BAGUIO CITY (Mar. 26) — Saint Louis University (SLU) student council President Michael Karl Flores finally broke his silence on the covered walkway controversy as he traced earlier allegations of corruption hurled against him to campus politics.
In a long-awaited press conference, Flores, chair of SLU Kataas-taasang Sanggunian ng mga Mag-aaral (Supreme Student Council), likened what he termed his opponent’s tactics to that with what happened in a 2004 student rift where the chair was reportedly forced to resign and was eventually replaced by the vice-chair, who was from the opponent party.
“The next in line when I resign is Elton Jun Veloria,” Flores told the press. Veloria, who earlier accused Flores of suspending him as the Press Relations Secretary due to his retraction of support and eventual expose on the SSC”s P400,000 walkway project, was never removed from office, according to Flores.
The SSC executive, however, failed to provide answers to the questioned walkway, besides saying the student council may initiate infrastructure projects.
Veloria and three other SLU student leaders turned to media in February when the schools Student Affairs Office wanted the case decided by a non-existent student court. They accused the student council chair with pushing through with the project despite its alleged deletion by the Congress of Louisians from the general appropriations act in December, among others.
Flores did not explain to the media why the SSC had to finance the project instead of asking funds from school administration. Earlier, Veloria’s group maintained the covered walkway should be covered by a portion of the tuition and other fees increases (ToFI).
Explaining his silence, Flores said he thought he could just leave the issue to die down. He also said he had to consult with student leaders and the administration before he could give the official SSC stand. He said legal advisers told the leaders to veer away from media fanfare and solve the issue among themselves instead.
Despite his silence, however, letters and press statements kept on hovering the newsroom since the controversy reached the press early in February.
The walkway project was implemented in December 2007. # Lyn V. Ramo for NORDIS