MANILA — Ateneo de Manila University president Roberto Yap on Friday urged Ateneans not to give up on the country as he lamented the "divisive" 2022 presidential election.
"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, commonly known as "Father Bobby," said in a letter to Ateneans Wednesday, 2 days after the polls.
Yap, in the same letter, said it was "clear" that Filipinos had failed in guarding the nation's democratic values and ideals, adding that the "most painful part" was "we could have steered our nation towards a different path."
"What happened? Why did it happen? How did we allow our nation to simply forget history?" he asked.
Yap said those who were dispirited by the results of the election should be allowed to feel the pain and sorrow.
"Have a good cry, rant with a friend, [and] debrief with your fellow Ateneans. However, do not allow the pain and anger to take over and lead you into toxicity and negativity."
Moving forward, Yap noted that the country is "broken and fragmented" and "shattered by greed and deceit." The task now, he said, is to repair and put back those fragments together.
"This will take time to repair, and even the most meticulous of repair work will leave the cracks obvious."
The university president also reminded Filipinos that defending democracy is a constant struggle.
He urged the youth to channel the passion and creativity that they have discovered during the past months into an energy that will "fuel our drive to rebuild and remember."
"Listen especially to the poor and the powerless, iyong mga nasa laylayan ng lipunan. We all know it will be tough, painful, and exhausting; but always remember that nationbuilding is a never-ending exercise we all must take part in," he said.
"Lastly, always, choose the more 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."
For live election results, see ABS-CBN News Halalan results.