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Performers express dismay over ‘hurried’ Paskuhan concert

The sets of performers were allegedly cut short as organizers hurried to end the program in time for the fireworks display.

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(SECOND UPDATE 9:49 p.m. Dec. 17, 2016) Some performers from the Paskuhan concert last Dec. 16, Friday, are dismayed over an apparent mishandling of the event by organizers and production staff.

Band members of Jensen and the Flips, Miles Experience, Autotelic and Gracenote went on Twitter to express their distaste with the actions of the organizers and production staff.

“Pag sinabi nilang 5 mins na lang tapos na set mo, matic na last song na yun. So hintayin niyo na lang kami matapos wag yung “wrap it up” pa,” tweeted Choi Padilla of Jensen and the Flips.

The sets of performers were allegedly cut short as organizers hurried to end the program in time for the fireworks display.

Josh Villena of Autotelic said in now-deleted tweets that their original six-song set was cut to two songs, then was extended to three songs, then cut to two songs again, until they were finally allowed to perform three songs.

“[G]usto ng bands to have a good working relationship with the organizers. [S]ayang naman kung tratuhin silang parang utusan,” Villena added.

In a viral video, Gracenote vocalist Eunice Jorge was seen being interrupted by a host as she belted out the last few notes of “When I Dream About You”.

this is what happened last night #USTPaskuhan2016pic.twitter.com/0HJn7nF8wl

— tyra danielle (@tyradaniellee) December 17, 2016

“Dear thomasians, I was too excited to play and didn’t see that coming. Your prod team broke my [heart] in less than 12mins. Till we meet again,” Jorge said.

Guido Hizon of Miles Experience tweeted, “Kesa i-cut niyo yung sets ng mga banda, why not give the Thomasians the freedom to choose kung concert o fireworks ang gusto nila panoorin?”

Performers were said to have been cut-off while on stage as the organizers speed things up for Thomasians to view the fireworks display.

Despite the mishap, the band members said that they still enjoyed performing for Thomasians.

“Paskuhan prod, ill be honest – you are a pain BUT Thomasians always makes it hard for the band to unlove UST. Ill focus on that. We love UST!” said Maysh Baay of Moonstar88 in a tweet.

  “Pero of course, nagenjoy pa din kami. Sana lang na execute ng maayos. Salamat, UST! Sa uulitin! Sana next year uli,” said Padilla.

  “Learning lesson sana to treat your bands nicely. Nang makaulit. Thank you pa din UST 🙂 we had fun!” said Villena.

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Paskuhan was organized by the Central Student Council (CSC), the Student Organizations Coordinating Council (SOCC) in partnership with Tomasian Cable Television (TOMCAT) and several University offices.

In an apparent response to criticism on social media Central Board Speaker Nykko Bautista likened the situation to someone attempting to give soup to a baby without a bowl and utensils.

Meanwhile, Student Organizations Coordinating Council (SOCC) President Lois Locson has tweeted her apologies.

 TomasinoWeb is still trying to reach the CSC, the SOCC and TOMCAT for comment.

The concert was planned to be held at the UST Grandstand, but was held at the Quadricentennial Pavillion in anticipation of a downpour.

“If only we can control where to have Paskuhan, we would have put it in Grandstand,” Locson said.

Thomasian performers like the UST Saliggawi Dance Troupe, Teavana, a band from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Thomasian Idol winner John Saga and Miles Experience also performed in the concert.

Other performers include The Ransom Collective, Hale, Iñigo Pascual and Yeng Constantino.

Paskong Tomasino

Around 60,000 people flocked to UST on Friday to join in the 25th year of Paskuhan, themed “Paskong Tomasino Para Sa’yo!”

Light rain did not dampen the spirits of those who watched the fireworks display to the tune of anime theme songs like Voltes V.

Just like the previous years, the Security Office enforced tight security to control the flow of visitors. Outsiders were not allowed to enter the campus unless accompanied by a Thomasian.

Two Junior students from the College of Education said that they expected a reprise of last year’s 3D wall mapping.

“Last year kasi, yung preparations nila, napansin ko ngayon wala masyadong lights. Last year kasi bongga kasama nung lightshow.”

Visitors like Yuri Tabayoyong of St. Jude College Manila said that it was last year’s Paskuhan activities that caught her interest.

“Fireworks. Tapos sana magkaroon uli ‘yung lightshow. Madami kasi nagsasabi na maganda and madaming tao,” Tabayoyong said.

The two-day revelry started with a Mass celebrated by Rector Very Rev. Fr. Herminio Dagohoy and the Agape, where members of the Thomasian community were given chicken and lechon. -M.W.D.P.

Editor’s Note: This story has been edited to be more discrete with the use of the words “organizers” and “production staff.” Corrections have also been made to reflect that TOMCAT is not one of the organizers, but is one of the partners. Our apologies for the misidentification.

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‘Democratic spaces shrink amid COVID-19 pandemic’—PhilRights exec

Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PhilRights) executive director expressed concern over reduction of civic and democratic spaces in the country as an effect of the “worsening spate” of extra-judicial killings amid COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Photo grabbed from the official Facebook page of UST Simbahayan

Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PhilRights) executive director expressed concern over reduction of civic and democratic spaces in the country as an effect of the “worsening spate” of extra-judicial killings amid COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Transparency and accountability are not government priorities. A culture of impunity continues to be perpetuated by the government,” PhilRights Executive Director Nymia Pimentel-Simbulan said. 

Simbulan, who is also the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of UP Manila, emphasized that passing the Anti-Terror Law of 2020 and lowering the age of criminal liability are “anti-people policies” propagated by the government’s legal apparatus. 

“Part of the efforts of the government to discourage protest actions, political actions intended to call the attention of the government to policies and programs that are anti-people is the framing of civic participation as a destabilizing force,” she said.

Duterte’s core principle of governance

Simbulan condemned the blatant red-tagging of democrative defenders and government critics that recently claimed the lives of Randall Echanis and Zara Alvarez, further highlighting the 2019 Global Peace Index which placed the Philippines as the second least peaceful country in the Asia-Pacific. 

She noted that the government playbook normalizes violence as there are efforts being undertaken by the administration to “make people accept violence” as part of their daily lives.

“President Duterte’s core principle of governance is violence, and even the international community has not failed to recognize this,” Simbulan said. 

However, Simbulan said that there are “glimmers of hope” in different forms of resistance such as continued mobilizations, documentations, and lobbying of petitions in Congress and Supreme Court. 

The webinar titled, “Francisco de Vitoria Linggo ng Karapatang Pantao” was spearheaded by the UST – Simbahayan Community Development Program as a part of the annual human rights activities series every September.

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CSC welcomes interim officers

The University of Santo Tomas Central Student Council (UST-CSC) announced on Sunday, Sept. 13, the new set of interim officers in Central Board for the academic year (AY) 2020-2021.

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Photo courtesy of Hector Armando Sarion, Carl Christian Lumberio, and Montgomery Alexander Tan

The University of Santo Tomas Central Student Council (UST-CSC) announced on Sunday, Sept. 13, the new set of interim officers in the Central Board for the academic year (AY) 2020-2021.

CSC acknowledged three new faces in provisionally handling the position of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, and Secretary-General.

On May 21, The University’s Commision on Elections postponed both local and central student council elections for the AY 2020-2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their resolution declared all non-graduating incumbent officers as interim officers until elections are rescheduled. 

Hector Armando Sarion from the College of Education Student Council was elected as the Interim Speaker, Carl Christian Lumberio from the College of Commerce and Business Administration Student Council as the Interim Deputy Speaker, and Montgomery Alexander Tan from the Accountancy Student Council as the Secretary-General.

In an interview with TomasinoWeb, Sarion said that one of the challenges he expects during his term as the Interim Speaker is the gap that online classes create for the Thomasian students.

“[I]t’s not just a matter of internet connectivity, but also the inclusivity and accommodation of the diverse learners in our university. It’s the main call that we leave no student left behind,” Sarion said.

Sarion also said that the new CSC will continue the projects concerning the University’s Student Code.

“[W]e would always do our very best on having updates from the officials and progress back from the past academic year wherein we had meetings concerning the students’ code,” Sarion stated.

In addressing the challenges of online classes, Lumberio said that the approach must be “get and about,” in which the officials would engage with the student body and take the time to assess issues and problems.

“The key lies in making a more conscious effort to be present, that there is someone who will be pertinacious in standing firm in upholding and protecting the rights and welfare of the whole Thomasian Community,” Lumberio told TomasinoWeb.

For Tan, prompt assistance to every student is one of his leadership agendas.

“One of my plans for our term is the ‘Students’ Help Desk.’ Based on my observation, a lot of students are having a hard time reaching the different UST offices for their urgent concerns,” Tan said.

According to Tan, he wants the students to feel his leadership despite the pandemic.

“It has always been my motto that ‘actions speak louder than words.’ I will not promise empty words but rather bring about results that will eventually benefit the whole community,” Tan said. “Therefore, I want the studentry to feel my leadership through my actions and results.”

Sarion, Lomberio, and Tan succeeded Lady Freyja Gascon, Lorenzo Gabriel Banayo, and Sean Matthew Sison respectively.

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Student organizations slam Pemberton pardon

Three University student organizations expressed their dissent over President Duterte’s Sept. 7 decision granting U.S Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton absolute pardon. 

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Carmina Beatriz Dizon/TomasinoWeb

Three University student organizations expressed their dissent over President Duterte’s Sept. 7 decision granting U.S Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton absolute pardon. 

“We strongly condemn the absolute pardon granted by the president as it is a clear depiction of the selective justice in the Philippines, which has little to no regard for human rights,” UST Hiraya’s Sept. 9 statement read. 

UST Hirayaさんの投稿 2020年9月9日水曜日

On Oct. 11, 2014 Jennifer Laude was found dead naked on the floor of a comfort room in Celzone Lodge. Her autopsy report indicated that she died due to “asphyxia by drowning.” 

Pemberton served less than six years in prison after being convicted of homicide in December 2015. He was originally sentenced to six to 12 years in prison which was reduced to 10 years in 2016. 

“Pemberton must be jailed in New Bilibid Prison to serve his rightful sentence,” League of Filipino Students (LFS) – UST said on Twitter.

Pemberton’s release was ordered by Judge Roline Ginez-Jabalde. She ruled that the American serviceman has served his maximum jail term with good conduct and time allowance credits. 

“No amount of good conduct will be enough to redeem Pemberton’s gruesome murder of Laude six years ago, and this act of cowardice by the administration screams injustice not only to the Laude family, but also to the LGBTQ+ community,” TomasinoWeb’s statement read. 

Both LFS – UST and TomasinoWeb echoed that Pemberton’s release is a “disregard towards basic human rights.”

A call for safe spaces

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According to Hiraya, Pemberton’s absolute pardon is a “repulsive manifestation” of the country’s disregard for human human and transgender rights. 

“[S]etting a murderer free would only reinforce the systemic discrimination and violence pervasive in our country,” Hiraya said. 

Hiraya highlighted the need for a strengthened law that will protect Filipinos from crimes and violence based on gender convictions. 

They also stressed that this is the “high time to champion” safe spaces for all through legislative and judiciary measures.

The government confirmed yesterday, Sept.11, that Pemberton was already undergoing the process of deportation to the United States. Jose Ama Rosario 

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