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uplb perspective 0809 - 4th ish

uplb perspective 0809 - 4th ish



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December 15, 2008
More studentsrely onSLB,STFAP for tuition discount
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UP Diliman -- Human rights advocates, civil libertarians andmembers of progressive multisectoral groups gathered last Nov.22 to launch the Task Force Defend Southern Tagalog (DEFEND-ST) in response to the widespread political persecution againstactivists and leaders of militant organizations in the region.
Pastor Berlin Guerrero, spokesperson of DEFEND-ST, related theongoing crackdown against activists and progressive leaders in ST through mass charging. Criminal cases including multiple murderand frustrated multiple murder were filed against 72 individuals, nowtagged as ST-72. Separate cases of arson and rebellion in the past were also filed against 27 individuals.
Among the ST-72 include Los Baños resident Pedro “PJ” Santos Jr., 26, secretary general of Anakbayan-Southern Tagalog and formerUPLB USC Chair Bayani “Bani” Cambronero, 48, regional coordinatorof Bayan Muna Partylist.As of Nov. 20, six have already been arrested and detained atthe Calapan City District Jail in Oriental Mindoro. They are RemigioSaladero Jr., chief legal counsel of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU); RogelioGalit, spokesperson of Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid sa Kabite(Kamagsasaka-Ka), Nestor San Jose, local leader of the transportsector; Crispin Zapanta, member of Bayan Muna; Arnaldo Seminiano,organizer of the Ilaw-Buklod ng Manggagawa (IBM); and, EmmanuelDionida, executive director of labor institute LEADERS. The ST-72 wasallegedly part of a raid by the New People’s Army (NPA) in Calapan Cityin March 2006.
Meanwhile, Atty. Rachel Pastores of the Public Interest LawCenter, legal counsel for DEFEND-ST, stressed the lack of due processin the case of ST-72. The case was first filed last May 2006 which originally hasonly one defendant and several John Does, a legal term referring tofictitious individuals. The two PNP officials, however, did not identifythe John Does until after one year and four months when amendedinformation on the case was filed against ST-72. After archiving thecase in May 2007, no motion was made to revive the case.Pastores said “the amended information in itself is highlyirregular,” arguing the prosecutor relied only on the affidavit of Vincent Silva who claimed to be a deep penetration agent (DPA)involved in the ambush.She pointed out Silva’s testimony is highly questionable sincethe latter did not swear before a lawyer, which makes his testimonyan “invalid and inadmissible” extrajudicial confession. The legalcounsel added that Silva did not mention anything about the allegedparticipation of the 72 individuals in the said ambush. Also, theaffidavits of the police who filed the complaint only described 15armed men ambushing a police station in Calapan City.In addition, Pastores said the lawyer failed to conduct a hearing,to issue a subpoena to the defendants and to conduct a preliminaryinvestigation on the case. Despite the lack of inquiry on probablecause, she added that the judge accepted the amended informationand immediately issued warrants of arrest against the ST-72. She alsosaid the judge failed to hold a hearing and to inform the respondents.Pastores is confident that the charges would be dismissed, givenits lack of merits. However, she fears the case will turn into anotherpolitical persecution void of respect to rule of law and to due process.
Meanwhile, militant youth group Anakbayan-ST, in a statementcondemning the mass charging of activists describing it as “part of asystematic vilification campaign” of the Arroyo administration to tagprogressive militant groups for being communist fronts.According to the statement, the criminalization and politicalpersecution of activists are an extension of Oplan Bantay Laya 2,an anti-insurgency campaign of the Arroyo administration believedby activists that is responsible for the spate of political killings andenforced disappearances.
Reality Shows
pae 7
72 ST activists facemurder raps
Aaron Joseph Aspi
“Akbista ang tatay ko, hindi kriminal!”Dana Marcellana, daughter of OrlyMarcellana, aested to her father’s workas a peasant leader in the forum-launchingof DEFEND-ST. Her mother, human rightsworker Eden Marcellana was killed bysuspected military elements in 2003.
 Militants fear intensied political persecution
UPLb Perspective
December 15, 2008
Baker Hall to be convertedto Museum Complex
Estel Lenwij Estropia
Plans to build over thevicinity of the Baker Hall upto the Department of MilitaryScience Training (DMST) building a museum complex areunderway.
 This is according to Dr.Fernando Sanchez, Assistant tothe Vice Chancellor for Planningand Development.Sanchez said that thoughno target date has been set,the construction of the “EdwinBingham Copeland MuseumComplex” will depend on theavailability of funds. The Baker Hall will becomethe UPLB History Museum, wherethe university’s roots since theestablishment of the UP Collegeof Agriculture as well as thehistorical and cultural backgroundof Southern Tagalog will be traced.Meanwhile, the Departmentof Human Kinetics (DHK) will bemoved to the new gymnasiumbeing built between the VeterinaryMedicine building and Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) building.“As of now, the resources
are focused [on] nishing the
gymnasium for the students, sohopefully by after the school yeartapos na ‘yun [gymnasium],” saidSanchez.Meanwhile, Sanchez said theDMST will be converted into anArts Museum. The DMST wouldthen be moved to the ATI buildingso that there would be no need toconstruct another building.A new complex will also bebuilt in the area that includes thebarracks, tennis and basketballcourt for a Natural HistoryMuseum.
[P]Beads of sweat cloudedKristine Cas’ brow. She fansherself with creased pieces of papers – probably applicationforms. It would’ve been easyyielding to her longing to takea rest, but her desire to getdiscount on her tuition and helpher family made her dismiss thethought of leaving the line, evenif it means waiting for hours,
or even days, just to nish her
application for Student LoanBoard (SLB) and SocializedTuition and Financial AssistanceProgram (STFAP).
Being aware of the loomingend of the registration, Kristinefeels all the more uneasy. Shecould be seen almost every dayfor the whole registration weekat the Student Union building,incessantly heaving sighs asshe waits among the long line of students.Kristine is but one of themany students who rely on SLBand STFAP during enrolmentperiod just to be able to lessen theburden of Tuition and other FeesIncrease (ToFI) on her pocket.
SLB and STFAP were designed
to provide nancial assistance to
students who cannot shoulder thefull cost of tuition. Last semester,2,068 students applied for STFAP,916 of which are from batch ’08, while 785 are from batch ’07. Only367 students from upper batchesthat were not affected by ToFIapplied for STFAP last semester.Meanwhile, of the 3,384students who availed of SLB lastschool year, 45 percent or 1,515applicants are freshmen. It isfollowed by seniors constituting20 percent of the total applicants with 688 applicants, while 35percent or 1,181 applicants aresophomores, juniors and graduateschool students.In addition, the Scholarshipand Financial Assistance Division(SFAD) recorded that the totalloan granted to students hasamounted to P33, 688,064.35last school year. An amount of P24,680,129.40 has been availedby freshmen, P2,760,746.00 bysophomores, P2,739,645.39 by juniors, P3,024,095.56 by seniors,and P483,448.00 by graduateschool students.Dorothy Litan, head of SFAD,said, “About the same ‘yungnumber ng applicants [compared with last year] pero ‘yungequivalent amount mas malakingayon dahil mas marami angfreshman [at] sophomore ngayonna affected ng ToFI. So maliit nalang na portion ‘yung old rate.”
For the rst semester,
2068 applied for STFAP with anadditional of 113 more applicantsas of Nov. 17 for 2nd semester.Meanwhile, 2,388 studentsapplied for SLB as of Nov.21 for2nd semester.
 Despite the temporary
nancial relief offered by STFAP
and SLB, Kristine still believesthat these programs are notenough to prevent her tuition fromconsuming a large portion of herfamily’s income.“Oo, nakakatulong,pero kulang pa rin talaga.Namamahalan pa rin kami [satuition]. Iba ang expectationsnamin [dati sa UP], mas mura [anghalaga ng edukasyon],” Kristinerelated.
Being classied under bracket
C, she is given 40 percent subsidyfor her tuition, saving her frompaying P 1,000 per unit wholesaleevery semester.Describing her previousSTFAP application, Kristine saidthe processing of STFAP was slow.She said it took the whole 1stsemester before discount on hertuition has been available.Although many students were able to avail SLB andSTFAP, many still resorted toapplying for Leave of Absence(LOA) and Absence Without Leave
(AWOL), nding SLB and STFAPinsufcient to back them up withtheir nancial liabilities in the
Barely nishing her second
 year in the university, KarlMatsumoto, with her eagernessto study hard, never expectedthat she will be out of school thissemester. She decided to applyfor LOA since she was not allowedto enroll this semester becauseshe failed to pay her SLB lastsemester.She applies regularly for SLBfor the past three semestersand has been assigned to BracketC of the STFAP.“Sa totoo lang ‘di sapat angSTFAP at SLB [para sa] mgaestudyante. Sa sobrang pagtaasng tuition, masyado pa ringmataas ang kailangang bayarankahit may loan na at STFAP,” Karlshared.
Students have been giventhe opportunity to choose theirmost convenient way of surviving
nancial constraints inside the
university.Asked how she can be ableto continue her schooling and goback to the university, Karl said,“Sa totoo lang pag-LOA lang angalam kong paraan para makapag-ipon muna ng pangbayad sa SLB.”She said she plans to appeal for
reclassication to a lower bracket
to avail of greater discount, butthen changed her mind, thinkingit would take too long and inthe long run would still prove
to be insufcient to support hernancially.
Kristine on the other handsaid she will continue relying on
STFAP and SLB, nding no other
 way to sustain her in a universityhaving a costly education.With high tuition imposed onthem, students face the constant
katrina ElauriaPHOTO
Hopeful students line up in front of the Scholarship and Financial Assistance Divisionwindows to apply for nancial support or le Leave of Absence during one of thelongest registraon periods in UPLB since the implementaon of TOFI.
Roene gonales
More students rely on SLB, STFAP for tuition discount
On TOFI’s 2nd year 
Rules for SR process set for referendum
UP students will haveto exceed the success of the
plebiscite that ratied the 1984
UPLB Student Council (SC)
Constitution, as the Codied
Rules for Student RegentSelection (CRSRS) is set for asystem-wide referendum on
January 19-23, 2009.
 The Student Regent (SR) isthe lone student representativein the Board of Regents (BOR),the highest policy-making bodyof UP. SR Shahana Abdulwahidsaid the referendum poses atough challenge to the studentmovement as its failuremight mean the loss of ourrepresentation in the BOR.Certain provisions regardingSR selection were revised whenthe 2008 UP Charter or R.A. 9500 was signed into law last April 29.Section 12g states that an SRshall be chosen “in accordance
 with rules and qualications
approved in a referendum by thestudents.”
 The referendum requiresthat the CRSRS gather a 50percent-plus-one participationor approximately 26,000 votesfrom at least 52,000 UP students,said Abdulwahid. Only when thereferendum has earned a majority“yes-vote” would the selectionof the next SR proceed, similarto the process undergone bythe plebiscite for the UPLB SCConstitution.
Abdulwahid said the system- wide campaign for the referendumis a chance to highlight the
importance of the Ofce of the
Student Regent (OSR) to UPstudents.“Magandang paraan ito paramaipaabot sa mga estudyantena kung mayroong concerns nakailangang tugunan ang SR atleast alam nila na mayroong nag-eexist na ganitong entity sa BOR,”she said. The SR has voting power indeliberations of university policiesduring BOR meetings. The SRalso conducts consultations inall UP units and coordinates withstudent councils for campaignsand information disseminationsuch as the call for the junkingand immediate rollback of the Tuition and Other Fee Increase.
Gathering the required votescalls for extensive support fromstudents since UP units usuallyregister low voter’s turnout duringelections, Abdulwahid said.“Gagawa tayo ng history.‘Yanay base sa kung ano angkapasyahan ng mga estudyante,”she added.UPLB’s successful conduct of 
the plebiscite for the ratication
of the UPLB-SC Constitutionattained a 70.54 percent turnout
 with 95.5 percent afrmative
vote. This overwhelming successgave UP President EmerlindaRoman the impression that thereferendum is not impossible toachieve, according to Abdulwahid.Meanwhile, UniversityStudent Council (USC)
Student leaders call all UP units to defend OSR
Chairperson Charisse BernadineBañez said the UPLB USC stands
rm in defending the OSR and
made the campaign part of its ongoing democratic rightscampaign. Through its Students’ Rightsand Welfare Committee, theUSC has coordinated with localCollege Student Councils andstudent organizations to discussthe existing CRSRS and the UPCharter of 2008.
Abdulwahid said a failedreferendum would not onlydelay the SR selection but alsopossibly extend her term until the
referendum satises the required
votes.“Maaaring wala ring SR [at]magbigay ito ng ibang puwangng intervention mula sa externalgroups [administration],” shestressed.In a letter in response toAbdulwahid’s inquiries,
What is the CRSRS?
Since 1997, the Codied
Rules for Student RegentSelection (CRSRS) has laid
out the qualications and
procedures by which thenext Student Regent (SR)is chosen. The GeneralAssembly of StudentCouncils has crafted theCRSRS and opens it yearlyfor amendments.In previous years, theGASC has been conveningtwice a year to revise theCRSRS in October andproceed with the SR Selectionin December. Nominees forSR of respective UP unitsare deliberated, whereautonomous units (such asUPLB and UP Diliman) areentitled with two votes whileregional units (such as UPDiliman Extension Programin Pampanga) are etitled withone.
of Republic Act 6967, whichis mandated “to vest control, jurisdiction and administration of the forest reserve in Mt. Makilingin the University of the Philippinesin Los Baños.”However, BSP said it wants topreserve the historical importanceof the site since it was the venueof the World Boy Scout Jamboreein 1959, as well as to continueits role in local and internationalscouting history.
UPLB Perspective 
hasrepeatedly tried to contactDanilo de la Cruz, BSP’SDirector for Corporate Assetsand Management, but he wasunavailable for comment as of press time.
In a statement dated Nov.6, the College of Forestry andNatural Resources (CFNR) saidthe BSP has shown incapacityto sustainably manage the area. The BSP had allegedly violatedthe lease agreement with UPLBby constructing new buildings without permission.“Any attempt to parcel out anyof its portion and exclude fromits jurisdiction, administrationand complete control of UPLB willdefeat its (Jamboree’s) primarypurpose as a training laboratory
for the advancement of scientic
and technical knowledge,”according to the statement.Makiling Center for MountainEcosystems, training laboratorythat aims for sustainabledevelopment of natural resources,Director Dr. Jose Sarhento said,“As a critical watershed hindi
UPLb Perspective
December 15, 2008
BSP eyes control of Jamboree
The Boy Scout of thePhilippines’ (BSP) chanceof acquiring jurisdiction of Jamboree site stepped up, as
House Bill (HB) 1143 passed
deliberations in the Committeeon Natural Resources of theHouse of Representatives.
 House Bill (HB) 1143,titled “An Act Vesting the BSP with Control, Jurisdiction andAdministration of a Parcel of LandLocated at Mount Makiling, LosBaños, Laguna, to be Known asthe ‘BSP Jamboree Site’, and forOther Purposes,” is authored byRep. Del de Guzman from the 2nddistrict of Marikina City. The Congress Committee onNatural Resources on its hearingof the bill on Nov. 12, however,suggested that while the bill isbeing deliberated in the House,the BSP and UPLB should try toreach a compromise agreementsatisfying their objectives.Meanwhile, the UPLB formedan ad hoc committee that willlead the campaign in winning the jurisdiction for Jamboree overBSP.
 The Jamboree site is a 57.7ha piece of land located in the4,244 ha Makiling Forest Reserve(MFR), which the BSP has beenleasing the area from UPLB since1959. The contract signed by boththe BSP and UPLB will expire in2017.MFR has been under UPLB jurisdiction since 1959 by virtueito (MFR) pwedeng galawin, angpag-manage nito (MFR) ay holistic,[na] kapag iniwan sa (private land)developer [ay] masisira.”According to CFNR’Sstatement, “allowing BSPto control a certain portion of MFR will set a precedent and … willembolden other MFR lessees andstakeholders, both governmentand private institutions andindividuals including uplandfarmers, to press on their claims/stakes over MFR. Consequently,there will be no more MFR.”
 The transfer of the controlof Jamboree site will not onlyaffect BSP and UPLB but also thesettlers inside the Jamboree whomay be relocated. These settlersfear that the BSP will privatize Jamboree.Marlito Domdom, a residentof Sitio Jamboree since 1965 andPresident of the Samahan ng mgaNaninirahan sa Sitio Jamboree,said they are against theprivatization of the area becausethe MFR will be at risk of beingdeforested.Domdom said the residents will only favor the relocation if they will be provided with a decentrelocation site.Meanwhile John MychalFeraren, CFNR-Student CouncilVice Chairperson, said the studentcouncil is on neutral groundregarding the privatization of theMFR since they are still assessingits implications on the BSP, thesettlers of MFR and the UPLBcommunity.
Nio Anelo OriianaPHOTO
One of the spots of rich biodiversity, the Makiling Forest Reserve is now the site of adispute among dierent sectors. The ght for the jurisdicon of Jamboree now aresup into a legal bale between the UPLB administraon and the BSP.
SystemOne admin allegedly
bans“disrespectful” users
Jonelle Marin
Two students were allegedly banned from using theirUPLB SystemOne accountsafter “disrespecting its (UPLBSystemone) maintainers” byposting comments on their blogsites.
According to the Site UsageAgreement of SystemOne, usersmay be banned for “disrespectto maintainers of the site andduly recognized representativesor employees of the UniversityRegistrar including enlistors/registration facilitators and siteadministrators.However, Prof. RodolfoDuldulao Jr., maintainer of UPLBSystemOne from the Institute of Computer Science, stressed thatnot all students who write blogentries addressed to him or to theprogram would be subjected tobanning.
Lia, not her real name,said she could no longer accessher account on Sept. 30 afterDuldulao, posted a comment onher Multiply account.Lia posted a message abouther dismay on SystemOne whenshe could not readily access heraccount at the time when she hada rigid schedule.Lia admitted that she was unaware of violating anyagreement before writing her blogentry.“[Pero] para sa’kin, walangdisrespect ‘doon sa blog,” she said.She also stressed that a blogis considered a “public diary onthe [inter]net” and her blog entriesshould not be taken againsther, since her message was notaddressed to Duldulao but to theprogram.Lia was still able to acquireunits through the help of hercollege’s student council inenlisting and manually transactingher registration requirements
at the Ofce of the University
Meanwhile, Maui Mendoza,BS Agriculture ’05, said sheassumed the start of the onlineregistration to be earlier than what is actually scheduled. Thiscaused her also to post a messageon her Multiply account about herdisappointment. She ended hermessage sarcastically, saying thatthanks to Duldulao, she couldgraduate earlier.Instead of using theSystemOne to enlist her subjects,she has been processing Form
26 since the rst semester of 
academic year 2008-2009.
In an interview with
, Duldulao claried that
his responses on students’ postedmessages do not automaticallymean that they are banned fromusing their SystemOne accounts.He added that accounts that werebanned have no effect on thereserved units.He said he does not like usersmentioning his name or makingany reference to him on blogsor forums, which he considers
“distasteful”. He claried that his job is only to facilitate the ow
of information that he has no
inuence on.
“Now, if you do not appreciate‘yung service na ‘yun, then don’tuse it [SystemOne]. It’s thatsimple,” he said.
He identied lack in units
as the root of students’ dismay with the site. In giving slots,students with failing grades arethe least priority, while freshmen,graduating students and those who have good standing arethe top priority. One would getno units at all if the computerprogram chose the account as theleast priority for a particular slot.He also said that hopefully byDecember, SystemOne shall havefour new servers that would helpgive students better service.
 The campaign is beingenforced by the InterAgency LegalAction Group (IALAG), whichis composed of elements fromDepartment of Justice, the ArmedForces of the Philippines (AFP), thePhilippine National Police (PNP),National Intelligence CoordinatingAgency (NICA), National Bureauof Investigation (NBI), Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID)and Department of Foreign Affairs(DFA).
 Secretary General PauloBautista said the heighteningpolitical persecution among youthactivists is a strong basis forArroyo’s impeachment.“Arroyo’s continuing fascistadministration is implementinga wide-scale criminalization of political activists that includes youth and student leaders. Shehas long denied the youth (of their)basic rights, thus she should notbe allowed to fulfill her obviousambition to cling to power beyond2010 through Charter Change,”Bautista added in Filipino.Aside from Santos, twoformer provincial coordinatorsof Anakbayan in Cavite are alsoincluded in ST-72. Meanwhile,former secretary general of Anakbayan-Batangas NorielRocafort faces separate chargesof arson and conspiracy tocommit rebellion along with 26others. Three student leadersat the Polytechnic University of the Philippines-Lopez are alsocharged with rebellion filed bythe military.Meanwhile, UniversityStudent Council Chairperson andYouth Act Now-Southern Tagalogspokesperson Charisse BernadineBañez, together with variousUPLB organizations, earlierlaunched the Black WednesdayHabit, a campaign calling forthe upholding of human rights.Anakbayan-ST through its UPLBchapter meanwhile launchedDEFEND PJ Movement, analliance in support of Pedro“PJ” Santos Jr. The group alsostarted lobbying in the Senate forsupport.
Vice-President for Legal AffairsAtty. Theodore Te did not specify what would ensue if thereferendum fails, as theseare “matters that should bestbe decided upon by studentsthemselves.”
Bañez stressed that thecurrent CRSRS has undergone years of debate in the GeneralAssembly of Student Councilsdeliberations, a congregation of UP student councils for the SRselection process.
CRSRS Referendum Schedule of Activities
Nov. 10-28
College Convocations/ Assemblies/Consultations
Dec. 1-10
Dec. 19, UP Diliman
General Assembly of Student Councils
Jan. 19-23, 2009
Conduct of CRSRSReferendum
March 2009 (tentative)
SR Selection
She said students must fullysupport the referendum sincestudent leaders have ensured aCRSRS that is as democratic aspossible.She added that UP studentscould not afford to lose the OSR atthis point.“Mawawalan ng boses angmga Iskolar ng Bayan sa BORat mapapabilis lamang angmga polisiya na sumasagka sakarapatan sa de kaledad at abotkayang edukasyon sa UP,” sheadded.

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