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History of CPU Republic – The Reign of Independents (1987-1988)

The CPUR elections of 1987 resulted in the landslide victory of a group of independent candidates. With their slogan “I am Independent! I am free to Serve!” these batch of CPUR leaders captured the sentiments of the students.

Accomplishments of Salido and Plotria (1987-88)

The accomplishments of the Salido and Plotria administration were:

  1. The construction of the first CPUR freedom board beside Roblee Science Hall;
  2. Donated textbooks for the different colleges through the Council of Governors and Vice Governors;
  3. Putting up of the basketball court lights;
  4. Repair of the waiting shed near the first gate;
  5. Electric fans for the province of engineering; and
  6. The construction of a bulletin board at the high school province.

The problems and proposals which the CPUR presented to the Administration that they granted are the following:

  • Gate No. 1 was limited for traffic and Gate No. 2 for the pedestrians only;
  • painting of the Engineering building;
  • fifteen additional stools for the engineering drawing room;
  • installation of electric fans at Franklin dormitory’s study area; and
  • the repair of broken switches in the Old Valentine Hall, highs school, techno, and agriculture building.

Through the Salido-Plotria administration, the students were able to persuade the Administration to refund the students of their cultural fee payment.

The fee was collected by the Administration without proper consultation from the students.  Resolved with the good intentions of the cultural fee, it was then charged in the next semester.

The Salido-Plotria administration was able to conduct the first CPUR Day and homecoming of previous CPUR officials.

It was during the first year of the independents that student activism had regerated in a different approach.  

They had achieved so much that their campign propaganda in the next election was, “the astounding truth is the accomplishment of the PANGMASA and Koalisyon in five years of administration could not surpass the one-year administration of the Independents.”

 

KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO THE INDEPENDENTS AFTER 1988… (TO BE CONTINUED…)

Source: Jonan Castillon, “The History of the Revived CPUR and the Emergence of the Student Independent Democratic Party,” Central Echo Summer 1999.

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History of the Revived CPUR and the Emergence of the Student Independent Democratic Party (1982-1990) – The KOALISYON Administration

The KOALISYON Administration (1982-1984)

Central Philippine University Republic

As the next school year 1984-85 opened, the CPUR witnesses an event which was the first ever in the CPU Republic’s history—two parties coalesced to form a new party. The PANGMASA and the Alliance of Democratic Students joined and the party Koalisyon ng Demokratikong Mag-aaral para sa Sambayana emerged.

As described by Sherlito Deduro (Vice President 1984-85) in his article, “Koalisyon ng Demokratikong Mag-aaral para sa Sambayanan”, the moderation and militancy which characterized ADS and PANGMASA, respectively became the weapons of the KOALISYONin answer to the chaos which characterized the national government.

On the other hand, student political observers interpreted that one reason for the ADS-PANGMASA union was that the two parties felt weak against USP standard bearer Vitini Idemne who was the No. 1 senator in the previous year.

Having given no hand in the decision-making process, the ADS-PANGMASA coalition resulted into the division of the high school ADS leaders. Some were recruited by the USP while other went to the KOALISYON.

The split of the high school ADS was significant for they were the batch of leaders who became strong contenders for higher CPUR positions under their respective parties in their college years.

Among these leaders were Rico Plotria and Val Salido, who became a KOALISYON and USP, respectively. They later reunited in 1987 to lead the group of independents to a landslide victory.

The De la Fuente Administration

Perhaps the time when CPUR became the most active student government in Iloilo was during the presidency of Manuel de la Fuente (KOALISYON). Mr. De la Fuente was a student of the College of Theology.

It was the height of student demonstration against the Marcos regime and campus affairs focused mainly on national issues. It was the period when the legislative and the executive often met jointly and the active participation of the adviser, Atty. Jane Harder was observed.

The de la Fuente Administration’s general program of action of “sponsoring symposia, for dialogues, workshops, and other forms of discussion on critical issues” gave both the students and the Administration a very unforgettable year.

The accomplishments of the de la Fuente administration were the revival of Central Echo, which publication stopped for one semester. Their demand to purchase a good quality public address system was granted by the Administration.

Other accomplishments are as follows: readjustment of the sixth gate’s schedule for the students’ convenience, the creation of the student organization federation, and the adjustment in the hourly rate of the work student in proportion with the tuition fee increase.

Glenn Campañera, an engineering student headed the CPUR in SY 1985-86. A reticent type and very reserve person, Campañera was in a way opposite to de la Fuente’s personality.

Although for the succeeding years the Koalisyon party had succeeded in getting the top leadership, the USP had the majority of the legislative department. At this period, the CPUR had become a field of heated arguments and walkouts due to party interests.

This created prejudices between the Koalisyon and USP elected officials. The USP, which dominated the legislation branch, would not approve legislation by the Koalisyon and later, the USP dominated legislative will pass legislation with almost the same idea or provision authored by the USP.

The Campañera administration

It was during Campañera’s incumbency when the “Constitution” issue emerged. The congress had already approved a draft constitution. Immediately, ratification procedures followed.

Campañera being the chief executive facilitated the ratification in which the “yes” votes for the constitution won. However, the CPUR president did not approve the ratification. He passed a declaration, which stated that the constitution was not validly ratified.

One of the reasons was the low percentage of votes. The USP members in the CPUR headed by Senator Felice Garingalao, who was the Chairperson of the Constitutional Commission were not amenable to Campañera’s move.

The Upper House subjected the CPUR President’s decision into several debates. Protest was filed with the SOC. The complaint was deliberated until the next school year 1986-87.

Whether or not Campañera’s move was a political maneuver (as top level USP officials thought), being the president, he has the power to veto any legislative initiative with valid grounds. However, the USP leaders claimed that Campañera’s move was to prevent the USP from crediting to their accomplishments the “duly ratified” constitution.

The Campañera administration was able to conduct routine CPUR activities such as during the University Day, CPUR sponsored shows and symposiums.

The Baldago administration

Because of the “Constitution” issue, the USP boycotted the SY 1986-87 election and thus, Roosevelt Baldago of the college of commerce came out victorious with the rest of the Koalisyon candidate running unchallenged.

Koalisyon described the boycott option by the USP candidates as a “political suicide”. This was proven true for in succeeding y ears, the USP never recovered and was lost in the CPUR political arena.

Baldago’s one party administration was expected by most students to perform well because all officers of CPUR were Koalisyon party members. CPUR activities focused mainly on routine activities such as during University Days, CPUR sponsored shows and others. The students’ hope for a wholesome CPUR year did not materialize. The idealism of Koalisyon party failed to be manifested in a one-party administration.

Indeed, student activism, which was observed during the De la Fuente administration, waned. This could be attributed to the change in the political climate of the national government. School year 1986-87 was the year when the EDSA revolution occurred and the air of freedom it brought was very fresh in every student’s mind.

(TO BE CONTINUED…)

Source: Jonan Castillon, “The History of the Revived CPUR and the Emergence of the Student Independent Democratic Party,” Central Echo Summer 1999.

History of the Revived CPUR and the Emergence of the Student Independent Democratic Party (1982-1990)

CPUR Elections The imposition of martial law in 1972 suspended the annual establishment of the CPU Republic. The purpose in which the student republic was created in 1906, to educate the Filipino people in the democratic form of government, was temporarily disturbed as the clout of martial rule curtailed the liberties of the Filipino people.

When martial law was lifted in 1981, there were immediate moves to revive the oldest student republic in the country. The Student Organization Committee (SOC) announced the revival of the CPUR. The SOC encouraged the students to organize themselves into parties and have their parties accredited.

In answer to the SOC’s bidding, three parties applied and were recognized. They were the PANGMASA, Alliance of Democratic Students (ADS), and the United Students Party (USP).

In preparation for election, President Pulido together with the SOC gathered the student representatives from participating parties. The meeting paved way for the revision of the pre-martial law CPUR constitution.

The group adapted it for election purposes only. Here, the constitution was transitory in nature because the group agreed that the adapted constitution should be used until the elected CPUR officials could facilitate a duly ratified constitution.

The history of the revived CPUR could be divided chronologically in three regimes.

The PANGMASA party, which ruled from 1982-1984; the Koalisyon party in 1984-1987; and the Independents/Student Independent Democratic Party (SIDP) in 1987-1990.

The PANGMASA Administration (1982-1984)

The first president of the revived CPUR was an engineering student named Gerardo Sonalan of the PANGMASA party. His administration was strongly supported by the engineering student leaders. His administration could be considered as very militant because it immediately provided a venue for student sentiments on various national issues.

It was during his time when the Central Echo, the official student paper of CPU was revived. Four senators led by Senator Vitini Edhard Idemne (USP) pushed for the revival of the Central Echo. Sonalan tried to assert for an autonomous Central Echo but the group agreed to the guidelines that there will be advisorship by the administration.

The next PANGMASA president was Gualberto Cataluña, a law student. He finished an engineering baccalaureate degree in CPU also. His candidacy could be considered controversial because of the issue on grade requirement.

The SOC requires a 2.0 average grade for every student who files his/her candidacy. However, Cataluña whose grades fell below 2.0 appealed directly to President Pulido for reconsideration. The administration overruled the SOC’s decision to uphold 2.0 grade requirement. The decision allowed Cataluña to proceed with his bid for the CPUR presidency.

This decision resulted into the resignation of some SOC members. The other parties, ADS and USP did not react strongly on this issue as observed by SOC member (later Chairperson) Dr. Johnny Gumban.

During his term, Cataluña was able to provide benches in several areas in the campus. Concrete benches bearing the inscription CPUR 1983-84 could still be seen along half-moon drive, central and acacia roads, and University Church drive.

(TO BE CONTINUED…)

Source: Jonan Castillon, “The History of the Revived CPUR and the Emergence of the Student Independent Democratic Party,” Central Echo Summer 1999.