As a response to these uncertain times, the Ateneo Law Student Council, together with other schools formed the #HandaAko campaign. The #HandaAko campaign aims to inform others of their rights and how to protect them.
#HandaAko means being prepared to combat injustice through being aware of the rights set forth in the law. It means readiness in asserting rights and awareness of what action to demand from the government.
The #HandaAko project aims to combat injustice through informing people of their existing rights. In an exclusive interview with Yen Rase (President) and Frances Siapno (External Vice President), they emphasized that the statements might not be enough. It was their aim to reach out to more people and to remind others to be vigilant in the protection of their rights through information dissemination with the help of other law school student councils and governments from the University of the Philippines College of Law, De La Salle University College of Law, University of Santo Tomas College of Civil Law, and the San Beda University College of Law.
The different student councils selected several student volunteers which make up copywriters, editors, and advocates. Copywriters research and laymanize the information, editors make the publicity, and the advocates spread them.
#HandaAko aims to target the everyday Filipino, layman, and masses. The campaign simplifies the information to make it more relatable and easy to understand. The first video that was released in the campaign showcased “#HandaAko dahil meron akong kaalaman”, and is aligned with its goal of informing its viewers.
According to the Student Council, the message the campaign aims to showcase is readiness through awareness. When people are informed of their rights, they will be more confident in asserting them and in combating injustices, according to the Student Council. The second layer of the project is to call out the government to act humanely, efficiently, and with transparency in the administration of anti COVID-19 measures.
The Student Council has always been vocal about different issues looming in the country. Prior to the start of the campaign, the Student Council released a statement regarding the granting of emergency powers and the different challenges and inefficiencies in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first statement released by the student council, they stated:
“We reiterate― this call to action of the people does not necessitate the government to exercise extraordinary, nor emergency powers. All of these could have been mitigated, if not already addressed, if there was proper planning and implementation of concrete directives. These are the basic needs of the people.
As our legislators grant emergency powers to the president in the wee hours of the night, we vow to stay awake through these uncertain times. We will remain vigilant in safeguarding our rights. We will continue to call for accountability.
We demand concrete action from the government.
We demand responsible leadership.
We demand results.”
#HandaAko demands action, responsible leadership, and accountability from the government.
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