MTC defers arraignment of UPLB Chancellor

WORDS | CZARINA JOY B. AREVALO

The Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Los Baños deferred the arraignment for the oral defamation case of UPLB Chancellor Fernando Sanchez Jr. on Wednesday, March 8.

Attorney Rosalio Aragon Jr., lawyer of Chancellor Sanchez, motioned for the postponement based on the ground that they filed a petition for review before the Department of Justice (DOJ) last February 9. The petition for review was raised because of the conflicting rules on the provincial and regional state prosecutor.

Attorney Rosario cited Rule 116 Section 11  of the Rule of Court which states, “upon motion by the proper party, the arraignment shall be suspended for the case of a pending petition for review of the resolution of the prosecutor at either the DOJ, or the Office of the President; provided, that the period of suspension shall not exceed sixty (60) days counted from the filing of the petition with the reviewing office.”

On the other hand, Atty. Emilio C. Capulong Jr., private prosecutor of Dr. Ruben Tanqueco, complainant, said that upon resolution of the Regional Prosecutor, the earlier resolution is considered final.

(READ:UPLB Chancellor accuses univ official of infidelity)

In an earlier report by the UPLB Perspective, Regional Prosecutor Ernesto C. Mendoza found the appeal meritorious, which granted the petition for review last January 24, 2017. The petition for review was filed by Dr. Tanqueco before the Regional Trial Court after the case was initially dismissed by the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Laguna last July 16, 2016.

The arraignment is set on May 24, 2017 with or without the resolution of the DOJ, as granted by Presiding Judge Francisco Collado Jr. [P]

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Chancellor Sanchez takes oath, urges ‘unity in diversity’

By GUIEN GARMA

“As your new Chancellor, I want to bring out the best in all of us.”

Thus said Dr. Fernando Sanchez, Jr., the newly-installed ninth Chancellor of the University of the Philippines Los Baños in the turnover and oath-taking ceremony held on October 29 at the Makiling Botanic Gardens Pavilion.

“All of our objectives to make UPLB a globally competitive research University is not just … my vision or mission, but also yours,” Sanchez reminded the UPLB constituents.

He emphasized in his acceptance speech his platform of “unity in diversity,” adding that UPLB constituents should encourage each other, help one another, and uphold the principles of an ideal civil servant.

Incoming Chancellor Fernando Sanchez, Jr. delivers his acceptance speech during the turnover ceremony on October 29 at the Makiling Botanic Gardens Pavilion.

Incoming Chancellor Fernando Sanchez, Jr. delivers his acceptance speech during the turnover ceremony on October 29 at the Makiling Botanic Gardens Pavilion. Photo | Anca Paje

Sanchez also thanked his fomer colleagues at the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development and its allied agencies; the Crop Science Cluster of the College of Agriculture; Upsilon Sigma Phi, his fraternity; and his family.

While thanking his family, the voice of the newly-installed Chancellor trembled. He then said, “Ang hirap pala nito!”

In a separate interview with [P] after the ceremony, Chancellor Sanchez said that he is happy and at the same time nervous about his new position in the University.

He also emphasized the importance of communicating and coordinating with the University constituents. “If there is a problem, let us talk about it. We shall arrive at an agreement, not a compromise,” he said in Filipino.

The turn-over ceremony was attended by Los Baños Mayor Ceasar Perez, former UP President Emil Q. Javier, and several National Scientists. Student Regent Neill John Macuha, Staff Regent Anna Razel Ramirez, and former Faculty Regent Nelia Gonzales also attended the said ceremony.

Support from President Pascual, former Chancellor Cruz

In his opening remarks, UP President Alfredo Pascual urged the UPLB community to work with Chancellor Sanchez towards making UP a world-class research university.

“We wish to assure all of UPLB’s constituents that the UP System and its officials will continue to support UPLB’s plans and initiatives towards [being] a globally competitive University,” he said.

For his part, outgoing Chancellor Rex Victor Cruz, who refused to call his remarks a farewell message, has assured Chancellor Sanchez and his team that he and his colleagues will be willing to help them.

He also thanked his Vice-Chancellors, college deans, and the faculty and staff, as he says “a lot of accomplishments are to their credit.”

“Seeing that we are able to exceed our own expectations, I believe we have laid the ground for empowering UPLB to take off and truly become a globally competitive national university,” he said.

In a separate interview with [P] after the ceremony, President Pascual agreed that UPLB’s starting ground to become a globally competitive University will be an advantage for Chancellor Sanchez.

Former Chancellor Cruz, meanwhile, told [P] after the ceremony that he will return to research and teaching. “I love interacting with students,” he said.

New Vice Chancellors

On the same ceremony, Chancellor Sanchez also announced his incoming vice-chancellors:

• Administration: Dr. Crisanto Dorado
• Academic Affairs: Dr. Portia Lapitan
• Community Affairs: Dr. Serlie Jamias
• Research and Extension: Prof. Rex Demafelis
• Planning and Development: Dr. Marish Madlangbayan

Only Dr. Dorado was retained from the former pool of vice-chancellors under former Chancellor Cruz.

In his speech, Sanchez reminded his Vice Chancellors to “do what is right and not abuse the authority given to us.” [P]

[CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that Faculty Regent Lourdes Abadingo was present during the ceremony. Student Regent Neill Macuha has told [P] that only he and Staff Regent Anna Razel Ramirez attended the ceremony; it was former faculty regent Nelia Gonzales attended the ceremony.]

EXCLUSIVE: Incoming Chancellor Sanchez to push for ‘happy workforce’

By RACHEL NUÑEZ

Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. will take oath as the ninth Chancellor of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) this Wednesday, October 29.

Sanchez was selected among three nominees during a meeting of the UP Board of Regents (BOR) last September. He will succeed Chancellor Rex Victor O. Cruz as his term in office ends this October.

In an interview with [P] a week before his formal installation in office, Sanchez said, “I feel happy and nervous at the same time since I will be taking an important position that can affect change in the country, particularly in agriculture.”

Moreover, he added that handling the constituents – students, faculty and staff, is crucial and working together is vital.

“There should be a positive attitude to resolve problems using interdisciplinary approach. I believe that you should have a happy workforce amidst the culture of distrust,” he said.

Practically ‘made in LB’

Sanchez, who claims to be practically “made in UPLB”, earned his primary education at Child Development Laboratory at the College of Human Ecology (CHE) and Maquiling Elementary School (now Maquiling School, Inc.). He continued his secondary education at UP Rural High School and took his undergraduate degree in Agriculture major in Horticulture (1987) and masters degree in Environmental Science (1994) here in UPLB.

When his younger sister excelled in school, he then was “just a normal student”. In college, he was an active member of UP Upsilon Sigma Phi Fraternity, which he joined in 1984.

After years of living under the supervision of his parents, both former professors in the University, Sanchez said that “the happiest part of his life” is when he took his doctorate degree at Tokyo University of Agriculture in Japan – without his parents’ security cloak.

As he came back in the University, he continued teaching at the Department of Horticulture and then took the position as Assistant to Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development for six years. Later on, he was appointed as Vice Chancellor.

Facilities, students, STS

Serving for almost nine years as Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development, Sanchez thinks that the program under his administration that gave the biggest impact for UPLB was the landscape master plan that they initiated under former Chancellor Luis Rey Velasco, Cruz’s predecessor.

“A well-maintained environment is an integral component of a University,” he said.

During his administration, they put up “pocket parks” around the campus and initiated the installation of bollards, commonly referred to as “banga,” along concrete pedestrians. Sanchez plans to make UPLB a “walking and a bicycle campus”.

In line with his goal to improve University facilities and services, he said that he wanted to immediately purchase standby generators in preparation for the energy crisis in 2015. He also added that modernization of electrical lines, water distribution, and waste treatment systems is his priority.

In terms of student affairs, he said that he prefer consensus-building rather than compromise. “Nadadaan lahat sa dialogue,” he said.

“The leadership of the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) should be more accommodating to students’ needs and they need to consult it first to the student body,” he added.

With that, he also shared his thoughts on the Socialized Tuition System (STS). “STS should be properly planned and reviewed to provide an evaluation system where the rich pays more at ang karapat-dapat na isko ay mabibigyan ng tamang suporta,” he said.

Meanwhile, as to the alarm on the recent rape case, “campus security must be upgraded and improve to make it more efficient. I believe that we should work hand-in-hand with the local government especially in Barangay Batong Malake and Barangay Putho-Tuntungin. We need to have close cooperation with the local officials and have more police visibility,” he said.

With the vision of “Unity in Diversity: A forward looking globally competitive research university”, Sanchez concluded, “Give me enough time to initiate changes and I hope I won’t disappoint.”

SR Macuha: Sanchez should ‘practice democratic gov’t’

Student Regent Neil John G. Macuha, who sits at the BOR, shared that the board evaluated the merits and demerits of the candidates.

“Members of the board discussed his (Sanchez) background in agriculture being the flagship program of the University,” Macuha said.

“I want to congratulate Dr. Fernando Sanchez for being selected as the new chancellor. I hope that soon to be Chancellor Sanchez would practice democratic government advocating people’s welfare. But before that, I would like to thank Chancellor Cruz for his service to the UPLB students. He had been very supportive and consultative,” Macuha said.

Asked about his expectations from the next chancellor, Macuha said that Sanchez should continue what Cruz has started; ensure student representation in crucial committee; work on how to democratize UPLB and not promote commercialization; and enhance student-faculty-staff welfare. [P]