LLR Reporma Chair Eyes Possible Alliance Of BU Leaders, BUKLOD Disadvantage To Their Party; Opposition Denies Rumor

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A possible alliance between Bicol University (BU) Leaders: League of Democrats and BUKLOD BU has been a concern for Jefrey Latigay, chairperson of League of Liberal Reformists (LLR) Reporma Coalition after a history of what he called โ€œallied forcesโ€ existed between the two opposition parties during the 2022 BU University Student Council (BU-USC) elections.

Latigay views the incompleteness of BUKLODโ€™s slate and the absence of BU Leaders in the election from two perspectives.

โ€œIn [a] political way, I saw it [negatively], but in [a] radical way, itโ€™s not an opportunity but quite a despair on the part of them, on their end. On a political interpretation kasi, bakit sinabi kong negative, because there has been a history of what we call allied forces,โ€ Latigay said.

History of Alliance
According to Remee Estefany Baldorado, chairperson of BUKLOD, during the 2022 USC elections, BU Leaders and BUKLOD reached out to each other and co-supported their parties as they were driven by the same vision which is โ€œgenuine student representationโ€.

โ€œThe same โ€˜yung mantra ng genuine student representation kasi as student-leaders close talaga โ€˜yung dalawa, and napag-isipan namin kasi na wala namang mali โ€˜di ba if dalawang party, even though conflict of interest naman if ever, pero wala namang masama na mag-[ally] yung dalawa, since same naman yung gusto, what if gawin na lang,โ€ Baldorado said.

Since there is a history of collaboration between the two opposition parties, speculations have sparked about the possibility of re-alliance to take on the dominant party of LLR-Reporma. However, Baldorado was quick to deny the rumors.

 โ€œIt could be a conflict of interest, you know BUKLOD and BU Leaders will always have a close friendship, like na-manifest siya last academic year and even now close pa rin kami. But, as respect din sa history, and identity ng both parties namin, I think wala pa - wala pang ganiyan na pag-uusap,โ€ Baldorado said.

LLR Reporma as the โ€œwall to breakโ€
On the other hand, Latigay recognizes the โ€œindirect allianceโ€ as a beautiful opportunity for BU Leaders and BUKLOD, but at the same time a disadvantage for the LLR-Reporma Coalition.

โ€œWith regards to that, I see it [negatively], kasi syempre โ€˜yung two forces, sabihin man natin legally [na] they are not declared as coalition, it can be a mass of number that can drive support to their candidates na pinapadala. At the same time, like right now too as well, kulang โ€˜yung sa BUKLOD and wala sa BU Leaders, but because of the driven history, nagkakaroon naman ng nafifeel namin ng ganong situation. So itโ€™s negative, kasi parang Reporma โ€˜yung nagiging kailangan tibagin na wall,โ€ Latigay said.

Moreover, Latigay added that the sustainable support of alumni and their established leadership kept them going.

โ€œโ€˜Yun din kasi yung difference samin eh. Sa amin, we are always being supported. Hindi nawawala โ€˜yung mga suporta ng elders or what we call kagurangan kasi gusto nila na โ€˜yung leadership na in-establish nila from the start to continue. โ€˜Yun โ€˜yung sinasabi naming sustainabillity. We should have the sustainability in leadership,โ€ Latigay said.

Silent empowerment of student-activists
The branding of โ€œgenuine student representationโ€ that rose between both opposition parties during the 2022 student elections has been famous for actively campaigning for academic freedom and the protection of the democratic rights of student activists, especially in cases of alleged red-tagging.

Latigay said that while he commends BUKLOD and BU Leadersโ€™ vision and how both parties raised the voices of the students about the red-tagging cases in Bicol University, he said that LLR-Reporma also shares empowerment of mass democratic organizations outside the university, yet they do not publicize them.

โ€œThereโ€™s a collective effort and saka namin ini-la-lobby sa tamang avenue or platform na magke-cater non, which is the administrative council. โ€™Yun nga โ€˜yung medyo pangit ngayon kasi may mga..dahil doon may mga nag-a-arise na [rin] na mga student leaders na, honestly they are masking the general opinion of the student body by their own opinion. Kunyare sinasabi natin na, โ€œah nahihirapan ang mga estudyante, kailangan ganito ganyanโ€ only one โ€˜yung nagsasalita non. Pero since itโ€™s gaining the sympathy of the majority, namamass yung general opinion of the body, na parang โ€˜yun rin โ€˜yung sinasabi ng majority,โ€ Latigay added.

Written by

Denver Godezano is a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcasting student at the BU College of Arts and Letters. He joined the Universitarian in 2019 and has been the editor-in-chief since 2021.

Jimwell Kenneth Tanay is a Bachelor of Arts in Communication student at the BU College of Arts and Letters. He joined the Universitarian in 2020 as a Public Relations Staff and was assigned to cover gender and development.