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UST journalism professors: ABS-CBN shutdown ‘work of dictators’

The professors said that running the clock out on ABS-CBN and forcibly shutting it down is an “insidious strategy” at a time in which dissemination of news is vital in informing the public about the ongoing pandemic and government’s exercise of its authority.

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Arden Esmile/TomasinoWeb

The University’s journalism professors denounced media shutdown as “the work of dictators,” after ABS-CBN officially went off-air yesterday evening, the second time in history since late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ Martial Law.

Photo from Christian Esguerra

“Now that ABS-CBN is out of the airwaves, and for the second time since Martial Law, there is no more denying that the Duterte regime will stop at nothingeven amid a national emergency and a crippling lockdownto crush dissent and stifle a free and independent media,” their statement read.

The National Telecommunications Commission’s (NTC) issuance of cease-and-desist order prompted the immediate closure of ABS-CBN whose franchise expired on May 4.

“Duterte has declared a war on the free press and this is his Pearl Harbor Attack. Lawmakers and the NTC had led the public to believe that ABS-CBN would be allowed to operate beyond the expiration of its license,” the professors said.

On March 11, NTC said it would issue a provisional authority which will allow the network to operate until June 2020 while the latter’s franchise renewal is still under Congress deliberation.

The professors said that running the clock out on ABS-CBN and forcibly shutting it down is an “insidious strategy” at a time in which dissemination of news is vital in informing the public about the ongoing pandemic and government’s exercise of its authority.

“We stand with ABS-CBN and urge it to exert all legal remedies to overturn NTC’s cease-and-desist order, and call on lawmakers, particularly members of the House of Representatives, to stop foot-dragging and approve a new franchise for ABS-CBN,” they said.

Free press and free expression, according to the journalism professors, are guaranteed only if granting broadcast franchises will be depoliticized and delegated to an independent regulatory agency.

They also urged the public to speak out, resist media attacks, and “hold the malevolent forces behind this treachery to account.”

Students echo educators

University of Santo Tomas (UST) Journalism Society also condemned the NTC’s “traitorous act” of halting ABS-CBN broadcasting operations.

READ: UST JOURNALISM SOCIETY STATEMENT ON THE CEASE AND DESIST ORDER ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS…

UST Journalism Societyさんの投稿 2020年5月5日火曜日

“The move of the NTC is a clear manifestation of the government’s agenda to silence the media and discourage critical reporting,” the student organization said in their statement following their professors’.

“Silencing ABS-CBN should not be the priority of this government when a virus, not the television network, is the enemy,” they added.

Claiming to advocate for the struggles of the ordinary people while stripping the job off the 11,000 workers of ABS-CBN corporation only reflects the “Janus-faced nature of the administration,” the student organization said.

In February, President Duterte and Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa both claimed to have taken into consideration the welfare of the 11,000 workers who would lose their jobs after the network’s closure.

“For now, the network may be off the air, but the truth will always come out loud and clear,” they said. “History has never been kind to tyrants.”

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Faculty of Pharmacy grieves over loss of biochemistry pillar

The UST Faculty of Pharmacy (FoP) expressed their grief and condolences over the passing of one of the pillars of the Biochemistry Department, Asst. Prof. Peter C. Torres, MSc. 

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Photo courtesy of the University website

The UST Faculty of Pharmacy (FoP) expressed their grief and condolences over the passing of one of the pillars of the Biochemistry Department, Asst. Prof. Peter C. Torres, MSc. 

“Years you have spent in educating and helping your students reach their dreams to become professionals. Although you have departed from us physically, you will remain in all of our hearts forever,” the FoP student council said yesterday, June 4, in their official Twitter account.

Torres is regarded by his students as an “inspirational professor.” He died on June 3 at the age of 64. 

“All of these years wouldn’t go to waste as you have helped your students reach their goals to become professionals and develop their character that would be beneficial in the real-life setting,” the student council also said in their official Facebook page.

Former students of Torres also flocked online to mourn and express their sadness over his death.

“[H]e’s one of the professors that makes for a very interesting panel [during] defense… [H]e has a lot of questions that can test your knowledge,” Biochemistry graduate Lara Lumayag said.

One of his achievements in the academe was his election as one of the directors in the Philippine Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in November 2017. He worked with the organization for two years. Jayziel Khim Budino

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UST partners with Smart telco, distributes free pocket wifi

The Connectivity Assistance Program will benefit both students and faculty members who “may be in need of the gadget that provides much-needed ability to communicate and stay connected for academic activities.”

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The University, in partnership with PLDT and Smart Communications, will provide 5,000 Smart Bro Data and Pocket WiFi with 8GB of free data to students for next academic year, the Office of Public Affairs (OPA) announced, Monday, June 1. 

“UST Rector Very Rev. Fr. Richard G. Ang, O.P. spearheaded the Connectivity Assistance Program that is consistent with the University’s to enable students to succeed in the educative process by ensuring accessibility and flexibility in learning,” the press release reads. 

University of Santo Tomas Press ReleaseUST partners with PLDT/Smart for free pocket Wi-Fi for students

UST Office of Public Affairsさんの投稿 2020年6月1日月曜日

The first ever partnership with the telecommunication company and academic institution was initiated by the Faculty of Engineering and Institute of Information and Computer Sciences.

The Connectivity Assistance Program will benefit both students and faculty members who “may be in need of the gadget that provides much-needed ability to communicate and stay connected for academic activities.”

The University Rector’s program was supported by the Faculty of Engineering dean Philipina A. Marcelo, Ph.D and Institute of Information and Computing Sciences director Jerralyn T. Padua.

Two thousand students, according to Dean Marcelo, have already signed up for the program.

The distribution of the first 500 units started on May 16 via courier services and Dean Marcelo herself within Metro Manila, Cainta, and Bulacan areas, OPA said.

Last April, Thomasians brought in social media their complaints regarding the resumption of online classes, specifically the issue of internet connection and equipment availability.

The Central Student Council also submitted a petition letter to relay to the school administration the concerns of the students. Jayziel Khim Budino

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UST implements ‘enriched virtual mode’ next academic year; extends financial assistance

Rector Rev. Fr. Richard Ang, O.P., in a letter dated May 26, announced that the first term of the academic year will be facilitated through “Enriched Virtual Mode” in which instructors will employ both online and offline remote learning strategies.

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The Office of the Rector urged everyone “to respond, cope, survive, and persist” as it sets to proceed with the upcoming Academic Year 2020-2021 through remote online and offline delivery of classes, Wednesday, May 27.

Rector Rev. Fr. Richard Ang, O.P., in a letter dated May 26, announced that the first term of the academic year will be facilitated through “Enriched Virtual Mode” in which instructors will employ both online and offline remote learning strategies.

“The University shall implement a mode of instruction rooted in the principles of communion and encounter, one that promotes dialogue and ensures accessibility and flexibility in learning,” Ang said regarding the plan to continue learning with the new guidelines.

“We shall optimize the expertise of our faculty, not only through team-teaching approaches, but through carefully planned combinations,” the letter also read.

Face-to-face mode of instruction will only be done once “allowed by government regulations, and shall be done with the strict implementation of public health standards for everyone’s safety.”

Financial assistance

The University further elaborated the plans to allocate financial assistance to its students struggling to continue education with school fees.

The letter stated: “[I]n consideration of the adverse economic impact… the University has taken the initiative to provide our students financial assistance.”

Some of the plans for the upcoming academic year include no tuition fee increase, adjustment of the table of fees, continuation of the scholarships granted during the second term of A.Y. 2019-2020 until the end of the year, and implementation of staggered payment schemes, among others.

Academic Year 2020-2021 is set to start this August 13, with the first term ending on December 18.

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