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Thomasian publications, media groups condemn attacks on press freedom

Student publications and media organizations of the University joined the calls to defend press freedom in the midst of the government’s ‘attacks’ on journalists and the media.

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Several publications and media organizations of the University lambasted the government’s “attacks on press freedom” in a statement on Thursday, following the ban of a Rappler reporter from Malacañang.

“We, student publications, writers and media organizations of the University of Santo Tomas, strongly manifest our unity with other media organizations in condemning the Duterte administration’s efforts to stifle press freedom in the country,” the statement titled “Uphold the truth! Defend press freedom!” read.

It added: “In these crucial times when our freedoms are being attacked and threatened, we, campus journalists, writers, and media practitioners, must stand and fight to defend our rights.”

Rappler reporter and Malacañang Press Corps (MPC) member Pia Ranada was prevented from entering the New Executive Building in Malacañang on Tuesday morning, Feb. 20. A day after, Ranada said she was informed by Malacañang that she could no longer enter the entire palace complex.

In a press conference, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque revealed that it was President Rodrigo Duterte himself who ordered his officials to ban Ranada and Rappler from covering his events in the Malacañang.

Nonetheless, the MPC stated that Ranada would remain a member unless the Court of Appeals upholds the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ruling on Rappler’s registration.

Last month, the SEC revoked Rappler’s certificate of registration, sparking protests from various media groups, militant organizations, and politicians (READ: Media groups protest attacks on press freedom).

The groups, moreover, expressed concern over the President’s “repeated” disregard for the law.

“It is alarming that President Rodrigo Duterte himself—who has repeatedly shown contempt for human rights, rule of law, and checks and balances—is now going after the free press to silence and intimidate critics of his administration,” the document stated.

In his second State of the Nation Address, the President also attacked other major media outfits such as the Philippine Daily Inquirer and ABS-CBN, accusing them of being biased in their reports about him. The statement also cited the blocking of the license renewal of the 54 radio stations of the Catholic Media Network, which is owned by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, media watchdog Reporters Without Borders declared the country the deadliest country in Asia for journalists, with a record of four journalists killed last year.

Other reported killings of journalists were also recorded by local media groups such as the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism in the first 16 months of the Duterte administration, including death threats from local officials and pro-administration bloggers.

The statement also condemned threats on campus publications, particularly the military surveillance and red-tagging of campus journalists in Bicol, and Mocha Uson’s tirades on Ateneo de Manila University’s Matanglawin after it lampooned Uson’s blog in 2016.

Furthermore, the groups stated that they “will continue to serve the people and stand for freedom, democracy, and most importantly, veritas: The truth.”

The signatories of the statement include Amierielle Anne Bulan, editor-in-chief of The Varsitarian; Philip Jamilla, executive editor of TomasinoWeb; Noelle Aetana Malagkit, chief communications officer of the Tomasian Media Circle and Talents; Joshua Carl Palomera, president of the Thomasian Writers Guild; Mikkah Factor, editor-in-chief of The Flame; Mary Joy Abalos, editor-in-chief of La Stampa Tomasino; Ristel Mae Tagudando, editor-in-chief of The Purple Gazette; Patricia Lee Yanga, president of the UST Journalism Society; and Neal Andreu Tayco, president of the UST Literary Society.

University officials have not expressed their stand regarding the matter as of press time.—M. G. Parlade

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UST aces June 2018 nursing boards

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The University posted a perfect passing rate in the June 2018 licensure examination for nurses as all four Thomasian examinees passed.

Carmela Niña Sampaga Tormo led the new batch of Thomasian nurses, landing on the ninth spot with a score of 85.60 percent.

Last year, UST also recorded a perfect passing rate in which all the four Thomasian examinees passed.

Mark Tristan Pangilinan Robosa of University of Pangasinan topped this year’s board exams with a score of 87.60 percent.

Meanwhile, West Visayas State University – La Paz, Velez College and Xavier University were named top performing schools with a perfect passing rate.

According to the Professional Regulation Commission, 4,326 out of 9,873 examinees nationwide passed the board exam. 

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UST retains spot in 2019 QS world ranking, fourth in PH top universities

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The University retained its spot on the 801-1,000 bracket of the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings, placing fourth among the Philippine universities that made it on the list.

The University of the Philippines kept its place as the country’s top university despite going down in the 384th place from last year’s 367th.

Ateneo de Manila University went down to the 651-700 bracket from the 551-600 last year.

Moreover, De La Salle University joined UST in the 801-1,000 bracket after dropping from last year’s 701-750 bracket.

Despite remaining unmoved from its last year’s spot, UST remained as the only Philippine university to receive a QS four-star rating.

A four-star rated university is “highly international, demonstrating excellence in both research and teaching,” the QS Top Universities website stated.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was hailed again for the seventh-straight year as the top university in the world.

The National University of Singapore dethroned the Nanyang Technological University as the best in Asia, placing 11th worldwide.

The universities are evaluated based on six factors: academic reputation (40%) , employer reputation (10%) ,  faculty/student ratio (20%) , citations per faculty (20%), international faculty ratio (5%), and international student ratio (5%).—B. Laforga

 

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UST slumps in May 2018 chemical eng’g boards

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The University posted a lower passing rate in the May 2018 licensure examination for chemical engineers.

UST registered a 20.69-percent passing rate, wherein only six out of 29 Thomasians passed. Last year, the University garnered a passing rate of 58.82 percent, with 20 out of 34 Thomasian passers.

However, no Thomasians made it to the roster of topnotchers.

Peter Matthew Paul Toribio Fowler of Mapua Institute of Technology-Manila led the new batch of chemical engineers with a score of 83 percent. Meanwhile, De La Salle University-Manila remained as the top performing school, recording a 96.55-percent passing rate.

According to the Professional Regulation Commission, 296 out of 636 examinees nationwide passed the board exam.

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