The University of the Philippines (U.P.) Student Regent Charisse Bañez's February 22, 2010 application for an injunction with prayer for issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order (TRO), filed with the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch # 215; restraining the University of the Philippines (U.P.) Board of Regents (BOR) from approving and implementing a draft BOR resolution seeking Banez's disbarment as a voting Regent has been denied.
The Office of RTC Branch # 215 confirmed over the telephone that they released the Court Resolution as early as 8:00 a.m. today, February 25, 2010 but could not divulge the contents of the resolution over the telephone, in accordance with court procedure.
However, the Office of the Student Regent, located in Vinzon's Hall, U.P. Diliman confirmed that Bañez's application for an injunction with prayer for issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and TRO was denied. She therefore attended today's BOR meeting as an observer, and not as a full voting regent.
Additionally, Banez’s denied application for a TRO resulting in her elimination as a voting regent has also had the effect of opening a Pandora’s box with respect to three (3) other regents, whom she says are currently serving with expired terms.
These Regents are: Regent Abraham F. Sarmiento, Regent Nelia T. Gonzalez and Regent Francis C. Chua.
In her February 22, 2010 application for a TRO, Banez stated that:
- “Regent Sarmiento was appointed by the President as an “ACTING MEMBER, BOARD OF REGENTS, UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES SYSTEM” on September 29, 2008.”
- “Regent Gonzalez was appointed by the President as an “ACTING MEMBER, BOARD OF REGENTS, UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES SYSTEM” on March 18, 2008.”
- “Regent Chua was appointed by the President as an “ACTING MEMBER, BOARD OF REGENTS, UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES SYSTEM” on January 1, 2008.”
Looming in the background over the issue of Bañez's disbarment as a voting Regent is the elimination of her swing vote as a Regent on December 18, 2009 in favour of Dr. Carlos Gonzales as the new Executive Director of U.P.'s Philippine General Hospital (PGH). Six (6) Regents, including Banez voted for Gonzales, while Five (5) Regents, including U.P. President Emerlinda Roman voted for outgoing PGH Executive Director Carlos Alfiler. Observers view the elimination of Bañez as part of a sub-plot to actually remove Gonzales by creating a divided vote of five (5) Regents for Gonzales and five (5) for Alfiler allowing for the implementation of a January 5, 2010 memo by President Roman appointing an OIC for PGH.
If Bañez amends her complaint or files another complaint with the purpose of disqualifying the votes of the three (3) regents with expired terms, who coincidentally, voted for Alfiler, then she may eventually succeed in altering the equation in favour of Dr. Gonzales if the question of his stewardship of PGH is brought to another round of votes in the BOR.
However, the new status quo where there are only ten (10) voting regents and one (1) observer Student Regent holds sway for now.
Reliable sources said that in today's BOR meeting, U.P.'s Legal Office said that Regents Sarmiento, Gonzales and Chua continued to carry on in a holdover capacity even if they were no longer acting regents in view of the fact that the entire issue was now sub judice or under litigation. Additionally, the BOR was now recommending these three (3) regents to President Arroyo for regular appointments. As of press time, this could not, however, be independently confirmed.