Speak It Out

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The name Ardythe:good war (Anglo-saxon); flowering field (Hebrew); spiritual prosperity (Swedish); Norwegian goddess.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Osmeña and the University of the Philippines

NOT LONG ENOUGH for UP to forget!!!

HIS ACTION continue to haunt UP.The "UP as a National University" Senate vote (SB2587) has been longingly awaited by the UP community to fast track rehab of the University,especially the College of Engineering, College of Sciences and the Collegeof Medicine. It would have significantly made it easier for the current students to have not gone through the P900/unit and P1,500/unit tuition ifthe vote was made in 2004. In fact, it got side tracked again this year asCongress and Senate went to a recess last February. The repercussion of the Osmeña act reverberates to this day. The College of Engineering had gottenby with its upgrades by reaching out to its Alumni. But what about the restof the University? As you are (or were one time) a beneficiary of the UP system, let your voice be heard against this man who has allowed personalgrudge cloud his better judgement. if he can do it to an Academic community,what more damage can be expected of him to inflict to on an already suffering country?


Spread the word.To the members of the UP COMMUNITY...These are two articles written after John Osmeña derailed SB 2587 in 2004.if you love UP, DO NOT VOTE for this man. Paki-pasa na lang!

by Jojo Robles, Manila Standard8 March 2004

IF I may add to the cacophony of voices raised against this or thatcandidate, please do not vote for one John Henry Renner Osmeña, reelectionist senator from Cebu . This suggestion was prompted, though leftunmentioned, by a recent letter I got from another prominent Cebuano,University of the Philippines president Francisco "Dodong" Nemenzo.

Nemenzo wrote an impassioned letter to the UP Community last week denouncing Osmeña for almost single-handedly jettisoning the 10-year legislative effortto save the country's premier state university.But can one senator, acting alone, really decide the future of an entireacademic community? Of course not. Osmeña was helped along, thoughnot actively, by the weak leadership of the Senate, personified by Ilonggoand fellow UP alumnus Franklin Drilon.

Yes, John O went to UP, where he studied engineering and according to stagedirector and actor Tony Mabesa, a contemporary of the senator discoveredthat he had a budding career in acting. Politics proved a headier brew for Osmeña, however, and he forsook "the roar of the greasepaint" for a lifetimeas an office-seeker.

All told, there are nine UP alumni in the 24-person Senate. So you'd thinkthey would be more sympathetic to Senate Bill 2587, which seeks to update the ancient 1908 university charter to make UP more financially viable. Butno. With the prominent exception of former UP student leader SenatorFrancis Pangilinan, Drilon and the rest of the ex-Diliman senators hushed up as John O lobbied to thwart Nemenzo and scuttle SB 2587, which never evengot voted upon before the Senate adjourned after the first week of this month.

For reasons put forth by Osmeña that Nemenzo described in his letter as "puerile." Which is really insulting to young boys. "Politicking of the mostdespicable type shelved what could have been the legislature' s singulargift to the University of the Philippines , Nemenzo wrote. "Malice triumphed over reason." Should we allow triumphant malice another victory at thepolls? I don't think so.

SB 2587 was first crafted 10 years ago, during the term of UP presidentNapoleon Abueva. Throughout the term of Abueva's successor, Emil Javier, UP carried on the fight to be designated a "national university," distinguishedby its scholarship and research from other state universities and exemptfrom the government's salary standardization law. The bill, certified as urgent by the administration passed unanimously by the Lower House, seeks tostem the faculty brain drain that has plagued UP for decades and would alsoallow the university to use its own savings and other monies directly to improve teaching and facilities.

The proposed law would grant tax exemptions for imports of materials neededfor teaching and research, and greater institutional autonomy to enhanceUP's ability to compete with the best universities in the region. Nemenzo, convinced of the importance of the bill, last year headed alast-ditch effort to have it passed before the end of the current Senate'sterm. It was a lobby campaign that would last for eight months but which would end in futility because of Osmeña's filibustering. This despite thefact that Nemenzo had already been assured by a clear majority of thesenators that they would vote for the bill, if it came on the floor. But because of Osmeña's efforts, of course, the vote never happened."

Senator Osmeña, who would either suddenly disappear when it was his turnto interpellate, or otherwise make demands and claims so outrageous that it took every ounce of forbearance on the part of our University officials tosuffer them in the hope that our bill would pass, regardless," Nemenzo said.

A "peevish" John O "blithely dismissed" any and all arguments presented by the UP officials to dispute his claims during the hearings, Nemenzo added.And as for Drilon (last year's "Outstanding UP Alumnus") and the rest, well,they stood idly by, not even calling for a vote that would surely have defeated Osmeña's objections. It soon became clear that Osmeña, accordingto Nemenzo, had his own reasons for objecting to the bill. "Osmeña reservedhis worst diatribes for me, privately calling me a communist, blaming my relatives in Cebu for his political misfortunes, and vowing to make UP payfor 'demonizing' him during the bases debate more than a decade ago.He informed UP officials that only my immediate resignation from the UP presidency could secure his support for the Charter bill. When herealized that I was resolved to serve UP to the end of my term, he proceededto do his best to achieve the same end and to maim SB 2587 in the process," a bitter Nemenzo recounted.

Rightly, Nemenzo has refused to be cowed by his powerful provincemate. "Irelish intellectual debate, and am used to the insults of the ignorant andthe desperate," he said. "But this is not an argument between John Osmeña and myself. I would have no hesitation leaving office for the right reasonsbut humoring John Osmeña is hardly one of them." For that matter, according to the UP president, "this is not even an argument, but petty tyranny at its worst, with brute political power prevailing over any possibility of reason.It is patently unjust to hold the future of the country's leading universityhostage over some personal differences, no matter how deep they may be."Is this the end, then, of the efforts to revive UP? Nemenzo doesn't thinkso. "We will fight again, and we will fight on," he promised. "We cannot yield to demagoguery and intimidation. As disappointing as the results of this struggle have been, we also learned many things, and will employ thoselessons in a fresh campaign to get a new Charter perhaps one even betterthan the current version drafted and passed."

Among those lessons "is my conviction that just as our legislators have always held UP accountable for its programs and its funds, so should UP holdthe legislature and its individual members accountable for their acts ofcommission and omission. We can only pray and mobilize for the emergence of more responsible lawmakers and leaders who can truly help UP and Philippinehigher education."

That's where my call not to return John Osmeña to the Senate comes in. If UP alumni everywhere (and we are many and supposedly influential) heed it, perhaps the old, dying school will have a fighting chance.

SENATOR JOHN OSMEñA KILLED UP DREAM, EXEC SAYSPosted: 1:14 AM (Manila Time) Mar. 21, 2004
By Tina Santos
Inquirer News Service

UNIVERSITY of the Philippines president Francisco Nemenzo lambasted SenatorJohn Osmeña for blocking the passage of Senate Bill 2587, which would havegiven way to a more responsive state university. The Senate adjourned without passing the bill or even bringing to a vote the proposed measurethat would have led to the revision of the UP Charter for the first time since its founding in 1908.

Nemenzo expressed dismay over the manner by which it was doomed to die on the Senate floor, largely on the account of Osmena's objections anddemands. He said the shelving of the bill on the Senate's adjournment dashedall hopes of bringing the UP Charter into the 21st century. The UP president said the bill did not only seek to develop the institution asa state university but as a Philippine university with academic standardsof excellence competitive with those of national universities in the region.

The bill seeks, among other things, to empower the Board of Regents,UP's highest policy-making body, to enter into joint venture agreements withthe private sector in developing university property.The university's students and employees claimed the provision may lead tothe "commercialization of education," and eventually to the sale of the UP to private companies. In a letter to the Inquirer, Nemenzo, stressed that the bill would have allowed UP to pay realistic salaries, improve itssystem of overnance and generate more resources to augment its budget.

On March 4, Osmeña came out with a paid newspaper advertisement and said that the bill was not a "legislative gift to the university but merelyrepresents a juicy retirement check for the overstaying UP resident."

In his letter, Nemenzo retorted to the senator's statement saying, "There is nothing sinister about this bill. But his long immersion in trapo(traditional politics) culture -- in which he deserves an honorary doctorate-- has made him (Osmeña) thoroughly cynical, believing that everyone thinks like him."Source: http://www.inq7./ net/met/2004/ mar/21/met_3- 1.htm


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