Written by Vincent Carlo Cuzon
The Pinag-isang Lakas ng Samahan ng mga Progresibong Atenista (PIGLASAPAT) is a political organization that was established in 1986. PIGLASAPAT even predates the Political Science Program of the Ateneo de Davao University. 30 years hence, PIGLASAPAT has become the oldest and longest-running political organization in Ateneo de Davao, and it still perseveres to transcend its achievements as the bastion of student-centered and advocacy-driven leadership in the university. In retrospect of the past 4 years, PIGLASAPAT had launched various events and advocacies in order to foster dialogue and awareness of student and societal issues in the university. Here are some of them.
2013: Awat Mindanao Peace Forum
Awat Mindanao was a forum co-organized by PIGLASAPAT, which focused on a round-table discussion between the Office of the Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process (OPAPP), Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), Leaders of the Estrada, Arroyo & Aquino Administrations, Church Leaders and Academics. It was centered on the endeavor of “Building Peace for a better Mindanao.”
The full coverage of the event can still be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yv6uCleadr4.
2014: Voting “No” to the ratification of 2015 SAMAHAN Constitution
While the SAMAHAN Central Board was eagerly pushing for a “Vote YES” campaign for the proposed 2014 SAMAHAN Constitution, PIGLASAPAT – as a political organization – voted “No” to the ratification of the said proposal. PIGLASAPAT opposed the establishment of a “judiciary branch” in the student government.
PIGLASAPAT was staunch in questioning the legal and political ascendancy of students over other students especially that the Office of the Student Affairs is already in place to decide over disciplinary actions needed by students.
The proposed 2014 SAMAHAN Constitution was not ratified.
2015: 1st Ateneo EcoCongress
In light of the Laudato Si by Pope Francis, PIGLASAPAT reinforced its environmental advocacies by organizing the 1st Ateneo Ecocongress. The event was supported by the National Youth Commission, USAID, and among other external agencies. Various committees were organized, which included the Committee on Environment and Science, Health, and Technology; Committee on Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction; Committee on Environment and Business; Committee on Environment and Engineering and Architecture; and the Committee on Environment and Social Sciences.
The passed resolutions of the Eco-congress were forwarded to the University Administration and the City Government of Davao.
2016: Ateneo LGBT Pride Week
In partnership with other organizations, PIGLASAPAT spearheaded the Ateneo LGBT+ Pride Week. It was the first LGBT+ Pride Week that was conducted by an Ateneo school in the country.
The Pride Week was attended by a Youth Ambassador Aiza Seguerra. It called for the recognition of LGBT rights as human rights that must be upheld.
Vivid colors filled the corridor of Ateneo, as different stakeholders supported the historic event.
With the increasing number of issues that affect the Filipino youth, PIGLASAPAT always creates and leaves it legacies, not only in Ateneo but in the society itself. These events are culminations of various efforts of the political organization to educate its leaders and the youth at large. Its members regularly attend round-table discussions which are internally called PIGLASAPAT KOST; as well as annual events like SALUBONG, PAGPUPULONG, KARAPATAN DAY, GABI NG PAGLILIYAB, and among other events that hone the leaders for both student and societal issues.
As a bastion of student-centered and advocay-driven leadership in Ateneo, PIGLASAPAT has proven in the past 4 years that it has lobbied issues that need out attention – the Mindanao Peace Agenda, Ateneo Student Welfare, Environmental Protection, and most recently, the LGBT+ Rights. With the increasing number of issues that need our utmost attention, PIGLASAPAT – with 30 years of history – will remain as a staunch provider of leaders not only in Ateneo but also for the society, hence “Para sa Ateneo, Para sa Lipunan.”