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Thomasian innovation bested others in the Metro




     A mere escape from summer boredom hailed two Thomasian Engineering students victorious in the recent Manila Bay Cleanup Competition, launched by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) last April.

     Fourth year Electronics Communication Engineering (ECE) students John Beljoe Abao and Ariel Manalaysay outclassed seven other competing schools with their giant dustpan-like entry, which, according to them is based on simple logic and imagination and practically out of boredom during the vacation.

     Nung summer walang magawa, and opportunity din naman ‘yon,” Abao said, referring to the contest.

     With the theme “Innovative Engineering Solutions to the Manila Bay Garbage Problem,” the contest encouraged student participants to devise creative contraptions that may eventually be improved and produced by the MMDA.

     “It [the prototype] is V-shaped and it has a hole in the middle where a concrete storage is placed,” Abao said.

     With big waves in the bay, floating debris and trash will be swept into the chute and into the tank, “just merely collecting the trash into the bin.”

     Abao and Manalaysay found out about the competition through Network of Electronics Engineering Students (NECES), the mother organization of ECE. NECES, through its president Rikki Macolor, supported Abao and Manalaysay all throughout the contest.

     Sila pa lumalapit sa’min para dun sa contest. Kahit inaabot pa kami ng gabi,” Abao said.

     The Thomasian duo took three days of brainstorming, a day to formulate the concept paper, and only a span of two hours to construct the model. But despite the short amount of time, they were “confident” about their prototype

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     According to the duo, the edge of their prototype compared to others’ was the “feasibility to implement because of its simplicity.”

     The prototype brought to the defense is made up only of cardboard, masking tape, and illustration board, while other participants’ proposals were more technical and even made use of mathematical computations.

     The real inspiration behind the innovation, according to Abao, is the fulfillment of seeing his idea implemented to help improve the Manila Bay.

     Kuha lang ng kuha. When the opportunity comes, grab without hesitation,” Abao and Manalaysay said, advising the Thomasian community to be ready when opportunity knocks.

     According to an article by Inquirer, Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) Assistant Secretary Maria Catalina Cabral said that in choosing the winning design they looked for “innovation and engineering.”

     “The concept is doable. We saw there was potential for this to be built and developed. MMDA and DOST will make more studies to develop and make more improvements on this proposal,” Cabral added in the said article.

     The duo received P25,000 cash prize along with Certificate of Recognition.

     Other participating schools included Ateneo de Manila University, University of the Philippines-Diliman, Manuel L. Quezon University and Mapua Institute of Technology.

By Mia Rosienna P. Mallari and Romhelyn M. Benipayo
Photos courtesy of John Beljoe Abao



Aegis Juris fratmen tagged in Atio hazing case now under NBI custody

(UPDATED) The surrender of the 10 Aegis Juris fratmen was voluntary and pre-arranged, NBI Internal Affairs Division Executive Officer Danilo Mayani stated in a press conference.



Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN News.

(UPDATED March 23, 5:15 p.m.) The 10 members of the Aegis Juris fraternity indicted in the fatal hazing of Faculty of Civil Law freshman Horacio “Atio” Castillo III are now under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Death Investigation Department after arrest warrants were issued against them on Thursday.

NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin told reporters that the 10 fratmen gathered in an undisclosed location in Paco, Manila around 11 a.m. earlier today, March 23, where they were fetched by NBI personnel to be brought to the NBI headquarters in Ermita for booking procedures.

Their surrender was voluntary and pre-arranged, Danilo Mayani, NBI Internal Affairs Division executive officer, stated in a press conference.

Mayani said a common friend of one of the parents of the accused contacted him and revealed the fratmen’s intentions to turn themselves in to bureau that morning.

However, two of the accused, Jose Miguel Salamat and John Robin Ramos, also filed that morning a motion for inhibition against Manila Regional Trial Court Judge Alfredo Ampuan,  saying that he is “incapable of rendering fair and impartial adjudication” on the case since he is the brother-in-law of Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption President Dante Jimenez.

Ampuan issued orders for the arrest of Salamat, Ramos, Mhin Wei Chan, Marcelino Bagtang Jr., Arvin Balag, Ralph Trangia, Axel Munro Hipe, Oliver John Onofre, Joshua Joriel Macabali and Hans Matthew Rodrigo yesterday, March 22, for violation of the Anti-Hazing Law (READ: Arrest warrants out for 10 Aegis Juris fratmen).

The court’s decision on the motion is still pending as of press time.


In a text message, Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, a close friend of the Castillo family, said that he is “happy to hear” the issuance of arrest warrants against the 10 fratmen.

“After many months of listening to the enraging testimonies during the Senate inquiry, I now welcome the successive developments in the case that continue to give us hope that justice will be served to Atio’s family,” Zubiri said.

They 10 accused fratmen would spend nights at the NBI headquarters until the court releases an order stating if they would continue to be detained at the NBI or if they would be transferred to the Manila City Jail.


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Arrest warrants out for 10 Aegis Juris fratmen

The Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 40 ordered the issuance of warrants of arrest against 10 Aegis Juris fratmen involved in the fatal hazing of Faculty of Civil Law freshman Horacio Castillo III.



Photo by Christel Maliksi/TomasinoWeb.

The Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 40 ordered today the issuance of warrants of arrest against 10 members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity involved in the hazing and death of Faculty of Civil Law freshman Horacio Castillo III.

Alfredo Ampuan, presiding judge of Manila RTC Branch 40, stated on his order that the court “finds probable cause and that there is a necessity for pacing all the accused under custody in order not to frustrate the ends of justice.”

Arrest warrants would be issued for Mhin Wei Chan, Jose Miguel Salamat, John Robin Ramos, Marcelino Bagtang Jr., Arvin Balag, Ralph Trangia, Axel Munro Hipe, Oliver John Onofre, Joshua Joriel Macabali and Hans Matthew Rodrigo.

Salamat’s and Ramos’ petitions to allow them to post for bail or for the dismissal of the charges against them were denied by the court last March 16.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted the 10 Aegis Juris fratmen on March 8 for violation of Republic Act No. 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law of 1995, but charges against Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina were dropped (READ: DOJ indicts 10 Aegis Juris fratmen, drops Divina of charges).

Charges against 10 other Aegis Juris Fraternity members were also dismissed by the DOJ for “lack of probable cause.”


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Lakasdiwa fields no candidates for CSC polls as independent bets fill candidate list

Lone accredited political party Lakasdiwa did not field any candidates for the Central Student Council elections as 11 independent bets filled the list.

Lone accredited political party Lakas ng Diwang Tomasino (Lakasdiwa) did not show up during the filing of candidacy for the Central Student Council (CSC) elections on Wednesday, fielding no candidates as independent bets dominated the list.

Lakasdiwa was the only University-wide party which applied for accreditation and met the requirements set by the UST Election Code (USEC) of 2011 (READ: Lakasdiwa lone political party in next CSC elections).

Rival party Lakas Tomasino Coalition (LTC) was suspended for this year after LTC violated the online campaign rules during the last University-wide elections (READ: UST Central Comelec suspends LTC).

Nonetheless, no candidates from Lakasdiwa filed for candidacy earlier today.

Central Commission on Elections (Comelec) Legal Head Blaine Veron said that Lakasdiwa may still file for a motion for reconsideration until Friday, March 23, should the party consider to participate in the polls.

“Yes po, pwede po until Friday po sana kasi mag Easter break na po next week. So hanggang Friday sana meron mabigay na silang letter for reconsideration then we would deliberate if acceptable po ba reason nila o hindi,” Veron told TomasinoWeb.

TomasinoWeb tried to reach Lakasdiwa for comment regarding their absence from the filing but they are yet to respond as of press time.

Meanwhile, 11 independent candidates filled this year’s list of bets for the CSC Executive Board.

Former CSC Public Relations Officer (PRO) Francis Gabriel Santos filed to run for the presidency independently to continue the projects he and CSC Secretary Therese Gorospe implemented this year.

“Gusto ko kasi ipagpatuloy yung nasimula[n] namin ni ate Therese. Gusto ko hindi lang continuity, improvement rin kung ano man pagkukulang namin. Para rin ma-make sure natin na yung CSC na papunta sa tamang direksyon,” Santos said.

Karizza Kamille Cruz, Faculty of Civil Law Student Council secretary, would be running against Santos for the presidential post.

Cruz said she would like to pass the student’s code during her term.

“As a former officer of the student tourism society in my undergrad in the College of Tourism and Hospitality Management, and a former Central Student Council secretary in 2011 to 2012, currently the secretary of the Civil Law Student Council, I would like, in my term, to pass the student’s code,” Cruz said.

Victor Amores, Faculty of Pharmacy Student Council assistant secretary, filed for the position of vice president unopposed. Medical Technology junior Adrian Lee Fernando is also unopposed for the auditor post.

Journalism junior Carol Anne Balita and Medicine freshman Robert Dominic Gonzales contend for the position of secretary.

Vying for the treasurer post are Alek Pierce Joell Santa Ana, a Marketing Management junior, and Graduate School student Rome Voltaire Gomez.

Political Science juniors Jeremiah Pasion and Jan Krianne Pineda and Advertising Arts senior Jeanne Nicole Naval would be competing for the PRO post.

This year’s polls would revert to an electronic voting system after the Comelec opted for manual voting last year.

The controversial “abstain” vote was also removed in the ballots to be used for the upcoming polls, in accordance with the order of the Central Judiciary Board that declared the “abstain” vote as a violation of the USEC (READ: No ‘abstain’ in upcoming CSC elections; students develop new electronic voting system).

According to the Central Comelec, the campaign period would run from April 3 to 17, while the proclamation of winners would be on April 21.


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