"All others have the right to speak their mind."

This sums up the message in the letter that Alab ng Mamamayahag (ALAM) wrote Senator Miriam Palma Defensor-Santiago, concerning her damnation of the UP students who took part in the survey asking whether they trust Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

Signed by ALAM president Berteni "Toto" Cataluña Causing, chairman Jerry S. Yap, and NCR chapter chairman Joey M. Sy Egco, the letter praised Miriam as an "extraordinary" and "sui generis" senator who is a shining example of what ALAM wants for every Filipino to be able to do.

However, ALAM expressed apprehension that the expression of the senator from Iloilo may have gone beyond because her further statement gave an impression that she wanted to suppress the UP Diliman students and all other Filipinos from speaking their mind.

ALAM refers to that discourse where she spoke that these UP students must be expelled and hunted down.

The verbatim copy of the letter is pasted below.

                                                                                                                                     March 1, 2012

Senate of the Philippines
GSIS Bldg., Pasay City

Dear Senator Miriam,

            Alab ng Mamamahayag (ALAM) respectfully praises you for your extraordinary bravery in expressing your thoughts without any feeling of self-restraint, as a Senator or Impeachment Juror-Judge. 

What you did is a shining example of what our group wants to achieve for all Filipinos to be able to do: to have such fiery voice like yours for the oppressed, the suppressed, and the depressed.

However, ALAM expresses apprehension when expression goes to the extent of giving an impression others should be suppressed of their sentiments.

ALAM finds it reasonable to express disgust over the conduct of the survey among UP students on their trust or the lack of it in the person of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.  This is because it was done at a time when the respondent in the ongoing impeachment trial has yet to present his counter-evidence.  That was in fact a timely clarion call for Your Honor to give one unforgettable lesson to all that impartiality is indispensable no matter how guilty the accused may be.

But ALAM is at the same time apprehensive that an impression may have also been created among many Filipinos, including the UP community, that the sui generis senator from Iloilo does not want others to speak their mind while the entire population knows and takes pride that Your Honor will soon sit as a member of the International Criminal Court.

This apprehension refers to your quick discourse insisting that the UP students who took part in the poll should be expelled and hunted down.  We hope it was only a quick outburst that Your Honor may withdraw as when she expressed no opposition to the motion of the prosecution striking off the records the word “G-A-G-O.”

Rest assured, Your Honor, ALAM is behind you when it comes to insistence for expression, even if it would go wild, robust and uninhibited.  And ALAM is also assured that Your Honor will support its cause to inspire all others to speak their mind in the usual manner that Your Honor does.

Thank you.

                                                                                    Respectfully yours,

                                                                                    BERTENI “TOTO” CAUSING
                                                                                    President, ALAM

                                                                                    JERRY S. YAP
                                                                                    Chairman, ALAM

                                                                                    JOEL M. SY EGCO
                                                                                    Chairman, NCR-ALAM

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