Want to be a true rules-based society? Then it is clear what should be done to those students of the University of the Philippines (UP) who, while protesting (or, rather, throwing a really bad temper tantrum) over the decision of the UP Board of Regents (BOR) to select UP College of Law dean Edgardo Carlo Vistan II as the new Chancellor of the UP Diliman campus. Apparently, the preferred person for the role of these “activists” is former UP Diliman chancellor Fidel Nemenzo.
Not getting what they wanted, these “activists” resorted to violent and destructive means to express their displeasure.
WATCH: Students pound at the doors of Quezon Hall to demand the Board of Regents explain their vote and select law dean Edgardo Vistan as the 12th UP Diliman Chancellor.#UPDChancy2023 pic.twitter.com/hyT5FlgTM6
— Tinig ng Plaridel (@tinigngplaridel) April 3, 2023
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The UP Diliman Student Code of Conduct (2012 Edition) is clear on the consequences of such actions. Section IV.1.3.2. Damage to Property of this document, “Damaging or defacing property within University premises, including but not limited to, littering and vandalism” spells it out:
1. For the first violation, suspension from one (1) week to one (1) academic year, or community service; or
2. For the second violation, suspension from fifteen (15) days to expulsion;
3. For the third violation, suspension for a period of one (1) semester to expulsion.
Provided, that if the misconduct is committed by two (2) or more persons acting in concert and/or committed on the occasion of violent confrontations or any similar disturbance, the corrective measure shall be as follows:
1. For the first violation, suspension for one (1) month to expulsion;
2. For the second violation, expulsion.
In all cases, the students shall be required to repair the damage done at their expense or to pay the costs incurred in repairing such damage. No clearance shall be issued until such damage is fully compensated by the students.
What excuse will these students give for such bad behaviour? The answer to that question is a practical no-brainer. Filipino “activists” believe they are entitled to engage in illegal behaviour on the basis of the self-attributed “nobleness” of their advocacy. However, belief in one’s own righteousness is not a sound defense for breaking the law. Just because you believe you are right does not mean you are actually right. Believing you can destroy property because you are right is not right.
Will these students be meted the “corrective measures” spelt out by the Code? In remaining consistent with the selective justice and arbitrary way it is delivered in the Philippines all the next steps we can recommend for now is this: Abangan ang susunod na kabanata.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.