Wednesday, September 28
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‘I want to apologize, your president was weak,’ ABSC prexy tells Artlets

By ANGELIQUE ANNE F. TORRES

photo by KATHLEEN MAE I. GUERRERO
photo by KATHLEEN MAE I. GUERRERO

ARTS AND Letters Student Council (ABSC) President Reymark Simbulan on Wednesday spoke on his current health condition, apologizing for the late disclosure to Artlets and hinting on a possible resignation.

In a statement solely signed by Simbulan, he revealed that his current condition might force him to resign from his post as the ABSC president, leaving incumbent ABSC Vice President for External Affairs Jancisko Valera as the next president of the student council.

“My psychiatrist and I have agreed that we will do everything to be able to enroll this upcoming semester since I myself wouldn’t want to leave my work in the ABSC,” the statement read. “[R]est assured that I am doing everything I can to get back to my office and continue serving the Artlet student body.”

“In a possible worst-case scenario that I was not allowed by my doctors to continue my studies, I will file my resignation as early as possible so as to make time for the ABSC to have a proper transition,” the statement added.

Last June 28, Simbulan was hospitalized after a suicide attempt.

“For the Artlets, I want to apologize. Your president was weak. Emphasis on the word ‘was.’ I’m trying my best to be stronger now for myself and for others,” Simbulan told the Flame in an online exchange.

He urged his fellow students to listen and lend a hand to people who need support in their problems. “Let this be a wake-up call for people that mental health really is a legitimate issue.”

“[L]et that serve as a reminder, that even the people who are serving in the council are not safe from feeling these emotions and thinking these thoughts. And so talk to your friends personally, support them in their problems and let us be the united Faculty we have always aspired to be,” he added.

Despite Simbulan’s current health condition, the other ABSC officers said they would continue to work for the council and serve the students.

ABSC Public Relations Officer Wrexler Reiven Bayani said the incident gave the officers “an avenue to become more firm and stronger” for Simbulan and the Artlets.

“We had to set our emotions aside and focus on the upcoming activities that needed to be executed,” Bayani said. “So far, because of the collaborative efforts of the Council and the Board of Majors, we were able to carry out our duties and responsibilities even in the absence of Mr. Simbulan.”

The ABSC Executive Board continues to make sure Artlets still feel “the presence of the council they deserve,” ABSC Treasurer Rafael Enrico Arellano said.

“[W]e wish to provide assistance on the issue that Reymark himself was facing. Thus we extend our ears to all Artlets who are in need of someone to listen to because we believe that your mental health is as important as your physical health,” Arellano said.

Valera, moreover, assured the students that the ABSC officers will work together with the Board of Majors (BOM).

“[M]alaki ang kontribusyon at ginagampanang papel ni Reymark. Hindi lamang namin siya presidente kundi lider at parang nakakatandang kapatid na gumagabay sa aming lahatPero sisiguraduhin namin na gagawin namin ang lahat ng makakaya namin sa tulong din ng BOM para gampanan ang aming trabaho.”

The incumbent ABSC officers swore their oaths before Assistant Dean Narcisa Tabirara last May 11. 

Hopeline hotlines, launched by the Department of Health to address mental health concerns, can be reached at (02) 804-HOPE (4673); 0917 558 HOPE (4673) and 2919 (toll-free number for all GLOBE and TM subscribers).

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