Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts
Volume IV, Number 22 July 4 - 10, 2004 Quezon City, Philippines
Chancellor Meddles in School Paper Exam Anew
a liberal institution such as the University of the Philippines (UP),
known for the independence of its student publications and councils, it
seems unbelievable at first that a high-ranking school official meddles
into student concerns as vital as the student publication.
RONALYN V. OLEA
BAñOS, Laguna — In a liberal institution such as the University
of the Philippines (UP), known for the independence of its student
publications and councils, it seems unbelievable at first that a
high-ranking school official meddles into student concerns like the campus
UPLB Perspective has had a long tradition of militancy, dating from
the time of the Marcos dictatorship. Today, according to UP students, it
confronts another enemy.
the second time, Wilfredo P. David, chancellor of the University of the
Philippines-Los Baños, intervened in the selection of the editor in chief
(EIC) of the UPLB Perspective, a group of students and writers told
the Revised Rules and Regulations Governing the Publication of UPLB
Perspective, they said, David arbitrarily changed the grading system
and appointed as EIC the second placer in the editorial examinations.
2002, the chair of the Selection Committee devised a new grading scheme
upon David’s notice of the ‘statistical anomaly’ in the scores of
two contenders. He did this
without consulting the other members of the Committee and thus, altered
the Committee’s original choice for the editorship.
to the rules, “The candidate obtaining the highest average in the
editorial examination shall be recommended to be the editor of the UPLB
Perspective.” The criteria
stated are as follows: editorial
writing, 40 percent; news writing, 30 percent; front page layout, 15
percent; and, interview, 15 percent.
Catherine Calleja, former associate editor of the Perspective, topped
the exams with a grade of 2.830. Katrina
Ross Tan, meanwhile, obtained 2.905 and Aileen Macalintal placed third
with 3.395. The Committee
submitted the results last April 5 and recommended Calleja to the
Chancellor to be the next EIC.
month later, however, David has not yet appointed Calleja.
Instead, David accused as biased Bon Andrey Queaño, one of the
student representatives in the Selection Committee and who disagreed with
David’s decision. The Chancellor added that Calleja should be
disqualified for using “end marks.”
David imposed a new grading system, that of canceling the extreme grades
(highest and lowest) of the examinees.
Based on the system, Tan emerged as the topnotcher and Calleja was
relegated to the second place.
May 12, David appointed Tan as the EIC of the student publication.
argued Calleja is undeserving for the EIC post. He cited an “unforgivable error” committed by the
examinee. In the news writing
category, Calleja mistook the name of Isidro Camacho to be Jose Camacho.
The latter is the resource person for the news writing category.
himself, however, did not give too much weight on the error.
In Camacho’s discretion, Calleja ranked fourth among the eight
examinees in the news category.
David himself committed a similar error.
In his appointment letter for Tan, he wrote Katherine instead of
Katrina, the Bulatlat.source said.
a statement, Queaño deemed he was bypassed by his co-members in the
Selection Committee in their abrupt decision to change the original
said he was not even informed of the meeting on May 10 where the Committee
decided to adopt David’s grading system.
related that Dr. Milagros Peralta, chair of the Selection Committee, was
pressuring him to sign the second recommendation a day before David
appointed Tan. Queaño refused saying that using end marks is not a ground
student representative asked, “Sino kaya sa amin ni David ang biased
samantalang siya ang nakakita nang sabay sa mga pangalan at grado ng
examinees at pagkaraa’y dali-daling diniktahan ang komite na baguhin ang
grading system na itinakda nito?” (Between David and I, who is
biased given that he was the one who saw the names of the examinees
alongside their grades and then dictated the Committee to revise the
grading system the latter decided to use?)
a primer, the College Editors Guild of the Philippines–Southern Tagalog
deems David’s action as discriminatory to critical student journalists.
Calleja, as former news editor of the Perspective, wrote articles
on protest actions by students and faculty members against David.
the issues hurled against the chancellor were: non-recognition of student
organizations which participated in a Protest Fair in 2001; the banning of
upperclassmen from staying in the dormitories; suspension of 10 students
including some officers of the University Student Council.
an interview with Bulatlat.com, CEGP National President Jose Cosido
tagged David as “one of the most rabid enemies of campus press
freedom” for infringing upon the editorial and fiscal autonomy of the Perspective.
year, David called for a referendum as a prerequisite in approving the
proposed budget of the Perspective. Bulatlat.com