UP should be happy with The Varsitarian

by Sankage Steno

Ang sagot ko sa opinion piece na ito.

St. Upid, patron saint of the intolerable and pampam, probably is having a fiesta inside the office of The Varsitarian. His hermano mayor for this grand fiesta is no other than Lorenzo Luigi T. Gayya, the one who wrote the unethical, self-absorbed, insensitive, papansin and ad hominem-rich article entitled PNoy should be happy with coed’s suicide.

I sympathize with his professors, family and friends who could not do anything to educate this Pontifical University student.

But it is difficult to sympathize with this opportunist who wields his pen (or keyboard) to make noise just to get people’s attention.

Students from UST should be ashamed of Lorenzo for misrepresenting them again. I’m pretty sure that most of UST’s students are not as callous and kulang sa pansin as this guy surely is. Last time I checked, he also wrote a scathing piece against the professors of La Salle and Ateneo.

It is obvious that Lorenzo does not care about the reputation of The Varsitarian or of UST; heck, he does not even care about his reputation. He uses public issues and his position in The Varsitarian to gain publicity; after all, bad publicity is still publicity.

But the impression is that some people would still agree with Lorenzo’s opinion. Well, that’s fine. We live in a free country. Democracy is the voice of millions of people disagreeing (or agreeing) with each other. Tama? But Lorenzo’s opinion represents the dark side of this so-called democracy.

It is true that free speech is enshrined in our Constitution and is, therefore, our right. But what Lorenzo should learn is that freedom is not absolute. May limitasyon ‘yan. Moreover, as I learned from my college education, any kind of freedom should always be tied with responsibility, which he clearly disregards in this matter.

Halimbawa na lang, you are free to say anything anywhere in this country. But if you shout “Fire!” inside a crowded cinema (when there’s actually none), or if you joke about rape, or if you call any random person on the phone just to do a prank, or say that someone should be happy for a coed’s suicide, then that is a clear abuse and irresponsible use of your freedom.

There is an existing code of ethics for journalism. One needs only to google it.

It is quite telling that in his article, he tries to sympathize with Kristel Tejada. Ironically, he uses Kristel’s unfortunate death to blow his own trumpet, to castigate other people (read: UP students and activists, PNoy) and to make sure that his piece hits below the belt (that it may trend in social media and, maybe unintentionally, force me to write this blog).

He is clearly blind to the fact that with his proud distinction as a writer of The Varsitarian, he holds in his hands an immense power to influence others, shape opinions, educate and help the people make informed (hopefully wise) decisions. Sayang.

But following his twisted, condescending logic, I must say, UP (at tayo na ring lahat siguro) should be happy with The Varsitarian, no, Lorenzo (only). He shows exactly (especially to journalists, professional or otherwise) how NOT to be unethical.

St. Upid, pray for usT.