(Editor's note: The email rebuttal below was sent to us last night by Mr. James Santos of the Philippine Monitoring and Evaluation Society in response to an earlier email sent to us by Dr. Flor Lacanilao arguing that the PMES' Commission on Higher Education sanctioned seminars on thesis writing in U.P. Diliman were promoting "grey literature" instead of focusing on international standard peer-reviewed submissions to reputable journals (see: Former U.P. Visayas Chancellor criticizes CHED-sanctioned Pilipinas Monitoring and Evaluation Society workshops as promoting grey literature). Meantime, Dr. Lacanilao's recent writings on academic governance has also recently been critiqued by Dr. Ramon Guillermo of the Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature (see: In praise of the Dictatorship of the Highly Published). The original PMES seminar series announcement can be accessed at this link.
Dear Prof Florlaca,
Dear Prof Florlaca,
Prof. Romeo Santos cannot respond yet to your mail, as he is still in Paris through an invite from the French Evaluation Agency -for an annual meeting of international evaluators. Being part of his Secretariat and on his behalf, let me initially react to your letter.
First of all, let me say that we, in the PMES and WorkLand M&E, have a high regard for you and truly respect you -being an accomplished researcher, scientist and academician. In fact, Prof. Santos has from the very beginning broached the idea of approaching you and invite you to be one of our Consultants or Instructors in the seminar series that we are offering. We believed that due to your expertise and the Cause that you have been espousing vigorously in the media, we may find a noble way together of contributing concretely to the betterment of the society, which is our common desire. We continue to believe that we share the same aspiration.
However, as we have stated in the past, although we support most of your grand ideas, let me say that we kindly detract from some of your thoughts. We, in these organizations, firmly believe that we cannot accomplish much improvement in the society if the Cause we are advancing is done through adversarial and put down manner. ‘Each of us has a stake in each one of us’, and we need all and everyone’s contribution, regardless of their level of intelligence, accomplishment and expertise, to help improve the country. To put down others who are of lesser ‘pedigree’ is not good for the society as whole. We particularly believe that a strong sense of Common Good is what we lack to move forward -and so values that support it shall be cultivated. We cannot attain this if we become dogmatic in our appraisal of ourselves, much more if we readily dismiss others as unfit because they do not measure up to the standards we personally believe in. We cannot readily make a strong conviction for or against something [or someone] we do not know much in the first place. To do so would be a betrayal of the ideals we hold so dear in our field. You, as a scientist, would not infer adversely about something you do not have yet complete knowledge of [or information], would you? Otherwise, it would either be bigotry or a senile way of thinking.