UST group sets emergency meeting over Mocha award

THE UST Alumni Association Inc. is now thinking whether or not they would revoke the Thomasian Alumni Award for Government Service given to Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson after receiving a backlash.

In a television interview, USTAAI president Henry Tenedero said he could not unilaterally revoke the award, adding the board of alumni had to convene in an emergency meeting that would be called within this week.

“We are just fixing the schedule, but definitely within two days time, there will be an emergency meeting, and all will be discussed because I cannot unilaterally revoke the award because  I have to respect the board,” Tenedero said.

“But one thing I could say is we have a listening board, listening with heart, ears and mind whatever the board wants will be followed,” Tenedero said.

Former and current students of the University of Santo Tomas,  as well as its official publication The Varsitarian, have criticized the alumni association’s decision to give the award to Uson.

Calls for the USTAAI officials’ resignation were also demanded.

Tenedero said the alumni association’s officials would be willing to resign.

The official student publication of the University of Sto. Tomas, The Varsitarian, has issued a statement calling for the resignation of alumni association officials for giving the “Thomasian Alumni Award for Government Service” to Esther Margaux “Mocha” Uson, the controversial assistant secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office. AFP

“A mere cursory survey of Uson’s work should have alerted any ordinary alumnus that she’s too controversial for UST’s usually prudential and Catholic tastes,” the paper said.

“But for the entire UAAI leadership to have ignored her dubious track record and the controversy it had elicited  is sheer incompetence, irresponsibility, stupidity, and even corruption,” the paper said.

The paper said that “corruption of values” pertains to the “casual disregard of all evidence of monstrous...evil conduct.”

The paper noted the statements issued by Uson in the past against Catholic teachings and leaders.

“In the first place, why would they even bestow a government service award—the only award given during the homecoming, for that matter – in the midst of a controversial administration that purveys anti-Catholic statements and programs?,” the paper said.

“Worse they gave it to Uson, who does not only turn a blind-eye on Duterte’s human rights abuses but also viciously attacks the Catholic Church. In her column in the Philippine Star, she asked if the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) was ‘anti-Christ’ for speaking against extrajudicial killings and the Marcos burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani,” it said

“If we need to resign, there’s no problem because we are here as volunteers, we do not have salaries,” Tenedero said.

“But almost every month, we have four major  activities. We are not funded by the administration because  USTAAI is independent,” he added.

He said they get funding from supporters based on their activities.

The UST management had clarified that the USTAAI was a separate entity from the university.

“The UST Alumni Association Inc. (UAAI) is a corporation distinct and separate from UST. It has its own board of trustees and operates independently...The University does not interfere with the affairs of UAAI or any of its alumni organizations,” the university statement read.

Uson, meanwhile, remained unnerved by the online bashing she had been receiving since receiving the alumni association’s award.

“Enjoy your freedom of expression/speech,” Uson said.

Topics: UST Alumni Association Inc , Mocha Uson
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