/ 14 May 2022

FATHER Roberto Yap, president of the Ateneo de Manila University, asked Ateneans to consider the highly-charged political situation in the country as an opportunity to rebuild the “heavily fractured society” and to begin the arduous task of making whole again the “heavily damaged democracy.

The result of the elections on Monday left many supporters of Vice President Leni Robredo angry and dismayed.

On Friday, Robredo and her running mate, Senator Francis Pangilinan, held a gathering at the AdMU to thank their supporters.

In a letter to the Ateneo community, Yap said that “defending democracy is a constant struggle and that nation-building is a never-ending exercise that all must take part in.”

“Let us allow ourselves to feel the pain and sorrow. Have a good cry, rant with a friend, debrief with your fellow Ateneans. However, do not allow the pain and anger to take over and lead you into toxicity and negativity,” he stressed.

“Let us reach out to others, especially beyond our normal circles. Search for common ground and meet with our fellow Filipinos eye to eye, heart to heart. If you try to listen closely, engage with them, and understand where they are coming from, you will find more things that you have in common than you think. Listen especially to the poor and the powerless, iyong mga nasa laylayan ng lipunan,” he added.

“Despite the hardship, continue fighting.

Stay vigilant; let us keep our guard up. Fight for the truth, and do not let lies whitewash the sins of the past. Have faith, not just in God, but also in ourselves. Do not ever lose hope,” Yap said.

The Ateneo president encouraged the community to always choose the loving option.

“In fact, loving our country and our fellow Filipinos is the bravest thing we can do, especially at this chapter in our history,” Yap pointed out.

“This is not the time to give up on our country. Our country deserves better – and love should be what drives us in our mission to bridge the disconnects and make our nation finally be whole,” he said.