EXCLUSIVE: Student’s cooling off mistaken for suicide attempt

Medics did not handle her well, she tells [P]

Amid circulating rumors of a student attempting to jump off the Narra Bridge, commonly known as the “Never Ending Bridge,” on March 21, a student came forward to the UPLB Perspective, saying she might be the one who people think tried to jump from the bridge, but was prevented from doing so by medical personnel.

In an interview on Wednesday, March 22, the student, who requested anonymity for this story, clarified that she was not attempting to jump off Narra Bridge.

The student explained that at past 3pm, she went to Narra Bridge to cool off, as she was feeling angry and sad at the time. Couple of minutes later, she saw an ambulance stopping near her. Medical personnel then alighted from the ambulance and attempted to hold her by the arms.

Citing the instinct of “stranger danger,” she refused to go with them. “Na-trauma ako. I didn’t think they did their best job,” said the student after the medical personnel insisted that she go inside the ambulance.

The medical personnel later offered to bring her to her dorm. She recalled leaving them and going towards the Student Union Building where she claimed she cried to her orgmates who were there. However, she said, the ambulance still followed her up until the DL Umali Auditorium.

How the rumor spread

“Nagulat ako sa Twitter,” she said when asked what she felt after seeing the reactions on social media. The student later clarified that she declined to be brought to neither the UHS nor any other hospital.

She also came forward to the UPLB Perspective because she felt that the time frame of what happened to her coincided with the time frame of the alleged attempted suicide incident.

Reports of the alleged incident started in the afternoon of March 21, when a certain Boy Bato posted on Facebook that someone jumped off Palma Bridge. He later retracted his earlier story and said that it happened at the bridge near the Main Library, the Narra or “Never Ending” Bridge. In the comments, Boy Bato said that he personally saw it.

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Screenshot of Boy Bato’s post

“Kasi galing ako UPF [University Police Force] dahil dun sa lisensya fiasco ko. So pag[ka]tapos nung meeting, may mga tao sa labas na [yun] na nga, may tatalon daw sa bridge, So dumaan ako. Ayun, may pulis on the scene na papaunta when it happened.” Boy Bato said in the comments section of his post.

Shortly afterwards, Boy Bato deleted the said post and deactivated his account.

Since then, social media, especially Twitter, went abuzz with news of someone jumping off the Narra Bridge.

However, no report of the alleged incident was recorded in the blotter of the UPF, UPLB Perspective has learned. This was also confirmed by Security Guard (SG III) Mervin Valencia, who was the investigator on duty that night, stating that it was only hearsay.

Tecson Pua, a BS Mathematics student, asked the official Facebook page of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs (OVCCA) about the veracity of the alleged incident that same night. The conversation with the office was posted on his Twitter account the next morning, March 22.

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Screenshot courtesy of Tecson Pua

“The University Health Service (UHS) reported a student who tried to jump from the bridge this pm but was prevented from doing so,” OVCCA said in their reply to Pua. The OVCCA also stated that the student was “brought to the UHS safe [sic] for appropriate action.” They also cited the hiring of “a consultant psychiatrist, Dr. Palis, to… deal specifically with suicidal cases” among  the university’s students.

The consultant psychiatrist being referred to is Dr. Alexandra Jean Palis.

UHS is unable to confirm OVCCA’s claim in the latter’s reply to Pua about anyone who tried to commit suicide being brought to the medical facility that day.

OVCCA has not responded to UPLB Perspective’s messages as of press time.

“HOPE” Forum

A reply to Pua’s screen cap posted on Twitter was Office of the Chancellor (OC) Memorandum No. 042 Series of 2017, dated March 16. The memo was an invitation to “HOPE: Health Orientation to Problems from Emotional Stress,” organized by the Office of Student Affairs (OSA). The event aims to provide an orientation about problems from emotional stress. Dr. Palis serves as one of the speakers in the said event.

A scanned copy memorandum was sent via email by the OC to the university’s units and college on March 22, a day after rumors of the alleged incident circulated around campus. The College Secretary’s Office (CSO) of the College of Human Ecology (CHE) reposted the scanned memorandum on its Facebook account. The same copy of the memorandum shared by the CHE CSO was tweeted by Pua. [P]

Family, friends seek help on missing UPLB alumnus

 

University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) alumnus, Michael Kenneth Cruz

University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) alumnus, Michael Kenneth Cruz, has been missing and cannot be contacted since the morning of Thursday, March 16. A missing person report was filed at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Pasay City Government the same day by Andrea Baule, Cruz’s partner.

According to Baule’s facebook post, Cruz was on his way to his first day of work to Balayan, Batangas. He left from their apartment at Pasig City to the terminal at Metropoint Taft at around 3am. The last text update received from Cruz was at 4:39 am saying that he is already at Taft waiting for other passengers.

” We tried to look for cctv and other possible terminals in taft pero wala pa magandang sightings of Mike. We just suspect 1 or 2 person na pinakahawig sa rememblance pero we can’t verify if sumakay siya or hindi eh dahil sa mga blind spot na din ng mga lugar. So far wala pa talaga kaming information about Michael’s location,” said Baule in a facebook interview.

Baule has also scouted different CCTV camera recording around the area of Taft to see if there is any sighting of Cruz. As of writing, there is still no update from the family, and the PNP Pasay regarding Cruz’s case. [P]

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]

Student’s death, family seeks probe

Every time nga na makakakita ako ng naka-tarpaulin [ng] naka-sablay, nalulungkot ako eh. Hindi ko na makikita anak ko’ng ganon,said Orlan T. Salera, father of deceased College of Veterinary Medicine student, Uriel Fabella Salera.

Nagso-solo ‘yan, nag-iisang anak, nag-iisang pamangkin, nag-iisang apo, lahat ng pangarap namin naka-angkla sa kanya,” Mr. Salera described further in an interview with the UPLB Perspective. Uriel, 18-year-old sophomore, died of cardio-respiratory arrest on the early morning of Saturday, August 20.

Thoughtful and loving

Mr. Salera depicts Uriel as respectful, thoughtful, loving, affectionate, and a kid with a good sense of humor. Uriel is known to his family as someone who stands against abuse, especially against women.

He also recalled that road trips with his son serve as their bonding activity. “Yun ‘yung panahon na nakakapag-usap kami ng medyo masinsinan, nag-re-range ‘yan from politics, science, to philosophy to religion.” Mr. Salera works in Lipa City, Batangas, and only gets to bond with his son on weekends.

Dr. Leila T. Salera, pathologist and Uriel’s aunt, shared with the UPLB Perspective his nephew’s profound love for his grandmother. “Mahal na mahal niya yung lola niya, ‘Awayin mo na lahat huwag lang lola ko.’”

“As a friend, sobrang genuine,” Eliza Yana Malapaya, a batch 15 VetMed student and a friend of Uriel said in a separate interview. She then added, “Lagi siyang nandyan pag kailangan mo sya, masayahin. Mahilig mangumusta.”

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Photo from Dr. Salera’s video tribute to Uriel

How the day transpired

According to Dr. Salera, on the night of Thursday, August 18, Uriel asked for permission to go to the campus early Friday morning, August 19, for a scheduled jogging. “Ayaw siyang paalisin ng lola niya kasi sobrang aga ng alis, sabi sa kanya, mga 4:15 umalis,” she said.

UPRC King Rancher Aliana Cotejo confirmed to the UPLB Perspective that their applicants were scheduled for training on that early Friday morning.

They scheduled the jogging at 5am. It is part of the applicants’ training process. Halos lahat sila ay nagsasabing pagod na sila kaya naging walking na lang sila ng isang ikot sa Freedom Park,” said Cotejo. She said that the only medical concerns laid to them by Uriel were his mild scoliosis and dust allergy.

Given the nature of the organization, practicing the Rodeo sport, a strenuous physical activity, Cotejo admitted that there are no medical professionals assisting in the duration of the process.

Two of Uriel’s friends confirmed that he had difficulty walking after the jogging activity.

Malapaya recalled, “Last conversation namin ay nung Friday ng 7am, umaga. Pumasok sya na pa-ika-ika ang lakad. Na-sprain daw sya habang nagjo-jogging. Nagkwento tungkol sa jogging at kung gaano kasakit ang ankle niya.”

Malapaya stated that Thursday, August 11 was the start of the process, however Uriel had his interview with the organization on Tuesday, August 16. This is because he was staying in his home in Calamba, and cannot stay late in the campus.

She then added that on Thursday, August 18, Uriel asked for permission if he could stay in La Ville to rest after the jogging the following day.

Meanwhile, a friend who spoke to the UPLB Perspective under the condition of anonymity, recalled: “Around 8:30 pm, kita across yung Goldilocks, hirap sya [Uriel] maglakad pasakay ng jeep.”

Death

The aunt narrated, “Nung umuwi sya nung Friday ng gabi, ang kinomplain lang niya is masakit yung likod niya. Nagtanong siya nandyan pa yung parang electric massager ko, nung pumunta sa kwarto. Kasi sabi nya okay na sya. Tapos nung bago sila natulog nagbibiruan pa sila and then that night, narinig ko na lang…

“Gasp. Malakas,” the father continued.

On late Friday night, before the clock struck 12, Uriel’s relatives heard two gasps.

According to the family, Uriel was unconscious and unresponsive. At around quarter to 12, his aunt facilitated cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for around 10 minutes. Uriel was later rushed to the hospital but still was not resuscitated.

Dr. Salera recalled telling Uriel that if a person is being revived for more than 10 minutes, that person’s health would already have been compromised.Yun na lang iniisip ko kaya sumama na rin siya. Hangang doon thoughtful pa rin si Urie.”

(Read: CVM stude dies of heart failure)

According to the death certificate read by the family to the UPLB Perspective, Uriel died due to cardiorespiratory arrest. Furthermore, Mr. Salera said that he decided not to call for an autopsy so as to honor the body of his son.

Uriel’s wake lasted for three days at St. Peter Chapel and his body was laid to rest on August 24.

The Rodeo Club learned of Salera’s death at around 8am, August 20, Saturday. Minessage at tinawagan namin ang family; first na nakausap namin ay ‘yung father. Somehow, we are good terms with the family. Since grieving, di namin sila masisisi.”

Because of the incident, the organization laid the application process on-hold. May mga hindi na kayang magprocess kasi may mga members na ‘di na kaya makapagpa-report. Kapag kaya na [lang ulit] naming mag-process, kapag ‘di na affected ang members at ang batchmates niya.”

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‘Indescribable sorrow’

 Namamatay [si Uriel], nandito sa [hita ko], kalong kalong ko. Napaka-indescribable ‘yung sorrow na mararamdaman mo. ‘Yung anak mo naroon sa ganto mo na nakikita mong namamatay, pero wala kang magawa,” Mr. Salera recalled.

Tapos lahat ng nalalaman ko bilang doktor nabalewala nung nawala yung pamangkin ko,” Dr. Salera added.

Admitting the family is still in grief, the father said, “Medyo masakit para sa akin – hindi, talagang napakasakit na, napakabata pa inagaw sa akin.”

 

Wake up call

Dr. Salera has doubts on what really transpired that Friday morning.

“‘Yung sinabi niya sa akin kagabihan eh jogging’. So ang tingin ko, jogging. Magja-jogging lang kayo somewhere. Tapos nung gabi na nung nalaman ko na meron pa palang push up na ginawa. Tapos eto naririnig ko yung mga balita na sa oval pinatakbo sila so parang hindi yata jogging yung ginawa ng pamangkin ko kasi pinatakbo ka ng isang oras,” she said firmly.

UPRC’s Cotejo denied that there was a push-up activity on that Friday morning.

The family recognizes that while it is possible that the organization involved has no direct relation to the death of Uriel, the activities that transpired on Friday morning might have been contributory to the sudden departure of the 18 year-old.

“Kung hindi sila ang direktang naging cause, pwedeng naka-contribute sila. Maging aware lang sila, aware whatever happens sa mga future initiates nila, maging careful,” Dr. Salera said.

Sino ba ang nawalan? Bigyan man lang nila kami ng kahit kaunting closure at courtesy,” Uriel’s aunt added.

Mr. Salera shared his sentiments, saying, “Hindi maiaalis sakin na nanggigigil ako sa kanila [UPRC]. Pero in retrospect, gawa nga ng anak ko rin ang gustong sumali saka sila naman ay socio-civic organization, nauunawaan ko na rin.”

The father lamented the young age of the members of the organization who attended the wake of his son. He also pointed out the lack of supervision during that particular activity.

“Ang problema ko lang talaga ayun siguro kung merong supervision, baka naiwasan. Baka. Tsaka ambabata pa! Susmaryosep! Napakababata pa nung nakita ko [sa burol]. May kumausap pa nga sa akin na alumni pero napakabata pa rin!”

Dr. Salera pointed out the possibility that the applicants were told to quit when they are not able to accomplish something during the process. “Baka kasi alam mo yung thinking na ‘Kaya mo pa? Mag-quit ka na kung di mo na kaya!’ Yung pamangkin ko kasi, pag nacha-challenge, pinipilit talaga niya gawin. Malay ba ng pamangkin ko ‘yung mangyayari sa kanya. Kung meron sanang nagsu-supervise.”

 

The family also emphasized that all they want is for all student organizations in the University to be aware that their process for the applicants may lead to deaths, just like Uriel’s case. However, they still have a message for UPRC.

 “Kung meron man kayong direct connection sa nangyari sa pamangkin ko or wala, that happened before my nephew died. Kayo yung unang-unang mga naging circumstances bago nangyari kasi dati hindi naman nag ganyan ang pamangkin ko. Ang dami nang dinaanang sakit ng pamangkin ko pero hindi umabot sa ganyan. Napagod na rin yan, hindi umabot sa ganyan. Ngayon lang talaga nung gabing iyon.”

The family decided to not pursue cases against the members of the organization as of press time.

Explanation from org

“It all boils down to them, not making an attempt to explain to us,” Mr. Salera emphasized.

The family disclosed that they are only waiting for UPRC to communicate with them and explain their side. They prefer to talk to the members of the organization together with their adviser.

“After ng libing, makikipag-usap sana talaga kami [kaso] tinatantiya namin kung kaya na makipag-usap ng pamilya pero parang hindi pa,” UPRC’s Cotejo said. She acknowledged that no communication with the family has been made so far after the funeral. Also, she confirmed the unavailability of their adviser but decisively claimed that nothing holds them back from reaching out to Salera’s family. “Nahihirapan din kami; hindi lang kami nawalan ng aplikante, nawalan din kami ng kaibigan, namatayan din kami.” 

The UPLB Perspective has confirmed that Mr. Orlan Salera, father of Uriel Salera has sent a letter to the Office of Student Affairs. He is requesting Dr. Nina Cadiz to conduct an investigation regarding the death of his son.

When sought for a brief statement on Uriel’s death, the UPLB University Student Council (USC) expressed their deepest condolences to Salera’s family and friends. “Mahirap at nakakalungkot talaga ang pangyayari, and the least we can do for now is to get the details of the whole picture, avoid any hasty generalizations and sympathize for his loved ones and family,” the USC added.

Admin to UPRC: Don’t say anything

Cotejo disclosed to the UPLB Perspective that they talked with the Student Organizations and Activities Division of the Office of Student Affairs (SOAD-OSA), Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Community Affairs (OVCCA), Office of the Public Relations (OPR), and Los Banos Municipal Police.

“Kinausap na kami ng OSA-SOAD, OVCCA, OPR, LB PNP pero sabi nila, ‘wag na muna magsalita – ayaw nila kaming  magsalita kasi mauungkat lang daw. Bakit pa kami lalapit sa kanila [OSA] kung gusto lang din naman nilang maging passive na lang kami about this?” Cotejo said.

“Actually, their main concern is, ‘Sino yung nagkakalat ng issue?’ Kaya di kami makakilos nang maayos – we’re expecting na sila mismo yung mag-guide samin, maglalabas ng statement, pero tinanong lang nila kung anong nangyari at kung kailangan daw namin ng counselling. Wala na rin sila planong gawin. Kung mismong SOAD walang comment, di na namin maco-control yung safety at image ng UPLB,” added Cotejo during their dialogue with the admin.

Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs Dr. Serlie Barroga-Jamias and SOAD Head Prof. Jickerson P. Lado declined to comment as of press time. [P]

The UPLB Perspective remains open to the side of the  OSA-SOAD, OVCCA, and OPR.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#SR2016 DIGEST | END OF TERM REPORT

“What use is being an Iskolar ng Bayan if we do not persevere to serve the people,” Student Regent Mico Pangalangan says during his End of Term Report.

According to SR Pangalangan, “the board is anti-student…unless they are aware that there is protest. But the thing is, it gives us enough weight. We also realize that the OSR and councils, and pubs, are the hardest of the student movement.”

SR Pangalangan raised four GPOA in his report:

  1. Youths participation in the national arena
  2. Heightened student representation and protecting student welfare
  3. Multi-sectoral collaboration
  4. On-line and onground communication

GENUINE STUDENT REPRESENTATION

The P2.2 Billion Budget Cut

SR Pangalangan discussed the 2.2 billion budget cut that faced UP, alongside with the increase of tuition fees by CHED. Student councils join protest, systemwide walkout, wherein 3500 students walked out.

#UPFight Against Fees, Cuts, and Commercialization — a campaign demanding our state to provide its people our right to education, an assertion to stop the profiteering from our education. “Education is a right, not a commodity, and most definitely, is not a privilege,” SR added.

With Rise for Education (R4E) and CMC, Undercut against the Budget Cut, students try to be creative in the student statements. The 2.2 B is a phantom budget cut. Pangalangan highlighted the filing of amendments to HB 6132. Support has been received from the students, together with Kabataan Partylist Representative Sarah Elago.

Senate budget deliberations transpired. Support has been given by senators, by the congress.

Rise for Education Alliance (R4E Alliance)

This intensified many campaigns including the unified call to junk the socialized tuition system, and demand free education. The OSFs serve as profiteering mechanisms a scheme to liberate the state from providing sufficient funds for the MOOES. These are exorbitant, dubious fees.

SR tells story of cases in UP Cebu Admin and UPLB CDC laboratory fees. These cases have been income generating. With regards to the fees, it is unknown where they go, but they [the administration] gain money from it. He also reiterated the stories of protest in Mendiola on OSF, and death of our fellow iskolar ng bayan Kristel Tejada. “Education is something that should empower us. However, our right, has become a commodity only availed by the privileged.”

“The budget is really increasing, what we [students] are calling for is not just a higher budget for education, but to end this. We cannot socialize education, it is a right,” SR pointed out.

Dorm Crisis

This has been a result of the commercialized and semi-privated dormitories. This is because of K-12. With the implementation of K-12 under Aquino administration increased the freshman admission because there will be no freshman for years. This is not just a problem of the K-12 but by privatization and commercialization.

Money is extorted from students twice over. First is through STS. Second is through exorbitant and dubious rate of a dorm slot. This rate includes 3000 per person, food, water, and electricity bill not included.

The College of Law Dean said that there is a need to have income from the dorms, so that income will sustain the trust fund of the faculty of the College of Law.

UP Diliman Extension Program in Pampanga asserted for the construction of a dormitory within campus. To add, the UP Visayas Tacloban administration cancelled the plans to construct a dormitory. They constructed nipa huts instead.

Org Registration in UP Los Banos and the 2014 Code of Student Conduct

The administration threatens students with the repressive Code of Student Conduct. UPLB students registered their own organizations, not under the Org Recognition. Office of Student Affairs disregarded the students.

SR Pangalangan also stressed the importance of protest. “One thing we have to remember is the term breach of peace. If you are using your right of expression in a protest, and other people don’t agree with you, they will file a breach of peace. We must not be daunted and we must not apologize when we must stand up and speak against this repression. As long as we remain as a collective, broadening and uniting our ranks, the fascist administration and their repressive policies can and will be junked,” he said.

The 1st University Committee for Student Affairs (UCSA) and Resolutions:

UCSA has the capacity to publish resolutions. Four out of the eight submitted resolutions which have been passed include the following:

  1. Heightened student representation: student representative in the selection process of the Dean, Chancellor, and Director OSA.
  2. Proposal for student insurance from UP Visayas and entire UP System. However, the demand has been rejected due to the absence of source of funds.
  3. Refinement of the SET.
  4. Increasing the benefits of student athletes at the system level.

Four other submitted points for deliberations which have been rejected include the issues on Dormitories, Org Recognition, Campus Militarization, and Democratic Rights.

Enrolment/Registration Problem

In UP Diliman, it was reported that the College of Architecture, College of Arts and Letters, and the Asian Institute of Tourism administration advised students with less than 6 units pre-enlisted to take a leave of absence. In UPLB, 5000 students were unregistered as of 28 January 2016.

These are cases which show how the registration problems affect students, not just because of the insufficient budget for personnel services, limited items to hire more professors and staff, but because of the prioritization of the administration on profit-generating projects.

K-12 induced influx of freshmen increased the demand for subjects. After the immediate effect of the influx, the succeeding semesters will have fewer professors teaching because the administration has advised them to go on study leave, focus on research and publish instead. This is an entire attack, not just by UP but by the entire country, the global economy.

Militarization in UP

This militarization is not just to UP but by UP itself.

On the 31st of March 2016, the Board confirmed the memorandum of agreement between the Philippine Army through the 11th Regional Community Defense Group and UP. The MoA activates the ROTC in UP Mindanao.

In UP Mindanao, there are 100 PNP inside interrogating students on their organization, and course. In UP Tacloban, there are military before Yolanda. “It is scrutiny. We should not see it as an opportunity to be influenced by the military, but the students to the military. The cadets are not military, they are students,” Pangalangan said.

It shows the violation of the DND Accord 1989 by then UP President Abueva and then Defense Secretary Fidel Ramos. This gives the university a reason to say no to the entering of police and military.

In UPD, the police caught five individuals who later identified themselves as members of the PNP. Chancellor Tan released an open letter to the PNP due to the violation of the DND accord.

SR Pangalangan talks about how the admin did not take any course of action in the defense of the students. He calls for uniting as a student sector to enlighten and mobilize other student sectors. The 41st GASC passed resolutions calling to junk the STS and OSFs, uphold democratic rights of students, demanding the Aquino regime to all free political prisoners including Maricon Montajes.

SR cited the case of The Taysan Three which the motion for bail has been approved. They were falsely accused because of red tagging.

The Commercialization of Education

The legacy systems across the system were developed at virtually no expense, incurring only salaries for the programmers who maintain them.

750 million is the budget for eUP, which is a pet project of PAEP. Its vision is “one UP” which aims for “operational excellence”.

22 million is the budget for the Student Academic Information System (SAIS) over the UPD CRS (14M), UPM CRS (15M), UPMIN CRS (3.3 M), and UPLB SystemOne (480 K).

“eUP is a failed attempt to prove that we need to privatize our operations to compete with international universities. Privatizing our operations will do us more harm,” Pangalangan said.

The commercialization of UP is evident with the UP BGC, UP Clark Green City, UP Cavite Technopark, among others. For the case of the Henry Sy Sr. Hall and such cases, the SR reiterated that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with donating money to the university. However, renaming a building and an entire course to a Marcos crony such as Virata is historical revisionism.

UP Cavite Technopark

Five hectares of land within the University Town of Vista City is to be given to UP. Also, infrastructure development worth of P100 million will also be donated by Vista Land. With this, tuition fee will be high to cover the expenses for the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses.

University Town of Vista City

These campuses are not being created to provide accessible and quality education to the masses in different regions, not to democratize UP, but to serve as a factory producing an immediate labor force to be exploited by companies controlled by the few and elite.

UP Return Service Agreement

“Academic freedom, liberal education, and our democratic rights are lost in commercialized education.” CPHSC initiative forced the administration to review the RSA framework. The RSA which intends to address the brain drain has transformed into an income generating mechanism.

The K-12 Program and the General Education Reforms

The university welcomed students to the second semester with a massive neoliberal attack, reforming 2012 hybrid general education program which embodies the liberal education identified with UP. The UPD USC created a GE taskforce to critique and to review the 2012 GE program as a prerequisite to any reform.

The general education reform is an initiative to streamline the education and narrow the specialization to meet the needs of international market and foreign interests instead of providing holistic, nationalist, scientific, mass oriented education grounded on the concrete conditions of the Philippines.

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THE OSR AS ONE WITH THE UP COMMUNITY

The Shopping Center

There has been a 400% increase in the rental rate for the concessionaires in the shopping center. “Why are we increasing? They want to use these assets for income generating initiatives.”

Commercialization would mean increase in the fees of basic student services. The administration disregards additional financial burden since UP is earning from it.

UP Tacloban Santa Elena Transfer

When Yolanda destroyed part of UP Tacloban campus, the land for commercial use is bigger than the land allocated for UP use, thus PAEP changed land legend from ‘commercial use’ to ‘future use’.

Academic purposes of UP will be set in the middle of nowhere. The administration has many plans, not for the interest of the students.

SR also highlighted the fire which took place in the faculty center. He pointed out that the faculty should be given amount equal to their actual loss.

 

THE OSR AS ONE WITH THE NATION

Manilakbayan

Why are the paramilitary entering the lumad lands?

Neoliberal policies exist protecting transnational miners. When the lumad want justice for the leaders killed, administration turns a blind eye; it is upon us to oppose these policies.

SR Pangalangan highlights that with unified action, the unified march; it shows the need to find an initiative to expose. A dialogue with UPD Chancellor Tan, then pushes to allow the Manilakbayan in the university.

APEC

An anti-APEC forum has been held. He pointed out as to why is there a movement against APEC. SR Pangalangan said that through APEC, it maintains ascendency of power over us, Philippines. It opens our economy to be dominated by transnational companies.

Tulong Kabataan

This is a system initiative for post calamity response which serves as a venue for student councils in extending relief and support to other regions.

Task Force FREEDOM

This has been a campaign spearheaded by CMCSC advocating the advancement of human rights and the release of all political prisoners which includes Maricon Montajes. The petition for bail has been approved to P2.1 million. The system joins effort for the release of the freedom.

Kidapawan Massacre

SR highlighted the Kidapawan massacre. It shows, in a national scale, that general agrarian reform is absent. The legislators are land lords, President Aquino for example. Students from Mindanao went to Kidapawan to find out what was happening to know the truth about the farmers; SR Pangalangan commended the students who are willing to do such action.

The Continuing State Neglect of the Students and the Masses

SR Pangalangan reported the approved tuition hike by CHED on the 400+ private higher education institutions in 2015 and 300+ in 2016. Cases of Kristel Tejada, Rosana San Fuego, and Jesseven Lagatic have been cited which are victims of commercialized education.

Kabataan Tayo ang Pag-asa

The iskolar ng bayan unite in campaign demanding free education for all, with simultaneous nationwide campaign. The Office was the main convener of the Kabataan Tayo ang Pag-Asa which initiated mechanisms to encouraged the youth to participate in the national elections to elect leaders who forward the people’s interest.

May 1 – Labor Day

Labor Day is uniting with the working class, joining multiple sectors demanding to end contractualization. There is a mechanism exploiting the working class, depriving them of the right to union, no job security and tenure even after years, if not decades of service. The call to end contractualization has been raised.

SR Pangalangan also pointed out that K-12, along with TESDA, will divert millions of Filipinos to the technical and vocational job opportunities which are contractual.

THE CHALLENGES WE MUST FACE

The search for the next UP President

SR Pangalangan highlighted that with this search, it is a high tide tor the students to assert their principles. Students must have a clear voice and assert the demands of students. The UP president should stand by the interests of the students.

Support for People’s Agenda for President Duterte

There is a need to support Duterte’s agenda by scrutinizing his leadership and unite to support the peace talks. SR said to let the youth unite in support of the peace talks between the National Democratic Front and the Philippine government.

“What use is your perfect attendance if you are absent in times of action? Why raise your hand for recitation if you do not raise a clenched fist in times of protest? What use is the iskolar ng bayan if we do not persevere to serve the people?” SR Pangalanan says as he ended his term report.

#SR2016 | Point of Manifestations and Messages from Student Councils

UP Mindanao’s manifested that the resistance by the OSR is always powerful and they commend OSR for being pro student for being open and not being silent whenever there are anti-student policies.

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UP Manila Public Health also manifested by thanking the SR for responding to the students’ protest and served not only the students but also the people.

UP Visayas’ manifested by recognizing the OSR for being pro people and pro student in time of need and for continuous support. They pointed out that education is becoming a privilege already when in fact education is a key to development. “Every child is dreaming of having the iconic student number although being an Iskolar ng Bayan is not only fighting inside the university, we are in UP because we recognize the rotten system and we need to fight it.”

SR then called on UPD CMC for their manifestation, wherein they thanked the OSR for passing the petition for bail that was granted recently for Maricon Montajes. There were times that hope is lost because of this system. “May mga oras sa kampanya na nawawalan ng pag-asa dahil sa kabulukan ng sistema, yung napakarami pang isko na kinulong dahil sila ay lumalaban, maraming salamat sa OSR dahil sa wakas ay napakalapit na nating makasama dito sa labas. Kaming mga lagad ng media ay nagpupugay sa lahat ng suporta ng OSR.”

“Sana po ay suportahan natin nang lubusan ang people’s agenda ng ating pangulong Duterte, kung tutuparin niya ang kanyang pangako na palayain ang mga political prisoner hindi na natin kailangan pang mamalimos upang palayain ang mga political prisoners.”

UPD CAL SC said that there are a lot of problems that UP students are facing. The OSR was always there to respond to these problems– dorm crisis, budget cut, lumad killings, multi-sectoral alliance of UPD, and STS.

“This is a product of collective action of students who are tired of the rotten system.”

SHS Koronadal was the next to manifest and thanked the OSR because of responding to their problems in Koronadal.

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The UPM MSC also manifested that health is inaccessible at the moment – lack of doctors, nurses etc. The budget for health care is not enough. “During the RSA workshop, 1 vote of students vs 7 votes admin, but we are the larger population in UP. We must continue our rights for education and health.”

UP Visayas pointed out that the campaign must not end. During 2011, there was an Anakbayan chair threatened to kill a co-student. “Right after the martial law, bills are passed to avoid this yet there are still some who enter our university and some are arrested. Our service is to fight oppression.”

UPLB thanked the OSR for its accomplishment especially during the registration. They are saddened that the UP code of students is being limited. They want other SCs to step out of their comfort zones.

UPM also thanked SR Pangalangan. They recognized that the OSR is not perfect, and these criticisms should be used to make the office stronger. “To dismiss the victories that we had, is to dismiss the mobilization of the people. We should always look forward in strengthening the students.”

The UPD EPP SC manifested in behalf of their student council and thanked the OSR. Their campus is inside the military base and when SR came it was slowly changed and it strengthened their argument. They also shared a message of a political prisoner from Pampanga and pointed out the role of the Philippine youth as catalysts of change; and also the youth’s ability to mobilize and serve the people.

UPLB CASSC pointed out the freshman ban recruitment in organizations. They thanked the OSR who lead the dialogue in org registration as well as the org tambayan phase out. According to them these issues can be resolved if students work together.

UPV SOTECH said that they had a dean selection, but one did not recognize the student movement. The one who was pro-student did not win because of bureaucracy.

UPV CFOS thanked the SR and pointed out that they are victims of lab fees, they are not sure how to solve it. But the OSR supported them.

UPD CSWDSC said that in UPD there is a rent increase of the shopping centers and it wasn’t changed during Mico’s term. They said that every member of the UP community must fight against it.

The session has been suspended at 7:21 p.m. Discussion of the UP Situation followed as the session resumes.

 

 

#DuterteVisitsUPLB | Davao Mayor prays for federalism

By MIGUEL CARLOS LAZARTE and CAREN JOY MALALUAN

The recently concluded event by the Department of Social Sciences (DSS) and UP sa Halalan 2016 entitled ‘A GE conversation with a National Leader: A Forum on Governance, Transparency, and Social Transformation’ featured presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte as the guest speaker last Friday, 11 March.

A long queue of UPLB students waiting to be admitted inside the D.L. Umali Hall was spotted outside the venue. However, not all the students were admitted since seats inside the D.L. Umali Hall were limited. The line was cut off and students were advised to watch the live-stream of the event instead.

On the mayor’s speech, he started by claiming that he is not an extremist, rather a socialist. He then presented his platforms if ever he became president and reinstated his claim that he would stop drugs and criminality in a span of 3 to 6 months in position. He also tackles national issues particularly on poverty, corruption, oppression, criminality, drugs and militarism.

He added that he will never allow abuses by the military or police.

Duterte also stated his disappointments and criticisms on the government and corrupt officials. He stated that the corrupt officials keep on denying it. He criticized the way the government is being ran, asserting that it is oppressing the people.

He also expressed his sentiment that GABRIELA Philippines was furious at him and jokingly followed-up that they can just line up so he can kiss each of them.

He also gave out to the audience his plans on a federal government. “We are praying for federalism”, stating that it can also be a way of bringing peace in Mindanao. “Nothing short of federalism will bring peace to Mindanao,” he added. Yet he had instated that federalism is a long process.

On his being a dictator, he admitted that he is one but will not go beyond his term.

Asked about his budget priorities, the highest will go to education; second is agriculture; third is health. Moreover, he gave emphasis on reestablishing family planning in the country.

He said that his attendance to the forum was not a campaign but rather to only talk about the issues. He told the audience that they still own their vote.

Duterte’s visit was part of the series of fora with same topics on governance, transparency, and social transformation.

RELATED STORY: #BinayVisitsUPLB | VP opens up, gets grilled in transparency forum

The UP sa Halalan 2016 is a project initiative created by the University of the Philippines System that aims to educate and inform voters about the political situation in the country and promote clean and honest elections in May 2016. Dean of Graduate School, Dr. Jose V Camacho Jr. is the UPLB Chair of the Ad hoc committee of UP sa Halalan 2016. [P]

PNP barricades entrances to F-Park

by VICENTE MORANO III

UPLB, Laguna — Forces from the Philippine National Police (PNP) formed barricades at several entry points going to the Freedom Park, preventing students from accessing their dormitories and the Student Union Building (SU).

One of the barricades was positioned on the Palma Bridge at around 3:00 p.m. The barricade, which was supposed to only last for thirty minutes, blocked the way of around 100-200 university constituents.

Together with the PNP, officers from the University Police Force (UPF) and Community Support Brigade (CSB) guarded the bridge. The students exclaimed their clamour, saying that they just want to pass by the bridge to go to their dormitories or transact at the Student Loan Board (SLB) located at the SU. Members of the CSB and UPF denied the request as an “activity” was happening at the Freedom Park.

The Perspective inquired as to why the students were disallowed to enter the premises to which one officer replied, “Antayin nyo na lang mamaya. Thirty minutes lang naman ‘to.” (Just wait for it later. This [barricade] will be for 30 minutes only.)

Prof. Genaro Cuaresma, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs, who arrived at the barricade around 45 minutes later, said nothing about it.

At 4:00 p.m., the University Student Council (USC) through Yvann Zuñiga, was able to convince the forces to allow the students pass through the barricade. It was with a condition that the students submit through security inspection.

Zuñiga expressed his dismay with what happened. He said that the OVCCA considers all the people in and around the campus a security risk.

He also said that the barricades around the campus were not coordinated to the student institutions.

“Actually, this is different from the protocol of the last administration, ‘yung panahon ni Chancellor Cruz, whenever there is a police presence inside the campus, even ‘yung rerouting of the jeepneys ay kino-coordinate with the student councils so that they can inform and voice out for the students if ever nakakaabala ang mga ito. Ngayon, wala talaga.

The Perspective conducted a prior data gathering from the Office of the Chancellor and the OVCCA. Both offices refused to answer questions regarding the activity as it was deemed confidential.

Later today, it was confirmed that a helicopter landed at the university carrying the Japanese Emperor and Empress. Reasons for why they went to the university has not yet been confirmed as of press time. [P]