UP Faculty Regent’s Speech at the Rally Against Dr. Gonzales’ Unjust & Illegal Removal as PGH Director

Posted on March 2, 2010


Speech at the Rally Against the Unjust and Illegal Removal of Dr. Jose Gonzales as PGH Director
Judy Taguiwalo, UP Faculty Regent
Philippine General Hospital
March 1, 2010

Let me say at the outset that I am not here merely because of Dr. Jose Gonzales. I have never been his patient. I am not a member of a sister sorority and we do not share the same philosophical view. I am here, like many of you present, because I cannot countenance what the Roman Administration is doing to the university and to university personnel like Dr. Gonzales.

I voted for Dr. Gonzales in the December 18 BOR meeting because 1) Dr. Alfiler has served already two terms; 2) Dr. Domingo, who is only in his early 40s, has all the time in the world to wait for his turn as a PGH director (aside from the fact that in that meeting Dr. Arcadio and President Roman said he did not have tenure and was not qualified). I voted for Dr. Gonzales because he is qualified, he is ready to serve the PGH: he had the support of the recognized union of the rank-and-file personnel of the hospital who comprised the majority of the hospital personnel and he is 61 years old and should be given the chance in the last few years of his professional life in the university to serve as PGH administrator. I believed that the criticism raised against him particularly by President Roman that he “lacks interpersonal skills” is not sufficient basis not to support his appointment given his qualifications and the situation of the two other nominees.

I am here because I am sad and mad about what’s happening to the University of the Philippines today under the Roman Administration

• Sad and mad that people like Dr. Jose Gonzales, a recognized surgeon who has served the university and PGH for a long time, has to undergo this tribulation, this humiliation, this treatment for the simple reason that the Roman Administration and Malacanang do not consider him one of their own!

• Sad and mad over Chancellor Arcadio’s role in delaying the appointment and oath taking of Dr. Gonzales last January and now his role in immediately administering the oath of office to Dr. Domingo and in providing the so-called legal justifications for a clearly unjust and unfair decision of the Roman administration. Chancellor Arcadio’s leading and active role in unseating Dr. Gonzales blots his otherwise unblemished medical, academic and administrative record.

• Sad and mad that Dr. Enrique Domingo allows himself to be used to remove from office Dr. Gonzales whose term is for three years. Dr. Domingo knows very well that the removal of Dr. Gonzales is a legal question and he should have had the delicadeza to wait for the court judgment on this question before taking his oath of office. Bakit nga ba nagmamadali ang Administrasyong Roman, kasama na si Chancellor Arcadio, na alisin sa pwesto si Dr. Gonzales?

• Today is March 1, the start of International Women’s Month. I am sad and mad that President Roman, the first woman president of the University, has made another history as the first President who has actively pushed for the expulsion of an elected Student Regent whose only fault was the failure to register for residency within the registration period; a shortcoming which could have been easily remedied by granting her appeal for late registration and thereby ensuring continued representation in the BOR of the more than 50,000 students of the University.

• I am sad and mad that it is under this first woman President of the University that the long tradition of non-reconsideration of appointments of UP officials has been broken. Dr. Gonzales nag-iisa ka pa lamang sa kasaysayan ng UP na inalis sa katungkulan batay sa so-called revisiting a BOR decision.

• I am sad and mad that the Roman administration tolerated the continuing participation of the three acting Malacanang regents in spite of the lapse in their appointment and sad and mad that it was President Roman herself who made the motion to recommend the three to Malacanang for a regular term of two years when she knows very well that it is only less than two weeks before the March 10 effectivity of the election prohibition of appointments to government position.

• I am sad and mad that while President Roman is highly critical of the so-called lack of interpersonal skills of Dr. Gonzales, she has endorsed another term for a chancellor in spite of the many complaints about the behavior of this chancellor and in spite of the fact that this chancellor has yet to answer the COA Audit Observation Memo asking her to explain the why she has gone over the approved budget of her investiture by 72%.

Those of us who are here, faculty, students, staff, alumni of the University and the patients of PGH who are part of the people we are bound to serve, should not allow the Roman administration to ride roughshod over the cherished values of the university; values such as appointments based on merit, of accountability, representation and participation. We should be sad and mad enough to unite and oppose the blatant and self-serving moves of this Administration to tolerate the shenanigans of people loyal to them while excluding people who are qualified but who are not considered part of their inner circle.

It is just and right to oppose the undemocratic governance of the Roman Administration.

Presidente Roman, tama na ang tiwaling pamamalakad!
Igalang ang tunay na mga demokratikong proseso!

Speech and photos originally posted here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2037512&id=1170042080&ref=mf