EXCLUSIVE: Student’s cooling off mistaken for suicide attempt

Medics did not handle her well, she tells [P]

Amid circulating rumors of a student attempting to jump off the Narra Bridge, commonly known as the “Never Ending Bridge,” on March 21, a student came forward to the UPLB Perspective, saying she might be the one who people think tried to jump from the bridge, but was prevented from doing so by medical personnel.

In an interview on Wednesday, March 22, the student, who requested anonymity for this story, clarified that she was not attempting to jump off Narra Bridge.

The student explained that at past 3pm, she went to Narra Bridge to cool off, as she was feeling angry and sad at the time. Couple of minutes later, she saw an ambulance stopping near her. Medical personnel then alighted from the ambulance and attempted to hold her by the arms.

Citing the instinct of “stranger danger,” she refused to go with them. “Na-trauma ako. I didn’t think they did their best job,” said the student after the medical personnel insisted that she go inside the ambulance.

The medical personnel later offered to bring her to her dorm. She recalled leaving them and going towards the Student Union Building where she claimed she cried to her orgmates who were there. However, she said, the ambulance still followed her up until the DL Umali Auditorium.

How the rumor spread

“Nagulat ako sa Twitter,” she said when asked what she felt after seeing the reactions on social media. The student later clarified that she declined to be brought to neither the UHS nor any other hospital.

She also came forward to the UPLB Perspective because she felt that the time frame of what happened to her coincided with the time frame of the alleged attempted suicide incident.

Reports of the alleged incident started in the afternoon of March 21, when a certain Boy Bato posted on Facebook that someone jumped off Palma Bridge. He later retracted his earlier story and said that it happened at the bridge near the Main Library, the Narra or “Never Ending” Bridge. In the comments, Boy Bato said that he personally saw it.


Screenshot of Boy Bato’s post

“Kasi galing ako UPF [University Police Force] dahil dun sa lisensya fiasco ko. So pag[ka]tapos nung meeting, may mga tao sa labas na [yun] na nga, may tatalon daw sa bridge, So dumaan ako. Ayun, may pulis on the scene na papaunta when it happened.” Boy Bato said in the comments section of his post.

Shortly afterwards, Boy Bato deleted the said post and deactivated his account.

Since then, social media, especially Twitter, went abuzz with news of someone jumping off the Narra Bridge.

However, no report of the alleged incident was recorded in the blotter of the UPF, UPLB Perspective has learned. This was also confirmed by Security Guard (SG III) Mervin Valencia, who was the investigator on duty that night, stating that it was only hearsay.

Tecson Pua, a BS Mathematics student, asked the official Facebook page of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs (OVCCA) about the veracity of the alleged incident that same night. The conversation with the office was posted on his Twitter account the next morning, March 22.


Screenshot courtesy of Tecson Pua

“The University Health Service (UHS) reported a student who tried to jump from the bridge this pm but was prevented from doing so,” OVCCA said in their reply to Pua. The OVCCA also stated that the student was “brought to the UHS safe [sic] for appropriate action.” They also cited the hiring of “a consultant psychiatrist, Dr. Palis, to… deal specifically with suicidal cases” among  the university’s students.

The consultant psychiatrist being referred to is Dr. Alexandra Jean Palis.

UHS is unable to confirm OVCCA’s claim in the latter’s reply to Pua about anyone who tried to commit suicide being brought to the medical facility that day.

OVCCA has not responded to UPLB Perspective’s messages as of press time.

“HOPE” Forum

A reply to Pua’s screen cap posted on Twitter was Office of the Chancellor (OC) Memorandum No. 042 Series of 2017, dated March 16. The memo was an invitation to “HOPE: Health Orientation to Problems from Emotional Stress,” organized by the Office of Student Affairs (OSA). The event aims to provide an orientation about problems from emotional stress. Dr. Palis serves as one of the speakers in the said event.

A scanned copy memorandum was sent via email by the OC to the university’s units and college on March 22, a day after rumors of the alleged incident circulated around campus. The College Secretary’s Office (CSO) of the College of Human Ecology (CHE) reposted the scanned memorandum on its Facebook account. The same copy of the memorandum shared by the CHE CSO was tweeted by Pua. [P]


Family, friends seek help on missing UPLB alumnus


University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) alumnus, Michael Kenneth Cruz

University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) alumnus, Michael Kenneth Cruz, has been missing and cannot be contacted since the morning of Thursday, March 16. A missing person report was filed at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Pasay City Government the same day by Andrea Baule, Cruz’s partner.

According to Baule’s facebook post, Cruz was on his way to his first day of work to Balayan, Batangas. He left from their apartment at Pasig City to the terminal at Metropoint Taft at around 3am. The last text update received from Cruz was at 4:39 am saying that he is already at Taft waiting for other passengers.

” We tried to look for cctv and other possible terminals in taft pero wala pa magandang sightings of Mike. We just suspect 1 or 2 person na pinakahawig sa rememblance pero we can’t verify if sumakay siya or hindi eh dahil sa mga blind spot na din ng mga lugar. So far wala pa talaga kaming information about Michael’s location,” said Baule in a facebook interview.

Baule has also scouted different CCTV camera recording around the area of Taft to see if there is any sighting of Cruz. As of writing, there is still no update from the family, and the PNP Pasay regarding Cruz’s case. [P]

MTC defers arraignment of UPLB Chancellor


The Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Los Baños deferred the arraignment for the oral defamation case of UPLB Chancellor Fernando Sanchez Jr. on Wednesday, March 8.

Attorney Rosalio Aragon Jr., lawyer of Chancellor Sanchez, motioned for the postponement based on the ground that they filed a petition for review before the Department of Justice (DOJ) last February 9. The petition for review was raised because of the conflicting rules on the provincial and regional state prosecutor.

Attorney Rosario cited Rule 116 Section 11  of the Rule of Court which states, “upon motion by the proper party, the arraignment shall be suspended for the case of a pending petition for review of the resolution of the prosecutor at either the DOJ, or the Office of the President; provided, that the period of suspension shall not exceed sixty (60) days counted from the filing of the petition with the reviewing office.”

On the other hand, Atty. Emilio C. Capulong Jr., private prosecutor of Dr. Ruben Tanqueco, complainant, said that upon resolution of the Regional Prosecutor, the earlier resolution is considered final.

(READ:UPLB Chancellor accuses univ official of infidelity)

In an earlier report by the UPLB Perspective, Regional Prosecutor Ernesto C. Mendoza found the appeal meritorious, which granted the petition for review last January 24, 2017. The petition for review was filed by Dr. Tanqueco before the Regional Trial Court after the case was initially dismissed by the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Laguna last July 16, 2016.

The arraignment is set on May 24, 2017 with or without the resolution of the DOJ, as granted by Presiding Judge Francisco Collado Jr. [P]

Salera family releases open letter to UPLB

On January 20, 2017, father and aunt of the late CVM student Uriel Salera, Mr. Orlan Salera and Dr. Leila Salera came to the UPLB Perspective office in hopes and request of the release of their open letter. It read:

“Last December 20, 2016, my brother, Uriel’s father called our mother to tell her that the letter from the UPLB Student Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) has arrived. The SDT had ordered that the case of my nephew’s death that happened after undergoing the initiation activities of the Org. Rodeo Club be addressed by the Student Organization and Activities Division (SOAD). It also stated that the Org. complies to the provisions mentioned in the letter.

The decision was acceptable to us. It was fair. It does not in any way lessen the pain of our loss, but in some measurement, we felt that the SDT did their part, and with that I send these messages:

To the Org. that recruited my nephew, Uriel Salera.

Uriel was very excited to be part of your Org. His grandmother was totally against it, but because he wanted to truly experience everything that college had to offer, she relented and joined his father and me in supporting his desire to join you. He was willing to do everything just so he could become a member. He did his best to comply to your requirements. We did not share his enthusiasm, but we were proud of him, and it made us happy knowing how determined he was to finish what he started. He truly believed that becoming a member of your Org. would benefit him as a student and as a person.

That day we were so helpless. We could not do anything as my nephew lay lifeless. We could only take some small measurement of comfort knowing that he died with his family and did not suffer. It would have been so much more painful if he was taken and he was not with us. That is why we took offense when you said that we were not the only ones who suffered a loss, and that you did as well. The audacity of that statement saying you not only lost a recruit, but you also lost a friend. Years will go by and you will have new recruits. Most of them may become your friends. We will never have that luxury. No one will ever fill the void my nephew left when he passed away. That pain will never go away and none of you will ever understand that.

Uriel wanted to join your Org. He was recruited by your Org. Plain and simple. But is seems that you have decided that it was alright to have the mentality that you join at your own risk. Everything was voluntary and you were not forced. You join, take the risk. It comes out as you being satisfied that a recruit survives your initiation process, and will not care at all if a recruit does not. And because of that, you did nothing to ensure the safety of my nephew.

You said that you didn’t want to say anything anymore because you didn’t want to sound like you are defending yourselves too much. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? Defend yourselves? Which would appear more that you have something to hide? You defending yourselves, or you keeping silent? You were not forthcoming during the first meeting with the SDT. You only told us the whole truth during the second meeting and you kept mentioning the words “physically fit” regarding your recruits. You dare mention those words yet you failed to ensure the safety of your recruits including my nephew. What you made him go through was unacceptable. What would you have done if he collapsed during the initiation? The pain was already all to great when we he died in his father’s arms. You could and will never be able to imagine the pain if he died and he was away from his loved ones. 2016 was supposed to be a special year for Christmas in our family. It would have been the year that the whole family were together during Christmas since my father, Uriel’s grandfather had finally retired since he started working in the UAE since 2003. Our family would have been complete after spending so many holidays with his grandfather away from us. You have robbed us of that.

Know this. The family may have decided not to pursue any legal actions against you but do not in any way think that you are off the hook. We still hold you responsible. We will not forget this. My brother, Uriel’s father asked only one thing from you. Acknowledge my nephew’s death. Acknowledge your negligence, and let everyone know about it. Let my nephew’s death be a wake-up call. We want it published!

The statements you sent my brother just expressed your sentiments about my nephew but none of them acknowledged how you were not able to do your part in ensuring the safety of my nephew and all your recruits. None of those sentiments reflected how sorry you were for being so irresponsible, and none of those sentiments expressed how any of you will take responsibility over what happened. Let it serve as a stern warning. Be very careful and ensure the safety of your future recruits, and this goes to all the Orgs. Don’t let my nephew become just a statistic.”

According to Mr. Salera, the option to escalate the case further has always remained open. “I would like to comment upon the very lamentable way the Rodeo Club has handled the issue regarding the death of my only son and child, Uriel F. Salera. After 2 hearings with the SDT, after which we came to an agreement (or so I thought), that they would abide by my wishes for them to acknowledge my son and to put in writing that they will take the proper steps in order to avoid a repeat of this very tragic incident. All these are recorded. This did not happen,” he added.


UPLB Chancellor accuses univ official of infidelity

University official files defamation case


[UPDATED as of 26 February 2017, 3:50 PM]

Sa loob ng tatlong taon, kinunsinte ko ang director niyo [Dr. Ruben Tanqueco] sa absenteeism, tardiness at immorality. Nanahimik ako hoping na magbabago kaya lang hindi. Nakokonsensya ako, I cannot look straight to Tita Helen’s eyes.”

This is the statement that UPLB Chancellor Fernando Sanchez uttered during the December 8, 2015 meeting in the Chancellor’s Office with engineers of Physical Plant Maintenance and Services Office (PPMSO), which Engr. Danny Rey Camus attested.

Two meetings transpired last December 8 wherein the grounds for the grave oral defamation case took place. As stated in the complaint, during the earlier meeting  with university officials including then Human Resources Development Office (HRDO) Chief Administrative Officer Armando Palanca, he heard Chancellor Sanchez utter to the group, “Dr. Tanqueco is having a relation with a staff of PPMSO and further added that it was for this reason he was ashamed to the husband of this PPMSO staff who works abroad as a seaman and was also ashamed to the wife [Tita Helen] of the complainant [Dr. Tanqueco].”

(READ: UPLB Chancellor faces criminal raps)

In an interview with the UPLB Perspective, former HRDO Chief Officer Palanca recalled that he asked to be excused when he heard the Chancellor’s statement during the said meeting, “Sir, tsisimis yan eh pwede ba ‘kong maexcuse na eh. Kung yan ay totoo Sir, kasuhan. Ground ‘yan for dismissal.” However, Sanchez insisted and asked him to stay in the meeting room.

Chancellor Sanchez in his counter-affidavit says he “denied having uttered during the meeting that Dr. Tanqueco is having a relation with a staff of PPMSO” and denied having said that he felt ashamed to the husband of the PPMSO staff and to Tita Helen, the wife of Dr. Ruben Tanqueco. Moreover, Chancellor Sanchez claimed that he did not commit grave oral defamation against complainant Tanqueco because the words he uttered during the meeting were done in good faith in connection with the lawful exercise of his functions as Chancellor and disciplinary authority of UPLB, and in the exigency of public service.

“Imagine you’re being maligned, di ba, in front of so many people, so ano yang prinoproject  na image? I’m already working in the university for 37 long years, unblemished record, and then all of a sudden, aakusahan mo ko in front of so many people na ganito ako. Anong intention mo? So that’s precisely the reason why I filed a case against him,” says former PPMSO Director Tanqueco, who also served in the university as Vice-Chancellor for Planning and Development.

Petition for review granted

On July 16, 2016, the grave oral defamation case was initially dismissed by the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Laguna after the preliminary investigation conducted.

The investigating prosecutor ruled that the “utterances made by the respondent was not malicious.” The investigating prosecutor reasoned out grounds of privileged and private communication for the dismissal of the case. Furthermore, the statement “…was made in good and without evil motive.”

Dr. Tanqueco filed for a petition to review the Grave Oral Defamation case in the Office of the Regional Prosecutor.

On January 24, 2017, petition for review has been granted by Regional Prosecutor Ernesto C. Mendoza, which reversed the July 16, 2016 ruling.

Regional Prosecutor Mendoza found the appeal meritorious. After examining the Chancellor’s statement, “Dr. Tanqueco is having a relation with a staff,” the Regional Prosecutor believed that the statement places the person into public ridicule and contempt. “Simply put, it is as if complainant has been labeled as being immoral enough to destroy one’s virtue or reputation or to hold one up to public ridicule and contempt.”

The Office of the Regional Prosecutor countered the grounds on the dismissal of the case as privileged and private communication. In the said case, malice may not be presumed because statement is claimed to be privileged. However, the Office believes that evidence to prove malice has been evident in the Chancellor’s affidavit dated March 14, 2016.

“In my capacity as Chancellor, I had a first-hand account of complainant Tanqueco’s subordination. This happened when I requested through the Vice-Chancellor for Planning and Development, Dr. Marish Madlangbayan, for materials for the repair of my assigned unit of the UPLB housing facilities about a week before our meeting on 08 December 2015. Complainant Tanqueco denied my request for materials. When I bought the repair materials from my own funds out of exasperation and in order not to delay the repair works to be done, complainant Tanqueco prohibited the PPMSO personnel under his immediate control and supervision, to conduct repairs, to the damage and prejudice of public service,” the complaint affidavit stated.

On private communication, the Office of the Regional Prosecutor believed that the communication which took place in the December 8 meeting was not made in response to some moral, social or civic duty as the communication appears to have not been addressed to someone who has some supervision over Dr. Tanqueco. “It is not clear whether the attendees in the said meeting have some authority to inquire and investigate the alleged charges against the complainant.”

Status of the case

On February 6, 2017, Provincial Prosecutor George Dee of the Municipal Trial Court pushed through with the filing of a “grave oral defamation” case against Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. with criminal case no. 14539.

Chancellor Sanchez posted bail at the Los Baños Municipal Trial Court last February 20, Monday, for the said case. Additionally, an administrative complaint lodged against him is under review for an alleged violation of the Omnibus Election Code.

When asked about the status of the case, Dr. Tanqueco says, “Since maraming kaso yan, ang unang kaso na ngayon ay may nakikita kaming liwanag, itong criminal case na finile namin. You are all aware na nasa MTC na, so the arraignment is set on March 8. So kung ano mang magiging susunod na kabanata, eh tignan natin. Doon naman sa administrative case sa civil service, I’m hoping, I’m looking forward na it will be, the decision will come out any day very very soon.”

Dr. Tanqueco added, “[T]he reason why we’re doing this is to prevent incoming officials to commit some kind of abuses. Dapat, kung sinong mabababa, syang dapat protektahan. Less in life, more on rights.”

As of writing time, the Chancellor has yet to comment on the issue. [P]

BREAKING: UPLB Chancellor faces criminal raps


[UPDATED as of 25 February 2017, 4:05 PM]

Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. posted bail at the Los Baños Municipal Trial Court last February 20, Monday, for a defamation case lodged against him by fellow University officials. Additionally, an administrative complaint lodged against him is under review for an alleged violation of the Omnibus Election Code.

Based from official documents obtained by the UPLB Perspective, complainant Dr. Ruben Tanqueco, Physical Plant Maintenance and Service Office (PPMSO) director, claimed that the alleged defamatory statement happened on December 8, 2015, during a meeting with UPLB officials at the Office of the Chancellor. On the other hand, the University’s Human Resources Development Office (HRDO) Chief Officer Armando Palanca filed the administrative complaint.

Chief Officer Palanca was in the December 8 meeting. Palanca served as witness for the criminal case against Sanchez. The criminal case against Chancellor Sanchez for “Grave Oral Defamation” is set to be arraigned on March 8 by the Laguna Provincial Prosecutor.

For the administrative case against Sanchez, it has been stated that, “Palanca specifically alleged that Chancellor Sanchez (i) relieved him from his position as Chief Administrative Officer of HRDO on April 29, 2016; and (ii) appointed Nelson Jose Vincent B. Querijero, Associate Professor 7 as HRDO Chief on April 21, 2016, both of which were during the time when the election ban on appointment is effective.”

As of press time, Chancellor Sanchez has yet to comment on the matter. The UPLB Perspective will bring you more information as this story develops. [P]

Alimpuyo ng Pluma

SALITA | Michelle Andrea Laurio at Francis Joseph Rafael 

Hirap nang maipikit ang mga matang mulat sa karumaldumal na kaganapan. Pilitin mang itikom ang mga bibig, hindi pa rin masusugpo ang katotohanan. Takpan man ang mga tenga, marinig pa rin ang alingawngaw sa bawat hinagpis, lalo na sa panahon ng Batas Militar kung saan sinisiil pa rin ang kasalukuyan na hindi matahimik sa huling hantungan.

Ang katotohanan ay dapat maipabatid sa lahat sa kabila ng panganib na naranasan lalo na noong panahong iyon. Diwa’t layuning makabayan, prinsipyo, katapangan at pananalig sa katwiran ang siyang naging sandigan ng mga manunulat na isinugal ang kanilang buhay sa ngalan ng pamamahayag.

Bilang pag-uugnay, ang pagkakaroon ng karapatang magbahagi at makatanggap ng mga ideya at impormasyon na walang anumang hadlang na nakasaad sa Bill of Rights ng Saligang Batas 1987 at ang walang-harang na paglilimbag nito ay parehong ipinagkait ng Martial Law. Ang karapatang ito, na natatamasa ng kasalukuyang henerasyon ay sadyang napakahirap matikman noon.


Mga Gunita noong Batas Militar

Sariwa pa sa mga alaala ni Psyche Roxas-Mendoza, kasulukuyang tagapamahalang patnugot ng Philippines Graphic at manunulat ng Business Mirror, ang ilan sa napakaraming kaganapan noong panahon ng Batas Militar kung saan naglingkod siya bilang pangunahing patnugot ng UPLB Perspective.

Bilang mag-aaral ng Development Communication taong 1975, kanyang inilarawan kung gaano kasigabo ang buhay estudyante noon: aktibo silang nakilalahok sa mga kaganapan sa lipunang kanilang ginagalawan. Ito ay lalong umigting noong 1979, ang taong laganap ang kaalamang pulitikal saan man sa unibersidad.

“Halos lahat ng estudyante noon ay may diwang palaban. Noong katangian ng student life noon ay dahil din sa mabagsik na estado. Kung sa Diliman, ang mga estudyante ay ikinukulong. Sa Los Banos, ang mga estudyante naman ay pinapatay o kaya winawala,” saad ni Mendoza.

Maraming mga isyung bumabalot sa loob ng unibersidad. Naisalaysay niya ang ilang agarang pagkilos ng maraming mag-aaral: hinggil sa usapin ng pagtataas ng singil sa mga dormitoryo; sa pagdating ang siyam na bus ng UPLB sa UP Diliman patungkol sa usaping Grants in Aid (ngayo’y STFAP/STS); sa kung gaano nakialam ang UPLB sa insidente ng pamamaril sa Hacienda Cayco, at ang pamumulitika sa mga manggagawa ng IRRI.

At ang pinakahindi niya malimutan ay ang sandaling naganap ang malawakang boycott na nilahukan ng halos lahat ng mag-aaral noong “watershed year” ng 1979. Doon daw niya natunghayan ang pagkakaroon ng iisang diwa ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan.

Ang dahilan ng kanilang pagbo-boycott ay dahil ipinagkait sa kanila ng dating Vice Chancellor Lantican ang karapatang magkatipon-tipon sa hindi bababa ng tatlong tao sa pamamagitan ng memorandum circular. Isang alituntunin labis na nakasasakal.

“Nilahukan ito ng halos lahat ng mga estudyante. Gabi noon nang nagkatipon-tipon kami sa Student Union Building. Biglang dumating si Parker, head ng OSA, pinapaalis kami. Kung hindi raw kami aalis, ire-reyd daw nila yun. Huhulihin daw kami lahat,” ani Psyche.

Imbis na umalis, nagsagawa ang mga estudyante ng malawakang educational discussion sa loob ng SU building kung saan napuno ang basement, 1st floor, at 2nd floor. Ito ay sa pangunguna ni Filemon Nolasco, dating taga-pangulo ng Katawang Tagapag-ugnay ng Mag-aaral (KTM) o mas kilalang University Student Council ngayon.

Sa katunayan, mayroon ding mga ahenteng nagmamatyag sa tuwing nagkakaroon ng pagsasama-sama na kanilang binansagan bilang “hapon” o “pongee”.

“Kahit ordinaryong meeting lang, mainit na ang mga mata. Maski nagdadasal lang kayo, masama pa ang tingin.” saad niya.

Labis din daw ang pag-iingat na kanilang isinasagawa sapagkat oras na mahuli sila, kargo lamang nila ang kanilang sarili. Noong mga panahon ding iyon, sa oras na nakilalahok ang isang estudyante at lumalaban kay Marcos, sa sandaling mahuli siya ay gagawaran siya ng kaparusahang hindi makatwiran.

Ang bawat araw ay tila isang hamon na kanilang kinahaharap. Walang katiyakan ang kaligtasan ngunit patuloy pa ring nabubuhay bilang isang mag-aaral na kinakailangang tuparin ang mga gawaing pang-akademiko gayundin ang pakikibaka laban sa mapaniil na pamahalaan.

Panunupil sa pamamahayag

Isang araw pagkatapos magdeklara ng Martial Law, naglabas ang administrasyong Marcos ng Letter of Instruction No. 1 na naglalayong kontrolin ang midya. Naglabas din ang Department of Public Information (DPI) ng Order No.1 kung saan ang lahat ng mga pahayagan ay kailangang kumuha ng clearance bago maglabas ng kahit ano.

“Pag ayaw mo kay Marcos noon at lumaban ka, delikado ka na. It doesn’t matter whether you are really anti-government. Basta if you are critical of the Marcos administration, you find yourself in hot water,” wika ni Psyche.

Nagkaroon ng epekto ang ganitong mga porma ng panunupil hindi lang sa mga tanyag at kilalang pahayagan sa buong bansa kundi pati sa mga pahayagan sa loob ng mga unibersidad at kolehiyo.

“Pag sumobra ka, wawalain ka. Kami lang yung nagpapatakbo ng dyaryo noon. Ang banat ng estado sa iyo, “Doon ka sa Eldridge, magpaliwanag. Or worse, mawawala ka na lang. Talagang lakas ng loob mo lang yung gabay mo,” dagdag ni Psyche.

Upang makatakas sa panunupil sa pahayagan, nagkaroon ng mga malikhaing pamamaraan ang dyaryo, katulad na lamang ng paggamit ng satire sa porma ng lampoon issue. Naglaan ng seksyon sa dyaryo na tinatawag na Atsara, na, bukod pa sa artikulong satire, ay mga kanta ni Imelda Papin o Eva Eugenio na pinapalitan ang mga liriko hinggil sa mga problema ng lipunan noon.

“Meron kaming nilabas dati na kanta ni Eva Eugenio (…kay rami ng winasak na tahanan) pero ang pinapatungkulan naming ay National Housing Authority o NHA dahil marami silang mga pinapalayas na urban poor noon,” kwento ni Psyche.

Taong 1975 ng pumutok ang balitang nawawala ang dating manunulat na si Leticia Ladlad kasama ng iba pang mga estudyante sa unibersidad. Dinukot sila sa Maynila ng mga hinihinalang pwersa ng estado ni Marcos.

“Isa si Tish (Leticia Ladlad) kasama pa ng iba pa niyang mga kasama sa mga kinakanta pag may nawawala. Pero nangyari yun, wala pa ako sa Perspective. Imagine na freshman ka pa lang, yung nangyari sa kanila ay sinasabi agad sa mga student orientations, freshman bloc assembly, at iba pa. Paulit-ulit silang pinapaalala sa mga bata, sa mga estudyante,” aniya.

Tinuturing na desaparecidos bunga ng sapilitang pagkawala, hanggang ngayon ay wala pa ring nakaaalam sa kanilang sinapit; kung buhay pa ba sila o patay.

Ang Hamon ng Pagpapatuloy

Sa kabila ng mga iba’t ibang mga porma ng panunupil noong panahon ng Martial Law, nagpatuloy pa rin si Psyche kasama pa ng ibang mga estudyante sa pagmumulat sa mga isyung kinakaharap ng bayan. Patuloy pa rin silang nagsasagawa ng mga integration at community exposure sa mga komunidad, sakahan at protesta upang mas lumalim pa ang pang-unawa nila sa nangyayari sa lipunan.

“Totoo yung kasabihan na mula sa masa tungo sa masa. Kung gusto mong alamin sila, lapitan mo at tanungin mo. ‘Wag kang mag-assume sa gusto nila. Doon mo malalaman kung paano mo mapapaunlad. The more you think you know everything, the more you distance yourself from your mass base,” wika niya.

Nang tanungin kung ano nga ba ang nag-udyok kay Psyche na magpatuloy sa kabila ng represyon noong Batas Militar, wika niya, “Ang gusto ko lang noon [ay] magsulat. Gusto ko lang magsabi ng totoo kung anong nangyayari.”

Sa nilabas na datos ng Task Force Detainees Philippines, tinatayang umabot sa 3,257 ang pinatay, 35,000 ang tinortyur, at mangilan na 70,000 ang inaresto. Malagim ang sinapit ng mga kabataan at estudyante noong Batas Militar. Hamon ni Psyche sa mga katulad niyang mga manunulat ang ipagpatuloy ang nasimulan noon: ang paglingkuran ang malawak na hanay ng masa.

“Hindi ka lang manunulat, manunulat ka ng sambayanan,” panapos niya. [P]