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Friends continue to seek justice for Atio

After the prayer vigil commemorating the 100th day since Castillo’s death, Gabriel Adora slammed the release of alleged Aegis Juris leader Arvin Balag from Senate detention just a week before. “[It] was not justified […] even in the spirit of Christmas,” he said.



Friends of fatal hazing victim Horacio Castillo III light candles at the Manila Memorial Park, Thursday, Dec. 28. Photo by Elizabeth Regudo/TomasinoWeb.

Colleagues and friends of fatal hazing victim Horacio “Atio” Castillo III gathered at his resting place at the Manila Memorial Park last Thursday, Dec. 28, to continue demanding justice for the slain law freshman in commemoration of the 100th day since his death.

“We call out on everyone who has the power to change things to put their effort in giving justice to our friend,” Gabriel Adora, a friend and classmate of Castillo in Faculty of Arts and Letters, told the reporters after the prayer vigil.

Adora continued: “Sana po ma-realize ng mga taong nag-inflict sa kanya ng ganitong klaseng sakit that led to his death, and the suffering and desolation of his family speak out.

He also defended the University, saying that UST cannot be solely blamed for Castillo’s death.

However, Adora also urged the University administration to exert their efforts as an academic institution in making concrete actions and raising awareness on the issue.

“Sa part naman [ng UST], if hindi nila magawang i-publicize ‘yung issue by themselves, if hindi nila kayang gawing alarming ‘yung issue within the campus, kami na lang bilang students of UST because we understand bakit nila ginagawa ‘yun.”

Adora also slammed the release of alleged Aegis Juris leader Arvin Balag from Senate detention just a week before. “[It] was not justified […] even in the spirit of Christmas,” he said.

Balag was released from detention last Dec. 22 upon the orders of the Supreme Court.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson Sr., chair of the Senate public order and dangerous drugs committee, told in a statement that the decision was made “all in the spirit of Christmas, not to mention our desire to avoid a constitutional crisis during this holiday season.”

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According to Adora, contrary to the real spirit of Christmas which is salvation, the fraternity did not save anyone.

“‘Yung kaibigan nga namin, namatay na, ‘yung pamilya niya, naggi-grieve pa rin hanggang ngayon para sa kanya, yet pinakawalan nila [si Arvin Balag]. So, I think I speak in behalf of everyone na mga kaibigan ni Horacio at sa mga relatives niya na it’s very unjustified and we call upon all those who can bring light to what just happened para naman hindi agrabyado, especially ‘yung family.”

During the vigil, Kaye Esmao, a friend of Castillo, prayed for the speedy disposition of justice and for hazing to be exposed as an inhumane practice being done to students in the country.

“We pray that Hor’s soul may be at peace despite what happened to him. We also pray that his family through the proceedings that are currently happening right now,” Esmao added.

Castillo’s family was invited but was not present on the said gathering.—B. Laforga



Engage in political discourse, youth lawmaker tells Thomasians

“Layon namin na gamitin ninyo ang diskurso sa loob at labas ng paaralan para kalayaan at kapayapaan,” Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago said.



Photo by Cielo Erikah Mae Cinco/TomasinoWeb.

Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago urged Thomasians to utilize political discourse inside and outside the classroom in order to combat the government’s attacks on democracy and human rights.

“Layon namin na gamitin ninyo ang diskurso sa loob at labas ng paaralan para kalayaan at kapayapaan,” Elago urged in the forum titled “Politikan: Diskurso sa Politika ng Henerasyong Milenyal” at the CME Auditorium last March 7.

Using knowledge from discourse, the Kabataan Partylist representative called on the youth to realize their capacity and influence on social issues, especially with the rise of social media.

“May kakayahan at kapasyahan ang kabataan na yanigin ang estado at iyon ang gusto natin ipakita,” she said.

Elago continued further: “Kahit saan, may kabataan. Nagsasalita tayo para sa kanila. Tayo mismo ang makakaimpluwensya sa loob at labas ng Kongreso.”


Use film for advocacy, director says

Film is also a powerful medium for discourse and advocacy, said director and screenwriter Baby Nabrida.

“[F]ilm happens to be a very powerful medium because film moves people to change, it can create a great impact for moral, social, and film is a very potent medium, and I strongly believe that film also is a medium of transformation,” Nabrida told Thomasians.

She also urged students that “[w]e need to educate our audience and not just entertain. We need support from government, especially [from the] Department of Education and from universities and schools to be effective as film advocates.”

“Film springs on change; artistic activism can empower not just cinema, but also other art forms,” Nabrida continued.


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Silence is political

Meanwhile, spoken word artist Juan Miguel Severo called on students to write poetry “coming from the truth” to make their work effective platforms for discourse.

“Napakaepektibo [ng spoken word poetry] dahil ang tula ay nanggaling sa katotohanan. When you’re writing your spoken word poem, make sure you’re coming from the truth. Ito man ay malikhaing pag-iisip, hindi ibig sabihin na hindi ito nanggaling sa katotohanan. At napakadaling makita kung sino yung nagkukunwari lang,” Severo said.

He also narrated how he faced backlash for his poems that criticize the government. However, Severo believed that, as an artist, he has the responsibility not just to entertain but to speak up on pressing issues.

“Ang pagpili natin na manahimik ay pulitikal. Kaya nating manahimik, kaya nating mamiling manahimik dahil we are privileged, maatim natin na manahimik dahil hindi naman tayo masyadong apektado,” he urged.

“Politikan: Diskurso sa Politika ng Henerasyong Milenyal” was organized by the Political Science Forum.—C.E.M.C.


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Songco is new Alumni Association president; Tenedero takes chairman post

The UST Alumni Association, Inc. elected its resigned president Henry Tenedero as chairman while former student affairs director Evelyn Songco was elected president, taking over Tenedero’s post.



Photo grabbed from the UST Alumni Association, Inc.'s Facebook page.

(UPDATED March 19, 10:15 a.m.) The UST Alumni Association, Inc. (AAI) elected former student affairs director Evelyn Songco as its new president while resigned president Henry Tenedero took over the chairmanship of the association.

Tenedero stepped down from his post last Jan. 23 after the UST AAI drew flak for conferring Medical Technology alumna and Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Esther Margaux “Mocha” Uson an award on government service (READ: Alumni Association prex resigns, Uson’s award not revoked).

“As the president of the association, I’m taking full responsibility for whatever this has created. Well, of course, we have committees assigned for this, it is incumbent of me to accept responsibility,” Tenedero told TomasinoWeb in a phone call following his resignation.

Songco served as the director of the Office for Student Affairs from 1990 to 2006 and 2010 to 2016. She was also the director of the Office of Alumni Relations from 2007 to 2010.

Jerenato Alfante, Maria Elena Manansala, Teresita Meer, Nelson Tan Afuan, and Maureen Pickering were also elected as vice president, secretary, treasurer, auditor, and public relations officer of the UST AAI executive board, respectively.

The UST AAI is the mother organization of the University’s duly recognized alumni associations; however, it is a corporation separate from UST and operates independent of the University.—M.G.P


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UST improves in March 2018 physician boards



The University posted a higher passing rate in the March 2018 licensure examination for physicians, with two Thomasians landing on the top ten highest scorers.

UST registered this year a 90-percent passing rate, wherein 36 out of 40 Thomasians made the cut. This was higher than last year’s 88.89-percent in which 32 out of 36 examinees passed.

Meanwhile, two Thomasians made it in the top ten. Abdulraoph Gaus Deki placed fifth with a score of 86.33-percent and Regina Mae Lo Ang landed sixth with a score of 86.08-percent.

Far Eastern University-Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation was named the top performing school in the examination after posting an 89.29-percent passing rate.

According to the Professional Regulation Commission, 1,067 out of 1,601 examinees nationwide passed the board exam for physicians.



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