In fact,my P100 fourth year high school IDis still in good condition. Although it was really an innovativemove to have a magnetic ID, I stillcannot accept the fact that what ourbatch had was a “prototype” ID. Icannot accept the fact that each studentfrom our batch had to pay Php500 foran ID we thought would last until wegraduate from this school.My ID got broken two terms ago.For some reason, it was not able to withstand the pressure, while insidemy wallet unlike my high school IDthat it got partially bent. It snappedright exactly at the magnetic strip (it’saround the picture’s area) when I wasgetting it from my wallet. Of course I was able to get the new ID but I haveto pay P533 for the replacement.***To Meryll, Ate Hads, Rico, Rais,Nats, Sali and Maan, and to all friends who will be graduating this comingOctober, advance congratulations!Good luck in the real world!
I am proud to saythat the ID we had isunique.
I
t seems that oil prices will not godown anytime soon. Given thishardship, some may have begun walking to their destinations insteadof riding vehicles.It costs me P13.50 to commutefrom my residence near Binondo. Tofind out what 13.50 means, I tried walking - counting every step of the way - starting from the South Gate,home. I arrived ninety minutes and5850 steps later. Just for information,each step (2.5 to 3 feet in distance)cost 0.23 centavos.Lasallians should be grateful they still have oil to fuel their cars. It is scary to think of the day Lasallians will haveto go on “forced exercise.” This is bad, which is why everyone should helpconserve fuel in their own little ways. Anyway, I would wish to know how many steps it would take to reachParañaque or Cubao.* * *If the number seven is consideredlucky, then DLSU should be quadruply lucky. 2401, in 2401 Taft Avenue, isseven raised to the fourth power.* * *Life in DLSU is certainly notutopian. After a possibly dreadful firstterm, we reacquaint ourselves withthe openly taxing trimestral academicsystem. However, the openingstatement does not just point to that.Every so often, “disruptions” sprout,tangling in a jungle of dispute someof these sectors: the students (StudentCouncil usually), the Administration,Faculty, and in the background,Employees.Is it normal for a respectedinstitution like DLSU to have internaldisparities? It should be normal, sinceeach sector of the university comesfrom different backgrounds, hencepossessing distinct viewpoints aboutthe world. Age is another complicatingfactor. As Randy David wrote in hiscolumn “Salute to the New,” the new blood politicians are openly pushingchanges of a radical nature, whiletheir older comrades prefer the statusquo. I could say the same is true withDLSU’s politics.These internal disparities sometimes
D
o movies and television showsreflect reality or it’s the other way around? And you have the freedom toutter my state of mind as Neanderthalin standing if I’m to compare reality to that of Spongebob and fiction ingeneral. But let me just state somepoints in hopes to let you reconsider your position regarding my sanity. We may not live under the sea,but we do live under a norm we callreality. We strive under an umbrella of logic and morality. Every society has itsnorms or a social model wherein peoplepartake to everyday. And it consists of Spongebobs, Squidward, and evenPatricks. Wherein, Mr. Squarepants’reality is being dictated by Squidwardand the populace of Bikini Bottom.Likewise here in DLSU, our reality isour ensconced DLSU reality.I once had coffee with a friendfrom another university, and told herabout the five second hug rule inDLSU. She didn’t like the idea and as well as the dress code.But as students, we already recognized its presence as our norm – anestablished model. And I will leave youto think the Squidward and Spongebobin this institution. Our reality is definedby compromise – a compromisebetween the majority and, so sadly,the minority. A compromise built on water and stone; it’s either square logicor morality, or NEITHER.Do not stop me, I have some moreanalogies.Scarface is about an undocumentedCuban immigrant in the United States, who started as a thug and rose to poweruntil he eventually ‘owned the world.’ And that’s not the totality of the story.Scarface’s depiction of the Cuban Tony Montana’s ascent to power is brutaland calorific in truth.Thirst for power and unreasonable way of thinking could lead you toself-destruction. The symmetry of destruction and life stands on a fulcrumand it is your dogma as a human being.
We should recognizethe truth beyondfiction.
DLSU’s drive to call for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s resignationhas accelerated from its sole participation to intensified affiliations with othergroups such as the
Bukluran para sa Katotohanan 
, a coalition clamoringthe same and united sentiment. Affluent political thinkers have commented positively on the University.During one of his speaking engagements in DLSU, UP Professor Randy David said, “the center of political gravity has shifted from Diliman toTaft Ave.”On a similar note, Conrado de Quiros opined in his column that “LaSalle has been far more consistent with its moral principles. Ateneo discoversrighteous anger only with tyrants it doesn’t like. Maybe being a ‘Brother’gives a sharper sense of right and wrong than being a ‘Father’.” With a staunch supervision of the Brothers, DLSU’s active participationhas, in someway, changed the people’s perspective of our university from anapathetic elitist school into a nationalist and morally dignified University.It seems that for the moment, DLSU has its eyes set on the far horizonthat is national development. But our University’s involvement in thepolitical affairs should serve as a wake up call among the students andother sectors to call to arms in protection of justice and truth - bothsacred elements that build strong fibers of democracy. The national scaleparticipation of DLSU is enough to press us, students, to advocate changesin a local scale basis.The sheer mind of Lasallian Brothers in the midst of political crisismotivates us to practice critical thinking not only in classrooms but alsoin life situations. The sad fact is, most are still confined with their comfortzones, only limiting themselves to learn their respective degrees.But there is a huge world beyond books and classrooms that we shouldface. We cannot just switch on critical thinking during academic loads andoff during real conditions, particularly when instances encroach our rightsas students.The outspoken character of Brothers inspires us not only to bravely articulate our thoughts, but also to eliminate unjust practices that hinderacademic freedom.This school year is an opportunity for us to revise the Student Handbook that includes the lists of norms and offenses inside the campus. Likeammending the Charter Change, revising the handbook requires bothcritical mind and outspoken heart, since it deals with changing norms andrules that have been detrimental to student growth. No doubt, there are stillsuperficial rules that dangerously teeter on the borderline of acceptibility.There are definitely other activities and events that would require morethan an inspiration from DLSU's national participation. We have already crossed the turning point. Perhaps, we have already changed our image as an institution. It's high time to change the way wethink.
get out of DLSU’s walls. Employees filelegal cases against DLSU, and DLSUretaliates with cases of its own.Theorder may possibly be reversed, but theirrevocable fact is that money is spent,albeit necessarily, in these cases and wasted on ones with trivial roots. MangBay showed us a memorandum on onecase and I found it rather weird forDLSU to have spent 800 thousand onthe alleged theft (see related article onpage 3). But of course, DLSU has animage and "moral values" to protect.My only question is why this wasn’tsolved within DLSU, considering theabundance of "great minds" in ourUniversity.Quite many people have askedme blatantly, “Do you hate DLSU?”pointing to the fact that
The LaSallian
 comes out with articles seemingly highlighting these disparities and donot necessarily put the institution’sbest foot forward. My answer is anunequivocal no.It is not a contradiction. Matthew 10:34 in the New Living Translation version paraphrased Jesus Himself saying, “Don’t imagine that I came tobring peace to the earth! No, I cameto bring a sword.” This simply meantJesus did not want to ignore deep andhard-to-reconcile differences to bringabout superficial harmony. Rather thankeep it hidden, it should be broughtout and tackled in the hope that alasting solution will be found. An example from which wecould glean several things is ourgovernment. In our political system,politicians have long ignored thedeep problem of patronage politicsamong others (Randy David again) andrecently shrugged off the Gloriagatecontroversy to make the governmentmove on. Unity, the Administrationhad clamored. Superficial harmony.But is the problem solved by ignoring
Happy Thoughts?
 And this goes for every system as well. And to wonder, where is this country of ours steering to? When will we wake to our senses and realize thatevery decision we make, every stand we defend, and every word that wespeak are vital to how we progress asa nation.The debate between technicality and truth stands aghast when theformer wins over the latter. Thequestion now is how long will thiscountry stand until its self-destruction. And how long must the society waituntil our country suffers utmostdisgrace.In the early stages of the movieScarface, you already know that histhinking would lead him nowhere butto the pits of abomination. Can’t wesee the same signs? And I will leave thisquestion hanging.The Godfather, my all-timefavorite, is a classic that will be leftfor immortality bestowed to us by thelate Mario Puzo. The tale is about theCorleone Mafia Empire. The power of the clan was bred early by Don VitoCorleone. And the family’s powerremained unquestioned until a clash of principles with rival families stirred thefamily into a long standing war againstrival families, who wants the Corleonefamily completely out of the picture.A classic execution of Mafiosoprinciple of power, influence, andferocity, The Godfather shows theactuality of how influence and powertend to play a significant role in how our future is being shaped. Sad tothink that this is the case, but we allknow that this is our reality.If you’re fully aware of currentevents here in the country, you may  very well know how collectively punctuated our system is. With theentire political circus going on, it isevidently shown how rule of supremacy  works in our society. Influence veers judgment to grounds of no principle. And it still bewilders my senses as tohow the people can still reason out of this debacle. We all know that there is noturning back. And we know, very well,that the outcome is either a negativeor a positive.It's either we keep the Cosa Nostrastanding or should we sleep with thefishes. And I do think it’s clear that weshould go for the latter. Our country isour family and we are destined to keepit standing up its feet. This is an offer we cannot refuse.Creative writing, literature,imaginary tales, novels, and the listgoes on. Fiction is fiction. But weshould recognize the truth beyondfiction. For it revolves around normscreated by humans. You may not be Spongebob andhis struggle, Tony Montana saying“Say hello to my little friend” beforepopping bullets and his attitude, DonMichael Corleone and his ferocity,Don Vito Corleone with his wisdomand his empire, and you’re definitely not Superman.Now, I am sad that I was neverborn to be the Batman. But I doknow this: that fiction becomes reality as history would judge it. We all haveour share of fiction inside our head – atleast a stroke of idealism. And we canturn them into reality.Being Batman is farfetched, butcontributing for the cause you believein is as gratifying to that of being ableto ride a Batmobile. Enjoy and live upto your own movie, then.
 
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