The student council of University of Santo Tomas is protesting the decision of the school’s alumni organization to give blogger and Assistant Secretary for Communications Esther Margaux Uson an award for her service under the current administration.
Uson, who earned her degree in medical technology from the university, helps preserve its motto “Veritas in Caritate”-—“Truth in Charity.”
But the current crop of student leaders “strongly denounce” the recognition.
“We express our dismay over this event as Mocha Uson does not, in any way, embody the ideals of a real Thomasian,” they said.
“[Uson is] widely known as the main purveyor of politically motivated propaganda against known members of the government’s opposition; an avid spreader and citer of fake news...she is also known to utilize her following to initiate blatant personal attacks against her critics and the government’s, including students and members of the press, all under the guise of fake nationalism and freedom of speech.”
These are strong words from the student council members, who perhaps thought long and hard about whether they would go against their elders’ decision to grant the government service award.
The next days will tell us what fate awaits these outspoken youth leaders, or whether the alumni association would buckle amid pressure—on either side—and revoke, or maintain, the controversial recognition.
But what would be truly interesting to know is how the organization arrived at its decision in the first place. It will also put the matter, how polarizing it may be, to rest.
That citation would be reprehensible if it was given to curry favor from the administration or to secure cozy relations with the powers-that-be.
But if the alumni group really and truly believes that Uson is deserving of the award, given the criteria it had designed in the first place, then who are we to judge and react?
Awards are freely and subjectively given. When some body is recognized for service, that is because members of a selection committee thought he or she deserves it. For the rest of us non-Thomasians, this is neither universally binding-—nor absolutely true.