A post by De La Salle University of Manila President Br. Armin Luistro has succeeded in bringing together the La Sallian community, but not in the way he originally intended.
On February 13, Br. Luistro shared a post on the De La Salle Philippines page where he asked Lasallians to support Rappler and Maria Ressa. He further encouraged the community to make their voices heard and “vote with their feet” by standing with the arrested journalist.
But rather than support for his stance on the hotbutton issue, Bro. Luistro got current and former Lasallians asking him to keep his politics away from their page and out of their school.
To sum up the general response, one Eljay Stepanov Leyble commented:
Many flat out said “no” to the rally call, pointing out that Ressa’s press freedoms are not being curtailed – it’s really rather the rule of law being carried put against the journalist who violated cyber libel laws. But because she is a voice of the opposition that’s critical of the administration and desperate to paint it as ruthless and cruel, she isn’t a criminal – she’s a martyr.
The Lasallian community seems to overwhelmingly not support either Rappler or Maria Ressa.
Nor do they seem to appreciate how Ressa and her Rappler have become synonymous to press freedom in the Philippines.
One commenter said Bro. Armin has every right to voice his opinion and even use his position as university president to rally students to support Maria Ressa, but this should instead be posted on his personal page and not the university’s since they are his views and obviously not the community’s.
It was a common sentiment, in fact, that Bro. Luistro was misusing his position and involving the university in politics.
If there’s any good that can come out of this mess, it’s that we can finally put to bed any misconceptions about whether or not the De La Salle University produces quality graduates.