By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has vowed to strive to be a man for others as taught in Ateneo de Davao University High School, and urged its alumni to do the same.
The President talked about the Jesuit education and its impact on his governance during the Ateneo high school reunion held in Davao City Sunday.
“As we move forward in our own endeavors, may we remain true and faithful to the Jesuit principles and academic rigor,” Duterte said in his remarks.
“Let the call to become men and women for others continue to manifest in our lives. I enjoin all of you to remain strong in faith as we forge a more progressive and peaceful nation,” he added.
Duterte noted that “social justice, selfless service, and equality” are the values innate in Jesuit education. He said these were the hallmarks that inspired the transformation into empowered citizens later on.
“They were engraved in our hearts and minds and have helped us traverse the ills we face in society,” Duterte said. “More importantly, these tenets echo the government’s unwavering call for genuine change in our country,” he added.
Duterte studied at the Jesuit-run high school but was expelled for his supposed misconduct. His father sent him to a school in Digos City where he eventually finished his high school education.
Duterte later revealed that he was abused as a child by a priest while studying at the Ateneo in the 1950s. He also claimed other boys were also molested by the priest.
The President, however, still recognized Ateneo de Davao High School as his “home” and “refuge” during his childhood. Duterte said he cherished his lifelong friends and the memories while attending Ateneo high school.
“My father’s strength, my mother’s wisdom and the joy brought by the company of people whom I call my friends have made a significant impact on me as a student and as a young man,” he said.
The President also said Ateneans from Davao have embodied the Ignatian character, which reflects the essence of good leadership.
“Today, we are not only gathered to strengthen the bond of camaraderie among fellow Blue Knights… but also to celebrate the realization of our resolve to uphold the Atenean spirit,” he said.