Just a day after five councilor bets withdrew from its slate, four local chapters of the Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP (STAND UP) broke from the party after more cases of mishandled sexual harassment cases among its ranks have surfaced online.
SALiGAN sa CSSP, the ruling party and local chapter of STAND UP at the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP), STAND UP College of Home Economics (STAND UP CHE), and STAND UP Clark all said that they will be disaffiliating themselves from the red party following the latter’s botched response to sexual harassment cases concerning its members.
“Maliban pa sa mga pagkakamali sa paghahawak ng mga kaso, nagkaroon din ng maraming pagkukulang sa pagbibigay-alam sa mga kasapi ng partido na pumilay sa makabuluhang pagkakaisa ng mga kasapi bilang isang partidong isinusulong ang militanteng mga prinsipyo nito,” SALiGAN said in a statement released yesterday.
This decision comes as a shock given that Neo Aison, STAND UP’s current chairperson candidate, is a member of SALiGAN, which he ran under and won as CSSP Student Council chairperson in 2021.
SALiGAN said their ranks felt “betrayed and worried” that the leadership of the university-wide party did not disclose and rectify the recurring issues of sexual harassment involving the party’s members. Without expounding details, the splintered groups added that the raised allegations are not isolated, but a product of a series of “poor” actions.
STAND UP CHE called the resolve of the university-wide party “unjust.”
“Tila ito ay harap-harapang pagtataksil sa prinsipyong bitbit ng STAND UP, na siyang kolektibong isinusulong ng mga lokal na balangay nito. Hindi sinasalamin ng kasalukuyang liderato ng STAND UP ang pinanday at pinagtibay na prinsipyong isinabuhay simula nang itinatag ito,” the CHE chapter wrote.
STAND UP’s “agree” stance of the results during the 2023 UP Diliman chancellor selection also received condemnation from STAND UP Clark, writing that the chapters were not consulted.
“Hindi naging malinaw ang STAND UP sa mga isyung makakaapekto sa loob at labas ng samahan; kahit sa gitna ng mga isyung kinakaharap ngayon ay patuloy ang pananahimik ng partido alyansa at hindi pa rin nagpaparamdam lalo na sa STAND UP Clark,” they wrote.
STAND UP National College of Public Administration and Governance (STAND UP NCPAG) expressed the same sentiments, and condemned the party's “deliberate” concealment of sexual harassment cases committed by its members over the past years.
“Kaya naman, mariing kinukundena ng STAND UP NCPAG ang hindi makatarungang pagtugon ng STAND UP sa mga isyu na kinakaharap ng buong komunidad, mula sa pagsasawalang bahala sa mga kaso ng sexual harassment sa kolektibong pagkilos at sa pagkawala ng demokratikong proseso sa pagpili ng tsanselor sa UP Diliman,” the local party wrote.
However, STAND UP NCPAG Chairperson Frances Nyx Alfonso told the Collegian that they are only disassociating themselves from STAND UP, given the severity of the issues raised during the forum. She said that the alliance will undergo a “consolidation process” among its members to decide their next steps.
The local chapter will move forward as an independent local party for the upcoming NCPAG student council elections.
STAND UP NCPAG’s six candidates have also released their own statement of disassociation, calling the university-wide party’s actions “divisive and anti-student” and does not reflect the alliance’s values.
At the university-wide level, STAND UP takes more hits with resignation and withdrawal from its current slate.
Last night, councilor bets John Neil Tumangan and Gaebrielle Abuel announced their withdrawal from the race, while Craig Navalta will continue to run, but as an independent candidate. All three have also disaffiliated from STAND UP. This leaves Mattheo Villanueva as the only candidate vying for councilor under the red party’s flag.
“We do not see ourselves remaining in a party alliance that refuses to provide such details which harms the campaign we all uphold,” the three wrote. With those withdrawals and splinters, STAND UP is all but certain to lose its majority in the next University Student Council (USC).
Meanwhile, STAND UP’s rival, UP Alyansa ng mga Mag-aaral para sa Panlipunang Katwiran at Kaunlaran (UP ALYANSA) expressed their concerns towards people coming forward with their stories of harassment and issued sympathy for the red party.
“We believe that it is important for all student formations to work together in promoting the welfare and rights of the UP community and the Filipino people,” they told Collegian.
Posts narrating sexual harassment perpetrated behind STAND UP’s doors continue to be shared on Twitter, saying that these acts have been a long-standing issue condoned by the party for “self-preservation.”
It is unsure, as of writing, whether a formal disciplinary complaint has been lodged at the Office of Anti-Sexual Harassment against members of STAND UP. Cases filed before the office are confidential in nature and are heard by the Anti-Sexual Harassment (ASH) Council. Latrell Felix, who was elected USC chairperson under the banner of STAND UP, is a member of the ASH council.
Under the UP Anti-Sexual Harassment Code, a student may be expelled for committing or concealing acts of sexual harassment. ●
Sexual harassment reports may be filed to the UP Diliman Office of Anti-Sexual Harassment through its Facebook page or email email@example.com. The UP Diliman Police may be contacted at 8981-8500 local 113.
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