A few days from today, the University of the Philippines Board of Regents (UP BOR) will elect the next UP President.
The UP BOR is composed of 11 members: the chairman of the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd); the UP President; the chairmen of the House of Representatives and the Senate Committees on Education, respectively; four regents representing the alumni, faculty, students and administrative personnel; and three appointees of the President of the Philippines.
Two candidates for UP President should be exposed to the Filipino people for what they truly represent, outside of their publicly proclaimed platforms. Before I go to that, allow me to revisit some facts.
As I mentioned in my column published on October 28, these are bad times for UP because the recent Times Higher Education’s World University list states that UP is no longer the number one university in the Philippines.
UP’s embarrassing, unprecedented slide in its world ranking was substantially caused by the alarming influence of communists in the administration, faculty and student population of UP.
That problem is compounded by the strategic alliance of the reds and the pinklawans in UP. The pinklawans are rabid and violent partisans of the discredited Liberal Party.
Instead of teaching and doing pioneering research work as mandated by the UP charter, the communists and pinklawans in UP are focused on partisan politics.
UP itself has become a recruitment ground for young communists, and its largest campuses host many safehouses for red recruiters.
Many UP students who were enticed to abandon their studies to take up arms in the countryside ended up as sacrificial lambs at the altar of godless communism.
Communists in the UP administration, faculty and student population are intolerant of views and opinions that do not conform to anti-government, radical or subversive idealogy.
Many of them use bullying tactics, violence even, against anyone who dares contradict their political constructs.
Although UP claims it is a bastion of academic freedom and that its campuses are “democractic spaces” open to all, those with pro-government ideas are routinely threatened and harassed on campus and online, and are not welcome inside UP’s campuses.
Worse, UP thinks it is above the law, as seen in its condescending refusal to allow policemen inside its campuses, even if those campuses are public places to begin with.
That obviously misplaced sense of entitlement is a perfect recipe for lawlessness and the continuing decline in UP’s ranking as a tertiary educational institution in the Philippines.
In the end, parents who can afford private college education for their gifted children prefer to send them to universities other than UP.
As a collective consequence, many of those who enter and graduate from UP are average, woefully misinformed, biased, gullible to propaganda, and inarticulate.
If the next UP President is a red or a sympathizer of the local communist movement, or is a pinklawan partisan himself, the UP will continue its retrogression.
To repeat, two candidates for UP President must be exposed for what they really represent, in contrast to what they claim to be.
One is Fidel Nemenzo, considered by many as a communist or red sympathizer. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were nasty rumors (repeat, rumors) about his alleged substance abuse.
The other is die-hard pinklawan Angelo “Jijil” JImenez.
Jijil Jimenez was a member of the UP BOR in 2019 when UP officially allowed the use of valuable real estate inside UP Diliman for a controversial “martial law museum.”
He was appointed to the UP BOR by President Noynoy Aquino, his political patron.
The partisan “martial law museum” will exhibit the alleged abuses supposedly committed during the administration of the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.; praise local communists who tried to overthrow the democratic government; and, ultimately, sanctify Corazon Aquino as the savior of the Philippines from Marcos.
It memorializes the strategic alliance of the reds and the pinklawans in UP, even if the UP Charter does not allow the use of UP real estate for a partisan “martial law museum.”
Jimenez probably allowed the “martial law museum” so he can pay homage to Corazon Aquino, his patron’s mother.
He also has no substantial administrative work experience in UP.
Supporting Jimenez are outgoing UP President Danilo Concepcion and, according to my sources, CHEd Chairman Prospero de Vera II, who are both ex officio members of the UP BOR.
Jimenez also has the vote of Senator and ex officio UP Regent Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, his fraternity brother.
Escudero lost in the vice presidential election of 2016. During that election, Escudero referred to the late President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos Sr. as a dictator.
President Bongbong Marcos can prevent UP from falling into the hands of either communists and pinklawans by urging those in the UP BOR to not to vote for either Nemenzo or Jimenez.