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Alumni association: UST not complicit in law freshman’s death

The UST Alumni Association and UST Law Alumni Foundation emphasized that UST is not covering-up the case.



Alumni groups denied suggestions that UST is involved in the death of Faculty of Civil Law freshman Horacio Castillo III in a joint statement released last Friday, Oct. 6.

In the statement, the UST Alumni Association Inc. and the UST Law Alumni Foundation Inc. emphasized that there is no attempt from the University to cover up the case.

“We […] denounce any insinuation that UST and the Faculty of Civil Law were involved or in any way complicit or negligent in the senseless death of Mr. Castillo,” the statement read.

Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina had stated in a senate hearing last Sept. 25 that the Aegis Juris fraternity is not a recognized organization this academic year.

The status of the fraternity was confirmed by Office for Student Affairs Director Socorro Guan Hing.

The statement also disclosed that the University is independently probing the case “without the participation of any member of the law faculty.”

The two groups also strongly condemned hazing and other forms of violence, calling them “unchristian” and “evil.”

Castillo died Sept. 17, Sunday morning, after he underwent the hazing initiation rites of the Aegis Juris fraternity the night before.

He was declared dead on arrival when his body was brought to the Chinese General Hospital by John Paul Solano, who initially claimed that he found Castillo’s body on a sidewalk in Balut, Tondo.

Solano later recanted his claims after police investigations found that he is a member of Aegis Juris and that CCTV footage obtained from the area where he claimed to have found Castillo showed that such incident did not occur.

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Solano, along with 18 other members of the fraternity, are currently facing charges for their involvement in the law freshman’s death.

However, in the first round of preliminary investigations last Wednesday, Oct. 4, Castillo family lawyer Lorna Kapunan stated that the family also intends to file charges against University officials, including Divina.

Despite this, the alumni groups stand with the Civil Law dean, saying that the Divina’s leadership “strongly exemplifies the core Thomasian values of Compassion… Commitment… and Competence.”

The groups also expressed support for the Congress’s move to revisit the Anti-Hazing Law so as to “prevent the occurrence of similar cases in the future.”

The second round of preliminary investigations is set tomorrow, Monday, Oct. 9, where the Castillo family and the Manila Police District are expected to submit additional evidence and documents to the Department of Justice.



Artlets professor, 3 Thomasian alumni awarded Outstanding Rizaleños of 2018



Photo from Prof. Clarence M. Batan, PhD

A professor of the Faculty of Arts and Letters and three Thomasian alumni were granted Outstanding Rizaleños of 2018 last Tuesday, June 19.

Sociologist Clarence Batan, cardiologist Dr. Marilou de Jesus, nuclear medicine specialist Dr. Juan Torres, Jr. and painter Salvador Juban received the award during the seventh Gawad Rizal at SM Cherry Antipolo Event Center.

“I was honored to receive this recognition representing my province and in celebration of the 157th birthday our national hero, Jose Rizal,” Batan said in an online interview with TomasinoWeb.

He added: “I felt a sense of encouragement to continue doing good social science, both as a teacher and as a researcher in my chosen field – Sociology particularly in the realm of childhood and youth studies.”

The Binangonan native is the last director of the Research Cluster for Culture, Education, and Social Issues.

Specializing in Youth Studies, Batan also played a vital role in establishing the Research Center for Social Sciences and Education.

Meanwhile, Medicine and Surgery alumnus De Jesus is the incumbent president of the Philippine College of Physicians – Rizal Chapter and the Cardiovascular Unit Department of Clinica Antipolo Hospital.

Torres, who earned his medical degree in the University, is currently a diplomate of the American and Philippine boards of Nuclear Medicine and the Philippine Board of Internal Medicine. He is the former chairman and chief of Nuclear Medicine of the University.

Juban, a former student of the old College of Architecture and Fine Arts, was an apprentice of former National Artist for Painting Carlos Francisco.

Moreover, Batan stated that the award was a testimony of hard work, passion for teaching and research, love for the country and a celebration of God’s given talent.

“My Thomasian education is central to my being a social scientist and me being a Thomasian faculty and researcher have given me opportunities to share the mission of learning about the social world we live in, especially the fascinating world of our Filipino society,” Batan said.

Gawad Rizal is annually celebrated on June 19, in honor of the birth of national hero Jose Rizal.

The ceremony recognizes Rizaleños who excel in his or her field and is chosen as model citizens of the province of Rizal.—H. M. Amoroso

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UST aces June 2018 nursing boards



The University posted a perfect passing rate in the June 2018 licensure examination for nurses as all four Thomasian examinees passed.

Carmela Niña Sampaga Tormo led the new batch of Thomasian nurses, landing on the ninth spot with a score of 85.60 percent.

Last year, UST also recorded a perfect passing rate in which all the four Thomasian examinees passed.

Mark Tristan Pangilinan Robosa of University of Pangasinan topped this year’s board exams with a score of 87.60 percent.

Meanwhile, West Visayas State University – La Paz, Velez College and Xavier University were named top performing schools with a perfect passing rate.

According to the Professional Regulation Commission, 4,326 out of 9,873 examinees nationwide passed the board exam. 


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UST retains spot in 2019 QS world ranking, fourth in PH top universities



The University retained its spot on the 801-1,000 bracket of the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings, placing fourth among the Philippine universities that made it on the list.

The University of the Philippines kept its place as the country’s top university despite going down in the 384th place from last year’s 367th.

Ateneo de Manila University went down to the 651-700 bracket from the 551-600 last year.

Moreover, De La Salle University joined UST in the 801-1,000 bracket after dropping from last year’s 701-750 bracket.

Despite remaining unmoved from its last year’s spot, UST remained as the only Philippine university to receive a QS four-star rating.

A four-star rated university is “highly international, demonstrating excellence in both research and teaching,” the QS Top Universities website stated.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was hailed again for the seventh-straight year as the top university in the world.

The National University of Singapore dethroned the Nanyang Technological University as the best in Asia, placing 11th worldwide.

The universities are evaluated based on six factors: academic reputation (40%) , employer reputation (10%) ,  faculty/student ratio (20%) , citations per faculty (20%), international faculty ratio (5%), and international student ratio (5%).—B. Laforga



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