University USG independent candidates form new political party
University USG independent candidates form new political party
USG independent candidates form new political party
April 28, 2014
April 28, 2014

Martin San Diego

Last year, independent candidate Migi Moreno snagged the highest seat in the executive branch of the USG. To many of us, Moreno’s bid for presidency had but a small support group composed only of his close friends. Little did everyone know, however, that Moreno was being backed by a secret political party which he had unofficially formed around a year ago.


In an interview with The LaSallian, outgoing USG President Jose Miguel Moreno confesses to have pioneered the creation of a new political party during the first term of the previous academic year. This, he says, was in response to the rampant mudslinging that had regularly ensued between political parties Alyansang Tapat sa Lasallista and Santugon sa Tawag ng Panahon during past election seasons.


“The student body had always been left with a choice between two platforms — two contending parties which hardly differed from one another. By then, I knew that it was about time for someone to do something about it,” Moreno tells.


MIGUEL: Its color, plans and platforms


The new party, which had been named Movement of Individuals towards Guided and Enlightened Leadership (MIGUEL), strives to “change the face of partisan Lasallian politics,” as Moreno puts it.


Presently at the forefront of the new party are Vice President for Internal Affairs-elect Pram Menghrajani and Engineering College Government independent Jon Ridge Ong. Initially, the party was able to field a considerably large membership base.


As of the press time, Moreno refused to reveal other names involved in the party.


In its fledgling stage, Moreno and others are planning to introduce new and student-centered measures in forming the platforms of the candidates, by letting the student body come up with the platforms of the candidates.


“That is why we are towards ‘guided leadership.’ We are guided by the student body who actually can tell and decide for themselves what they need. If we are to serve, shouldn’t we work directly in tandem with the student body?” posits  Moreno.


Moreover, Moreno discloses that the party will not be drafting a plan of action before the elections.


“If we draft one now, we can’t promise students its suitability in the future. Things can easily change, and what might have been feasible then may no longer be so today.”


Moreno explains, “Instead of promising something now, we can engage the student body in active discussion regarding their concerns after the elections. From there, we can start outlining the things that we need to do.”


More than anything, however, Moreno claims that MIGUEL sees the need to bridge students with the administration. In light of this, he hopes to lobby for increased student representation in disciplinary hearings, tuition fee deliberations and enrollment discussions, among others.


The representing color of the party will be white, according to Moreno.


He explains, “if you mix all the colors in the light spectrum, white will be the last color to emerge… this new party, towards the enlightened leadership, will act as a light in this student politics besmirched with politicking, to renew and restore the lost essence of leadership.”


Accreditation, funding and recruitment


At present, Moreno shares that the party is now on the process of formalizing the party, ready for accreditation next academic year. Since political parties are essentially student organizations, they must likewise adhere to the rules set forth by the Office of Student Leadership Involvement, Formation and Empowerment (S-LIFE).


COMELEC chair Kevin Caballas sees no reason for MIGUEL’s accreditation plea disapproved. He, in fact, expects the process to be fairly easy for Moreno and his team. “The people in MIGUEL seem to be greatly involved with what their party stands for. I, for one, look forward to the next set of candidates,” he says.


Aside from solidifying its plans for accreditation, funding and financial management is another problem which MIGUEL needs to tackle. Moreno assures that the prospect of the party is optimistic. “I know managing and garnering funds will be difficult. But that’s the challenge of every new organization. We did not form this without the will to fight,” assures Moreno.


Asked how he would garner funds, he responds, “Well… we can make use of Animo Biz for sure.”


Three political parties


Tapat and Santugon, however, have reacted positively to this challenge. Santugon President Rachel Lucero shares, “We all were surprised to find out, of course. The emergence of a new political party in DLSU only means we (Santugon) will have to further fight for our constituents and student body.”


“Student politics has certainly become more interesting with the prospect of three parties duking it out. Tapat, however, will still continue in the pursuit of a just and free society despite the creation of Migi’s new political party,” assures Tapat President Jerick Maala.