Copies of this email were also furnished by Dr. Cabellon to the Diliman Diary, Senator Mar Roxas, Alumni Regent Fred Pascual, Faculty Regent Judy Taguiwalo, and Student Regent Charisse B. Bañez, among others.
To highlight or even dramatize the importance of the presence of the Student Regent in the affairs of the U.P. Board of Regents, we are also embedding below a video from http://www.youtube.com made in 2009:
THE LETTER TO PRESIDENT ROMAN DATED JANUARY 31, 2010
Honorable Emerlinda R. Roman
University of the Philippines
Dear President Roman,
May I share the following observations regarding the "Statement on the Status of the Student Regent published in the University of the Philippines Website dated Friday, January 29, 2010. http://www.up.edu.ph/features.php?i=171
I believe that Ms. Charisse Bernadine Bañez is qualified and is the bonafide Student Regent at this time. Her leave of absence status still needs to be determined. Before I put forth my argument that her leave status needs still to be determined may I observe that there are two sentences in the "Status Statement" that are inconsistent. These statements are:
Statement 1 - "No application for leave of absence was actually filed by Ms. Banez, pursuant to University rules.
Statement 2 - "On 21 January 2010, the Dean of the UPLB CAS wrote to the lawyer of Ms. Banez disapproving the application for LOA of Ms. Banez because:
- it was filed well beyond the period for such applications, which ended on November 17, 2009;
- it was not accompanied by the approval of her adviser or parents, nor by clearance from her College;
- the reason for LOA was not clear nor adequately explained. "
Say that there was an application filed after the 17th of November, what rule or policy of the University promulgates that such a leave of absence should be filed strictly on or before the 17th of November. To stick to a 17th of November deadline is contrary to the statement in the website states and I quote"
"Article IX, section 7 provides for grounds to consider the position of SR-elect or the incumbent SR vacant, to wit:
- permanent disqualification from the university;
- incapacity to enroll or file an LOA the following semester;
- death, illness or any other cause which prevents him/her from discharging functions.
The "following semester" is still extant because on the current UP academic calendar the "following semester" ends March 2010. Student Regent Banez has all the time to file a leave of absence until March 2010 and does not have to meet a 17th of November deadline.
On the statement that "it was not accompanied by the approval of her adviser or parents, nor by clearance from her College; " Article 400 of the University of the Philippines Code (2006) states that "Leave of absence shall be applied in writing. The application, indicating the reason for the leave and the period which must not exceed one academic year, shall be presented to the faculty member concerned for appropriate action and shall be subject to approval by the Dean. The Dean shall notify the University Registrar and the parents or guardian of every student granted leave of absence.
There was no need to present it to a faculty member as she was not attending classes and it is the Dean who needs to approve or disapprove it.
There is no requirement per Article 400 that the student regent's request for a leave of absence be accompanied by the approval of her adviser or parents, nor by clearance from her College. The requirement is "The Dean shall notify the University Registrar and the parents or guardian of every student granted leave of absence." according to Article 400 of the University Code.
As to the issue of reason for leave, let me cite the obvious reason why she needs to go on a leave of absence. They are found in Codified Rules for Student Regent Selection
"ARTICLE IX. General Provisions
Section 1. The Student Regent-select must resign from any position of responsibility in any student or community organization and/or student council and student publication.
Section 2. The Student Regent-select must not be permanently disqualified from the University. However, the Student Regent-select is advised to file a leave of absence (LOA) to devote his/her time in the fulfillment of his/her duties and responsibilities.
The above considerations, for the sake of fairness, need to be considered in determining the status of the student regent.
Therefore her leave of absence status still needs to be determined and that she is the bona fide occupant of the position of Student Regent of the University of the Philippines.
Yours Respectfully ,
Silverio Cabellon, Jr., M.D.
Class 72A, UP College of Medicine
Chair, Board of Governors