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Artlets PR officer’s negligence prompted impeachment attempts

Impeachment attempts against former Artlets Student Council (ABSC) public relations officer (PRO) Eadric Espiritu were already on hand prior to his resignation earlier this month, some of the council staff confirm.



Impeachment attempts against former Artlets Student Council (ABSC) public relations officer (PRO) Eadric Espiritu were already on hand prior to his resignation earlier this month, some of the council staff confirm.

“‘Yung students kasi ‘yung nag-open up sa amin…ang sinasabi lang namin, well, if ever you do plan on doing that, we have to recognize ‘yung due process. If ever naman na, you know, Eadric did a lot of wrong things to you, or to other individuals, i-cite niyo doon and then after that, you submit it. ‘Yun lang naman,” ABSC president Lady Freyja Gascon told TomasinoWeb.

Espiritu’s former executive associate Arianne Ronario also confirmed the alleged impeachment against Espiritu, including his resignation attempt.

“Even kami na nasa staff niya parang ok na rin sa’min na ‘yun nga, na ma-impeach na siya non. Pero alam mo ‘yun hindi naman yung ok na sinusuportahan namin. Hindi ganon. Medyo pabor na rin kami kasi nga…iniiwasan niya kami,” Ronario told TomasinoWeb.

“We tried talking to him na baka maayos pa, […] pero wala rin eh. Tas lagi na lang siya magso-sorry. Minsan siya pa yung galit. Tapos ang dami na naming nahingan ng tulong para lang maging ok siya, para maging harmonious ulit yung relationship naming as workmate sa council. Pero wala rin nangyari.  Until ugali na rin niya nagbago,

“He started not showing up to the office. Minsan sapilitan pa para lang magpunta ng office. Lahat kami hindi alam saan siya mahahagilap. Parang si Pam na rin yung naging EB [executive board] sa nangyari,” she said.

Executive coordinator to the PRO Pamela Dela Cruz also recalled the times when the council tried to resolve the problem. 

“There were a couple of times that we tried to consolidate with Eadric, gusto niya kasi mag-resign. At that time, yung mga EAs [executive associates] niya and ako, we tried talking to him about that,” Dela Cruz told TomasinoWeb.


‘Unprofessionalism’ and ‘insubordination’

Regarding Espiritu’s work relations with his staff and the council, Dela Cruz said they talked to him about it.

“I asked him what will happen if all of the staff ma-burnout na lang and siya na lang matira. And sinabi niya na edi aalis na lang siya. And up to the point na parang hindi na tama. So yun na yung alam ko parang may mali na sa how he treats his people and how he resolves conflict, by staying out of the picture and leaving them in the open,” she said.

Ronario shared her experiences working with Espiritu, saying that she felt “unprofessionalism” while working with him. 

“He called me madaling araw na almost 1 AM. And he just asked me kung kumusta ‘ko. I know parang medyo mababaw pero kasi hindi ko lang makita yung certain points between our working time together kasi hindi lang ako ginaganon niya. Ginaganon niya rin yung mga bagong pasok na EA or yung bagong pasok na staff. […] Sobrang na-burn-out ako nun. […] Parang ginagawa ko na lang yung trabaho dahil sa pressure,” said Ronario.

There were times, according to her, that despite Espiritu’s strong trust in his staff, he treats them unpleasantly.

“Madalas siyang ganon, madalas siyang nagsisigaw. […] Feeling ko when it comes to trust mukhang talagang pinagkatiwalaan niya talaga staff niya kaya iniiwan na niya kami sa ere. […] Pero he’s getting all the credits,” she said.

“Ang daming ino-open ni Ate Dea sa kanya pero lahat ‘yun iniiwasan niya. […] Tapos merong mga times na EB na talaga ang humahabol sa kanya, for the meeting, pero iniiwasan niya hindi siya umaattend ng meetings nila and he’s not even going sa office. Alam mo ‘yun magtanong man lang ano meron sa council,” Ronario added.

One of the Artlets students who planned to file the impeachment complaint cited “insubordination” and “conduct unbecoming of an officer” as grounds for his impeachment.

“He does not act in interest of AB. More on personal. Technically, it’s malpractice to promote your actions as part of AB’s decorum pero, he goes against the council. […] As a member of a student council, you must conform to what to what the AB student wants, to what the student body wants,” said the student who refused to be named.

“The issue starts with him. It always starts like this: May idea siya. He tries to implement the idea. ‘Pag may question na he goes defensive, mawawala siya. Then magbabangayan sila. Then he goes back, it repeats. Until it reaches that point na nawawalan na ng connection. Isipin mo PRO walang connection sa other EB, [that’s funny]. You’re PR that’s the funniest thing,” the student added.

According to the student, Espiritu left the council or has multiple attempts of resigning since summer vacation. 

“Yung resignation niya parang out of informality. Not to be cruel pero he took the easy way out,” the student said.

Special elections for PRO post  

The Artlets COMELEC already suspended the special elections for the PRO post because no one filed for candidacy.

Ronario said this is not a problem for the ABSC and can easily fill the job left by Espiritu.

“Mafi-fill-up-an kasi to be honest sa nagtagal, wala naman talaga si Eadric sa tabi namin. And kahit ganon ang nangyari wala naman naramdaman ang AB community na walang PRO. […] Andyan naman kami lagi. So for us, kahit mag-elect pa ulit or not, ABSC will do its job,” she said.

Ronario said she still believes in Espiritu despite what happened and does not want Espiritu to be held accountable in what happened.

“Naging mahalaga rin sa’kin si Eadric kasi for once, I felt na he was a good leader, and I have high hopes for him na he can do this. Pero kahit ganto ‘yung nangyari kahit iniwan niya kami sa ere, I still believe na magkakaroon pa rin siya ng magandang gagawin,

“Ang dami nga niyang problema. […] And if that’s the case, parang ayoko na rin siyang ma-held accountable. Parang it’s better na nag-resign na rin talaga siya para less damage na rin ‘yung mangyari,” she said.

Ronario also dismissed the alleged bullying of the DEKADA party members who then comprised all positions in the ABSC except Espiritu’s.

“I’m not speaking dahil DEKADA ‘ko, I’m not defending dahil DEKADA ‘ko. […] Walang ganon na nangyari. Yung EB trinato siya as kapareho nila, as kapantay. Walang nangyaring pamamaliit kay Eadric. Feeling ko si Eadric na yung may problema. HInahabol naman naming siyang lahat,” Ronario said.

“Ang dami rin rumors na si Eadric yung kawawa, na si Eadric ‘yung pinagtulungan. […] Pero it just breaks my heart na ‘yung council pa ‘yung nasisisi when in fact ‘yung council ‘yung hindi sumuko sa kanya. ‘Yung council ‘yung kahit kailan sinuportahan siya, […] hinabol siya just to know his side,” she said. 

TomasinoWeb tried to reach Espiritu’s side regarding the matter but refused to give a statement. John Aaron Pangilinan with reports from Rabin Bote.



CSC pushes for online class suspension amid UST guidelines

The Central Board recommended the use of online modules like “handouts, video tutorials, and pre-recorded lectures” which the students can use during the break.



Carmina Beatriz Dizon/TomasinoWeb

Eight days after Metro Manila was put under a “community quarantine,” the UST Central Student Council (CSC) Central Board pushed for the suspension of online classes until April 14, 2020 amid the University’s alternative teaching-learning guidelines.  

To make most of the month-long class suspension due to the community quarantine which was later heightened by the government, online classes were introduced to carry on with the semester.

CSC President Robert Dominic Gonzales, however, stressed the differences in the resources of the students to support their online classes.

Students continue to face challenges in complying to these online activities due to factors like internet stability and lack of gadgets like computers and laptops.

A survey was conducted among local colleges to monitor the concerns and statuses of the Thomasian community.

For instance, in the College of Commerce and Business Administration and College of Tourism and Hospitality Management, more than half of the students of each college have no stable internet connection.

The Board recommended the use of online modules like “handouts, video tutorials, and pre-recorded lectures” which the students can use during the break.

Focusing on other matters

In light of the pandemic, Gonzales emphasized the need for the psychological and mental health of the community to be focused on, which is not only limited to the students.

The well-being of the faculty members, non-academic personnel, and the administration is a matter of priority as well in this time of crisis.

Gonzales is with high hopes to the administration’s approval of CSC’s appeal.

“I am sure that the administration listens to our concerns, most especially during these crucial times,” Gonzales said.

He also expressed his gratitude to the backbone of the University amid this health-related crisis.

“[W]e also give utmost gratitude and salute to them for all the efforts that they have exhausted to ensure a holistic approach on the well-being of the Thomasian community,” he added.

When asked if it is most likely to extend the second semester if the administration approves the appeal, Gonzales said that: “The decisions regarding the academic calendar and special terms are to be determined by the administration.”

However, the Board alongside local colleges are “much willing to provide help and support” the endeavors of the University by seeking suggestions from the student body.



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UST shifts to self-paced instruction amid quarantine period

The University’s updated Collective Institutional Guidelines on COVID-19 notes that the current state of calamity and quarantine regulations limit the capacity of students and faculty members to participate in regularly scheduled online classes.



Jacqueline Martinez/TomasinoWeb

[UPDATED] The University will now implement a self-paced instruction amid the quarantine period in Luzon

In the University’s updated Collective Institutional Guidelines on COVID-19 released on March 20, “[r]egularly scheduled daily online classes shall no longer be required” for both students and faculty members.

The updated guidelines notes that the current state of calamity and quarantine regulations limit the capacity of students and faculty members to participate in regularly scheduled online classes.

Faculty members shall still continue providing learning materials which includes video lectures, readings and discussion sessions for students’ self-paced instruction in preparation for formal instruction once classes resume.

Academic unit heads will also determine which examinations or alternative assessments will be held online, or will require in-campus conduct once classes resume.

ADVISORYIn view of the enhanced community quarantine, we advise all Thomasians to heed the government’s mandate to…

University of Santo Tomasさんの投稿 2020年3月20日金曜日

Preliminary and final examinations may still be be integrated depending on the academic units “provided that there were enough student assessments aside from final examinations.” Students must also be informed of the changes in the grading system of affected courses.

The Office of the Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation also suspended all in-campus and off-campus research data gathering, as well as research-related local and international travels. Researchers were advised to do alternative activities.

Meanwhile, the schedule of moving-up ceremonies and commencement exercises will be determined once classes resume and academic calendar has been finalized.

Last March 13, the Office of the Secretary-General suspended the online classes from March 13-14 to give way for personal and family concerns.

Online classes from March 17 to 21 were also cancelled to “allow faculty members and students to attend to personal and family concerns,” “give faculty members time to revisit their course plans,” and “allow students to attend to pending tasks and submissions that were given in the past week.”

President Rodrigo Duterte placed the National Capital Region on a community quarantine from March 15 to April 14, with regular class suspensions in the region extended until April 14.

The code alert system for COVID-19 was raised to code red alert sub-level 2 which indicates evidence of community transmission.

All land, domestic air, and domestic water transportation to and from Metro Manila were barred, and only workers coming from nearby provinces were allowed to enter Metro Manila. Mass gatherings were also prohibited.

As of March 20, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country is now at 230, with 18 fatalities.

On support staff, faculty evaluation, and admission process

Work for all staff shall “remain suspended until further notice” including skeletal workforce arrangement. Only selected on-site workers were allowed to perform work, according to the University’s Human Resource Department memorandum. 

Social distancing should also be observed during the work and all staff are “enjoined to observe work from home arrangement […] to maintain productivity.”

University admission activities for A.Y. 2020-2021 (reservation, confirmation, and enrollment) shall be scheduled once the classes resume. 

Academic units shall also coordinate with the Office of Admissions “to release the appropriate announcements to their respective applicants”.

Meanwhile, the faculty competence evaluation for the second semester will be scheduled once classes resume. It was encouraged “to provide qualitative comments” in the faculty evaluation to highlight their strengths, and help them [address] areas of improvement amid the regular class disruptions. A. Basa with report from J. A. Pangilinan


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CSC president clarifies University hair policies

Robert Dominic Gonzales, the incumbent CSC president, noted the vagueness of the provision in the student guidelines, hence the decision of the administration to clarify the said rule.



Veronica Besario/TomasinoWeb

After garnering varied reactions from students, the University’s Central Student Council (CSC) president explained the clarification of guidelines regarding hair color and hair cut.

Robert Dominic Gonzales, the incumbent CSC president, noted the vagueness of the provision in the student guidelines, hence the decision of the administration to clarify the said rule.

“Nakalagay lang kasi dito ‘students’ hairstyle should be clean, combed and neatly trimmed or fixed. Unconventional hair colors are not permitted,’” Gonzales said quoting from the student’s handbook.

It was the clamor from the students and college deans alike that they sought to draw the line between conventional and unconventional hair colors.

“Basically, there were a lot of clamors from the past few years regarding sa portion dito about unconventional hair colors. So this year they sought to clarify the matters kung ano ba talaga ang tinutukoy na unconventional,” Gonzales expressed.

He reiterated: “When this handbook was released, they did not post any color palette or color shades of those unconventional hair colors.”

He also emphasized that the decision came from the college deans themselves, elaborating: “Majority if I’m not mistaken of the deans voted for the conventional hair colors which was released recently. Yung mga darkest black to darkest brown.”

When asked whether he’s for or against the said policy, Gonzales stated that such rule has no relationship with the students’s academic standing.

“With regards naman if we’re pro or against it, of course, personally speaking, it’s about personally expressing yourself ganoon I’m against the hair policy,” he said.
He further added, “For me, it has no direct relationship whatsoever with the academic performance ng tao.”

Students’ reactions

Meanwhile, this implementation of policy gained varied responses and backlash among the students of the University.

For a student from College of Science, it has been a matter of students subjecting themselves in following institutional guidelines upon enrolling to the university.

“Kasi like kahit ako, I want to color my hair din pero kasi at the same time sinabi ko na sa sarili ko na UST ‘to alam kong medyo hindi nila bet ‘yun, so kumbaga I mentally prepared myself for it like ‘di na ako nag-expect masyado from them,” the student stated.

However, Arts and Letters student Gwen Forones questioned the implementation of the policy, saying “[I don’t know] what are they trying to prove in implementing similar cases just like this when in fact hair color does not hinder academic standing and competence.”

She further added: “[H]indi ba sa panahon ngayon, it is more reliable to pay attention on building students’ drive and character rather than nitpicking their appearances.”

Forones also took a swipe on the conflicted priorities of the system, saying “[O]ur education system seems to be persistent in promoting personal growth.”
She elaborated, “and yet they keep on implementing a policy which restrains the students’ rights to express themselves without causing any harm.”

On a circular dated Feb. 19, the Office of the Secretary-General released a clarificatory announcement regarding acceptable hair style and colors to its students.

According to the guideline addressed to the University administrators, students must be limited to the prescribed spectrum of colors from Level 1 (darkest black) to Level 5 (dark brown).


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