Wednesday, March 31, 2010

PUBLIC SERVICE ANOUNCEMENT: Advice to the Public: PGH Doctors on Mass LOA offer FREE services in their Private Clinics

(Photo courtesy of: Dr. Iggy Agbayani)

The following is a joint announcement by PGH doctors who will be going on mass LOA in the near future for and on behalf of their patients:

PGH Doctors who have signified their intention to file a mass leave of absence from PGH will be offering free clinics to displaced PGH patients during their leave. Please help us inform public patients who may be affected by our mass leave at PGH to consider visiting their doctor in their respective private clinics instead. Most doctors will be on LOA by April 6, 2010. We will be posting the private clinic offering help for our charity patients very soon.

The Department of Health through the assistance of Secretary Espie Cabral has also extended their assistance to help admit and maybe transfer patients for admission that may be affected by the LOA.

We reiterate that despite our LOA we will continue to care for our patients already in hospital and those that will require emergency or urgent care. Our doctors who are already on leave still continue to go to work and still provide care at the patients in PGH.

As of 8am March 31, 2010, the following is the growing list of doctors who have signified their intention to join the mass LOA in protest of the oppressive ouster of Dr. Jose Gonzales as PGH Director.
1. Manuel Agulto – Former Chairman of Ophthalmology

2. Marge Lat-Luna

3. Joey Lapena

4. Randy Abdullah

5. Eric Legaspi

6. JJ Cruz

7. Jonas del Rosario – TOYM for Medicine

8. Eric Talens

9. Butch Felizar – Department of Anesthesia Chairman

10. Gerardo Legaspi

11. Jojo Jocson

12. Randy Nicolas

13. Venancio Garduce

14. Mario Geronilla – Department of Orthopedics Chairman

15. CJ Gloria

16. Pio Villacorta

17. Jubert Benedicto

18. Abundio Balgos

19. Mariel Nicolas

20. Arnel De jesus

21. Abe Marinduque

22. Dennis Serrano

23. Ted Herbosa

24. Leo Cubillan

25. Delen Dela Paz

26. Herbie Uy

27. Alvin Marcelo

28. Atoy Manalo

29. Rene Tuazon – Former Chairman of ENT Department

30. Leah Tantoco

31. Edison Ty

32. Ricky Salonga

33. Bebol Paterno

34. Malloi Calaquian

35. Butching Paterno

36. Felix Lukban

37. Pablo Lazatin III

38. Jimmy Tan

39. Aileen Cubillan

40. Portia Marcelo

41. Adrian Manapat

42. June Lopez

43. Telly How -Hidalgo

44. Ben Vista

45. Gene Abes – Former Chairman of ENT Department

46. OlymPia Malanyaon

47. Carlos Chua – Department of Neurology Chairman

48. Eris Llanes

49. Charlotte Chiong

50. Gary Mercado

51. Peter Bernardo

52. Jun Kaw

53. Ting Leynes

54. Agnes Mejia – Department of Medicine Chairperson

55. Grace Herbosa

56. Joan Ocubillo

57. Eduardo Bautista

58. Benjie Dela Paz

59. Lara Alentajan-Aleta

60. Cynthia Dominguez

61. Eugene Reyes

62. Daniel Dela Paz

63. Ester Santos Bitanga

64. Tom Bautista

65. Raul Jara

66. Eileen Manalo

67. Gisel Catalan

68. Grace Catalan

69. Darby Santiago

70. Ester Penserga

71. Lourdes Blanco Capito – Dept. OB Gyne Chairperson

72. Venancio Gloria

73. Joselito Jamir

74. Jose Bautista

75. Bill Veloso

76. Florencio Lucero

77. Leonila Dans

78. Tony Dans

79. Mary Ann Lim-Abrahan

80. Leonor Cabral-Lim

81. Cynthia Dominguez

82. Nina Alejo Ramirez

83. Jess Marin

84. Madonna Calderon Domingo

85. Cecile Maramba-Lazarte

86. Rey Jaime Tan

87. Iris Thiele Isip-Tan

88. Cynthia Leynes

89. Brian Cabral

90. Lyn Panganiban

91. Lia Palileo

92. Joy Novero

"SHUT UP, THAT'S WHY!!!" U.P. and PGH Administration moves to silence mounting PGH Faculty, Staff discontent vs. removal of PGH Director Dr. Jose Gonzales

By Chanda Shahani

The University of the Philippines (U.P.) Administration and the U.P. Philippine General Hospital (PGH) Administration are now moving to silence the PGH Faculty and Staff regarding the removal as PGH Director of Dr. Jose Gonzales by the Board of Regents (BOR) by limiting their ability to strike and assemble; but the list of discontented doctors just keeps on growing anyway.

But ominously, the recent actions of the both the U.P. Administration and the PGH Administration towards the common faculty members of the PGH and the U.P. College of Medicine (UPCM) appear to be guided and best summed up by the West African proverb which advises a warrior approaching a wild, raging dangerous animal in the African bush to "Speak softly, but carry a Big Stick."

And what a Big Stick is now being wielded by U.P. and PGH against the equivalent of a raging beast which are hundreds of angry PGH doctors and medical personnel who oppose the removal of Dr. Gonzales and his replacement with Dr. Enrique Domingo. The threat of the loss of job security may be on the line for these doctors - who have gone on mass leave of absence to protest the removal of Dr. Gonzales - as well as  the use of state-sanctioned violence and intimidation through the use of PGH security guards to limit the doctors' right to assemble - may also be in the offing.

Here's what we know so far about the U.P. Administration and the U.P. PGH Administration's official pronouncements:

  • On March 29, 2010 the U.P. Administration posted an announcement on its own website that was billed as a joint statement from PGH and UPCM ( stating that: "Consistent with the University’s policy of respecting our constituents’ right to express their views, the reported leave of absence will be properly evaluated and approved upon submission, subject to existing University rules and regulations." This statement means that the U.P. Administration has the right to disapprove any LOAs and to impose sanctions for pesonnel who embark on unapproved leaves of absence.
  • On March 31, right before the start of the Holy Week celebrations, Dr. Domingo issued a memo, Memorandum 2010-44 addressed to all department and unit heads, Memorandum Circular No. 6 of 1987 of the Civil ServiceCommission "which reminds all concerned of the prohibition for government officials and employees from staging strikes demonstrations, mass leaves walk-outs and other forms of mass action which will result in temporary stoppage or disruption of public service." However, while the concerned Memorandum Circular No. 6 prohibits government employees from effectively engaging in a strike by staging a mass walk-out, a mass leave is nothing but the sum total of several individuals filing their formal leaves of absence. As of March 31, 92 doctors had already signified their intention to go on mass LOA in the near future.
  • On March 29, 2010 Dr. Domingo issued Memorandum 2010-39 which stated that "The Flag Raising Ceremony is a solemn activity honoring our flag and country at the start of every working week. To avoid any disrespect to the Philippine flag all programs following the flag raising are hereby suspended until further notice. The flag shall be raised every Monday at 6:00 am with full honor guard by the UP Manila Security Office and all those present at that time are invited to witness and attend." Since flag ceremonies in all government institutions, including U.P. are usually held at 8:00 a.m., this move is widely seen by observers as a tactic by Dr. Domingo to circumvent the kind of mass gathering that could take place at a later time when more doctors and medical personnel are around. The presence of armed security guards at that hour also ensures that all other programs remain suspended and creates a "chilling effect" against mass gatherings protesting the removal of Dr. Gonzales.
Dr. Domingo's and the U.P. Administration's tactics could be driving a bigger wedge between themselves and the UPCM faculty some of whom are also PGH medical staff and doctors. Memorandum Circular No. 6 of 1987 of the Civil ServiceCommission specifies the preferred alternative to a mass walkout or work stoppage in any given scenario is a series of dialogues between the bureaucratic administration and employees. In the case of the U.P. and PGH Administration and their colleagues in the faculty and the PGH, there have been none so far ever since Dr. Gonzales was removed by a new vote in the BOR, the legitimacy of which is openly being questioned, due to some regents having expired papers when they voted.

The U.P. Administration and the BOR has failed to intelligently explain to its own faculty and the public why Dr. Gonzales, who is more senior and experienced than Dr. Domingo was removed and replaced by Dr. Domingo beyond the legal arguments being peddled by the U.P. Legal Office. The majority of the faculty of the UPCM have voted to retain Dr. Gonzales and are insisting that their Academic Freedom be respected. But Dr. Domingo's administration seems determined to pursue a mailed fist policy against his own colleagues, including the cutting off of the electricity to Dr. Gonzales's office despite the U.P. Administration's unwillingness to to credibly answer questions about the legitimate right to vote of several regents who voted to remove Dr. Gonzales and replace him with Dr. Domingo when they had expired papers during those periods of time (See Diliman Diary, March 23, 2010:

Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity asked to join Phi Kappa Mu Fraternity in mass LOA to help UP-PGH

Meantime, Dr.  Iggy Agbayani, one of the organizers of the LABAN UPPGH Movement wrote today in his Facebook account that there was no correlation between the calls to protest the removal of Dr. Gonzales and the fact that Dr. Domingo was a member of the Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity. The only other medical fraternity in UPCM is the Phi Kappa Mu Fraternity.

He said therre were "those who have created a fake fraternity war between the Phi Kappa Mu and the Mu Sigma Phi fraternity to keep members of the Mu Sigma Phi from joining the protest activities against the oppressive and undemocratic governance of President Roman and BOR. Even if it is clear that no member of the BOR nor Roman herself is a member of the Mu Sigma Phi this mindset of Phi vs Mu abounds.”

“During the short period of Dr. Gonzales' directorship he even appointed five members of the Mu Sigma Phi to be chairmen of the various PGH Departments because he believes that what is good for PGH transcends the rivalry of fraternities. There exists a strong rivalry between these two organizations but I think the excuse of not joining a cause to help PGH because of affiliation or friendship has long expired.”

“Even rivals can agree and see if real oppression has been done or when true democracy has been thwarted. I know that my many friends and colleagues in the Mu Sigma Phi are just as passionate and as keen to fight what is wrong and to bring back what is right. In this spirit I would like to call on the Mu doctors and faculty of PGH and even the students and alumni of my rival fraternity to join our protest. Signify your intention to join the mass LOA before it is too late. Sumama na kayo sa Laban para sa UP-PGH upang Ibalik ang Tama.”

(Chanda Shahani is the Editor of the Diliman Diary. He finished A.B. Comparative Literature from U.P. Diliman)


1) The embedded video is from:

2) Picture of the Oblation at the U.P. College of Medicine is reproduced with permission:

Pinoy Indie Movie Review: "Ang Paggagahasa kay Fe"

Ni Mar Anthony Simon de la Cruz

Madalas na panakot sa akin ng matatanda noong bata ako ang kapre na nakatira raw sa puno ng mangga namin. Sabi nila, kung hindi raw ako matutulog sa hapon, dadalawin daw ako ng kapre sa pagtulog. Sabi nila, kung hindi raw ako titigil sa paggala sa gabi, papasuin daw ako ng higanteng tabako ng higanteng nilalang. Ginamit nila ang kapre para limitahan ang mga kilos ko. Gumawa sila ng mga kuwento-kuwento para ikahon ako. Samakatuwid, ang kapre ay naging simbolo ng opresyon. Ngunit kabaligtaran ang representasyon ng nilalang na ito sa pelikulang “Ang Panggagahasa Kay Fe” (2009) ni Alvin Yapan. Kinasangkapan ang kapre bilang simbolo ng paglaya ng isang babae mula sa opresyong dulot ng patriyarka.

Umikot ang pelikula kay Fe (Irma Adlawan). Bilang manggagawa, biktima siya ng isang lipunan kung saan ang kalakaran ay hindi ang paglikha ng mga trabaho sa loob ng bansa para sa mamamayan nito, kundi ang pamumuhunan sa pag-export ng mga OFW. Tumingkad ang pagiging biktima ni Fe nang umuwi siya sa kanayunan dahil sa epekto ng pandaigdigang krisis sa ekonomiya. Bilang babae, biktima siya ng isang lipunang hanggang ngayon ay nagbubulag-bulagan sa mga pagbabago at patuloy na ikinukulong ang mga babae sa isang madilim at masikip na kahon.

Pisikal, seksuwal, at emosyonal na pang-aabuso ang natatanggap ni Fe mula sa kanyang asawang si Dante (Nonie Buencamino). Dahil sa mga pang-aabusong ito, naghanap siya ng ibang makatutulong sa kanyang makatakas palayo sa kanyang asawa. Inakala niyang matutupad ang kanyang mga plano sa tulong ni Arturo, isang dating manliligaw. Sinabi ni Fe na lumayo na sila, ngunit may iba pang plano sa buhay si Arturo.

Sa gitna ng mga pang-aabuso ni Dante at kahinaan ni Arturo, nakakatanggap si Fe ng isang misteryosong basket na puno ng itim na prutas tuwing umaga. Inakala niya noong una na ito ay mula sa kanyang asawa bilang peace offering matapos siyang saktan. Makikita rito ang tindi ng sitwasyong kinasasadlakan ni Fe. Simple lang naman ang kanyang hinihingi: ang pagmamahal at respeto ng asawa. Ngunit binugbog siya at ginahasa ng asawa dahil sa suspetsa nitong may kinakalantaring ibang lalaki si Fe. Inilihim na lang ng babae ang mga sumunod na pagdating ng basket (na palapit nang palapit sa kanilang pinto) sa takot na saktan muli ng asawa.

Isang araw, natagpuan niya ang basket sa loob ng kanilang bahay. Dali-dali niya itong inilibing sa likod-bahay. Salamat sa napakahusay na pag-arte ni Adlawan, makikita sa eksenang ito ang halo-halong damdaming bumabalot sa isang babaeng pinupunit ng mapaniil na sistema: takot, kaba, galit,sakit, at kawalang-pag-asa.

Kailangan nang makawala ni Fe. Patindi na nang patindi ang pananakal ni Dante sa kanya. Wala na rin siyang maaasahan kay Arturo na mahigpit na nakatali sa obligasyon nito sa kanyang pamilya at sa negosyo. Alam niyang hindi niya makukuha sa dalawang lalaki ang pagmamahal na kaligayahan na dapat ay ibinibigay sa kanya. Isa na lamang ang solusyon: ang sumama sa misteryosong manliligaw.

Inilantad sa hulihan ng pelikula kung sino ang manliligaw na ito – isang kapre. Ngunit iba ang itsura nito sa kapreng nasa imahinasyon ng marami. Marahil ito ay upang salungatin ang namamayaning pananaw na ang kapre ay kasangkapan ng pananakot at opresyon. Ang kapre at ang basket na kanyang ipinadadala tuwing umaga kay Fe ay simbolo ng paglaya. Noong una, ang basket ay nagsilbing panandaliang kaligayahan kay Fe sa akalang galing ito kay Dante. Ngunit naging instrumento ito ng pagpaparusa nang saktan at gahasain siya ng asawa. Ang parusang ito ang nagdulot kay Fe na pag-isipan ang kanyang sitwasyon at gumawa ng paraan upang makawala mula sa mga puwersang gumagapos sa kanya. Sa huli, ang kapre at ang basket ang naging daan tungo sa kanyang pagkaligtas at kalayaan.

Hindi kataka-takang umani ng papuri mula sa mga kritiko, akademiko, at karaniwang manonood ang “Ang Panggagahasa Kay Fe”. Mahusay na ginampanan ni Adlawan ang papel ni Fe, gayundin sina Buencamino at Trinidad sa kanilang karakter. Kuhang-kuha ng kilos ng kamera at ng ilaw ang imahen ng isang kapaligirang nababalot sa kahirapan at misteryo. Pinatingkad naman ng musical score ang mga emosyon ni Fe at sinalungguhitan nito ang kabuuang mood ng pelikula. Bukod pa ang mga ito sa mahusay na pagtatahi ni Yapan ng naratibo.

Unang ipinalabas sa Cinemalaya noong isang taon, naging bahagi ito sa katatapos lang na 19th International Women’s Film Festival sa UP Cine Adarna. Na ipinalabas ito ng isang institusyong nagsusulong sa karapatan at tunguhin ng kababaihan ay nangangahulugang sinusuportahan ng mga grupong maka-babae ang pelikula. Bagamat lalaki ang nagsulat at nagdirihe ng pelikula, masasabing nasapul ang sensibilidad ng isang babaeng kumikilos laban sa paniniil ng patriyarka.

(Mar Anthony Simon de la Cruz is a freelance writer. He is currently taking his master's degree in creative writing at U.P. Diliman)

(Coming Soon: 2008 COA report raises questions about several University of the Philippines affiliated foundations)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

ON JUDAS: The Custodian of Funds who sold out his Lord and the rest of the Group for 30 pieces of Silver

Gospel for Tuesday, March 30, 2010, is taken from John 13:21-33.36-38

"Judas' betrayal announced and Peter's denial predicted"
Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified, "Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me."
The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant.
One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was reclining at Jesus' side.
So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant. He leaned back against Jesus' chest and said to him, "Master, who is it?"
Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it." So he dipped the morsel and (took it and) handed it to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot.
After he took the morsel, Satan entered him. So Jesus said to him, "What you are going to do, do quickly."
(Now) none of those reclining at table realized why he said this to him.
Some thought that since Judas kept the money bag, Jesus had told him, "Buy what we need for the feast," or to give something to the poor.
So he took the morsel and left at once. And it was night.
When Judas had left them, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
(If God is glorified in him,) God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him at once.
My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. You will look for me, and as I told the Jews, 'Where I go you cannot come,' so now I say it to you.
Simon Peter said to him, "Master, where are you going?"
Jesus answered (him), "Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, though you will follow later."
Peter said to him, "Master, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you."
Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me? Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times."
* * * * *
Lady of All Nations.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father.
Send now your Spirit over the earth.
Let the Holy Spirit live in the hearts of all nations, that they may be preserved from degeneration, disaster and war.
May the Lady of All Nations, who once was Mary be our advocate. Amen. 

(Source: Philippine News Agency)

Holy Week Travellers urged to "Think outside the bottle" - EcoWaste Coalition

MANILA, March 29 (PNA) -- As city folk brace themselves for the seasonal “Semana Santa” pilgrimage or leisure trip, a waste and pollution watchdog issued a “prayerful reminder” for travelers to “think outside the bottle” and give up the bottled water habit.

The EcoWaste Coalition released its latest eco-advisory in time for the much anticipated Holy Week exodus where people take advantage of the long vacation to fulfill their religious vows, visit relatives or travel long distances to get away from the frenzy of urban life.

“We expect increased consumer demand for bottled beverages like bottled water as people hit the road or frolic on the beach under the broiling April sun,” said Chin Chin Gutierrez of Alaga LAHAT and the EcoWaste Coalition.

“The ever increasing production and consumption of bottled water bring myriad environmental and health problems that consumers are hardly informed about, including the release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the whole life cycle of bottled water, the potential leaching of chemicals from plastic bottles, microbial contamination due to poor regulation, and marine litter,” she added.

“In lieu of single-use bottled water, we urge consumers to bring a reusable water jug, stainless steel or lined aluminum container filled with clean tap water or, if necessary, with boiled, filtered or purified water to cut on GHGs and trash. By making it a habit to bring our own ‘lalagyan,’ we avoid creating waste and pollution,” Gutierrez said.

"If buying bottled water cannot be avoided, consumers should dispose of the empty bottles in recycling bins to prevent hazards to human and ecological health. The practice of burning plastic bottles discharges chemical poisons such as dioxins, while discarding them on the street or on the beach pollutes the surroundings and threatens aquatic life," she added.

According to Ocean Conservancy’s “Marine Debris Index,” the Philippines registered the highest number of littered beverage plastic bottles in Southeast Asia, based on marine debris collected during the International Coastal Cleanup Day in 2008. The Philippines accounted for 20,238 pieces, followed by Singapore at 4,932, Thailand 3,216, Malaysia 2,046, Indonesia 681, and Vietnam 5.

The EcoWaste Coalition cited the latest viral video craze “The Story of Bottled Water” launched on March 22, the World Water Day, to affirm its arguments against the bottled water habit that many Filipinos have unwittingly adopted.

The video outlines the various issues against bottled water such as “manufacturing” consumer demand through misleading advertising, the extraction and use of oil to produce water bottles, the emission of GHGs from the manufacture, transportation and disposal of water bottles, and dumping or burning of used bottles. (PNA) FFC/PR/mec

MMDA suspends number-coding scheme starting Tuesday, March 30, 2010

MANILA, March 29 (PNA) --- Metropolitan Manila Development Authority on Monday suspended the enforcement of the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) effective Tuesday.

“The suspension of the UVVRP is our way of ensuring the convenience of the public. This way, they can travel without any delay, and there will be enough public utility vehicles to ferry passengers all day long,” MMDA Chairman Oscar Inocentes said.

The early lifting of the number coding scheme is to give way to the expected high volume of vehicles, both public utility and private, to the provinces as the country celebrates the Lenten season.

The agency is also taking part in the yearly Lakbay Alalay under the Oplan Semana Santa spearheaded by the Department of Transportation and Communications.

The MMDA Traffic and Transport Management Office (TTMO) will deploy more than 1,000 traffic enforcers to man the major thoroughfares, particularly Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (Edsa) and the other exit points of Metro Manila.

Inocentes said that majority of the traffic personnel would be assigned to the roads leading to provincial bus terminals and other vital installations to guarantee the safety of thousands of commuters and even pedestrians.

The operations of the TTMO, in close coordination with the local government units, will concentrate on crucial areas and traffic choke points such as Balintawak, McArthur Highway, Ortigas Avenue Extension, Sumulong Highway, Marcos Highway, Coastal Road, Roxas Boulevard, Alabang, Pasay, and Cubao.

Inocentes said that the “nose in nose out” policy on bus terminals will be in effect, thereby prohibiting bus drivers to maneuver their vehicles along Edsa. Also, they are not allowed to load and unload outside their respective terminals.

“I have ordered our enforcers to strictly enforce the rules so that there will be a smooth flow of traffic,” Inocentes said.

The agency’s Roadside Emergency Group will also be on standby to provide roadside emergency service and assistance to the public.

He also appealed to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) management to deploy additional personnel to collect toll fees during rush hours to avoid traffic congestion.

Inocentes also urged the public to cooperate and support the traffic enforcers and other authorities in order to guarantee a safe, peaceful, and meaningful Lent.(PNA) RMA/CLTC

Monday, March 29, 2010

The U.P. Administration on the growing PGH Crisis: Smile! It's Service as usual!

Editor's note: The following is the official statement of the U.P. Administration on the mass planned leave of absence by the U.P. College of Medicine (UPCM) as posted on the U.P. Administration's official website (

Joint Statement from the Philippine General Hospital and UP College of Medicine of UP Manila


We have received unconfirmed and unofficial reports that some 40 faculty members of the UP College of Medicine (UPCM), including around 30 with admitting privileges at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) will go on leave beginning today, March 29, 2010.

We would like to assure our patients, students, clients and co-workers that:

1. Services at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) will continue unhampered despite this planned leave of absence by some members of the UP College of Medicine (UPCM) faculty.

UPCM and PGH have around 650 common faculty members. There are about 100 medical specialists; 580 medical officers, 200 fellows, 260 medical interns, 1400 nursing staff and 1200 administrative personnel.

Beginning this Maundy Thursday and up to Easter Sunday, PGH will observe the Holy Week and will not hold outpatient clinics, as is the usual practice. However, the emergency room and wards will continue to serve patients.

2. Academic activities, particularly the conduct of final examinations at the UPCM will proceed as scheduled. The Dean assures the students that the academic calendar will not be affected;

3. Consistent with the University’s policy of respecting our constituents’ right to express their views, the reported leave of absence will be properly evaluated and approved upon submission, subject to existing University rules and regulations.

The cause of this alleged mass action has already been filed before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court. We therefore opt to defer comments on matters sub judice. We urge the complainant to respect the courts.

Again, we want to assure our public that it is SERVICE AS USUAL IN PGH.

U.P. Philippine General Hospital Doctors' Statement on March 29 Mass Leave of Absence to Protest the Blatant Disregard for a Democratic Process and Oppressive Ouster of PGH Director, Dr. Jose Gonzales

The Philippine General Hospital is in crisis because of a Hospital Director’s questionable appointment. When a tenured, democratically elected and functioning PGH Director in Dr. Jose C. Gonzales can be removed from office without due process and cause, it sends a message of oppression and shock to the PGH community. On February 25, 2010 upon orders from the University of the Philippines’ Board of Regents, Dr. Gonzales was replaced by Dr. Enrique Domingo. On March 2, 2010 the College Council of the UP College of Medicine whose membership represents the majority of doctors and faculty members of PGH, overwhelmingly approved a resolution (with a vote of 199 to 19) recognizing Dr. Jose Gonzales as the duly appointed Director of PGH until December 2012. 

We the undersigned have therefore decided to take a mass leave of absence starting the week of March 29, 2010 to express our anger and dismay over the oppression and dubious removal from office of one of our own PGH Doctor and to strongly protest the lack of a democratic process in selecting our Director. In view also of the fact that this matter has already been brought to the courts and has yet to decide on who should be the legally recognized Director, our leave of absence protects us from following orders from a de facto PGH Director. We wish to make it clear that our actions will not affect life threatening or emergency cases in PGH patients but may only delay elective surgeries attendance to outpatient cases or other non-life threatening illnesses for a limited time only. Those of us in very sensitive leadership posts will likewise continue working in a limited capacity despite our LOA. We will not abandon our patients already admitted in hospital and will be available for emergency cases and critical aspects of patient care.

To this end,

We call on our patients and the public for understanding, as we will not neglect the care of the critically ill and emergent conditions, but may sadly have to defer outpatient consultations, elective surgical procedures and non-essential administrative functions.

We call on our medical students and resident trainees for support, as we demonstrate in deed, as in word, what it means to uphold and enflesh the noble traditions we cherish and the timeless principles we value.

We call on our colleagues- physicians, health professionals and health workers alike for introspection, reflection and realization that we share a common situation, and that we are challenged to make a common stand in conscience and with conviction.

We call on our leaders, elected or appointed to positions of authority in the University system, to examine their consciences, rectify the situation and assume the rightful role of servant leader rather than that of lord and master, for they are accountable to the People for their words and deeds.

We particularly call on the other members of the Board of Regents and the President of the University of the Philippines, to heed our resounding call, expressed through the representative voices of our organic Faculty, Staff and Alumni Regents, and through the silenced voice of our Student Regent, as we echo the closing lines of UP Naming Mahal:

Ating pagdiwang, bulwagan ng dangal,
humayo't itanghal, giting at tapang,
mabuhay ang pag-asa ng bayan,
mabuhay ang pag-asa ng bayan!

1. Manny Agulto
2. Marge Lat-Luna
3. Joey Lapena
4. Randy Abdullah
5. Eric Legaspi
6. JJ Cruz
7. Jonas del Rosario
8. Eric Talens
9. Butch Felizar
10. Gerardo Legaspi
11. Jojo Jocson
12. Randy Nicolas
13. Venancio Garduce
14. Mario Geronilla
15. CJ Gloria
16. Pio Villacorta
17. Jubert Benedicto
18. Abundio Balgos
19. Mariel Nicolas
20. Arnel De jesus
21. Abe Marinduque
22. Dennis Serrano
23. Ted Herbosa
24. Leo Cubillan
25. Delen Dela Paz
26. Herbie Uy
27. Alvin Marcelo
28. Atoy Manalo
29. Rene Tuazon
30. Leah Tantoco
31. Edison Ty
32. Ricky Salonga
33. Bebol Paterno
34. Maloy Calaquian
35. Butching Paterno
36. Felix Lukban
37. Pablo Lazatin III
38. Jimmy Tan
39. Aileen Cubillan
40. Portia Marcelo
41. Adrian Manapat
42. June Lopez
43. Telly How -Hidalgo
44. Ben Vista
45. Gene Abes
46. Pia Malanyaon
47. Carlos Chua
48. Eris LLanes
49. Charlotte Chiong
50. Gary Mercado
51. Peter Bernardo
52. Jun Kaw
53. Ting Leynes
54. Joan Ocobillo
55. Agnes Mejia
56. Grace Herbosa
57. Joan Ocubillo
58. Eduardo Bautista
59. Benjie Dela Paz
60. Lara Alentahan
61. Cynthia Dominguez
62. Eugene Reyes

If you are a faculty member of the UPCM and you wish to be added to this list please e-mail or call/txt the following cell phone numbers below ASAP. To determine the mechanics of applying for an LOA for this purpose please contact, text or e-mail the following:

Dr. Iggy Agbayani 09175318648 or
Dr. Jonas Del Rosario 09178456627 or
Dr. Joey Lapena 09179137258 or
Dra. Marge Lat Luna 09189234718 or


Maraming salamat po. Tuloy ang Laban para Ibalik ang Tama.

Unibersidad ng Pilipinas ang Eskwelahan ng Matatalino, Matatapang at May Malasakit sa Kapwa at Lalo na sa Mahihirap.

Laban UP-PGH Movement

(Editor's note: the Diliman Diary will give equal treatment to the U.P. Administration's comments or reactions on this issue when they become available).

Sunday, March 28, 2010

U.P. PGH Crisis Deepens with resignation of Associate Dean of the U.P. College of Medicine and Planned Mass LOA of UPCM Faculty over the issue of Academic Freedom

By Chanda Shahani

The Associate Dean for Planning and Research of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine (UPCM), Dr. Abundio A. Balgos, has resigned.

The resignation, which took effect last March 23, 2010 was done “in protest of the death of academic freedom and BOR tyranny. President Roman and her BOR cronies hav been downplaying d U.P. Manila PGH protests re student regent and PGH Director (Jose) Gonzales ... After my resignation as UPCM associate dean to protest the death of academic freedom and BOR tyranny, 50 more UPCM faculty are sumbitting mass leave of absence on Monday (March 29, 2010) during the PGH flag ceremony protest rally to b joined by fac(ulty), students and all U.P. Workers Union,” Dr. Balgos said in a message posted in the website, U.P. Issues (

The UPCM Faculty are protesting the decision by the U.P. Board of Regents (BOR) to disregard their academic freedom as faculty which they formally expressed in a resolution of the College Council last March 2, 2010. In that resolution they said that the appointment of Dr. Jose C. Gonzales as Director of the Philippine General Hospital from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2012 should be respected by the very same BOR that selected him on December 18, 2009 and then removed him on February 25, 2010.

The Diliman Diary has extensively covered the intricate politics and the background behind the arbitrary removal of Dr. Gonzales by the BOR (please see Diliman Diary, March 22, 2010 ( The issue at hand that is being strongly emphasized by the UPCM Faculty, however is that the BOR, which is currently dominated by allies of U.P. President Emerlinda Roman should respect the academic freedom of the majority of the UPCM Faculty to determine that Dr. Gonzales, who is regarded as being more senior and experienced than his replacement, Dr. Enrique Domingo, complete his term of office.

Is President Roman contradicting President Roman?

For President Roman, the essential contradiction is that by tolerating the use of legal manuevers by U.P.'s legal department to justify the removal of Dr. Gonzales by the BOR, she is essentially riding roughshod over the UPCM faculty's much-cherished academic freedom to employ its collective judgement and expertise in determining that Dr. Gonzales should serve out his full term as PGH Director because of his performance and qualifications.

The resignation of Dr. Balgos as Associate Dean, and the planned mass leave of absence by such a large number of UPCM Faculty is seen by observers as a combined vote of confidence for Dr. Gonzales, and a vote of no-confidence in the BOR's decision to replace Dr. Gonzales with Dr. Domingo.

President Roman has said in the past that the BOR should not get involved in matters involving the academic freedom and expertise of a particular subset of faculty belonging to a particular discipline. For example, in a December 18, 2009 letter she wrote to U.P. Diliman Sociology Professor Sarah Raymundo denying her appeal to overturn the decision of U.P. Diliman Chancellor Sergio Cao denying her tenure, Roman said that:

“Our tradition in the university of upholding and maintaining sacrosanct departmental autonomy do not allow us – rightly – to make a decision simply on the basis of the number of people supporting a particular proposition.”

“Upholding the autonomy of the Department of Sociology in its determination that Professor Raymundo should not be granted tenure is vital to maintaining the institutional autonomy guaranted under the U.P. Charter. This is also what the Department and the CEB (College Executive Board) have been insisting throughout the entire process."

"The implication of asking the President and the Board of Regents, at every turn, to substitute their judgement for that of members of the faculty of a department, unit, college or university is fraught with danger as it may transform a purely academic function into a political exercise.”  (

Other points in the UPCM College Council resolution

Other points in the UPCM College Council resolution commenting further about Dr. Gonzales said that:

  • He had already taken his oath of office as Director of Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines Manila before the BOR Chair on December 21, 2009 and before the UP Manila Chancellor on January 7, 2010;
  • Served as PGH director and has performed responsibly since January 4, 2010 with honor , integrity and transparency;
  • Under Civil Service Laws, Dr. Jose Gonzales can only be removed as PGH Director for due cause;
  • His removal as PGH Director is unjust and arbitrary, he should therefore continue to perform his duties and functions as Director of PGH.
The Final Reality in the PGH case: the U.P. BOR also enjoys its own Academic Freedom

But no matter how vocal protests become against the decision to remove Dr. Gonzales, the Diliman Diary has concluded that the U.P. System still holds one trump card over the UPCM Faculty - the U.P. System's institutional academic freedom outweighs Dr. Gonzales' legal complaint against being unjustly removed - or at least that's how the courts see it.

The Diliman Diary's legal consultant, Atty. Noel C. Ducusin has analyzed the issue of how academic freedom always benefits the institution over the individual litigant in a court of law, no matter what the circumstances are. This means that a case in courts regarding Dr. Gonzales' tenure may have difficulty in succeeding if the U.P. Administration invokes its institutional academic freedom. In court cases, judges routinely defer to the U.P. Board of Regents' presumed expertise in academic matters. The U.S. case of the Garcia v. Faculty Admissions Committee which has been extensively referred to in Philippine jurisprudence, summarizes this reflexive bias in this manner:

"There is, as previously noted, the recognition in the Constitution of institutions of higher learning enjoying academic freedom ...  Justice Frankfurter, with his extensive background in legal education as a former Professor of the Harvard Law school, referred to what he called the business of a university and the four essential freedoms in the following language: "It is the business of a university to provide that atmosphere which is most conducive to speculation, experiment and creation. It is an atmosphere in which there prevail "the four essential freedoms" of a university - to determine for itself on academic grounds who may teach, what may be taught, how it shall be taught, and who may be admitted to study." (Garcia v. Faculty Admissions Committee, 68 SCRA 277, G.R. No. L-407779, November 28, 1975).

The irony here is that because it is Dr. Gonzales who has filed an individual suit - and not the majority of UPCM faculty who have filed a class action suit - then the U.P. BOR has the luxury of preempting the UPCM's academic freedom argument by invoking its own institutional academic freedom in its defense against charges of unjust treatment of Dr. Gonzales. The U.P. Administration can easily say that it has the necessary expertise to determine who may teach , assuming for the sake of discussion that PGH is not just a hospital but is also a learning environment for UPCM students and that the court should defer to its institutional expertise on the matter. Based on Attorney Ducusin's extensive study of Philippine jurisprudence, the courts will, in all probability, defer to the academic institution's arguments.

Videos of the week: Focus on U.P. Philippine General Hospital (PGH)

The plight of Jayson Dimaculangan, tricycle driver


Please add Jayson Dimaculangan to your list of friends in Friendster or in Facebook. We are trying to look for people who might be able to help Jayson get enough antibiotics.

Jayson Dimaculangan is a 24 year old victim of a drunk jeepney driver who swerved off the road in Sariaya, Quezon last July 2008. Since then, Jayson has been paralyzed. He has been admitted in and out of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) since September 2008 and had spinal surgery. After the surgery, he has a complication called tracheocutaneous fistula which got infected and he became septic. He can't eat since October 2008 and had surgery called PEG insertion wherein he is fed via a tube in his abdomen. Aside from having a previous infection with MRSA, he has now a very resistant form of the bacteria Pseudomonas which is resistant to all antibiotics except meropenem and imipinem. He needs 6 weeks of meropenem which will cost the family P7,500-P8,500 per day and he needs a second spinal surgery because of the infection. This will cost almost half a million for the MEROPENEM alone. They will have more expenses from his spinal surgery. The family could not afford this because of his long hospital stay and numerous operation. His father is only a tricycle driver and his mother a housewife in Quezon.

Please pray for Jayson's recovery and hopefully a good soul will help them get enough antibiotics. The family needs all the support they can get and you can visit them at PGH, Ward 6 Bed 21. For more information, you can visit Jayson at PGH Ward 6 bed 21 or call his mother Julieta at +639104734675. You can also email us at

They have a BPI account in Lucena, Quezon:
Julieta Dimaculangan
Account No. 0869058068

Again, please help us. If Jayson can not get enough Meropenem, the strain will be resistant to all other antibiotics and this strain may affect other patients as well. We thank everyone for their helps, prayers, and visits.

Editor's Note: The Diliman Diary does not immediately know of the current medical status of Jayson and will update its readers ASAP. We included his video as his plight is a potent metaphor for the thousands of indigent patients who depend on the PGH and the expertise of its doctors and staff and who would have nowhere else to go for treatment for their often life-threatening sicknesses and conditions. In 2008 alone, the Commission on Audit (COA) says that PGH served a total of 560,218 patients. Of this total, 49,340 (9%) were admitted in Charity Wards, 14,274 (3%) in Pay Wards and the remaining 496,604 (89%) were outpatients.

Philippine General Hospital Operating Room Staff


The video above is dedicated to all the hardworking Nurses of the PGH-OR complex. Everywhere we go, this will be an experience engraved in our hearts.

Don't forget to look back were we started. This place is our school after graduation. A lot of learning experiences. A lot of people whom we got to know. Good or bad, it still helped us to grow as nurses and as individuals.

Keep supporting the PGH-OR,....Mabuhay PGH-OR Nurses!!!

Editor's note:

COA says that the PGH's annual budget shortfall of PhP 1.7 billion, results in inadequate facilities, a poor nurse to patient ratio, unpaid utility bills, and underpaid medical personnel, which may adversely affect the premier state hospital's goal of becoming one of the best national university hospitals in Asia, and achieving the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2000 Certification. In particular, the nurses are often not given hazard pay which is a requirement under the law and which is a problem the PGH Administration must eventually solve.

University of the Philippines Medical Center

The corporate video above is very educational and well-done in terms of rendering, in visual format for our many interested readers what the architectural, strategic and vision-mission implications are for the construction of the upcoming Outpatient Hospital to rise within the grounds of Philippine General Hospital & University of the Philippines Manila.

This issue has been covered extremely extensively by the Diliman Diary, including the very intricate politics behind the issue that has split the University of the Philippines community wide apart. As chroncilers, interpreters and story tellers, the Diliman Diary is committed to providing as much information, analysis and opinion as our readers can stand in order for them to make up their own minds on any given topic.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Notice of Full Disclosure - Posted on 12/20/09 and Reposted Again

By Chanda Shahani

The Diliman Diary's ealier analytical piece dated March 22, 2010 and entitled, "Analysis: Malacañang, the BOR, PGH Executive Director and the Student Regent: This particular tale could be one of the convergence of interlocking interests" ( has apparently touched a major nerve among some readers and set off a wave of speculation about whether the Diliman Diary itself comprises other interlocking interests competing against the interlocking interests it itself describes. We stand behind the analysis, a product of solid secondary research and some original reporting, and steadfastly deny any such linkages. As a community weblog, our good points and dysfunctions are entirely our own and we are prepared to defend our editorial independence at every turn. We report to no interests, organizations, clubs, fellowships, societies, religions, cults, fraternities, or national powers, either domestic or foreign. We stand on our own two feet. Additionally, as the editor of the Diliman Diary, I am my own man and do not subscribe to the ideologies of parents, uncles, aunts or any ancestors long dead in their graves. To reiterate - I am my own man.

What we will admit to in the Diliman Diary, as a growing writer's organization is a fascination with coverage of the University of the Philippines (U.P.) Board of Regents (BOR) issue simply because of the dramatic elements it contains: good versus evil; the rise and fall of a powerful leader; the rage of the disempowered and the Machiavellian machinations of bureaucratic toadies who have careers to protect and will correspondingly and furiously lick the backsides of those who will dispense them favours like candy from a machine. Side-by-side with this are the smoldering embers of idealism within the student and faculty ranks that periodcally erupt into flames. This is, admittedly, great political theater that deserves coverage including our own brand of opinonated and interventionist coverage.

But more importantly, as I will show in my original notice of full disclosure below, my own personal experience sensitized me to the travails of other victims of bureaucratic bungling and bad intentions, inside and outside U.P., beginning with the cases of U.P. Diliman's Prof. Sarah Raymundo, the Student Regent Charisse Banez, UP-PGH's Dr. Jose Gonzales; and the hapless U.P. students who now have to pay through the nose for tuition even as the Commission on Audit keeps on unearthing instances of significant diversion of public funds for inappropriate uses. For this reason, the Diliman Diary makes no bones about being an advocate and interventionist weblog that just doesn't report the news, but also analyzes it and creates it (at least sometimes) by asking the tough questions and reporting the answers, no matter where they come from.

U.P. Diliman on the whole has a great reputation for exposing wrongdoing outside its own backyard, and has been at the forefront of every mass action since the First Quarter Storm but has also neglected the rot emanating from within its own ranks. This is nothing new; but the current U.P. Administration has brought unilateral action and the favoring of parochial interests at the expense of the many to unprecedented new levels through the use of legal and bureaucratic manuevers to favor  interlocking interests; which is why we observe that the outrage continues to grow every day, post-Centennial.

On the other hand, we also believe in th excellence of U.P., and its many graduates, and the fact that there's nothing that's wrong with U.P. that can't be fixed with what's right with U.P. (to paraphrase former President Bill Clinton, who was originally speaking about America).

While we encourage our readers to send in more details about other interlocking inrterests and bureaucratic malfeasance (inside and outsisde the greater Diliman area),  we are also trying to expand our coverage to include not just the BOR, but other topics, including films, the arts, politics, economics, business, etcetera.

To set the record straight again, here is the Notice of Full Disclosure originally posted on December 20, 2009:

Dear Reader,

This is to inform the readers of the Diliman Diary about the full extent of my involvement with U.P. Diliman, which is a very large and component part of the greater Diliman area. I do so because it is an accepted journalistic practice to duly inform the readers about a topic or organization the writer is writing about within the context of if that writer has had any prior involvement or history with that topic or organization that may affect or compromise his or her fairness in coverage.

In a larger journalistic organization, such as the Philippine STAR (I used to work for this publication) or in other news organizations I have had involvement with (I have interned with United Press International, Mesa (Ariz.) Tribune and the Phoenix (Ariz.) Gazette), a writer such as myself, who was also a former student at the MBA program of the University of the Philippines and had filed a civil case for PhP 5000.00 in civil damages against top officials of the University of the Philippines (U.P.), including Professor Gerardo Agulto and then Chancellor Emerlinda Roman for their collective inability to provide the basis in awarding failing grades in a comprehensive examination; would have been ordered to stand down from covering (U.P.), and that journalistic organization would have assigned another reporter to cover the story. I recognize that ethos in a large news organization and respect it. No contest.

But to begin with, the Diliman Diary is not a news organization. Neither does it have the resources of a news organization to assign other reporters to cover U.P. events or other events in the greater Diliman area. The Diliman Diary is a weblog, and I am its founder, photographer, editor, proofreader and even chief messenger. I am trying to build up the Diliman Diary's long-term capability to field other writers, but that takes time and resources. In the meantime, there's just little ol' me, but I'm grateful for the privilege to be writing again after a sabbatical of so many years. As a weblog, we cannot provide the kind of journalistic scoops or reportage (although we may already have had a few shining moments)that national news organizations such as the Philippine STAR or the Philippine Daily Inquirer can. We cannot provide other writers consistently. If I have to cover U.P. Diliman, its Board of Regents, or even the actions of its President, Emerlinda Roman, my one-time professor whom I also included in the dismissed suit (because of her actions against my case as then U.P. Diliman Chancellor, in support of her colleague at the ), then the buck necessarily stops with me. For the record, however, I drew the line back then at filing suit against the U.P. Board of Regents because I considered them to be part-time bureaucrats dependent on the U.P. President's recommendation who were only involved in policy-making and could not possibly have a proper appreciation of my case and so I left them out of it. For those who may wonder why I did not include former President Francisco Nemenzo in my suit; my chief consideration was that a reading of the pesonalities involved in the BOR at that time indicated that he was highly dependent on the recommendation of his chosen successor, Chancellor Emerlinda Roman for her advice. In other words, one files suit against the dog, and not against its wagging tail.

Because the Diliman Diary has positioned itself as an alternative community weblog that comes out about three times a month (or even more frequently) and is in fact a bilingual tri-monthly online weblog that features trends in the Diliman area in Filipino and English. It features technology, business, the arts, music, literature, theatre, film, politics and other trends which impact the Diliman area and its netizens who may be located anywhere and in any time zone.

I have many happy memories of being a U.P. student. I graduated from U.P. Diliman in 1987 (A.B. Comparative Literature), and was taught by some of the greatest luminaries there were in the field: Anton Juan, Concepcion Dadulfalza, Amelia Lapena Bonifacio, Franz Arcellana, to name a few. I stayed in Kalayaan and Molave Residence Halls and made many friends from all over the country. Though not a student activist per se, I joined several sit-ins and marches to Welcome Rotonda and Mendiola. I participated in the EDSA revolution when I was a junior in U.P. Diliman. One did not have to be an activist in U.P. Diliman during that period to be involved in a growing outcry for change. The whole country was practically clamouring for it back then. Let me be categorical about this: I love U.P., and many of the things it has taught me to value: to dissent, to be independent, to analyze, to question, to be critical - and yes - to have an opinion - and not to be ashamed of it.

But the U.P. of the 1980s (I finished my A.B. in 1987) had changed when I reenrolled in U.P. Diliman in the MBA program in 1999. U.P. had deteriorated, and had become much more politicized. My professor in my comprehensive examination, Gerardo Agulto, invoked Academic Freedom in stating that I had failed a successive three times. Asked for a basis or in other words, how he exercised his Academic Freedom, I was met with a series of administrative stonewalls that resulted in a much-publicized court case that reached the Supreme Court and was dismissed on a pure technicality.

This experience taught me to empathize with other victims of bureaucratic bungling and bad intentions, inside and outside U.P., and for this reason, the Diliman Diary makes no bones about being an advocate and interventionist weblog that just doesn't report the news, but also analyzes it and creates it (at least sometimes). It is for this reason that we have initiated our own inquiries into bureaucratic malfeasance in our community, and are currently cooperating with several administrative authorities to ferret out the truth. We do not believe in apathy, and since we count ourselves as affected members of a larger community, we will continue to make our voice heard.

For those who are interested in knowing the background of my case, please refer to:

1. My supporting affidavit submitted to Philippine courts and dated August 14, 2006 at:

2. The Final Letter I wrote to the U.P. Diliman University Council on December 13, 2009 about my case:

Other documents will follow over time.

In the meantime, I would like to disclose that I have thought through very carefully the ethical implications of having sued the top officials of U.P. (albeit for PhP 5000.00 in damages only) and later covering the actions of these same top officials. As a community weblog, the Diliman Diary is part of the Diliman and including the U.P. community. I categorically reject being excluded from commenting or covering U.P., simply because I was the casualty of an unfortunate affair, and stood up for my rights in a court of law (win or lose). Like everybody else in this great country, I also enjoy freedom of speech. Additionally, we in the Diliman Diary position ourselves as being well-written, opinionated but also going out of our way to include fair coverage by trying to include the other side (if they will comment at all, but that's another story) There is no such thing as objective reporting in a monthly that essentially does features. Objective reporting in an opinionated alternative tri-monthly weblog is an oxymoron. But to those whom we write about, we have one promise: trying our best to give their side of the story will always be part of our permanent ethos. That's a promise.

Thank you.


Chanda R. Shahani

Friday, March 26, 2010

Public Service Announcement: Intensity 4.0 Earthquake Rocks Quezon City and NCR - Implications for the Diliman Community

(Source: Phivolcs. To see an enlarged
version of the image, just click on it)

A moderately strong earthquake rocked Metro Manila and surrounding areas Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 1:29 p.m.

Renato Solidum, director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), said the quake measured at 6.0 magnitude with the epicenter estimated at 27 kilometers southwest of Lubang Island. It had a depth of 25 kilometers.

The Phivolcs head said areas surrounding the fragile Marikina Valley System, the most active fault line in the country, were not severely affected although more than 30-second shaking was felt in Pasig City.

"It's because the epicenter of the quake is in Mindoro. But we received reports that they felt mild to moderate temblor there," he said.

The quake was tectonic in origin and had a depth of 25 kilometers underground.

It was felt at intensity 4 in Quezon City, Mandaluyong City, Pasig City, Makati City, Pasay City, Taguig City, and Talisay, Batangas.

Intensity 3 was felt in Marikina City, Tagaytay City, Bagac, Bataan; Canlubang, Laguna; Clark, Pampanga; Rosario and Trece Martires City in Cavite.

Intensity 2 was registered in Calamba, Laguna; Legazpi City, Albay; and Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro.

The Marikina Fault Line is the most geologically active fault line in the Philippines, but haa not shifted in a massive earthquake for at least 500 years. However, scientists say it is only a matter of time before the "big one" hits.

The Marikina Fault Line is located east of Metro Manila and passes from Rizal, Marikina City, Quezon City- especially Libis, Ateneo de Manila University campus, and is only one kilometer away from Quezon Hall in U.P. Diliman to, Pasig City, Laguna de Bay, leading to Taal Volcano.

Even Sunken Garden, in front of U.P. Diliman's College of Business Administration might not be spared from related geological shifts. Basically a basin, Sunken Garden is a "garden" that is believed to sink every year since it lies in a fault line. Because of the water spring that originates from it, the Sunken Garden used to be half-submerged in water (

DOST and Phivolcs earthquake guide for Diliman-area residents

Some scientists say that once the fault moves, it will also lead to the eruption of Taal Volcano, just like what happened in June 1990 earthquake, when the Digdig Fault in Central Luzon caused the Mount Pinatubo (which has been dormant for nearly 600 years) to erupt a year later (July 1991).

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology and the Department of Science and Technology have issued the following guidelines that Diliman-are and adjoining area residents should follow for the sake of earthquake preparedness:

Disasters such as earthquakes occur without any warning, thus, there is a need to prepare especially if you happen to live in an earthquake-prone area.

The following guide on what to do before, during and after an earthquake from can help you prepare and stay safe in the event of an earthquake:


The key to effective disaster prevention is planning:

  • Know the earthquake hazards
  • Follow structural design and engineering practices when constructing a house or building.
  • Evaluate the structural soundness of the buildings and houses; strengthen or retrofit if necessary.
  • Prepare your homes, workplace or schools:
  • Strap or bolt heavy furnitures/cabinets to the walls.
  • Check the stability of hanging objects like ceiling fans and chandeliers.
  • Breakable items, harmful chemicals and flammable materials should be stored properly in the lowermost secured shelves.
  • Familiarize yourself with the exit routes.
  • Know where fire extinguishers, first aid kits, alarms and communication facilities are located. Learn how use them beforehand.
  • Prepare a handy emergency supply kit with first aid kit, canned food and can opener, water, clothing, blanket, battery-operated radio, flashlights and extra batteries.
  • Conduct and participate in regular earthquake drills.


  • Stay calm.
  • When you are INSIDE a structurally sound building or home…STAY THERE!
  • If possible quickly open the door for exit.
  • Duck under a sturdy desk or table, and hold on to it, or protect your head with your arms.
  • Stay away from glass windows, shelves, cabinets and other heavy objects.
  • Beware of falling objects. Be alert and keep your eyes open.
  • If you're OUTSIDE…move to an open area!
  • Stay away from trees, powerlines, posts and concrete structures.
  • Move away from steep slopes which may be affected by landslides.
  • If you’re near the shore and feel an earthquake, especially if it’s too strong, move quickly to higher ground. Tsunamis might follow
  • If you’re in a moving vehicle, STOP and get out! Do not attempt to cross bridges, overpasses, or flyovers which may have been damaged.

  • Be prepared for aftershocks. Once the shaking stops, take the fastest and safest way out of the building.

  • use elevators,
  • enter damaged buildings
  • use telephones unless necessary

  • yourself and others for injuries
  • water and electrical lines for damages
  • for spills of chemicals, toxic and flammable materials and control fires which may spread
  • If you need to evacuate your residence, leave a message stating where you are going and bring your emergency supply kit and keep updated on disaster prevention instructions from battery-operated radios.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

OP-ED: Rolando Tolentino: Hindi magiging mabuti ang kasaysayan

Ni Rolando Tolentino

Hindi magiging mabuti ang kasaysayan.

Hindi naman ito usaping personal. Mabuting makitungo si Emerlinda Roman, pangulo ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas. Makwento ito, at kahit paulit-ulit ang kwento sa iba’t ibang pagkakataon, buhay na buhay pa rin ang kwento. Noong Chancellor pa ito ng UP Diliman, decisive ito kapag may itinanong o hiniling ang unit.

Kaya nakakalungkot isipin na ang sentenaryong pangulo ng UP, ang unang babaeng pangulo nito, ay hindi paborableng huhusgahan ng kasaysayan. Hindi kakatwa na sa dulo ng termino nito bumulwak ang mga isyu, pawang pahiwatig sa kalidad o kawalan nito ng demokratikong governance sa unibersidad.

Dati rati pa nga ay kasama si Roman sa pagtutol sa CPDP (Commonwealth Property Development Plan) ng nauna nang presidente Emil Javier. Gayon naman pala, ang pinakamalaking proyekto ng pribatisasyon, ang UP-Ayalaland Technohub ay maisasakatuparan sa termino ni Roman sa mismong sityo ng CPDP.

Ang walang dangal na pagpataw ng 300 porsyentong pagtaas ng matrikula ay naganap din sa watch ni Roman. Sa isang desisyong itinago sa mga nagproprotestang komunidad, naetsapwera ni Roman ang dakilang misyon ng UP na bigyan ng pinakakalidad na tertiaryong edukasyon ang pinaka-deserving at mahihirap na estudyante.

Dagdag pa sa tiwaling pamamalakad ni Roman, ang malawakang subkontraktuwalisasyon ng mga serbisyo, pagpasok ng unibersidad sa mga kwestiyonableng kasunduan sa pribadong entidad, pagpapalakad ng Board of Regents, ang pinakamataas na policy-making body ng UP, na expired na ang termino ng tatlong Malacanang appointees, at matapos madiskubre ito, nang walang konsultasyon sa kanyang constituency, nirekomendang magkaroon ng full term pa ang mga ito.

Dahil sa sistematikong kawalan ng konsultasyon ni Roman, bumuyanyang ang bigat ng kanyang plano’t aksyon. Tinanggal ang rehente ng mga estudyante, tinanggal ang nahirang nang direktor ng Philippine General Hospital (PGH), inuluklok muli ang Chancellor ng UP Mindanao nang hindi tinutugunan ang mga komento ng Commission ng Audit hinggil sa inagurasyon nito, at iba pa.

Marami nang presidente ang UP. Marami ang makasaysayang pamumuno dahil sa ginawang Filipinisasyon ng unibersidad at sa termino ni S.P. Lopez, ang demokratikong konsultasyon na nauwi sa pagproprotekta nito sa mga lumahok sa Diliman Commune laban sa militar ni Marcos.

Ang di-demokratikong pamamalakad ni Roman ay sarili niyang kagagawan. Sinasabi niyang maliit na pumpon ng nagproprotesta lamang ang nasa Quezon Hall. Tunay na ngang nasa ivory tower si Roman. Wala na itong interes na makinig, itinatatwa na niya ang radikal na tradisyon ng unibersidad na naghirang sa kanya bilang sentenaryong pangulo.

At hindi ito kataka-taka para sa “reyna ng komersyalisasyon.” Pinindeho ni Roman ang kasaysayan ng UP sa poder ng negosyo at reaksyonaryong estado. Hindi hiwalay ang kinikilos ni Roman sa neoliberalismo at fasismo ni Gloria Arroyo, ang napagtagumpayan niyang i-bypass dahil nakakolekta ng bilang ng boto si Roman mula sa mga rehenteng niluklok ni Arroyo.

Hindi naman pala sila magkaiba. Magkahalintulad ang kanilang bisyon sa isang sitwasyon limitado ang resources at may engrandeng bisyon na maging globally competitive ang kanilang pinaghaharian: papasukin ang negosyo, supilin ang demokratikong proseso, buwagin ang natitirang espasyo ng demokratikong karapatan. Ang resulta ay ang pamamayani ng kultura ng impunity.

Walang takot sa parusa si Roman o si Arroyo, walang remorse sa pinaggagagawa kahit natitiyak na natitinag din ito sa ilang beses na paghiyaw na “Roman resign!” ng mga nagproprotesta. Sino ang hindi? Dagdag pa ito sa kanyang makasaysayang panunungkulan: sentenaryong presidente, unang babaeng pangulo, at unang pinanawagan magbitiw na sa panunungkulan?

Na pati ang fasistang Chancellor ng UP Los Banos ay nahawahan na ng kulturang ito, walang takot na naghahari at nananakot sa kanyang kampus? Pati ang iba pang hinirang ni Roman na maging reservoir ng kapangyarihan niya, kasama na ang midnight appointments ng tatlong rehente ng Malacanang, ay namamayagpag sa kanilang kingdom come.

Tulad ni Arroyo, si Roman ay hindi rin natatakot maparusahan, hindi rin bibitiw sa kapangyarihan, kaya ang kasaysayan ang huhusga sa kanila. At tulad ng mga linya sa puntod, dito nakahimlay ang empire ni Roman, magarang monumento pero mabilis na naaagnas na, tulad ng maraming naghari nang may pag-iimbot, naglilingkod sa makauring interes ng negosyo at gobyerno.

Nabigwasan na ng progresibong kilusan sa unibersidad ang akala ay toreng pinagtitirikan ng kapangyarihan ng empire ni Roman. Mula sa kanyang posisyon, di na lamang alapaap ng sariling kapangyarihan ang natatanaw. Nasira na ang view ng mga graffiti at nagproprotestang komunidad.

(Prof. Rolando Tolentino is Chair of CONTEND-UP (Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy); and a Faculty member of the UP Film Institute)


(Graphic courtesy of Karl Castro and CONTEND-UP)

(Photos by Mykel Andrada)

OP-ED: The Day After the Disrupted March 24 U.P. Board of Regents Meeting - An Apology - of sorts

Editor's Note: the following apology and the embedded video and graphic above were posted (author unknown) in a Facebook site entitled, a Public Apology from the U.P. Community (!/publicapology?v=app_2347471856). To get the side of the U.P. Administration which is posted on the U.P. System website, please click on:

A Public Apology from the UP Community Regarding the Events of March 24, 2010

We are from the University of the Philippines (UP), and on behalf of our dear Board of Regents (BOR), especially the esteemed President Emerlinda Roman, we apologize. Contrary to what the whole nation witnessed on March 24, 2010, not all members of the University are rude, uncouth and disrespectful.

Contrary to what the whole nation witnessed on March 24, 2010, there are some of us who still believe in defending our constitutional rights, in democratic governance, in a leader's polite and steadfast service to her constitutents.

We are sorry that our BOR has acted with such vulgarity as to sow disillusionment, disgust and disunity within the University. We are sorry that this kind of confrontational violence has had to happen, but the actions of the UP administration have left us no choice. It is our greatest shame that UP, the "National University," has set the chilling trend among state universities of railroading unjust tuition increases through the blatant disregard of democratic principles. No carefully-worded statement, no polite dialogue, no humble request has been heeded by President Roman and her colleagues. Instead, they have chosen to rudely disenfranchise the UP community, including its sectoral regents, in order to have their way with the University's policies, leadership and overall thrust. These are embarrassing actions which are highly unbecoming of an Iskolar ng Bayan, and on their behalf, we apologize.

We apologize further for the apathy of those in our ranks who seem to be more concerned with civil gestures rather than the welfare of the people. We are sorry that this culture of misplaced priorities has been allowed to spread among the community, no thanks to President Roman being in the vanguard of such an obscene mindset. We do not apologize, however, for our militant actions; again, we wish to emphasize that the inconsiderate leadership of the Roman administration has left us with no other choice but to confront it head-on.

We are sorry to have sullied a national architectural treasure like Juan Nakpil's Quezon Hall, but the damage is not something a coat of paint and a good scrubbing cannot remedy. The damage President Roman and the BOR have caused to the University, to education, and to the people, however, cannot be so easily repaired. For that, we are truly sorry.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

U.P. Board of Regents March 24 meeting at Quezon Hall is disrupted by U.P. Students leading to no quorum at all

For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV

Students from the University of the Philippines (UP) and the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) today merged their protest actions to seek emergency allocation from the government for state colleges and universities, a press statement released by the Office of Kabataan Kabataan Party-list Rep. Mong Palatino and other reports said today.

UP students from the Diliman, Los Banos, Baguio and Manila campuses held a rally this morning to block the UP Board of Regents from approving additional fees in the university, including a P100 hike in PE fees and P1,000 to P2,500 per unit hike in graduate classes.

The students were able to successfully block two UP regents from entering Quezon Hall resulting in a lack of quorum for the BOR meeting. This was independently confirmed by Staff Regent Clodualdo "Buboy" Cabrera in a text statement sent to the Diliman Diary.

Even U.P. Los Banos Chancellor Luis Rey Velasco was not spared. He was splashed with paint by irate students for his role in denying Student Regent Charisse Banez permission to enroll in continuing residency which is a precondition for her to continue fulfilling her functions as U.P.'s Student Regent.

According to Rain Sindayen, Chairperson-elect of the UP Diliman University Student Council, “This is an initial victory for UP students. The main issue here is that the BOR has no right to table or vote on the proposed fees in the absence of a student representative in the BOR.” The UP BOR unjustly ousted UP Student Regent Charice Banez last month on trumped up technicalities. As a result, students have been stripped of representation in the BOR.

By lunchtime, the UP students welcomed the contingent from 21 PUP campuses nationwide in a rally in front of the Commission on Higher Education office inside the UP campus to protest the 1,700 percent tuition hike proposal in PUP.

Sindayen said, “They have done it in UP but we will not allow the passing of the absurd tuition hike in PUP. We call on all Iskolars ng Bayan to unite.” The UP BOR had already increased tuition in UP in 2006 from P300 to P1,000 per unit.

The U.P. Administration gives its side

Meanwhile, the U.P. Administration gave its version of events which it headlined in the government-owned and tax-payer-funded U.P. System website (

"A meeting of the University of the Philippines’ Board of Regents was scheduled for 9 a.m. March 24. It did not take place because the entrances were blocked by around 150 protesters."

"The main issues being raised by the protesters were: the disqualification of Ms. Charisse Bañez as Student Regent because she is neither enrolled nor on leave as required by the students’ internal rules; and the nullification of the election of Dr. Jose Gonzalez as director of the Philippine General Hospital."

"These matters have been brought to the courts by the interested parties themselves, and the courts are hearing the cases."

"According to Vice President for Legal Affairs Theodore Te, UP respects the right to protest but has the duty to ensure the safety of the Regents. The main reason for the cancellation of the meeting was the possibility of physical injury to the Regents."

"Speeches had become inflammatory. The car of one regent was blocked and paint was hurled at it. The Chancellor of UP Los Baños was assaulted as he alighted from his car in the parking lot in front of Quezon Hall. Paint was thrown at his person and at his car. He was pushed by one protester."

Faculty Regent Judy M. Taguiwalo told the Diliman Diary in a text message that only U.P. President Emerlinda Roman and Malacañang Regent Nelia Gonzales were actually able to make it to the BOR board room. The other two Malacañang regents, Abraham Sarmiento and Francis Chua were prevented by students from entering into Quezon Hall.

"The students said, "No student representative, No BOR meeting," Regent Taguiwalo said, in apparent reference to the February 25 decision of the BOR to nullify the right of Student Regent Charisse Bañez to vote in any BOR meeting beginning with the December 18, 2009 BOR meeting.

Emergency budget allocation

“We demand an emergency budget allocation for state colleges and universities to prevent these tuition increases from being implemented. Poor budget allocation for state colleges and universities has resulted in school administrations’ passing on the burden to students,” said Vencer Crisostomo, Kabataan Partylist Secretary-General.

Crisostomo said that the past ten years saw a consistent decrease in the budget allocation for SUCs in line with the state policy of privatization and commercialization of education. “The government has been gradually washing its hands off of the responsibility to subsidize public education. As a result, SUCs are resorting to income-generating schemes and commercial ventures with private entities at the expense of students,” Crisostomo said.

“UP, for instance, requested for P18 billion in the 2010 budget but was granted barely P6 billion. PUP, on the other hand, suffered another budget slash from its 2009 budget at P704 million to P661 million in 2010,” Crisostomo said.

All major SUCs, he added, have zero budgets for capital outlay which is supposed to be earmarked for their operational expenses. “To compensate for these losses, school administrations are hiking tuitions. An emergency allocation for SUCs is imperative to stop tuition hikes,” he said.

Meanwhile, almost 250 private schools have also submitted their proposal to the CHED for tuition hikes as high as 20 percent.

A nationwide protest against tuition increases is set on March 29, coinciding with the PUP BOR meeting scheduled to approve the PUP tuition hike.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

SUCCESS! - The Diliman Diary finally gets copies of the Malacañang appointments of the three U.P. Regents

By Chanda Shahani

The Diliman Diary has finally been able to get copies of the March 2010 "midnight" appointments by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the University of the Philippines (U.P.) Board of Regents (BOR) of Regents Francis Chua, Nelia Gonzales and Abraham Sarmiento from the Malacañang Records Office even as the Office of the Secretary of the University has been acting in very slow motion on the Diliman Diary's requests for the same information.

Quezon Hall's reluctance to disclose copies of the Malacañang "midnight" appointments of the regents before this morning's regular meeting of the BOR is set within the context of several other regents questioning the legitimacies of these three regents. The U.P. Administration is mandated to disclose the action taken by the President in view of the fact that the previous action taken by the BOR in its last February 25, 2010 meeting was to recommend the appointment of these three regents to the President before the March 10 constitutional ban on presidential appointments. But in disclosing the presidential action, Quezon Hall also lays itself open to questions arising from the data contained in the presidential "midnight" appointment papers.

To let our readers get an appreciation of the implications of the information contained in the 2010 Presidential appointments, we have scanned the documents and put them side-by-side with the 2008 scanned Presidential appointments of the same regents (the 2008 copies were obtained during a press briefing held at the College of Social Work and Community Development on March 3, 2010 by the sectoral regents).

Below are the 2010 and 2008 scanned Presidential appointment papers of Regent Francis Chua (Left to right. To see an enlarged image just click on the scan ):

Below are the 2010 and 2008 Presidential appointment papers of Regent Nelia Gonzales (Left to right. To see an enlarged image just click on the scan ):
And below are the 2010 and 2008 Presidential appointment papers of Regent Abraham Sarmiento(Left to right. To see an enlarged image just click on the scan ):

The Diliman Diary's interpretation of the 2010 "midnight" Presidential appointment papers versus the earlier 2008 Presidential appointment papers is influenced by the operational word, "Acting," which is appended to the titles of all the regents when they were appointed in 2008.

In a March 1, 2010 report, Faculty Regent Judy Taguiwalo said she questioned in the February 25, 2010 BOR meeting the validity of the vote taken by six regents to remove Student Regent Charisse Bañez as Student Regent, and replace the duly selected Ezxecutive Director of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) Dr. Jose Gonzales with a replacement, Dr. Enrique Domingo.

Regent Taguiwalo said that the three regents were appointed as "Acting" regents in 2008 and that under Executive Order 292, "acting" or "temporary" regents only enjoyed a one-year term. This means that the "Acting" regents were all former regents when they voted in the February 25 BOR meeting. Since only six regents voted in that meeting and three of them had expired papers, then the results of the votation were null and void.

Other developments:

  • The U.P. System's Vice President for Legal Affairs, Atty. Theodore Te has asserted in the website of the U.P. System ( that the three regents enjoyed two-year and not one-year terms starting in 2008.
  • In the February 25 BOR meeting BOR Chairman Angeles stated that the BOR should recommend to Malacanang that the three regents be given regular appointments and it was President Roman who made the motion to do so. This action would be in accordance with R.A. 9500 or the U.P Charter of 2008 which requires that the BOR make such recommendations to the President of the Philippines.
  • But the copy of Regent Abraham Sarmiento's 2008 appointment signed by President Arroyo and showed that President Arroyo signed the appointment in September 29, 2008 and, adopting President Roman's and Atty. Te's logic, should expire only this coming September 29, 2010. Thus the submission by the U.P. Administration of Sarmiento's appointment papers for a “midnight” appointment” by President Arroyo before the March 10, 2010 constitutional ban took effect shows that the U.P. Administration publicly disagreed with Faculty Regent's argument that a one-year rule on such appointments was in effect, but privately agreed with her by submitting Sarmiento's papers to the Palace for a regular appoinment, as they had already expired on September 29, 2009. This is supported by the 2010 March “midnight” appointment which stipulates that the appointment is good only until September 29, 2010. It also means that U.P. itself is admitting that Regent Sarmiento was already a former regent when he voted on February 25, 2010 to render the Student Regent a former regent as well, and to vote for Dr. Enrique Domingo as the new Executive Director of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), replacing Dr. Jose Gonzales.
  • Regent Francis Chua's appointment was signed by President Arroyo on January 1, 2008, which means that since U.P. already impliedly agreed with Faculty Regent Taguiwalo's one-year argument by submitting Regent Sarmiento's papers for regular appointment, then Regent Chua's term likewise expired on January 1, 2009 and he was a former regent when he voted to remove the Student Regent and Dr. Gonzales.
  • Under the one-year rule, therefore, Regent Nelia Gonzales' appointment was signed by President Arroyo on March 18, 2008 and expired on March 18, 2009 and she was also a former regent when she voted to remove the Student Regent and Dr. Gonzales. The application of the one year rule means that every single decision of the BOR, including the removal of the Student Regent, the removal of Dr. Gonzales, and the appointment of Dr. Domingo may be questioned for the period when the terms of individual regents expired; potentially tilting the balance of voting in every instance, and affecting the validity of decisions previously made by the BOR.
  • Even if we applied the two-year rule instead of the one-year rule, there still would not have been a majority vote to recommend the three regents to Malacanang because Faculty Regent Taguiwalo said that only five participated in the voting, with BOR Chairman Eduardo Angeles, President Roman and Regents Chua, Gonzales and Sarmiento participating. But of the three Malacanang regents, only Regents Sarmiento and Gonzales were eligible to vote under the two-year rule, as their appointments would not yet be deemed expired; as Regent Chua's tenure would have expired on January 1, 2010 under the two-year rule. Neither did a majority vote exist to remove the Student Regent or remove Dr. Gonzales as PGH Executive Director and replace him with Dr. Domingo, because only four out of the five regents who participated in the voting were eligible to vote.
  • Additionally, President Arroyo reappointed Regent Gonzales on March 9, 2010 or nine (9) days BEFORE Regent Gonzales' term expired. This could render President Arroyo's appointment of Regent Gonzalez null and void, and with the March 10, 2010 ban on Presidential appointments already in effect, U.P. will have to wait until the country finishes electing a new President when the presidential elections start on May 10, 2010, before the newly elected President fills up Regent Gonzales' vacant slot with the same or a new appointee.
  • Although the March 24, 2010 BOR meeting had not yet begun as of the posting of this dispatch, the issue of the legitimacy of regents' terms of office is an issue that is likely to be extensively discussed by the sectoral regents, such as Faculty Regent Judy Taguiwalo, Student Regent Charisse Banez, Staff Regent Clodualdo “Buboy” Rivera, Alumni Regent Alfredo Pascual and other regents such as U.P. President Emerlinda Roman, the U.P. Legal Office and the affected regents, such as Regents Abraham Sarmiento, Nelia Gonzales and Francis Chua.
  • A possible rendering of the February 25, 2010 vote by the BOR as null and void due to the lack of a majority vote taken due to the ineligibility of certain regents to vote means that Student Regent Charisse Banez's removal as Student Regent was null and void and that Dr. Gonzales' removal and Dr. Domingo's installation (in both instances) as PGH Executive director were also null and void.
The Diliman Diary will continue to provide updates to this story as it continues to develop.

(Chanda Shahani is the editor of the Diliman Diary. He finished A.B. Comparative Literature from U.P. Diliman)

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