Adamson declares 3-day post-poll academic break
KAITHREEN CRUZ AND FRANCIS EARL CUETO
The Manila Times
THE Adamson University has announced an academic break starting today, May 13, until Monday, May 16, to give its students time to address post-election stress and take time to reflect on their election experience. “There will be no classes and work in offices during the said period,” the university said in a statement. However, it noted that prescheduled institutional activities for May 13 and 16 will continue, including the Annual Physical Examination. University President Fr. Marcelo Manimtim recognized that the Adamson community has felt intense emotions linked to the elections, which unsettled many students. He urged the community to use this academic break to recharge their energies, reflect and heal from the present events. “May we all find peace and comfort in one another as we deal with the challenges ahead of us,” the Adamson University president said. Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) appealed to the public, especially those joining protests or rallies, to discern if they are fighting for the common good or are just being used as unwitting pawns for terrorist groups. “We wish them to be discerning. Please study well kung sino mga kasama ninyo (who you are with),” Col. Ramon Zagala, spokesman for the AFP, said at the briefing of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. Without naming names, the AFP had previously been calling on the public not to be swayed by terrorist groups or fronts of these organizations, as they become unwitting pawns for organizational motives. At the rally by progressive groups at the Philippine International Convention Center as well as the “thanksgiving” of Vice President Leni Robredo, he said that the groups should always follow the rule of law. Zagala also said that while the Philippines is a free country where people can openly express their opinions and ideas, it is a two-way freedom of expression. “Freedom of expression goes both ways. You can say what you want but for those who don’t agree with you, please also accept them. For everyone, the AFP will follow the rule of law and support our democratic institutions,” he said. For his part, Philippine National Police (PNP) Officer in Charge LtGen. Vicente Danao Jr., who was also present at the briefing, maintained that the recently concluded national and local elections were “very peaceful and normal.” “We can proudly say the results of the national and local elections, comparing it to the last national election, the conduct is very peaceful and normal compared to 2016,” he said. Danao earlier said that the public must be vigilant, especially when doing public gatherings where safety and health protocols must still be achieved. “Now is another opportunity to show goodwill by being responsible citizens of this country. The essence of real democracy is grounded on respect and discipline, and fostering the general welfare of the Filipinos,” he added. PNP spokesman Col. Jean Fajardo said the police will always exercise maximum tolerance. “Nagbigay na po ng instruction ‘yung ating OIC, si Police LtGen. Vicente Danao, na ang mga magbabantay po para po rito sa gagawing protesta ay to exercise maximum restraint and tolerance nga (Our OIC Police LtGen. Vicente Danao already gave an instruction to the personnel who will monitor these protests to exercise maximum restraint and tolerance),” she said at a recent Laging Handa Briefing. She said the PNP will also monitor the traffic situation in the said areas.