*Statement from the Assumption College of Davao on the 72nd birthday of President Rodrigo Duterte
The entire communities of the Assumption College of Davao (ACD), the ACD Modified Work and Study Program (ACD-MWSP), Assumption Polytechnic College of Southern Mindanao, Inc. (APCSMI), and the Missionaries of the Assumption (m.a. Sisters), wish our President Rodrigo Roa Duterte a blessed 72nd birthday.
We are happy that this day has even been made more meaningful not only because President Duterte celebrates his first birthday as the country’s first Mindanaoan president, but also because the supposed forced eviction of the urban poor people that occupied an idle socialized housing projects of NHA in Bulacan was averted, thanks to the intervention of housing czar and Duterte’s advisor, Sec. Leoncio Evasco Jr.
As the President has promised that there should be no demolition without relocation, so too, do we pray that there will be no eviction, especially a violent one, of the urban poor that organized themselves under the banner of KADAMAY. We know him to have a heart especially for the small people and we pray that despite the prevailing socio-political structure that is biased against the poor, he would use his executive powers to expend justice to our homeless and downtrodden brethren.
We are also optimistic of the prospects for the resumption of peace negotiations with the communist revolutionaries. The draft Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms submitted by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines is remarkably beautiful as it seeks to resolve the core problems that have led to social injustices. This is more than enough a compelling reason to continue working for peace based on justice, and we put our trust on the President’s wisdom in empowering the GRP negotiating panel to a sincere dialogue with their counterparts in the NDFP despite the efforts of forces that are against a negotiated peace.
We are one with the many Filipinos who ardently support the president in advancing positive changes that would benefit the poor and marginalized sectors. As academic institutions whose pedagogy is Transformative Education anchored on Catholic Christian values and Marian virtues, we commit our continued support to President Duterte’s leadership; the pursuit of social justice and peace, sovereignty, and care for the environment as our bases of unity.
We shall, likewise, continue to contribute in realizing positive change and genuine social transformation in our country, amidst the many contradictions.
We invoke the intercession of Our Lady of the Assumption as we pray for President Duterte’s good health which he surely needs in confronting the myriad of problems our country and people are faced with.
President Rody Duterte is always welcome in all of our campuses, and the doors of our humble facilities are open for him anytime should he come for a rest, a dialogue with the people, to break bread with us, or simply to honor us with his presence. May you continue to serve the people, Mr. President.