An open letter addressed to UP Engineering students politely reminding them to spend their time on meaningful things other than going to street protest goes viral online.
Long time Zambales resident and UK national Sherry Zimmer wrote the open letter in reaction to the previous letter making the rounds on social media urging UP Engineering students to join the September 21 activities in Mendiola commemorating the 1972 Martial Law declaration.
Zimmer told the UP engineering students to specifically “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.”
Zimmer also brushed up the UP students the true meaning of the word ‘dictator’ which according to her, the root word ‘Dict’ traces its origin to Latin.
The latin word ‘dict’ actually means to describe a chief magistrate with absolute power, appointed in an emergency.
At this juncture, Zimmer said that over 16 million Filipinos decided to cast their vote for President Duterte because there was an emergency – too many adDICTts – people who are addicted to either street drugs, power or money.
Zimmer then went on to compare President Duterte to her mother whom she called the dictator in their household.
Zimmer believes that President Duterte is only acting Dictator because he has to do what he believes, is best for his ‘children’ and the millions that will be born during his Presidency.
The letter urging UP engineering students to join Mendiola activities was signed by no less than Dr. Rizalinda De Leon, Dean of the UP College of Engineering.
The letter generated mixed reactions on social media, forcing Dean de Leon to issue a statement clarifying she does not support ‘Duterte ouster’ movement.
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 adDICTts – people who are addicted to either street drugs, 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.