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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.

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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.

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.

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UST welcomes, pledges support for Lumads

The Thomasian community along with other progressive youth groups welcomed Lumads as they trooped to the University to voice out their call to end Martial Law in Mindanao, assuring them of support as “Bakwit School sa UST” commenced, Monday, Sept. 10.

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thomasians protesting for lumads
Photo by Jude Camot/TomasinoWeb.

The Thomasian community along with other progressive youth groups welcomed indigenous peoples as they trooped to the University to voice out their call to end Martial Law in Mindanao, assuring them of support as “Bakwit School sa UST” commenced, Monday, Sept. 10.

UST Simbahayan Director Mark Anthony Abenir addressed the cultural minorities and said that UST “as a Catholic institution stands by the poor and the oppressed.”

“Ang UST bilang Katolikong pamantasan patuloy na naninindigan sa kapakanan ng mga mahihirap, ng mga naaapi at ng mga pinagsasamantalahan,” Abenir said as he welcomed Lumads for the second year of Lakbayan.

Despite the heavy downpour of rain, the “Salubungan” activity still pushed through with Lumads and Thomasians entering the Arch of the Centuries.

Meanwhile, UST Central Student Council (CSC) Secretary Robert Gonzales expressed support in ending Martial Law in Mindanao and assured the Lumads of the Thomasians’ continued assistance in rebuilding classrooms and other material support.

“Nakikiisa rin ang mga Tomasino upang ipaglaban at itaguyod ang paglaban natin para sa edukasyon. Tutulong kami sa abot ng aming makakaya upang itaguyod ang Lumad bakwit schools,” Gonzales said.

The UST CSC Secretary also added, “ipagpapatuloy namin ang pagsuporta sa mga paaralan ng mga Lumad sa pagpapatayong muli sa mga silid-aralan at iba pang suportang materyal. Ang paaralan ninyo ay paaralan rin namin.”

Moreover, cultural presentations were conducted including a performance by Tubaw, a reenactment by the Lumad students and a community dance together with Thomasians.

‘Buksan ang puso’t isipan’

Manilyn Gantangan, a grade 10 Lumad student, challenged Thomasians “to open their hearts and minds in what’s really happening in the society.”

“Hinahamon ko po ang lahat ng mga nakikinig na buksan po natin ang ating puso’t isipan at alamin natin ang totoong nangyayari sa ating lipunan,” Gantangan said.

Sr. Patricia Fox was also present and urged Thomasians to “hear what’s happening and listen to their story.”

“I think one of the problems is people are not hearing really about what’s happening there. So I think it’s great that the Thomasian community has accepted them, to listen to them and then get their stories out to others so that people know what’s happening,” Sr. Fox said in a chance interview with TomasinoWeb.

She also added that Lumads deserve “to live in peace and have a good education.”

“Well, I think they’ve got a just demand. Every young person should have a right to education. They have a right to be there to live in peace, to have a good education.” Sr. Fox said.

UST Save Our Schools (SOS) Networks volunteer Hannah Rondilla gave a solidarity message and asked the Thomasian community to heed the call to fight land-grabbing of ancestral lands.

“Makiiisa rin sana ang mga Tomasino upang tutulan ang pangangamkam sa mga lupaing ninuno at ipaglaban ang karapatan ng pambansang minorya para sa sariling pagpapasya,” Rondilla urged.

The said event will continue until September 17 in which various activities including Unity Walk, a peace forum and a grand solidarity night are expected to happen.

Last April 20, UST Simbahayan inked a partnership with alternative school for the Lumad as they commit to defend education and for the rehabilitation of school facilities.

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UST boosts performance in guidance counselor board exam

The University recorded a perfect passing rate in the August 2018 guidance counselor licensure examination.

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Photo by Jester Ramos/TomasinoWeb.

The University recorded a perfect passing rate in the August 2018 guidance counselor licensure examination.

UST improved to a 100-percent passing mark, with all four Thomasian examinees passed.

Last year, no Thomasian made it to the cut.

No Thomasian, meanwhile, made it to the top ten for this year’s licensure exam.

According to the Professional Regulation Commission, 307 out of 471 takers passed the board exam for guidance counselors. Rex Morales

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UST ika-apat sa mechanical engineering boards

Pagkatapos mapangalanang ikapitong top performing school noong nakaraang taon, umakyat sa ika-apat na puwesto ang UST sa Agosto 2018 mechanical engineer licensure examination.

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engineering building
Kuha ni Christel Maliksi/TomasinoWeb.

Pagkatapos mapangalanang ikapitong top performing school noong nakaraang taon, umakyat sa ika-apat na puwesto ang UST sa Agosto 2018 mechanical engineer licensure examination.

Nakakuha ang Unibersidad ng 87.18-porsiyentong passing rate, kung saan 102 mula sa 117 na Tomasinong kumuha ng pagsusulit ang nakapasa.

Subalit, ito ay mas mababa sa 88.24-porsiyentong passing rate kumpara sa nakaraang taon.

Walang Tomasino ang nakapasok sa listahan ng sampung nakakuha ng mataas na marka.

Ang Malayan Colleges Laguna naman ang nanguna sa nasabing board exam na may 94.74-porsiyentong passing rate.

Ayon sa Professional Regulation Commission, na 3,092 ang kalahatang nakapasa sa mechanical engineer licensure exam mula sa 5,084 na kumuha nito. H. M. Amoroso

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