/ 8 February 2021

FACULTY members of the University of the Philippines decried allegations that critics of the administration want to control the UP College of Law through the appointment of its next dean. insisting that they are “free from any political intervention”.

In a statement released on February 5, the UP College of Law scored an opinion article published in The Daily Tribune on Feb. 3, alleging that critics of President Duterte want to take control of the college.

It said that the article appeared to be a mere attempt to invite political interference in the selection of the next dean and an insult on the capabilities of the whole faculty.

“The commentary is an unwarranted and offensive attack that not only sullies and casts doubt upon the personalities of the four candidates currently being considered for the position of Dean of the UP College of Law, but also upon the professionalism and track record of the entire faculty,” UP Law said.

“This is an unacceptable insult to the independence of the UP Law Faculty and a blatant attempt to invite unabashed political interference in a selection process for academic leadership that should be based purely on academic credentials, management experience and competence, professionalism and collegiality, and community within the College and the UP System,” it added.

The commentary claimed that the election of the next UP Law dean “is a very important strategic consideration for the Duterte administration,” following the abrogation of the pact between the university and the Department of Defense because of the alleged communist recruitment in the campus.

The college maintained that the four candidates for deanship — Elizabeth Aguilang-Pangalangan, Jay Batongbacal, Sandra Marie Coronel, and Edgardo Carlo Vistan, II — have their respective unique qualities and qualifications that the collegial body respect and accept.

“We affirm our commitment to independence from political interference and influence from any quarter, and the ultimate objectives of the UP College of Law of teaching in The Grand Manner to guide the finest learning and practice of law to the end that we may achieve distributive justice, a just and humane society, the protection and advancement of human rights, and the highest standards of public service for the Filipino people, all under the Rule of Law,” UP Law said.