Monday, March 1, 2010

OP-ED: The Day of the Long Knives (Part 3): Quezon Hall Narrates its Version of Events leading to Feb. 25 ouster of U.P. PGH Executive Director Jose Gonzales

Editor's note: This is the original and unaltered official statement of the U.P. Administration justifying the events leading to the ouster of U.P. PGH Executive Director Jose Gonzales


Monday, March 1, 2010

The University of the Philippines Board of Regents, the highest policy-making and governing body of the national university, appointed during its 1254th Meeting on February 25, 2010, a new Director for the Philippine General Hospital in the person of Dr. Rolando Enrique Domingo.

Dr. Domingo’s appointment was unanimous, with six regents voting in favor and none against. Three regents abstained. His appointment took effect immediately.

The election of Dr. Domingo came after the Board of Regents voted to consider and, thereafter, grant a protest made by Regent Abraham F. Sarmiento against its earlier vote, during its 1252nd Meeting on December 18, 2009, electing Dr. Jose Gonzales as Director of the PGH replacing Dr. Carmelo Alfiler, whose second term as Director expired on December 31, 2009.

Regent Sarmiento’s protest was anchored on the disqualification of the former Student Regent Charisse Bernadine Bañez, as of the December 18 Board meeting, due to her having failed to enroll as a student. This disqualifed her from sitting as a Student Regent.

The protest was made verbally almost immediately after the vote on Dr. Gonzales and before the meeting ended. The vote on Dr. Gonzales was a 6-5 vote, thus making the former Student Regent’s vote decisive. Regent Sarmiento subsequently followed up the verbal protest with a formal protest in writing, submitted to the Board of Regents in time for its 1253rd Meeting on January 29, 2010.

In granting the protest, the Board first reconsidered its December 2009 decision to allow the former Student Regent to vote. Thereafter, the Board decided on the validity or nullity of the December 2009 elections which resulted in the selection of Dr. Gonzales as PGH Director; the Board voted, by a majority, to declare the December 2009 election void. After this, the Board elected from the three original nominees, namely, Dr. Carmelo Alfiler, Dr. Jose Gonzales and Dr. Rolando Enrique Domingo.

The appointment of Dr. Domingo was met with protest from supporters of Dr. Gonzales who, in text messages, called for a barricade of PGH on Monday, March 1, 2010.

Dr. Ramon Arcadio, Chancellor of UP Manila, when reached for comment, said in text messages forwarded to constituents of UP Manila and PGH, that the BOR resolution appointing Dr. Domingo is executory, but that he recognizes the right of Dr. Gonzales to appeal or protest. He expressed the hope, however, that everyone would be reminded that there are more things that unite rather than divide them. He appealed for sobriety for the sake of the patients, students and the public which PGH serves.


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