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Malacañang OK with Ateneo-La Salle "Black Sunday"

The office of President Rody Duterte respects Ateneo and La Salle's "Black Sunday" call. (file photo)

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--For the office of President Rody Duterte, the call of Ateneo and La Salle to have their fans wear black for their UAAP men's basketball game is a part of their democratic privileges.

In a statement on Saturday night, PCO secretary Martin Andanar said, "We live in a democracy where everyone is entitled to give an opinion, air his grievance, or voice his solidarity or disagreement with the government as long as the means used is peaceful, legal, and constitutional.... Feel free, therefore, to express your concern on the burning issues of the day..."

Showing their united stand to bat for further upholding of human rights, both schools issued "solidarity memorandums" on Friday persuading their fans to be clad in black for the clash between the Blue Eagles and the Green Archers at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday at 4 p.m.

[Related Story: BLACKOUT | Ateneo, La Salle tell fans to wear black for rivalry game]

However, Andanar urged both college communities to continue supporting Duterte's anti-drug campaign, which for him is also a way of upholding human rights.

"...we encourage both Ateneo and La Salle communities to step up and bring the blessings of their quality education by helping the government transform the many communities of the poor in our society. The menace of illegal drugs has also swept away human rights and human lives which are some values we are taught in school. We encourage everyone to join the anti-drugs campaign of the Government as we now enter the second phase which includes treatment and rehabilitation and education and counseling of drug dependents," his statement continued.

Meanwhile, the said call of both universities to wear a single shirt color on Sunday earned mixed reactions from members of both communities.

Some say that politics and sports do not make a great combination, but for others, it is a matter of being passionate for the advocacy.

La Salle, playing sans suspended coach Aldin Ayo and injured main man Jeron Teng, stakes its immaculate 6-0 record against Ateneo.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno