A British medical advocate who lived in the Philippines for 13 years already told students of the University of the Philippines to study first and know what to contribute to the betterment of the country than to join rallies.
In an open letter, Sherry Zimmer slammed the students of UP for “wasting their in politics”.
This is after the engineering department of the premier state university in the country released a letter urging their students to join protests today, Sept. 21, against President Rodrigo Duterte.
Dean Rizalina De Leon, the dean of the engineering department, said in her pledge of support that it’s time for their students to be active in fighting for human rights and civil liberties. Critics of the Duterte administration are pointing the two as important things that are being taken for granted by the Duterte administration.
Sherry said that Duterte cannot be qualified as a “dictator” because he was democratically elected by 16 million people. In her observation, Duterte was only acting like a strict parent who is looking out for the betterment of his children.
However, in the middle of her letter, she admitted that Duterte has to act some parts of being a dictator. In her justification, she said this is needed because “it is for the best”.
Supporters of the Duterte administration have been lauding the President for “proving the change for the society”. Critics of this administration, on the other hand, are blaming him for the inflation hike, the numerous lives lost without due process, and the weakening stance of the country in territorial disputes against China.
Read her open letter:
“OPEN LETTER TO UP ENGINEERING STUDENTS
Dear Engineering Students,
I believe you have been urged, by your Dean, Dr. Rizalinda De Leon, to support a protest, to defend human rights and civil liberties and join the Filipino people under the banner of “Engineer the Downfall of Tyrant and Dictator Duterte!”
I feel sure you are all bright students to be able to attend, such a prestigious university. May I politely suggest that instead of attending this protest, you do a few other things instead.
Learn the real history of the Philippines, including the political power of the Catholic church, and not what the prior administrations have led you to believe.
Learn what the true meaning of the word dictator is. Words are powerful and I would like to explain where the word comes from and who first used it.
It is an English word based on Latin, the language of the Romans – The Latin root word ‘dict’ and its variant ‘dic’ both mean ‘say.’ In ancient Rome, it was the word to describe a chief magistrate with absolute power, appointed in an emergency. In 2016, over 16 million Filipinos decided to cast their vote for President Duterte because there was an emergency – too many ad-DIC-Tts – people who are addicted to either street [illegal substance], power or money.
A good parent often appears as a Dictator – my Mother was a Dictator. I believe that, at this time, President Duterte has to act the part of Dictator, just like my Mother. He has taken on the job as ‘Tatay’ over 104 million people. It can’t all be done in 2 years and he has to do what he believes, is best for his ‘children’ and the millions that will be born during his Presidency.
These were some of my Mother’s rules which had to be obeyed or suffer the consequences and some of them sound rather like President Duterte’s.
1. A curfew was imposed
2. Cleanliness was demanded.
3. Everyone work together to get a task finished.
4. Respect for the police
5. Rudeness to elders was not permitted
6. Always share any treat
7. Never start a fight but never back down from one.
8. Dispose of your trash properly
9. If you see a problem – fix it.
10. Don’t blaspheme.
11. Don’t join in rallies without prior knowledge.
12. Do your homework.
Because you are obviously bright engineering students, with a passion to improve the Philippines, I would like to suggest that you focus on your studies and come up with solutions to the flooding problem, recycling wastes to fuel, conversion of plastics to energy, creative and cheap way of extracting and processing of deuterium and other useful engineering creativities rather than engaging in politics.
As a final thought, have you wondered why Dean De Leon would put out her first letter and then retract it? She should never have encouraged her students to go to the streets just to push her political agenda – in fact, she broke Rule #7.
If you do attend the rally, then please don’t break Rule #8 because we, the supporters of President Duterte, will be watching.