FEU-IL Dean endorses Leni-Kiko tandem for 2022 election

FEU Advocate
April 21, 2022 01:40

By Antonio Luis Carreon and Jessa Mae Gabalones

In light of the upcoming 2022 national elections, Far Eastern University-Institute of Law (FEU-IL) Dean Attorney Melencio Sta. Maria voiced his support for Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Kiko Pangilinan who both embody the very definition of responsible according to their respective track records. 

In a tweet, Sta. Maria said, “To all my former students since 1986 from Ateneo, FEU, PLM, UST, UA&P, San Beda, and San Sebastian law schools, and to all law students from law schools all over the Philippines who attended my bar reviews and MCLE, allow me to endorse to you LENI and KIKO.”

In an interview with the FEU Advocate, Sta. Maria shared that his support is based on Robredo’s political history, citing her efforts during the pandemic despite limited funds and her diminished autonomy because of the administration. 

Matapang siya at tingin ko, handa na siya para sa pagkapangulo ng Republika ng Pilipinas (She is very courageous, and I think most of all, she is prepared for the presidency of the Republic of the Philippines),” Sta. Maria said. 

He also asserted the Vice President’s courage when she met seven simultaneous criminal charges last July 2019. Among them were sedition, libel, harboring a criminal, and obstruction of justice, which the Department of Justice (DOJ) subsequently dismissed. 

Hindi mandaraya sa eleksyon, maganda ang pangangasiwa ng pera ng bayan ayon sa Commission on Audit (COA), matapang, (Not a cheater on elections, good facilitation of public funds according to the Commission on Audit, and courageous) so I think those are the attributes and characteristics of a future president,” he added. 

Sta. Maria also expressed support for Vice Presidential candidate Kiko Pangilinan pointing out his expertise in agriculture. 

“I think Senator Kiko Pangilinan is the right person para pamunuan yan, para i-delegate ni President Leni Robredo, maging presidente, mai-angat ‘yang kalagayan ng ating mga magsasaka (I think Senator Kiko Pangilinan is the right person to administer that, for President Leni Robredo to delegate, to uplift the condition of our farmers),” he said. 

Further, Sta. Maria pushed for being critical of the information in social media saying, “Dapat yung mga tao, bago mag eleksyon, kung kayo ‘man ay nagtatangkang bumoto sa ibang mga tao, suriin niyo ulit, maging bukas ang inyong pananaw (The people should, before elections, if they attempt to vote for a candidate, analyze them again, and open their perspectives).”

He also added that there is no harm in changing your mind when it comes to your presidential bet, “Ang tinitignan lang natin dito ay ‘yung kapakanan ng ating bayan (We should consider the welfare of our nation).” In light of this, he added that choosing the right candidate means giving the Philippines a chance to progress.  

According to Sta. Maria, the next president of the Philippines is bound to carry the baggage that will be left behind by the current administration such as the current 12 trillion debt, the West Philippine Sea, and contractualization issues. This fact thus emphasizes the importance of choosing a president that is right for the job. 

Further, he stressed the importance of a credible record in politics stating that the next president’s obligation is to raise the country’s reputation in the international community following the International Criminal Court’s probe of the Duterte administration’s drug war. 

When asked about his message to the youth, Sta. Maria said the following; “Be proactive, manuri kayo, mag-participate kayo, kung may nakikita kayong kalokohan na nangyayari at mayroon kayong ebidensya, ipahiwatig at sabihin niyo para malaman ng tao ang nangyayari (Be proactive, analyze, participate, if you notice any ineptness happening and you have evidence, tell them so the people would know).”

With regards to the initiative the student body is taking, Sta. Maria expressed how proud he was of Far Eastern University’s advocacy for supporting the Leni-Kiko tandem. For him, this translates to supporting a candidate whose capabilities are supported by his or her track record. 

As per Sta. Maria’s words, the upcoming national elections are not only a political choice, but it has also become a moral obligation to vote for the right person— as not only the future of his generation is at stake but also the future of his children and of the youth. 

(File photo by Raymond De Dios)