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Former TomWeb adviser files charges vs OSA chiefs

2 min read“The OSA Directors have no right to dictate upon my area of expertise in guiding TomasinoWeb, especially when the students commit no violation of University Rules,” Laparan said in his complaint against former OSA chiefs, Ma. Cecilia Tio Cuison, and Ma. Regina Arriero.
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Published about 1 month ago on April 11, 2024

by TomasinoWeb

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Leo Laparan II, the former adviser of TomasinoWeb, filed a complaint against the two highest officials of the Office for Student Affairs (OSA) for their alleged “consistent and continuous acts of censorship” against the organization.

Laparan filed the complaint at the office of the University of Santo Tomas Vice-Rector Fr. Isaias Antonio D. Tiongco, O.P., J.C.D., on Thursday, April 11.

It cites the “grossly abusive conduct” of the OSA Director, Asst. Prof. Ma. Cecilia Tio Cuison, and her deputy, Asst. Prof. Ma. Regina Arriero, against TomasinoWeb and Laparan.

“[Tio Cuison and Arriero’s] consistent and continuous acts of censorship violate the freedom and rights of students in publication and to free speech,” the complaint, a copy of which was obtained by TomasinoWeb, read.

Tio Cuison is currently on medical leave. Asst. Prof. Jaezamie V. Ong sits as the officer-in-charge of OSA.

Laparan accused Tio Cuison and Arriero of seven violations: the academic freedom of faculty members as outlined in the UST Faculty Union’s Collective Bargaining Agreement; the procedure for disciplinary action against accredited organizations as provided for in the UST Student Handbook; provisions of the Education Act of 1982 and Campus Journalism Act of 1991; the right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press as provided for in the 1987 Philippine Constitution; and principles on press freedom and freedom of speech upheld by the Holy See.

The complaint cited five instances where the two officials’ actions allegedly breached some or all of the provisions cited in the complaint.

The most significant of these was when the officials on Feb. 17 ordered TomasinoWeb to take down a photo featuring College of Information and Computing Sciences students wearing their type B uniforms in front of a 7/11 branch inside the campus. In protest, Laparan resigned as TomasinoWeb adviser on Feb. 19.

The complaint added that the directors have “engaged in unprofessional behavior” through consistent threats to him and TomasinoWeb executives. These included the alleged threat of sanctions and even the delisting of the organization.

“The OSA Directors have no right to dictate upon my area of expertise in guiding TomasinoWeb, especially when the students commit no violation of University rules,” he added.

TomasinoWeb has reached out to the two directors but has yet to receive a reply.

#Censorship

#OSA

#AcademicFreedom

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TomasinoWeb

TomasinoWeb

TomasinoWeb, the premier digital media organization of the University of Santo Tomas

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