MANILA -- Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen called on alumni of the University of the Philippines School of Economics (UPSE) to be more critical and uphold their integrity.
Leonen said it is everyone’s duty to understand and be critical with respect to all views, adding that dominant and powerful narratives have consequences on the lives of others when they are unthinkingly repeated.
“The core of this strategy is the belief that authentic democracies are not only founded in rights that guarantee liberties, these rights when wielded must be armed with critical knowledge,” Leonen said during the alumni homecoming of UPSE on Saturday.
Leonen, who recently declined the Chief Justice nomination of the Court en banc, told his co-alumni to read, engage others in a conversation, and act on one’s beliefs.
With these there in action, he said the Filipino people can undermine the status quo and prevent the emergence of another authoritarian regime.
“We reshape our society when we are critical of these views and form our own,” he added.
Engaging others in a conversation through personal talks and not through digital media can inform a person on the nuances of views, complexity of culture, and can enhance humanity, he said.
Leonen said he rejects the premise that propaganda is so powerful that it becomes the only way to shape meaningful social consciousness in this democracy, as he urged everyone to act on their beliefs.
"To be critical is to live through the true essence of democracy. People should collectively face reality and contribute not by adherence to what the majority says but with loyalty to how things are seen," Leonen said.
Distinguished alumni of the school were also given recognition for their outstanding years of public service in the university and key positions in the government.
Among the awardees were former central bank deputy governor Diwa Guinigundo, former UPSE professor Emmanuel Esguerra, former UPSE dean Emmanuel De Dios, and Dr. Ponciano Intal Jr., who received the posthumous award.