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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Violent pro-Nemenzo UP radicals can’t accept defeat

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“If the UP radicals embody all that Nemenzo stands for, then the UP BOR did right in not re-electing him chancellor”

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Last April 3, the Board of Regents of the University of the Philippines elected Edgardo Carlo Vistan the new Chancellor of UP Diliman. That makes Vistan the 12th Chancellor of the flagship UP campus.

Vistan bested re-electionist UP Diliman Chancellor Fidel Nemenzo and a certain Victor Paz, an Archaeology professor.

Nemenzo was first installed as chancellor in 2020. His election back then was applauded by radical elements of UP. Nemenzo’s three-year term expired last March 1.

At present, Vistan is the Dean of the UP College of Law. He is also the head of the UP Law Center and the Executive Director of the UP campus at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.

Vistan obtained his undergraduate and law degrees from UP Diliman back in 1998 and 2003, respectively. In both instances, he graduated cum laude.

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Vistan also has a master’s degree in law from Yale University and, I understand, did preparatory doctoral studies also in law.

Days before the April 3 election, UP radicals were confident that Nemenzo would get re-elected.

They claimed at least three members of the UP BOR are pro-Nemenzo, namely, faculty regent Carl Marc Ramota, student regent Siegfred Severino, and administrative personnel regent Victoria Canape Belegal.

The radicals also announced that a fourth regent was also on Nemenzo’s side, and that with four votes already in their favor, Nemenzo’s re-election was an almost certainty.

That’s because since there are 11 members of the BOR, a candidate for chancellor wins if he gets the nod of at least six regents.

From the way the UP radicals confidently peddled their pro-Nemenzo propaganda, it seemed like Nemenzo was the frontrunner among the three contenders for UP Diliman chancellor.

However, as I stated above, and to the surprise and chagrin of the radicals, Nemenzo lost to Vistan.

Last December, the ambitious Nemenzo, who hardly warmed his seat as chancellor, sought the UP presidency for the 2023-2029 term.

As expected, the radicals supported his run. Some faculty members known for their dislike for President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and ex-President Rodrigo Duterte also supported Nemenzo.

To Nemenzo’s and his supporters’ big disappointment, the BOR elected somebody else as UP President. The radicals protested as usual, but the Yuletide diluted their protests.

They protested anew on April 3 when the BOR met to elect the UP Diliman chancellor for the 2023-2025 term.

Right after the radicals learned that Nemenzo lost his re-election bid for chancellor, dozens of their lawless and violent kind immediately trooped to Quezon Hall in UP Diliman, where the BOR meeting was held, to create trouble and havoc.

At first, the radicals tried to force their way inside the meeting room, the doors of which were locked, by pounding and kicking on them. Then they tried to use metal ladders to force the doors open.

When all that didn’t work, they defaced government property by painting “shame on BOR” on the doors, oblivious that what they did was shameful in itself.

The radicals reportedly confronted UP’s assistant vice president for student affairs and demanded to know how the BOR voted.

Why they didn’t just ask the pro-Nemenzo regents for that information is a mystery.

Newspaper reports indicate that a certain Professor Mon Sy, who appears to be the mouthpiece of a nondescript group which calls itself Contend-UP, denounced the BOR for being undemocratic.

He claimed the BOR should have elected Nemenzo since the latter is the choice of the UP community.

Sy haughtily claimed 86 percent of the UP community supports Nemenzo, but he did not provide proof of his claim.

Sy also didn’t explain how he obtained his suspicious, sweeping and self-serving statistics.

Online, the radically infested UP Diliman Student Council likewise protested Nemenzo’s defeat, and cited the same questionable reasons claimed by Sy.

Obviously, Nemenzo’s radical supporters can’t accept defeat. Their misplaced sense of entitlement is an insult to UP and its alumni.

The uncivilized behavior of the UP radicals can be likened to the abhorrent practices of the Mafia and the Ku Klux Klan.

UP authorities should identify the radicals who defaced UP’s Quezon Hall, and file disciplinary and criminal charges against them.

That is the only way to deal with these abusive UP radicals who were spoiled and tolerated during the incumbency of both Chancellor Nemenzo and ex-UP President Danilo Concepcion.

Surprisingly, I have not heard any statement from Nemenzo which condemns the shameful behavior displayed in public by the UP radicals who profess to be his supporters.

Absent that statement, Nemenzo is suspected of having acquiesced in the shameful incident.

If the UP radicals embody all that Nemenzo stands for, then the UP BOR did right in not re-electing him chancellor.

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