Thursday, April 29, 2010

U.P. Philippine General Hospital contract with DMMC to privatize portions of PGH may be lopsided

By Chanda Shahani

The University of the Philippines (U.P.) Philippine General Hospital (PGH) may have entered into a grossly disadvantageous relationship resembling a kind of corporate neocolonialism where the numerous assets and resources of one entity (PGH) are hijacked by a smaller but more technologically advanced entity (Daniel Mercado Medical Center) to the gross disadvantage of PGH, and consequently the Filipino people.

At least that's how the the contract looks like between the UP administration and the Daniel Mercado Medical Center (DMMC), a private hospital in Batangas leasing the old Dispensary Building, to be renamed the Faculty Medical Arts Building (FMAB) a three-storey structure which used to serve as the old outpatient department (OPD) of PGH, to DMMC.

The Diliman Diary obtained copies of the Articles of Incorporation and By-laws on April 21, 2010 of the owner of DMMC from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) (embedded in the scans above and below), which is Mercado General Hospital, Inc. (MGHI). What is baffling is the failure of the U.P. Administration-dominated Board of Regents to disqualify MGHI from bidding on the contract which was signed on July, 2009 when a minimum amount of PhP 400 million will be spent on a pharmacy and a medical diagnostics center where the capital stock of MGHI that is actually subscribed is a meager PhP 2 million only.

It is clear that MGHI is not a credible company in that it does not have the resources to pursue a project of such magnitude on its own, in order to bring added value to the relationship. The Diliman Diary checked with the records department of the SEC and failed to get any financial statement of MGHI, which is not in accordance with current SEC rules, as all corporations are required to submit their audited annual financial statements to SEC. In order to fund this project, there must be other “silent investors” who may have internal agreements with MGHI. But like all “hot money,” this money is subject to capital flight if the terms of reference between U.P. and MGHI are questioned or investigated by the either the next U.P. President or by Congress itself.

The default preference of the BOR should normally be with a deep-pocketed investor that is willing to advance project construction funds from its own internal funds subject to certain covenants that protect the investor in case of government non-performance or default in case a new U.P. President or the BOR itself or even Congress or the courts reverse the original contract or even scuttle it completely. In the case of MGHI, MGHI's commitment to funding this project itself is held hostage by its silent investors if groups like the All-U.P. Workers Union succeed in getting the contract cancelled or modified such that the terms of reference are no longer appealing to the outside investors.

Under the contract, MGHI has lease rights to this PGH property for 25 years. According to the Facebook page, Ibalik ang Tama - Laban UP-PGH Movement UP will be paid by DMMC only 1 million pesos a months for 25 years as payment for renting the FMAB. DMMC will earn 1 million pesos a month from doctors renting in the renovated FMAB clinics. In other words DMMC will put up an advanced pharmacy, laboratory and diagnostic center within PGH at practically no cost at all since the money generated from clinics has already covered their rental expenses.

The National Council of the All UP Workers Union also adopted a resolution authorizing the National Executive Board to initiate and file appropriate charges to responsible UP officals related to the ill-advised contract on the PGH Faculty Medical Arts Building - deemed violative of Section 23 of the new UP Charter by the Department of Justice.

Both groups are saying that the existing contract in its current form is grossly disadvantageous to PGH and thus to the Filipino people.

According to the website of U.P. PGH ( as originally envisioned, the FMAB would, among others:

(1) generate additional resources to supplement PGH's budget allocation for hospital operations from the national government; (2) provide affordable, accessible high-quality, competent, comprehensive, integrated and humane health care services to ambulatory pay patient clientele of PGH; (3) provide a centralized teaching, training, and research-related facility for the faculty, trainees and relevant staff; (4) strengthen the geographic practice of profession among faculty members; (5) provide a faculty incentive package of affordable clinic spaces and income opportunities to UPM faculty in order to augment the faculty's regular compensation package from the University; (6) promote faculty retention and career development, (7) strengthen the distinction of UPM as the National Health Sciences Center, and; (8) serve as an essential component of a strong National University Hospital.

The BOR's September 2005 resolution mandated that the administration of FMAB be undertaken by a Management Team with UPM-PGH taking care of the clinical part (providing exclusively the physicians and other health care professionals and exercising control and supervision over credentialing, peer review and other medical affairs) and DMMC the non-clinical and fiscal operations. The Project entails lease of clinical spaces to twelve (12) departments/special services (singly or in conjunction with other groups) and four (4) concessions --- pharmacy, laboratories, radiology and business sector --- with prior improvement of common areas,including the installation of elevators, generator set, water supply, computerization system, and other utilities that conform with National Historical Institute and National University Hospital requirements.

DMMC became UPM-PGH's new partner following three (3) years and nine (9) months of bidding presided over by a Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC), created by Chancellor Ramon Arcadio, led by Dean Yolanda Robles and a Technical Working Group (TWG) headed by Dr. Federico Cruz. The initial Terms of Reference (TOR), approved by the BOR during its 1214th meeting of October 26, 2006, was amended/modified during subsequent BOR meetings. SBAC's recommendation to award the project to DMMC was approved by the BOR at its 1240th meeting on January 28, 2009.

Finally, the Notice of Award was issued by President Roman on February 5, 2009 and received by DMMC on February 11, 2009.

(Chanda Shahani is the editor of the Diliman Diary)

(To see the remaining scanned and uploaded Amended Articles of Incorporation of Mercado General Hospital, Inc. please click on this link: and to see the scanned and uploaded Amended By-laws of Mercado General Hospital, Inc., please click on this link:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I was cleared of cheating - Agra | The Philippine Star News Headlines

(Editor's note: We are posting below the article containing the rejoinder from Acting DOJ Secretary Alberto Agra in the online edition of the Philippine STAR about the story written by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism that he engaged in cheating while enrolled at Ateneo Law School, and which the Diliman Diary has posted on April 27, 2010. To read the article, please click on the link below:
I was cleared of cheating - Agra | The Philippine Star News Headlines

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cheating in UP -, Philippine News for Filipinos

The Diliman Diary is reposting a column by U.P. Diliman Economics Professor Solita C. Monsod in dated July 4, 2009 to remind its readers of the cheating that occurred at U.P. Diliman and how the cheaters were let off by a majority vote of the Board of Regents. The column prompts us to ask the question: Can this shameful episode repeat itself in the country's bastion of Academic Freedom? To read the column, just click the link:
Cheating in UP -, Philippine News for Filipinos

Thursday, April 22, 2010

UP Visayas sets 31st Commencement Exercises

U.P. Visayas Tacloban College will have its Commencement Exercises on April 29, 2010 at 9:00 am in the campus with UP System President Emerlinda R. Roman as its Commencement Speaker. For more information on commencement exercises at U.P. Visayas, please click on this link:
UP Visayas sets 31st Commencement Exercises

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

EYE SPY on the Social Media: Blogger unearths narratives of spilled blood and land grabbing by Villar's Crown Asia

(Editor's note: We are posting below a portion of  the blog, "Notes from an Insomniac," by Ms. Lila Shahani. We have previously posted her Part I as well ( Notice of full disclosure: The author is the editor's sister but does not write for the Diliman Diary. For more information about this editor's political affiliations, please refer to this link:

Concentric Rings, Part II: land-grabbing, land conversion and the untold human cost

By Lila Shahani
Ang buhay sa tumpok

"Hindi talaga ako papayag. Magbubuwis talaga ako ng dugo. Ipaglalaban ko talaga ang lugar na ito."

Pol had been a cheerful, voluble man, inordinately fond of teasing his wife and playing pranks on his three children. He had tried out all sorts of odd jobs in his time -- from painting buildings to driving tricycles -- but continued to struggle because of debilitating bouts of asthma. He and his wife Trining had always dreamed of owning their own home and living someplace idyllic away from the capital, which remained congested and polluted, as always, except in the most privileged enclaves.

The new neighbourhood was called Paradise Park Village -- 7.2 hectares of barren lands situated in Barangay San Vicente in San Pedro, Laguna. As more settlers had streamed in from other provinces, the land tenants -- who had originally planted root crops and banana trees, and occasionally tended cattle -- eventually found work in an adjacent piggery farm. By 1984, the entire property had been bought by Maximino Argana, who, it later turned out, had been a Marcos crony.

Which explains why, in the heady aftermath of the EDSA revolution, the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) chose to sequester the entire area altogether. What is more difficult to understand is how -- and on what grounds -- Crown Asia (a Vista Land company, the 2/3 supermajority of which belongs to the family of Manny Villar) was able to acquire the properties in 2002, using a title under the name of a certain Jose Nuñez. From that point onwards, guards began to monitor the movements of the residents in a 2.18-hectare zone in particular (Lot 157), which housed around 205 families. Almost overnight, it would seem, a giant wall had been erected around this perimeter, preventing the tenants from repairing their homes or building new structures. In the blink of an eye, they had suddenly been denied access to roads, which then made access to electricity and running water all the more scarce and difficult.

To read the remainder of the blog, please click on this link:

Pinoy Indie Movie Review: "Kinatay" ni Brillante Mendoza: Winner at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival in 2009

Ni Mar Anthony Simon de la Cruz

Matagal na akong exposed sa mga pelikulang nagtatanghal ng katayan ng katawan tulad ng Ichi the Killer, Battle Royale, Salo: 100 Days of Sodom, Night of the Living Dead, Hostel at Saw series, at marami pang iba (kabilang na ang mga pelikula ni Quentin Tarantino). Kaya wa epek na sa akin ang mga brutal at madugong pelikula. Sa totoo lang, hindi na kailangang manood ng mga bayolentng pelikula para ma-immune sa karahasan – buksan lang ang TV at manood ng primetime news, at makikita na ang iba’t ibang uri ng karahasan sa lipunan.

Ngunit hindi ko naihanda ang sarili sa Kinatay (The Execution of P) ni Brillante Mendoza. Hindi lang kasi ang katawan ni Madonna (Maria Isabel Lopez) ang kinatay rito – kinakatay rin nito ang pagkatao ng baguhang pulis na si Peping (Coco Martin) at moralidad ng mga manonood.

Kaya hindi nakagugulat ang mga balitang marami ang nag-walkout sa screening ng pelikula sa 62nd Cannes Film Festival. Hindi nila kayang sikmurain ang kuwento at imaheng inihain ni Mendoza sa kanila. Sa katunayan, hindi iilang kritiko ang nagsabing ang Kinatay, isa sa mga nominado sa kompetisyong Palme d'Or, ang “worst film” sa kasaysayan ng Cannes. Sa kabila nito, naiuwi ni Mendoza ang premyong Best Director para sa pelikula. Naging matalim ang dila ng prominenteng kritiko na si Roger Ebert tungkol sa pelikula:

“There are few prospects more alarming than a director seized by an Idea. I don't mean an idea for a film, a story, a theme, a tone, any of those ideas. I'm thinking of a director whose Idea takes control of his film and pounds it into the ground and leaves the audience alienated and resentful...Here is a film that forces me to apologize to Vincent Gallo for calling "The Brown Bunny" the worst film in the history of the Cannes Film Festival.”

Isa si Mendoza sa mga direktor na sumusubok sa pasensiya ko. Muntik na akong mag-walkout sa screening noon ng Serbis dahil nabagot ako sa walang katapusang akyat-baba ng mga tauhan sa hagdan, sa makatunaw-bait na natural sound na sumasapaw sa boses ng mga karakter, sa walang patumanggang sex scenes, at sa pigsa na sa unang tingin ay parang walang katuturan. Ngunit naging malinaw sa akin (ilang beses kong pinanood ang pelikulang ito) kung ano ang sinisimbolo ng mga ito sa estado ng pelikula, pamilya, at moralidad sa lipunan.

Muling sinubok ng Kinatay ang pasensiya ko noong pinanood ko ito sa UP Cine Adarna. Para bang sinasabi ng pelikula, lalo na sa isang napakahabang eksena sa loob ng van, na: “Hoy, Mar, ano pa’ng ginagawa mo rito? Umalis ka na, bilis!” Pero napako ang puwet ko sa kinauupuan. Saka ko lang naintindihan kung bakit.

Nagsimula ang pelikula sa kasal nina Peping at Cecile (Mercedes Cabral) sa city hall kasama ang ilang mga kamag-anak. Rumaraket si Peping bilang kolektor para sa isang drug gang upang matustusan ang mga pangangailangan ng kanyang pamilya. Niyaya siya ni Abyong (Jhong Hilario) isang gabi sa isang lakad kasama sina Sarge (John Regala) at Vic (Julio Diaz), mga lider ng gang. Sinundo ng grupo si Madonna. Hindi inasahan ni Peping ang mga sumunod na pangyayari. Binugbog nina Sarge at Vic ang putang may pagkakautang sa grupo. Sa isang hideout, ginahasa at pinagputol-putol ang katawan ni Madonna.

Hinihigop ng pelikula ang mga manonood papasok sa madilim at brutal na mundo ni Peping at ng kriminal na organisasyon. Katulad ni Peping, nakulong ako sa isang sitwasyong mahirap takasan. Ilang beses siyang nagtangkang tumakas, ngunit hindi niya ito magawa. Ganito rin ang naramdaman ko habang pinapanood ang pelikula. Pakiramdam ko ay bahagi ako ng kuwento. Saksi ako sa pambubugbog, panggagahasa, at pagkatay sa babae. Nasaksihan ko kung gaano karahas ang buhay. Ngunit wala akong ginawa/magawa. Gusto kong tumakbo palayo, pero hindi ko ginawa dahil sa takot.

Mahusay ang lahat ng mga aktor, partikular si Martin. Kahit nasa dilim, kahit hindi gaanong nakikita ang kanilang mukha, napapasok ng mga mga manonood ang takbo ng isip at nararamdaman ang kanilang damdamin ng mga karakter. Nakatulong ang scoring at cinematography sa paglikha ng isang brutal na sitwasyon. Lahat ng ito ay dahil sa kahusayan ni Mendoza.

Kinatay ng Kinatay ni Mendoza ang sensibilidad ko. Hindi rin nakaligtas ang moralidad ko. Nakisimpatya ako kay Peping, sa kabila ng naging bahagi niya sa krimen. Maaaring ganoon din ang gawin ko kung sakaling maipit sa parehong sitwasyon. Nakahinga nang maluwag si Peping matapos maisagawa ang krimen at makuha ang bayad. Nahugot naman ang palakol na bumaon sa dibdib ko habang pinapanood ang krimen sa pelikula.

Marahil ay hindi masikmura ng maraming manonood ang pelikula dahil hindi sila handang harapin ang katotohanan – ang katotohanan na lubhang marahas ang lipunan, at bahagi sila ng pagpapatibay at pagpapatuloy ng karahasang ito.

(Editor's note: “Kinatay” won the Prix de la Mise en Scene - Best Director through Brillante Mendoza at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival (2009) (

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

Monday, April 19, 2010

Matchstick in the Wind: Palito (1934-2010)

By Paul Lee

With his cadaverously rail-thin appearance and sunken eyes that nevertheless carries a boyish twinkle and topped with his pageboy haircut; it is hard not to miss the late Reynaldo Hipolito, Sr. aka the comedian Palito in the middle of a crowd. Undoubtedly Palito was one of the most underrated icons in Philippine Cinema; nevertheless he possessed more personality and talent with his homey appearance than most of today’s lacklustre ‘artists’ in local show business.

Then again with his appearance and typecasting being a liability in show business, people could only remember Palito either as the comic zombie-corpse and stooge for more famous comedians or the craven comedy relief to the action stars of his day. Indeed this writer’s most indelible memory of this comedian was a slapstick pratfall he made on a wok full of boiling water landing seat first and screaming uncontrollably before running around like a headless chicken; that was in an old and
long-forgotten film starring another late great Pinoy comedian Chiquito who had long since crossed to the Great Beyond. While landing rear-first on boiling water was humour as its simplest nevertheless a comedian of Palito’s stature can breeze through this otherwise prosaic routine and deliver the laughs.

Ironically while audiences only remember Palito as the typecast comic zombie or the hapless stooge to an action hero; it was with his comically emaciated appearance that he blazed a trail in his comedic career parodying Sylvester Stallone back when the latter was in vague in films like Rambuto and No Blood, No Surrender. Likewise there was also Palito’s parody of British secret agent James Bond in the eponymous James Bone. Certainly the image of a scrawny slapstick actor packing heavy firepower or sporting a faux Saville Row suit has achieved trash-cinema cult status amongst foreign film critics delighting at the muscular Hollywood action icon being lampooned by a scrawny Pinoy. Sadly Palito’s parodies did not buoy his fortunes as they took a reversal relegating him to once again playing second banana roles before his career wound down as he worked both as a stand-up comedian at a club in Avenida, Sta. Cruz, Manila and as an occasional drummer.

It was only when he began making appearances in independent films and music videos in his latter years coupled with an episode of Maalala Mo Kaya starring Vhong Navarro that Palito rebounded back to the public consciousness. By then a newer generation had begun to appreciate his comedic homey looks complemented by his timed and quirky slapstick. Perhaps the most noted of his latter films was the little-released Interpool, another send-off on the action genre which unfortunately disappeared after only a few days of theatrical release. Another feather on the twilight of Palito’s career was his appearance in the Rivermaya music video Ambotsa where he slept through the video only to be roused by the band from time to time.

Of course, Palito had a string of other upcoming appearances including M.O.N.A.Y or Misteyks obda Neyson Adres Yata co-starring Jun Urbano as well as the documentary The Search for Weng-Weng and Khavn de la Cruz’s MondoManila.

Unfortunately despite enjoying an apparent revival in his career, Palito was dogged by both health and financial problems, in particular his lung ailment which would claim his life last April 12, 2010.

Postscript: Having seen Palito’s seminal film Rambuto back to back with one of his final works, Pablong Shoeshine at the Mogwai Cinematheque in Cubao, Quezon City last April 18, 2010, I became completely aware of the kitsch factor in his film. Though the pace, plot and production values of Rambuto would have done Ed Wood Jr. proud; it is precisely the kitschiness in Palito’s lampooning of the action genre that had made Rambuto unique in Philippine cinema and all the more reason for him to be missed.

Editor's note: For more information on the life, times and career of Palito, please check this link:

(Paul Lee is a freelance writer. He is currently finishing his master's degree in Creative Writing at U.P. Diliman)

Diliman Video of the Week: El Niño and a small farm reservoir in Bingawan, Iloilo

Friday, April 16, 2010

U.P. Manila Administration threatens punitive inaction vs. committee findings on 22 graduating students who cheated in 2009 at the U.P. College of Medicine

By Chanda Shahani

The results of a fact-finding committee created by University of the Philippines Manila (UPM) Chancellor Ramon Arcadio to investigate alleged cheating in an examination by some members of Class 2009 of the U.P. College of Medicine (UPCM) are out and have been discussed in the Minutes of a Special College Council Meeting held at March 2, 2010 at UPCM, Manila.

Excerpts of the minutes have been furnished to the Diliman Diary and are embedded below:

The findings acknowledge that there was a leak in an exam, conducted by the Department of Medicine in April, 2009 and that 22 students from the U.P. College of Medicine may have cheated in that exam, as these 22 did oustandingly well in that exam.

As a quality control mechanism, the UPCM invalidated the first exam and held a second "surprise" exam five days later, and these 22 should have done just as well if they had not cheated.

The fact that they did not do well is a strong statistical indicator of cheating, and should normally have resulted in a full-blown investigation, complete with administrative charges being filed in order to ferret out the truth.

However, the students were allowed to graduate, and have even already taken the Medical Board exams. The excerpts of the minutes refers to passing the results to the Office of Legal Affairs of the U.P. System for possible action, but with no apparent enthusiasm or appetite to get results or punish the perpretators.

In fact the weight of the discussion on corrective measures centers on how the faculty should tighten their test design procedures rather than seek punitive action versus cheats in the academe.

These developments have been eerily forecast several months ago by several students at the UPCM who call themselves, UP Med Fight for the Truth and emailed then Secretary Francisco Duque on August 17, 2009 the following letter of complaint:

"Doctors who cheat

Apparently, training starts from Med School.

It is amazing that this still happens, and in UP no less.

Twenty two students from the already graduated class of UP College of Medicine 2009 were caught cheating in the Final Exams of their 5th year (Internship). These are would-be doctors, all men in their mid twenties, highly intelligent by the country’s standards, all independent minded individuals in the final stages of their training to become the country’s healers. Yet, last April of 2009, weeks shy of their graduation from the University of the Philippines, they decided, both individually and as a group, to use recently acquired test exams leaked by an unknown source from the esteemed Department of Medicine. These medical interns then topped the final exam, besting perennial excellent exam performers (like the Class Valedictorian) and occupying the most coveted spots in what was probably the Department’s most challenging 200 point exam in recent history. When the dust settled the top scores were held by these 22 men, and all were amazed at the academic acumen they displayed. They were applauded, pats on the back were made, and people were impressed. But when questions about the suspicious nature of their scores arose—one student made the innocent observation that most of those who topped came from a single fraternity, Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity—the entire class of more than 200 medical interns were asked to retake the exam again, this time a completely different one with the same coverage. An obvious disparity in scores revealed itself, in that these 22 students had two scores which were significantly different from each other. In short, it became clear that during the first exam the 22 students received some form of unfair advantage, and in time it was revealed that yes, these interns did indeed receive leaked questions of the newly made exam. An investigation was performed, and an admission of guilt, albeit defensively and only when no other recourse seemed possible to these 22 interns, was made.

The guilt hangs on the shoulders of these 22 medical interns, all members of the Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity. The Mu Sigma Phi fraternity is the first medical fraternity in Asia, and it counts Scholarship as one of its pillars. It has been recognized by award giving bodies both within and outside UP for excellence. All these distinctions (somewhat ostentatiously declared in the UPCM school grounds in the form of banners and posters) now ring hollow, for an entire batch of their brothers have proven themselves to be cheaters. This also raises the question that if this has happened to this batch, then has it happened before? And if their brazenness is any indication, is it possible that this has systematically been going on for years?

No scandal has rocked the academic foundations of the UP College of Medicine like this event. Known for its high standards and rigorous program, it is surprising that this behavior can come from some of its students. The scandal has already reached the Chancellor of UP Manila, Chancellor Ramon Arcadio, who has supported the initial plan to disallow the students from taking the Board Exams until the matter has been resolved. It has been elevated to the Student Disciplinary Tribunal in UP Diliman, to see what legal recourse can be undertaken against these individuals. This matter is extremely serious, and it raises questions about the university’s basic values. If these adults are not penalized in a way that is commensurate to their offense, then the national university is sending a clear message that it tolerates dishonesty.

The UP College of Medicine, however, seems serious about pursuing this. It seems to understand that to cheat during high school, while wrong on any level, can somehow be excused as part of the recklessness of youth. To cheat during college is already a major offense, punishable by expulsion in most of our respected universities. But to cheat during Med School, a postgraduate degree, and a degree that lends so much of its credibility in integrity, is extremely appalling. But up to what extent UP wishes to prosecute these students is at the heart of the matter. Initial reports point to the likely soft stance the College will be taking in this incident. Students of UPCM know that the administration, led by its Dean Alberto Roxas, has been outwardly strict but has quietly been tolerant of student misbehaviors such as these.

What of the 22 young would-be doctors who cheated? Reports claim that most of them are unaffected, confident of the outcome, coolly believing that no real consequence can come from their actions. They feel they can no longer be expelled (a reasonable consequence of cheating in such an important exam) and this gives them reassurance. Their fraternity, deeply enmeshed in the college and the hospital, will have means of protecting them (PGH Director Carmelo Alfiler, as well as key persons in his employ, as well as the head of the Department of Medicine—all are members of Mu Sigma Phi).

It was expressed by some members of the fraternity that it would be impossible for the UP College of Medicine to go after them now, now that they have just taken the recently concluded Medical Board Exams and especially because they have been issued certificates of graduation by the acclaimed Medical School. Apparently, their certificates of graduation have already been signed weeks prior to the actual graduation, before news of cheating have surfaced, and they have already been claimed by the students prior to the school’s decision to hold their papers. The members of the fraternity seem to not be taking this matter seriously, as if this is again one of those things that can disappear in the murky waters of academic bureaucracy.

But the indignation of the UP Community in unlikely to disappear. Too much is at stake, and the Dean and his administration know this. What is the worth of integrity? Of honesty? Maybe in other professions these are qualities that may not take first priority. But in the profession of Medicine, in the practice of healing the sick, in a position of responsibility and authority, integrity is paramount. Trust is key. And once it has been compromised, it can diminish your worth as a physician.

August 17, 2009

A more detailed backgrounder to the events leading up to the investigation, including an inclusion of the points of view of the affected 22 students are thoroughly documented in the website,

The Diliman Diary will continue to provide more updates on this topic for its readers as events continue to unfold.


The page of Ibalik ang Tama sa UP-PGH on Facebook had the following information which it posted on April 16, 2010 and which the Diliman Diary is including in its update to its readers:

"The minutes of the March 2, 2010 College council meeting show that 24 UP interns most probably cheated on their exams due to the statistical improbabilities. The following summary of facts appear to point to this conclusion:

1) Previously non high ranking students suddenly get to the top 30 of an exam.

2) These same students belongs to the same medical fraternity - the Mu Sigma Phi fraternity

3) They have the same correct answers and the same wrong answers.

4) A re-examination on the same subject a few days later show that 22 of these 24 top notchers could not replicate their high scores.

Behavior after these facts also point to guilt. None of these twenty four interns agreed to be interviewed despite repeated invitations. It seems clear that cheating did occur."

(Chanda Shahani is the editor of the Diliman Diary)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Commentary: U.P. Manila University Council to U.P. President Emerlinda Roman and Palace Regents: "We uphold Dr. Jose Gonzales as PGH Director."

College of Arts and Sciences, University of the
Philippines Manila showing the Oblation (Source:

The website U.P. Issues has just posted an update on developments in U.P. Manila with respect to faculty support for deposed University of the Philippines (U.P.) Philippine General Hospital (PGH) Director Jose Gonzales. The website states: "The University Council of UP Manila resolved (on April 13, 2010) to uphold the UP College of Medicine College Council resolution upholding Dr. Jose Gonzales as PGH Director. (U.P. Manila) Chancellor (Ramon) Arcadio wants to conduct a referendum on the matter. If Arcadio wants… a resounding approval of Dr. Jose Gonzales then let’s give him a wake up call."

With this development, U.P. President Emerlinda Roman and the Malacañang Regents are now presented with a classic dillemma with respect to their recent railroading of a decision to depose Dr. Gonzales as the duly selected Director of the PGH and replacing him with a more malleable but more junior Dr. Enrique Domingo, who has publicly stated that he is in favour of the continuation of the project to privatize portions of the PGH through a contract signed last July 2009 by President Roman with the Daniel Mercado Medical Center (DMMC). Dr. Gonzales says that he opposes the project in its present form. The Department of Justice is against the project because it says it is contrary to existing laws, and has pointed out that the U.P. Charter (R.A. 9500) requires that thorough public consultation of affected constituents needed to be done rather than through a legal sleight-of-hand where the U.P. Administration is essentially stating that since negotiations began before the passage of R.A. 9500 into law, then the more rigorous requirements of the U.P. Charter did not apply to the DMMC contract (see Diliman Diary, March 3, 2010:

On the one hand, President Roman, who voted for Dr. Domingo, and the Malacañang regents, can collectively be expected to be in favour of retaining Dr. Domingo since they are essentially the same proponents of the PGH privatization, and Dr. Domingo can be expected to act as their strong right arm in U.P. PGH to ensure the project is followed to the letter.

On the other hand, President Roman and the Malacañang regents are also guided by clause 3h of R.A. 9500 ( which states that the University shall:

"Provide democratic governance in the University based on collegiality, representation, accountability, transparency and active participation of its constituents, and promote the holding of fora for students, faculty, research, extension and professional staff (REPS), staff, and alumni to discuss non-academic issues affecting the University."

President Roman's conduct and behavior in the case of the PGH Director is also guided by Section 14 of R.A. 9500 which states that, "The President of the University is the chief academic officer, head of the university faculty and the chief executive officer of the University." Thus, as the chief academic officer and head of the university faculty, she cannot ignore the academic freedom of the U.P. Manila University Council who voted in the majority to uphold the selection of Dr. Gonzales as PGH Director.

Observers state that Dr. Gonzales was targeted for removal by elements within the BOR for his uncompromising stand on rejecting the rampant commercialization of PGH at the cost of denying much needed revenues to revenue generating units  such as PGH's pharmacy and diagnostics center; by allowing DMMC to directly compete against them. Dr. Gonzales says that given the annual budgetary shortfall of PGH, the cannibalization of mission-critical revenue generating units had to be opposed since the funds were needed to augment the budgetary shortfall of the PGH, which services up to 500,000 indigent patients a year. PGH's budgetary shortfall in 2008 reached PhP 1.7 billion, according to the Commission on Audit.

However, for standing up for his principles and paying the price by being deposed as PGH Director by the BOR , observers state that Dr. Gonzales has essentially been stripped of his academic freedom by President Roman and the BOR. Scholars worldwide cite how Academic Freedom is repeatedly under attack in several fronts by bureaucrat-capitalists in the academe. For example, proponents of academic freedom believe that "the freedom of inquiry by students and faculty members is essential to the mission of the academy," and that Dr. Gonzales should not have been persecuted for merely expressing an opinion.

An article on Academic Freedom in Wikipedia stated that: "(Proponents) argue that academic communities are repeatedly targeted for repression due to their ability to shape and control the flow of information. When scholars attempt to teach or communicate ideas or facts that are inconvenient to external political groups or to authorities, they may find themselves targeted for public vilification, job loss, imprisonment, or even death. For example, in North Africa, a professor of public health discovered that his country's infant mortality rate was higher than government figures indicated. He lost his job and was imprisoned."

It still remains to be seen as to whether President Roman will undertake the harder right -- which is to close ranks with -- and respect the Academic Freedom of the U.P. Manila University Council to uphold the selection of Dr. Gonzales by the BOR in December 18, 2009 or at the very least initiate a new round of votes in the BOR for a "sudden death" vote between Dr. Gonzales and Dr. Domingo -- or whether she and the Palace regents will succumb to the pressure of commercial interests and pressure from the Palace to retain Dr. Domingo -- and -- thereby -- wholeheartedly embrace -- the easier wrong .


The draft of the resolution can be accessed through the website, U.P. Issues which was posted on April 17, 2010:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

EYE SPY on the Social Media: Blogger unearths even more plagiarized Manny Pangilinan speeches

(Editor's note: Ms. Katrina Stuart Santiago, a former editor at the Diliman Diary (print edition) has just furnished us with a note on her Facebook account where in at least three (3) other instances, unknown speech writers of Manuel V. Pangilinan have appropriated or borrowed material that was not their own for their principal's use in his past speeches. Ms. Santiago is a former member of the faculty of the Department of English at Ateneo de Manila University.) Below is Ms. Santiago's textual analysis which we have copied below:

I used to tell my students that if i catch them plagiarizing one paper, it would put into question all other papers they had written before it.

Whoever MVP's speechwriters are, they've been giving him plagiarized speeches since 1997.

At the opening of the new Ateneo lib, 2010 MVP speech:

Post-Ondoy speech on corporate social responsibility, 2009

original 1:

original 2:

original 3:

commencement speech in Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, 1997

original 1:

original 2:

original 3:

Official response of the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Board of Trustees and the President of Batch 2010 on the offer of its Chairman, Manuel V. Pangilinan to resign:

(Editor's note: The Diliman Diary is reposting below the official statement of the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Board of Trustees (BOT) and Gregorio Ramon A. Tingson, President of the Sanggunian ng mga Mag-aaral ng mga Paaralang Loyola, Pamantasang Ateneo de Manila, Academic Year 2009-2010, Ateneo de Manila University Batch 2010 for the sake of balanced coverage regarding the offer of Manuel V. Pangilinan to resign as ADMU's Chairman of its BOT in relation to the issue of plagiarized portions of his commencement address. We are doing this in relation to the previous dispatch we have posted in EYE SPY (April 12, 2010) commenting on and linking to, the blog of Katrina Stuart Santiago, on the necessity of having ADMU's BOT in accepting Mr. Pangilinan's resignation)

Response of the Board of Trustees on the issues arising from the Commencement Address of MVP

11 April 2010

The Board of Trustees met on April 11, 2010 to deliberate on the issues arising from the commencement addresses of its Chairman, Mr. Manuel V. Pangilinan, on March 26 & 27, 2010. The Board reviewed the history of the case, from the writing of the speeches to the posting of the blogs, from the response of Mr. Pangilinan to the reply of Fr. Nebres issued on April 3, 2010. It kept in mind as well the concerned statements from faculty, students, staff, administrators and the public at large.

The Board came to the following conclusions:

1. The Board considers the matter of plagiarism very serious, particularly for an academic institution. It recognizes that Mr. Pangilinan considered this a very serious matter that has caused him deep embarrassment and pain. With him, the Ateneo community has struggled with the issue and engaged in a deep reflection on its own values of honesty and integrity.

2. In its discussion, the Board kept in mind the Catholic moral tradition which for culpability considers not just the seriousness of the matter but also whether there is full awareness and consent. It recognizes that the matter is serious, but that the plagiarism happened without full awareness on the part of Mr. Pangilinan.

3. At the same time, the Board acknowledges with deep respect Mr. Pangilinan’s immediate and full acceptance of responsibility and apology for this mistake. This is particularly admirable, because in acting in this manner, he spared others from this responsibility. This is a rare example of humility, selflessness, and leadership in our midst.

4. The Board accepts Mr. Pangilinan’s apology as the appropriate response to this unfortunate incident.

5. However, the unanimous decision of the Board is not to accept Mr. Pangilinan’s resignation. It expresses full confidence in his leadership as Chairman.

6. On the matter of the honorary degree conferred on Mr. Pangilinan, the reasons for the conferment are articulated in the citation. These are his visionary leadership, his love of country and service and commitment to our people, his generous self-giving to our country, the Ateneo de Manila and many other institutions. These remain unchanged.

In conclusion, the Board of Trustees asks Mr. Pangilinan to please reconsider his resignation from the Ateneo Board of Trustees. There is so much to be done, not just for the Ateneo, but for our country and people. His leadership is needed today more than ever.


Batch 2010's Official Response to Manuel V. Pangilinan

Dear Mr. Pangilinan,

Graduation is an event marked by people overflowing with triumph and euphoria, with some hint of sadness. It is a time of hanging on to the fond memories of friendship and lessons learned; letting go of the bad things which hinder one’s own and others’ growth; looking forward to the future as the graduates face a brand new chapter in their lives in entering the “real” world; and going with love because it is true that the world would die without it.

Just a day after that momentous event, the Graduation of SOH and SOSS Sesquicentennial Batch 2010, however, I and the rest of my batchmates still in the dark were greeted with the news of other people comparing parts of your commencement address with other previously given addresses by (as far as I know) J. K. Rowling, Barack Obama, Conan O’ Brien and Oprah Winfrey. People were voicing out views, comments and reactions all over the place, specifically on the social networking site Facebook. They ranged from the most negative and severe, the impartial and reflective, to the most supportive and optimistic on your behalf. The enormity with which the incident blew out of proportion, significantly because of media coverage and the internet, seemed astounding in the days that followed. This was then followed with the immediate release of your public apology and you owning up (and taking full and sole responsibility at that) to the mistake many of your detractors have maliciously chosen to point out, highlight, and emphasize. For that alone, you already have our full respect and admiration. Father Ben replied consequently, and asked that you reconsider your decision, after he accepted your apology with much care and understanding.

In view of all these and upon consultation, Batch 2010 would like you to know that like Father Ben, we understand that this incident has caused much personal embarrassment and pain on your part. And also with Father Ben, the Batch accepts your earnest apology wholeheartedly, and also utterly respects the fact that you do take full responsibility, even though the whole thing was not entirely of your doing.

Also like Father Ben, the Batch would have to disagree with your decision of retiring from your duties in the Ateneo, especially for the Ateneo community. The Batch recognizes that your response to what has become a sort of fiasco for waiting vultures was apt for a man such as you, and we can only imagine your distress throughout this whole unfortunate event – enough that you would claim that “wala na akong mukhang maihaharap.” Speaking in behalf of the alumni and undergraduates of the university, we indeed recognize that you are very much valued by the Ateneo community; so much so that it is believed we are fully equipped in moving on, learning, and going forward from this whole regrettable occurrence. And enumerating everything you have contributed to the Ateneo would be futile and overwhelming, to say the least; hence, I will refrain from doing so here.

As you must have felt that the events which unfolded were out of your hands, we too believe that your decision in the end is also beyond our grasp – it is between you, Father Ben, and the Board of Trustees. It has always been an honor that a man such as your magnanimity, innovation, dedication, and ardent spirit chose to be prominently of service to and for the Ateneo; and we sincerely hope you continue gracing us with that honor despite whatever ultimate decision you make. You, together with other Ateneo visionaries, were given the gift of having the capacity to change lives – lives which work and thrive from being inspired and motivated by you – through your life right now and beyond. Now, more than ever, we need someone who can show us how to deal with challenges, the way you have handled this situation with courage and utmost humility.

Sincerely yours,

Gregorio Ramon A. Tingson
Sanggunian ng mga Mag-aaral ng mga Paaralang Loyola
Pamantasang Ateneo de Manila
Academic Year 2009-2010
Ateneo de Manila University Batch 2010


Dateline Diliman: Announcements and Calendar of Events for April and May, 2010

(Artwork by: Rodel Tagos)
Dear Reader,

The Diliman Diary's research department has consolidated announcements and calendars of events from Ateneo de Manila University, Miriam College and U.P. Diliman and will be posting them online a monthly basis as a service to our readers and to help bridge the gaps in perceptions and understanding between these three great institutions. This will lead over time (at least we hope so) to greater interaction, cross-fertilization and understanding in the Diliman area making it an even more exciting and dynamic place to live and work in.

If you, the reader, in your individual capacity, or your organization have an event or anouncement that you wish to promote please email the details to: Attention: The Editor.

Best regards,

Chanda Shahani
The Editor

April to May, 2010 Announcements and Events:

Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU). Please click on this link:

Miriam College. Please click on this link:

U.P. Diliman. Please click on this link:

Monday, April 12, 2010

EYE SPY on the Social Media: Katrina Stuart Santiago on Manny Pangilinan's plagiarized commencement address and why ADMU should accept his resignation

The Ateneo de Manila University ( ADMU) Board of Trustees (BOT) needs to finalize the example set by ADMU's BOT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan who tendered his resignation after he was caught plagiarizing portions of his commencement address at ADMU last month. The BOT needs to accept the resignation ASAP for the sake of the school's integrity, and to set the message that plagiarism is very uncool, and cannot be shrugged or laughed off. This point is hammered home eloquently by former Diliman Diary (print edition) editor Katrina Stuart Santiago in her blog post, "Why Sorry Ain't Enough," at Santiago, a U.P. Diliman graduate, taught at the ADMU English department and her comments are exactly what she used to tell her students. Check it out at:’t-enough/

Diliman Videos of the Week: Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago's Martial Law Speech (Parts 1 and 2)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Public Service Announcement: Call for Blood Donations at U.P. PGH from April 13 to 16, 2010

Dear Friends of Laban UP-PGH:

Last week at the Philippine General Hospital, Neurosurgeon Gap Legaspi was operating on a patient that required emergency blood transfusion. The hospital officer in charge, an appointee of Dr. Eric Domingo, apparently delayed the approval for requisition because she claimed that Dr. Legaspi was on mass leave of absence and hence do not deserve assistance from the hospital. Eventually 6 units were approved after warnings from Dr. Legaspi and anesthesiologist Dr. Loreto Felizar. The patient was eventually not harmed. A formal complaint will be filed with the PGH administration as soon Dr. Gap Legaspi and his team have collected all the necessary documents.

This event depicts the kind of petty and malicious attitude we are up against in our cause to bring back truth and justice back to PGH. In response we the Laban UP-PGH Movement will be launching a blood letting campaign "Ibalik ang Dugo para Ibalik ang Tama" that aims to donate 102 units of blood to UP-PGH on Monday April 12 during the regular flag raising rally at 8am. 102 units corresponds to the number of PGH Doctors on mass leave of absence. We will show the cold and anemic leadership of UP and PGH that our protest is really about helping our patients at PGH and not a petty and malicious quarrel that they are making it to be. Blood letting activities and /or collection of blood donation pledges will be held at the PGH quadrangle daily from April 13 to 16.

Everyone is invited to donate blood or find donors. UP students, nurses, faculty, the all UP workers union have all committed to help. We need your help and every drop of blood we can get. Please e-mail or contact JF Gutierrez at 09272061609 if you wish to pledge blood or to give assistance in whatever form.

Maraming salamat sa patuloy nyong pag supporta sa ating laban,

Laban UP-PGH

Date: Monday, April 13 - 16, 2010

Time: 8:00am - 5:00 p.m. each day

Location: Philippine General Hospital Atrium

Street/City: Taft Avenue, City of Manila

Blood for the poor, the needy, the anemic?

Friday, April 9, 2010

U.P. Medical Alumni Society on the PGH Director controversy to the U.P. Board of Regents: "Wake up and Smell the coffee."

In what perhaps amounts to one of the strongest messages sent yet to the University of the Philippines (U.P.) Board of Regents (BOR), the University of the Philippines Medical Alumni Society (UPMAS) is asking the BOR to wake up and smell the coffee on the growing public clamor to review and reverse its decision to remove Dr. Jose C. Gonzales as the Director of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and to resolve the issue speedily; in the interest of service to the public, including some 500,000 estimated indigent patients who seek treatment at PGH every year.

The Diliman Diary is posting below the actual verbatim statement of UPMAS including the embedded scans of the message (embedded above and below):

University of the Philippines Medical Alumni Society

Message of Concern for the Attention of the Board of Regents of the University of the Philippines from the Board of Directors of the UP Medical Alumni Society (UPMAS)

I. We, the Officers and members of the UP Medical Alumni Society (UPMAS) having carefully studied the circumstances surrounding the election of the Director of the Philippine General Hospital issue this Message of Concern for the following reasons:

A. The effective implementation of the programs of the Philippine General Hospital has been seriously compromised.

B. The confusion generated by the series of questionable election processes carried out by the Board of Regents, since its meeting on December 18, 2009 has not only divided the UP-PGH community, it has hampered the delivery of quality care to the patients as well as the excellent education and training in PGH that have been committed to the students and trainees in all the health professions, now enrolled in UP Manila.
C. The divisiveness that has since prevailed in the hospital community as well as in UP Manila, has created an unhealthy work environment that has caused serious demoralization among all sectors in the Philippine General Hospital, as well as the entire campus.

II. Our study and careful review of the events since December 18, 2009 that has generated for us the above reasons to issue this Message of Concern leads us now to call on the Board of Regents to rectify its actions and reverse its decision of Feb 25, 2010. In doing so, it will clearly show to all sectors of the University and the rest of the country that it truly upholds what the University holds dear: the dignity and self-respect of any individual and this individual's right to due process of the law.
  • We therefore support calls on the University officials to expedite the resolution of the PGH Directorship issue, in a manner that is speedy and just.
III. We are concerned that the inconsistency in the manner by which the Board of Regents has conducted the election of the Director of the Philippine General Hospital this year has put the integrity of the selection process for PGH Director in serious question. In three years' time we will face another PGH Directorship selection process. We do not want a similarly contentious situation to arise which would again polarize the UP-PGH-UPCM and the entire UP Manila community.
  • We support calls for a thorough review of all UP BOR processes to ensure that they are in compliance with existing policies of the University and the country.
  • We support calls for the Board of regents (BOR) to clarify and observe the policies governing the selection of the PGH Director now, and uphold these in the future.
  • We support calls for the BOR to follow the prescribed mechanisms for choosing the Director of the PGH regardless of personalities and pressures from within or outside the University.
  • We support demands for increased transparency in all the transactions of the BOR.
  • We support calls on the BOR to be more participatory, and to truly reflect the sentiments and aspirations of the various sectors of the UP community, who are represented in the BOR, consistent with the University's ideal of excellence and honorable service to the nation.
  • Above all, we would like to continually expect that the BOR express, in all its decisions and actions, what the University holds dear, which is, the recognition and respect of an individual's right to his dignity as a human being and his right to due process.
We, the 2010 Officers and Members of the Board of directors of UPMAS, along with UPCM Alumni, the entire UP Manila - especially the Philippine General Hospital community, are confident that a positive outcome will emerge from this unfortunate situation. We enjoin everyone to continue rendering the superior service Filipinos expect and deserve. We enjoin everyone that as they move forward and continue to be highly competent and compassionate physicians, to also be vigilant, having learned from the lessons gained from this experience.


The 2010 Members of the Board of Directors of UPMAS

(Editors note: To se the actual signatories of this Message of Concern, please click on the third and fourth embedded scans below):

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Are you taking the UPCAT (U.P. College Admissions Test) or the Ateneo College Entrance Test (ACET)? Then read this!

By Sigrid Salucop

There are many review centers to go to if you are planning to take the UPCAT (U.P. College Admissions Test) or the Ateneo College Entrance Test (ACET) but apart from a rigorous review what else do you need to actually pass? This has been a question among many high school students for years but the best way to review is to take it in stride. This article is not only advice for those who will be taking the next UPCAT or Ateneo entrance exam but for those who will be taking the exams next year or the year after next.

A good environment for studying is the no. 1 factor. For parents who want their children to go to UP or to Ateneo, you should be able give your children enough time to play rather than nagging them to study all the time. Nagging your children will not only affect their performance in school but may also hinder them from admission in the best universities in the country.

Advice for High School Seniors

• Review Centers

Attending a review center is advised for high school seniors. There are many review centers to choose from but you should research on which one is the best to get the most out of your money. Do not go to a review center just because all your friends are going there, ask your parents for help and see which review center you think is the best.

Most high schools usually hold reviews for students months before the exam so you should take advantage of this opportunity. Listen to your teachers and to what they are trying to teach you because every bit and morsel of knowledge counts.

• Reviewing On Your Own

Aside from the reviews outside, you should also review on your own time and at your own pace by reading books on physics, geometry, algebra and the sciences. If you feel you need to improve on your vocabulary and your grammar, you should get an English reviewer -you can buy one at any bookstore. Other fields you have to concentrate on include abstract reasoning and general knowledge. Buying reviewers on all subjects is also advised.

• Reviewing Independently

Not all students get a high score if they do their review in review centers. This is because the learning process differs from one student to another. If you have decided to review on your own because you feel you will be able to concentrate more, you should arrange your schedule and read or review on certain subjects at a certain given time. For example you can improve on your reading comprehension from 7 in the morning to 8 am and then switch to Math the next hour. You should also include taking practice tests in your schedule so that you can hone your mind.

• Relax your Mind

After an hour of reviewing you should give your mind time to rest. A 15-minute break is advised especially for those who are reviewing on their own. If you feel you no longer understand what you are reading, it is best for you to take a nap or watch TV for a few minutes.

• Eating Right

To keep your mind in tip top shape, you should eat right. Do not abuse your body by not eating at all because you will be needing nutrients and lots of strength for your review and the exam itself.

Advice for Younger Aspirants

If you want to pass the UPCAT or the Ateneo entrance exam you should read lots of books, not just technical ones but books that enhance your overall knowledge. Do not box yourself in with the books that your teachers provide you –go to the library and read what interests you. Whether it is literature or a historical account, it is certain that you will learn new words and new things by reading books.

Reading lots of books at an early age is a good foundation for students aspiring to go to UP or Ateneo. You should remember that knowledge does not come overnight so keep in mind that in everything you do, you have to learn something. You can watch documentaries and educational shows instead of wasting your time on sitcoms or soap operas. Watching educational shows will eventually pay off after a few years.

Listen to your teachers because every bit of knowledge they impart will be the foundation of your learning experience. This will greatly help you in your UPCAT or other admission tests even if you still have a year or two to go before actually taking the exams.

Before D-DAY

You should not review anymore a day before the examination. Cramming is a sin and it will not help you in any way. You can browse your notes if you want to but do not study like you did days before. Get some rest on this day because you need to relax your mind and your body -doing this will help you concentrate the next day. You should also sleep early so that you have ample time to prepare in the morning. Be sure however to prepare all necessities like pencils, your exam forms and your school ID before going to bed.


Eat breakfast but do not eat too much. If you are scheduled to take the exam in the afternoon you should eat enough so that you have energy for the examination,

Prepare a snack that has a lot of sugar. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a banana will suffice. You should also get a bottle of water and a bottle of juice. The brain needs a lot of sugar to work perfectly so make sure that your snacks can give your brain an energy boost.

Tips and Warnings

• Overconfidence

Do not be overconfident even if you are the best in your class. Do not think that you know it all because there are thousands of students who will be taking the exam in your area alone and by those numbers, you really will not know if you are better than any of these students. A dose of overconfidence will not help you at all. Instead, concentrate on the exam and on your goals.

• A Dose of Inspiration

Inspiration is key for many students and if your parents are your inspiration or going to UP or Ateneo is your inspiration, you should think about these if you feel like giving up.

• Do Not Cheat

Do not cheat, sneak notes or copy from the person sitting next to you. Cheating will cost you dearly and it may even cost you your future.

• No Sleeping During the Exam

Do not sleep during the exam. If you feel drowsy, you can ask for permission to go to the comfort room. Wash your face and then go back to your examination area.

• Shading

Your exam will not be checked manually so be careful with your shading. Make sure that your shading is dark enough for the computer to identify it. If it is too light, the computer may not be able to see it.

• Do Your Best

If you do not know the right answer to a question, go to the next and work on that question later. If however you are already out of time just select what you think is the best answer and then move on to the next exam upon the go signal of the proctor.

• Follow Instructions

Read instructions carefully and make sure that you follow them. Many have failed in entrance exams because they did not follow instructions.

For more information on the Ateneo College Entrance Test (ACET) , check out this link at the Ateneo de Manila University website:

For more information on the UPCAT (University of the Philippines College Admissions Test), check out this link at the University of the Philippines System website:

(Sigrid Salucop is a freelance writer. She graduated B.A. Public Administration from U.P. Diliman)

Monday, April 5, 2010

On Monday Morning, Flag Day, the U.P. PGH community says to U.P. President Emerlinda Roman: "We are more than just a small band of protesters."

By Chanda Shahani

Ignoring a ban against any mass assembly by the administration of the University of the Philippines (U.P.) Philippine General Hospital, hundreds of protesters made up of doctors, medical students, medical staff and members of the All-U.P. Workers Union converged today on the lobby of U.P. PGH today to lend support to the symbolic signing by PGH doctors of their intent to file mass leaves of absence (LOAs).

The LOAs by so many senior doctors are seen by many observers as a collective act of protest against the administration of U.P. President Emerlinda Roman, a professor of business administration at U.P. Diliman and who has very aggressively forced the issue of installing a less qualified Dr. Enrique Domingo as PGH Director over a more experienced and qualified Dr. Jose Gonzales through controversial corporate-style board room tactics at the Board of Regents that has angered students and faculty also in U.P. Diliman and U.P. Los Baños

102 doctors have so far signed and the setting up of a cordon as a symbol of the intent of the doctors and staff to continue with the protest until the U.P. Administration recognizess Dr. Jose Gonzales as the Director of PGH. However, LABAN UPPGH organizer, Dr. Iggy Agbayani  has  said in a Facebook update that the "mass LOA list formally ends ... at 102. Those who still wish to join are advised to sign the statement of support but not to file an official LOA at least while the others are on LOA. Somebody has to man the fort at PGH di ba."

Below are pictures of the symbolic mass LOA taken at U.P. PGH today by Dr. Iggy Agbayani:

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