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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.

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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

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Tourism senior is valedictorian of Batch 2018

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Photo by Earl Balce/TomasinoWeb

A student from the College of Tourism and Hospitality Management was named this year’s batch valedictorian during the 2018 UST Student Awards on Friday, May 18.

Travel Management senior Catherine Mondejar led this year’s recipients of the Rector’s Academic Award, the highest academic award given to students, after obtaining a general weighted average of 1.11.

“As students, we create our own masterpiece. We exert our efforts, use our knowledge, and show our out most dedicated to the task at hand and pursued for academic excellence,” Mondejar said in her speech at the ceremony held at the Quadricentennial Pavilion.

“The awards that we receive today were not handed to us on a silver platter. The road we travelled to reach this point was never easy. Our journey was rough and had many twists and turns. Challenges…ranging from trivial to serious matter, and yet these challenges molded us to be the best persons we are today,” she added.

Other recipients of the Rector Academic Award were Julius Ernhest Berame (Faculty of Philosophy), Bro. Jerone Geronimo, O.P. (Faculty of Sacred Theology), Rolter Lorenz Lee (Faculty of Pharmacy), Fermina Vergara (Faculty of Arts and Letters), Maria Kristina Cassandra Heukshorst (Faculty of Engineering), John Paul Combalicer (College of Education), Jacquelyn Marasigan (College of Science), Chrystelle Jean Fajardo (College of Architecture), Wan Ying Chen (College of Commerce and Business Administration), Denise Faith See (Conservatory of Music), Danielle Grace Tan (Faculty of Nursing), Edward Joseph Tañedo (College of Rehabilitation Sciences), Jelleine Joie Evangelista (College of Fine Arts and Design), Janela Love Nartates (Institute of Physical Education and Athletics), Lahaira Amy Reyes (College of Accountancy), and Bryan Matthew Reolope (Institute of Information and Computing Sciences).

Other Thomasians were also recognized for their leadership and excellence during the ceremony.

The Pope Leo XIII Community Development Award was given to students with outstanding involvements in community development activities. The recipients were Therese Anjhona Mhae Gorospe (Education), Maria Gieniv Valeriano (Nursing), Ma. Diana Kariza Maniti (Commerce and Business Administration), Nicholas Raphael Arcangel (Science), Hannah Mae Medes (Arts and Letters), and Christian Jonel Arnau (Pharmacy).

Thomasians who have led and organized activities that contributed to the welfare of the students were given the Quezon Leadership Award. The recipients were Christian Jonel Arnau (Pharmacy); Roland Roman Lim, Jr. (Engineering); Rafael Luis Lopez, Nicole Cruz, Ralph Gabriel Buella and I-Shan Kuo (Arts and Letters); and Michael Angelo Abad, Robin Renz Salvador, and Joel Joseph Arcamo (Commerce and Business Administration).

UST Red Cross Youth Council- Pharmacy Unit (Pharmacy), UST-ECO Tigers (Engineering), UST Golden Corps of Cadets, and UST Volunteers for UNICEF received Tradition of Excellence, the top honor for student groups that have garnered awards for five consecutive years.

Twenty-eight students and 16 student organizations were given the Benavides Outstanding Achievement Award, which is awarded to those whose performances in regional, national or international competitions, conferences or congresses signify the university’s commitment to excellence. – H.M. Amoroso

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UST improves in May 2018 civil eng’g boards

UST garnered a passing rate of 61.76 percent wherein 21 out of 34 civil engineering graduates made the cut.

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The University posted a higher passing rate in the May 2018 civil engineering licensure examinations.

UST garnered a passing rate of 61.76 percent wherein 21 out of 34 civil engineering graduates made the cut. This was an improvement from last year’s 44.74 percent where 17 out of 21 passed the exam.

De La Salle University – Manila was hailed the top performing school with a 88.14 percent passing rate where a total of 104 out of 118 exam takers passed.

Renz Rodney Fernandez from Western Mindanao State University led this batch of civil engineers with a 93.55-percent rating.

A total of 2,738 out of 7,599 takers passed the May 2018 Civil Engineering Licensure Exams, according to the Professional Regulation Commission.

A total of 6,998 civil engineering graduates took the licensure exams last year with 2,514 making it to the cut.

The examination was administered by the Board of Civil Engineering in the cities of Manila, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Legazpi, Lucena, Pagadian, Tacloban, Tuguegarao and Zamboanga.–H. M. Amoroso

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Thomasians protest Sereno ouster

(2nd UPDATE) In their official statement, the Central Student Council said that “Sereno’s removal as the Chief Justice is an attack on the independence of the judiciary” and urged Thomasians to “uphold the rule of law and due process.”

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Photo by Philip Jamilla/TomasinoWeb.

Progressive groups and students from the University wore blindfolds imitating Lady Justice as they protested along España on Friday to decry the ousting of Maria Lourdes Sereno from her post as Supreme Court (SC) chief justice.

The protesters were joined by Central Student Council (CSC) officers-elect Robert Dominic Gonzales and Jeanne Nicole Naval.

Gonzales told during the protest that the quo warranto petition filed against Sereno is unconstitutional.

“Ang makikita natin dito sa pagpapatalsik kay Chief Justice Sereno, ‘di sinusunod ang konstitusyon na meron tayo sa bansa. Paano pa ang ibang probisyon sa konstitusyong ito?” Gonzales asked.

Meanwhile, for Naval, the removal of Sereno from office is like “going back to the Marcos era.”

Nonetheless, she urged that “it’s high time for us to protect our nation, to protect our people.”

In their official statement, the CSC said that “Sereno’s removal as the Chief Justice is an attack on the independence of the judiciary” and urged Thomasians to “uphold the rule of law and due process.”

The Faculty of Civil Law Student Council, meanwhile, said that the issue is not merely about the ousting of Sereno but that it is “a bigger battle” for “true democracy and liberty.”

Student councils from the Senior High School Student, Alfredo M. Velayo – College of Accountancy, Faculty of Arts and Letters and College of Rehabilitation Sciences have similarly released statements supporting Sereno.

 

Sereno ouster an attack on women, democratic institutions

Justine Reyes of feminist organization UST Hiraya decried the ousting of Sereno as an attack on women, particularly those critical of the administration.

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“Mga kababaihang pinaglalaban ang ating mga karapatan, tulad nina CJ Sereno, Sister Fox, Gina Lopez. These are powerful women who know what they fight for. Sa kanila takot na takot ang ating administrasyon,” Reyes said.

Representatives from Anakbayan UST and League of Filipino Students UST further told that the Sereno ouster is merely the latest in a series of attacks on democratic institutions in the country under the Duterte regime.

Along with calls to uphold judiciary independence, the groups also protested for press freedom and demanded justice for slain priests Mark Ventura and Marcelito Paez, among other issues.

Sereno was removed from office yesterday morning after the SC en banc voted 8-6 in favor of the quo warranto petition, invalidating Sereno’s appointment as chief justice.

She was appointed by former President Benigno Aquino III.

She is the second chief justice to be removed from office after Renato Corona was ousted in 2012. This is, however, the first time that the SC ousted its own chief justice.

The petition has been slammed by various groups as a violation of constitutional processes and Sereno’s right to undergo an impeachment trial.

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