Up Vs Osmena

NOT LONG ENOUGH for UP to forget!!! HIS ACTION continue to haunt UP.

The "UP as a National University" Senate vote (SB 2587) has been longingly
awaited by the UP community to fast track rehab of the University, especially
the College of Engineering, College of Sciences and the College of Medicine. It
would have significantly made it easier for the current students to have not
gone through the P900/unit and P1,500/unit tuition if the vote was made in
2004. In fact, it got side tracked again this year as Congress and Senate went
to a recess last February. The repercussion of the Osmeña act reverberates to
this day.

The College of Engineering had gotten by with its upgrades by reaching out to
its Alumni. But what about the rest of the University?

As you are (or were one time) a beneficiary of the UP system, let your voice
be heard against this man who has allowed personal grudge cloud his better
judgement. if he can do it to an Academic community, what more damage can be
expected of him to inflict to on an already suffering country?


Spread the word.

~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~
JUNK O, SAVE UP by Jojo Robles, Manila Standard
8 March 2004

IF I may add to the cacophony of voices raised against this or that candidate:
Please do not vote for one John Henry Renner Osmeña, reelectionist senator from
Cebu. This suggestion was prompted, though left unmentioned, by a recent
letter I got from another prominent Cebuano, University of the Philippines
president Francisco "Dodong" Nemenzo.

Nemenzo wrote an impassioned letter to the UP Community last week denouncing
Osmeña for almost single-handedly jettisoning the 10-year legislative effort
to save the country's premier state university.

But can one senator, acting alone, really decide the future of an entire
academic community? Of course not. Osmeña was helped along, though not
actively, by the weak leadership of the Senate, personified by Ilonggo and
fellow UP alumnus Franklin Drilon.

Yes, John O went to UP, where he studied engineering and — according to stage
director and actor Tony Mabesa, a contemporary of the senator — discovered
that he had a budding career in acting. Politics proved a headier brew for
Osmeña, however, and he forsook "the roar of the greasepaint" for a lifetime as
an office-seeker.

All told, there are nine UP alumni in the 24-person Senate. So you'd think
they would be more sympathetic to Senate Bill 2587, which seeks to update the
ancient 1908 university charter to make UP more financially viable. But no.
With the prominent exception of former UP student leader Senator Francis
Pangilinan, Drilon and the rest of the ex-Diliman senators hushed up as John O
lobbied to thwart Nemenzo and scuttle SB 2587, which never even got voted upon
before the Senate adjourned after the first week of this month.

For reasons put forth by Osmeña that Nemenzo described in his letter as
"puerile." Which is really insulting to young boys.

"Politicking of the most despicable type shelved what could have been the
legislature's singular gift to the University of the Philippines," Nemenzo
wrote. "Malice triumphed over reason."

Should we allow triumphant malice another victory at the polls? I don't think

* * *
SB 2587 was first crafted 10 years ago, during the term of UP president
Napoleon Abueva. Throughout the term of Abueva's successor, Emil Javier, UP
carried on the fight to be designated a "national university," distinguished by its
scholarship and research from other state universities and exempt from the
government's salary standardization law.

The bill, certified as urgent by the administration and passed unanimously by
the Lower House, seeks to stem the faculty brain drain that has plagued UP
for decades and would also allow the university to use its own savings and
other monies directly to improve teaching and facilities.

The proposed law would grant tax exemptions for imports of materials needed for
teaching and research, and greater institutional autonomy to enhance UP's
ability to compete with the best universities in the region.

Nemenzo, convinced of the importance of the bill, last year headed a last-ditch
effort to have it passed before the end of the current Senate's term. It was a
lobby campaign that would last for eight months but which would end in futility
because of Osmeña's filibustering.

This despite the fact that Nemenzo had already been assured by a clear majority
of the senators that they would vote for the bill, if it came on the floor. But
because of Osmeña's efforts, of course, the vote never happened.

"Senator Osmeña, who would either suddenly disappear when it was his turn to
interpellate, or otherwise make demands and claims so outrageous that it took
every ounce of forbearance on the part of our University officials to suffer
them in the hope that our bill would pass, regardless," Nemenzo said.

A "peevish" John O "blithely dismissed" any and all arguments presented by the
UP officials to dispute his claims during the hearings, Nemenzo added. And as
for Drilon (last year's "Outstanding UP Alumnus") and the rest, well, they
stood idly by, not even calling for a vote that would surely have defeated

It soon became clear that Osmeña, according to Nemenzo, had his own reasons
for objecting to the bill. "Osmeña reserved his worst diatribes for me,
calling me a communist, blaming my relatives in Cebu for his political
misfortunes, and vowing to make UP pay for 'demonizing' him during the bases
debate more than a decade ago. He informed UP officials that only my immediate
resignation from the UP presidency could secure his support for the Charter
bill. When he realized that I was resolved to serve UP to the end of my term,
he proceeded to do his best to achieve the same end and to maim SB 2587 in the
process," a bitter Nemenzo recounted.

* * *
Rightly, Nemenzo has refused to be cowed by his powerful provincemate. "I
relish intellectual debate, and am used to the insults of the ignorant and the
desperate," he said. "But this is not an argument between John Osmeña and
myself. I would
have no hesitation leaving office for the right reasons — but humoring John
Osmeña is hardly one of them."

For that matter, according to the UP president, "this is not even an argument,
but petty tyranny at its worst, with brute political power prevailing over any
possibility of reason. It is patently unjust to hold the future of the
country's leading university hostage over some personal differences, no matter
how deep they may be."

Is this the end, then, of the efforts to revive UP? Nemenzo doesn't think so.
"We will fight again, and we will fight on," he promised. "We cannot yield to
demagoguery and intimidation. As disappointing as the results of this struggle
have been, we also learned many things, and will employ those lessons in a
fresh campaign to get a new Charter — perhaps one even better than the current
version — drafted and passed."

Among those lessons "is my conviction that just as our legislators have always
held UP accountable for its programs and its funds, so should UP hold the
legislature and its individual members accountable for their acts of commission
and omission. We can only pray — and mobilize — for the emergence of more
responsible lawmakers and leaders who can truly help UP and Philippine
higher education."

That's where my call not to return John Osmeña to the Senate comes in. If UP
alumni everywhere (and we are many and supposedly influential) heed it, perhaps
the old, dying school will have a fighting chance.

~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~
Posted: 1:14 AM (Manila Time) | Mar. 21, 2004
By Tina Santos
Inquirer News Service

UNIVERSITYof the Philippines president Francisco Nemenzo lambasted Senator John
Osmeña for blocking the passage of Senate Bill 2587, which would have
given way to a more responsive state university.

The Senate adjourned without passing the bill or even bringing to a vote the
proposed measure that would have led to the revision of the UP Charter
for the first time since its founding in 1908.

Nemenzo expressed dismay over the manner by which it was doomed to die on the
Senate floor, largely on the account of Osmena's objections and demands.

He said the shelving of the bill on the Senate's adjournment dashed all hopes
of bringing the UP Charter into the 21st century.

The UP president said the bill did not only seek to develop the institution as
a state university but as a Philippine university with academic standards of
excellence competitive with those of national universities in the region.

The bill seeks, among other things, to empower the Board of Regents, UP's
highest policy-making body, to enter into joint venture agreements with the
private sector in developing university property.

The university's students and employees claimed the provision may lead to the
"commercialization of education," and eventually to the sale of the UP to

In a letter to the Inquirer, Nemenzo, stressed that the bill would have allowed
UP to pay realistic salaries, improve its system of governance and generate more
resources to augment its budget.

On March 4, Osmeña came out with a paid newspaper advertisement and said that
the bill was not a "legislative gift to the university but merely represents a
juicy retirement check for the overstaying UP president."

In his letter, Nemenzo retorted to the senator's statement saying, "There is
nothing sinister about this bill. But his long immersion in trapo (traditional
politics) culture — in which he deserves an honorary doctorate — has made him
(Osmeña) thoroughly cynical, believing that everyone thinks like him."
(Source:http://www.inq7. net/met/2004/ mar/21/met_ 3-1.htm)

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