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: