Diño speaking youth’s voice?
Heart Diño’s seat in the University Student Council was favored by a mere 17.02 percent of the student population of the University of the Philippines. Diño was voted into the council by 3,290 students out of roughly 19,300. Tell me, does Diño speak the voice of UP’s studentry? Ideally, yes. But in reality, no.
Diño was reported to have said that lawmakers “should not belittle the youth vote,” that “they should listen to what the youth are actually saying.” Listen to the youth? Or listen to you? I am part of the youth and I oppose the Reproductive Health (RH) bill. I believe that a lawmaker’s vote for the RH bill is a vote against the youth, against their welfare, against their future. And I speak for the youth who are against the RH bill and for the rest of my generation who do not know that it’s their future that’s at stake. On this matter, Diño does not speak my voice. By whose strong mandate can Diño speak the voice of the youth?
To pro-life legislators: stand your ground. The youth are with you. The youth know that in your opposition to the RH bill, you have our best interests in mind. There is no honor in instilling fear to get you to vote for the measure. There is no honor in ruining someone else’s credibility to advance one’s own. We from UP Diliman ought to know this. We remain ready to speak for and defend our position on its merits. And we will stand with and campaign for you on your merit as real representatives of the people advancing the youth’s welfare and best interests. There is no reason for you to fear.
I have great respect for Diño and JC Tejano as student leaders, as representatives of the youth. But may I remind them that they ought to hear my voice, too; that they ought to speak my voice, too. They may claim that I speak for a mere minority. Don’t they?
—KIBOY SAGRADO TABADA,
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