Alliance of UP Student Councils on Cronyism & UP in Crisis

Posted on March 10, 2010


Cronyism and a University in Crisis
Katipunan ng mga Sangguniang Mag-aaral sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas (KASAMA SA UP)
March 5, 2010

The Katipunan ng mga Sangguniang Mag-aaral sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas (KASAMA SA UP) remains solidly behind Student Regent (SR) Charisse Bernadine Bañez amid the mounting controversy surrounding the directorship of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and in the struggle for student representation inside the Board of Regents (BOR).

The ploy to oust SR Bañez by the Malacañang bloc in the BOR led by Pres. Emerlinda Roman reeks of illegality and destroys all tenets of democratic governance in the University. It is outright deplorable how such University officials would throw out student representation just to advance their vested interests.

The year-long maneuvers of the UP administration to deny Ms. Bañez of her mandate as Student Regent are clearly meant to eliminate a consistent voice against their policies of commercialization and privatization.

The collusion of UPLB Chancellor Velasco and President Roman to persecute SR Bañez and rid her in the BOR began with the filing of malicious disciplinary cases in early 2009 and continues up to this day through their refusal to grant her request for residency. We commend SR Bañez for her resilience and unwavering stance for the students and the other marginalized sectors in the University despite the relentless attacks against her person and the Office of Student Regent.

Cronyism has become the patent character of the Roman administration. Officials who willingly implement the profit-oriented schemes of this administration are rewarded with term extensions, questionable appointments and impunity.

In UP Mindanao, Chancellor Gilda Rivero was appointed for a third term despite serious questions on her fiscal transactions and management raised by students, staff, faculty and the Commission on Audit. Similarly, UP Visayas Cebu College Dean Enrique Avila was also extended for a third term without cognizance of opposition in his college and the Cebu community for his drive to close UP High School – Cebu. UPLB Chancellor Velasco enjoys impunity despite cases of acquiescence to military encroachment, withholding of student funds and his detrimental large lecture class policy. In UP Diliman, Prof. Sarah Raymundo, a known activist professor, continues to be denied of tenure. Meanwhile, the three Malacañang appointees, Regents Abraham Sarmiento, Nelia Gonzalez, and Francis Chua, continue to illegally sit in the BOR despite the expiry of their acting/temporary appointments in 2009.

While her cronies are rewarded, Pres. Roman fixed various “legal” impediments to prospective opposition including SR Bañez. Last year, the assumption into office of Faculty Regent Judy Taguiwalo and Staff Regent Buboy Cabrera were delayed due to their respective membership in the All UP Academic Workers Union and the All UP Workers Union.

Now, without regard to the adverse effects to the PGH, the country’s biggest charity hospital operated by UP, Pres. Roman is arbitrarily removing newly installed PGH Director Jose Gonzales clearly because of his anti-privatization stance.

Resist the Roman-Malacañang Mafia

The simultaneous outbreak of issues and unrest across UP is the manifestation of the crisis brought about by the drive for commercialization and privatization. Such drive has caused the further marginalization of the democratic rights and welfare of the students, workers, and faculty.

Governance has degraded to the level of tyranny and cronyism – reminiscent of the national leadership of Pres. Gloria Arroyo that has brought this country to the quagmire of mal-development and perpetual crises.

The KASAMA SA UP now calls on all its members and the Iskolars ng Bayan to consolidate our ranks in resistance against the undemocratic governance of President Roman and her Malacañang cohorts. Student councils must take the leading role in the campaign to defend student representation and the Office of the Student Regent. Let us unite with the different sectors of the UP Community to advance the democratization movement in the University.

Assert Our Student Demands!
Defend the OSR!
Defend Our Lone Representation in the BOR!

End Commercialization and Privatization of UP!
Uphold Democratic Governance in UP!
Resist Roman-Malacañang Tyranny in the BOR!

Originally posted here: