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Polish icon, new UST Honorary Professor




     “I was a revolutionary and I am. I want to be the last revolutionary and have many statues. And it is up to you if I will be successful there.”

     Former President of Poland Lech Walesa said, challenging the youth to act for a true democracy, in his lecture “Role of Faith on the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy” after his conferment of the title Honorary Professor by the University of Santo Tomas last November 27.

     The title was conferred by Rector Magnificus Rev. Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, O.P. for his exceptional recognition as a leader of the nationwide social movement of Solidarnosc (Solidarity), which was responsible for bringing down the communist regime in Poland.

     Walesa received the diploma and professor’s medallion from Fr. Dagohoy, inside the Medicine Auditorium, while Secretary General Fr. Winston Cabading O.P. read the citation.

     “You directed the transformation of Solidarity from a free and independent trade union to the first major opposition party to offer Polish voters an alternative to communism accelerating the process of political change in Poland. You are a man of people who has always regarded the Catholic faith as a source of strength and inspiration, and the courage and the moral vision of a hero of Polish independence and a symbolic figure that influenced political changes in Eastern Europe and the eventual downfall of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War.”

     In his lecture, the 69-year-old gave emphasis to the power of the youth that can change a country’s political system to a true democracy, appealing to the youth to ‘teach’ the adults.

     “Every politician who wants to be a politician has to agree to have a chip on him and all his movements must be written there. If he didn’t write, if we cannot check him, his family cannot be a politician for the next 50 years… You, youth, prepare such program for us,” he said.

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     Walesa also stressed on the importance of faith and the role of the Catholic Church in his fight with Communism to freedom and democracy.

     “We didn’t know how to put everything in the right place. And intellectually, we can’t match the intellect of the Church. Poland will not be free without the Church.”

     Walesa, advocate of non-violent human rights activism against the communist regime, has won the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize. As a president for five years from 1990, he led his country’s transformation from a communist to a democratic republic with esteem to the Catholic faith.

     “Let us build future on values and solidarity and I hope no one will say it’s impossible. It is not overnight. I lost my battles but I won my war.”

     Walesa was the second head of state to be conferred as an honorary professor by the University this year, after former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad last June.

Like Cory Aquino
     Walesa, as characterized by the Poland Ambassador to the Philippines Adam Jelonek, is like the country’s former President Corazon Aquino who restored democracy during the first EDSA People Power revolution.

     “Like Cory Aquino, he was a symbol for better future, justice, and freedom. He is the person who gave us freedom, the person with the purest incarnation of Polishness,” Jelonek said.

     In 1980, Walesa led Gdansk shipyard strike which gave rise to a wave of strikes over much of Poland which succeeded and forced the authorities to give the workers the right to organize their own independent union.

     With the support from the Catholic Church, Walesa and the Solidarity Movement was cordially received by Pope John Paul II in the Vatican in 1982.

By Romhelyn M. Benipayo
Photo taken by Paulo Angelo Juan



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.



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. 



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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SHS code of conduct bans recording of online classes

“Video or audio recording of the virtual activity using any type of gadgets or taking any screenshots, photos, audio of class activities without permission from participants is prohibited,” the conforme reads. 



Gwen Dungao/TomasinoWeb

The Senior High School Department of the University released a Code of Conduct banning the sharing of video lectures without permission from the participants during online classes. 

“Video or audio recording of the virtual activity using any type of gadgets or taking any screenshots, photos, audio of class activities without permission from participants is prohibited,” the conforme reads. 

According to the memo, video recording of lectures may be done with the permission of the teacher for the sole purpose of learning, and such recording cannot be shared to students outside the class. 

The memo also forbids the students from publicly posting photos, videos, and audio recording of activities on social media without prior approval from all the participants. 

Last Sept. 2, a video circulating on social media showed a professor lecturing a student about rape and embracing her father as “a gift from God” despite raping and assaulting her. 

In separate incidents, a viral post also revealed a professor asking students why they enrolled when they’re having connectivity issues in the first place, while another one exposed a teacher berating a student due to delayed response

CSC backs complaints

Central Student Council President Robert Gonzales assured the Thomasian community on Sept. 3 that they are taking necessary steps to address and assist the issue of the circulating video online. 

To give an update, we (together with the class officers, local student councils, & societies) are currently taking action and assisting the involved sections in filing formal complaints,” Gonzales said on Twitter. 

He reminded everyone to be “prudent” in sharing materials online and that the best way to proceed in case such things happen is by filing formal complaints.

“I understand the frustrations brought upon by the different scenarios but let us also be prudent when it comes to posting/publicly sharing these videos so as to avoid repercussions on our end. It is still best for us to proceed with the proper avenues of filing complaints,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales urged both students and teachers alike that “extending compassion is a must when it comes to online classes.”

He also reiterated that student councils and department societies are ready to help on issues regarding online classes.


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