/ 9 May 2022

COMMISSION on Higher Education Chairman Prospero De Vera III corrected a tweet made by online news website Rappler claiming that a 30-year-old man received a scholarship from the office of Vice President Leni Robredo.

In a Facebook post, De Vera clarified that Antonio ‘Tony’ Esquelador Jr., a man born without legs, was a Tertiary Education Subsidy beneficiary under Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education law.

He said that records from the CHED-Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education showed that he is a TES grantee.

“Scholar of VP Robredo? Scholar of the VP? He is a scholar/TES grantee of the Philippine government since 2018 under the Universal Access to Quality Education law (RA 10931),” De Vera said.

“All scholars under CHED programs are government scholars, not scholars of politicians,” he added.

The CHED chief stressed that Esquelador is only allowed to enjoy one scholarship or grant from a government agency.

“If indeed he is enjoying a scholarship or grant from another government agency, he can lose his UAQTE TES,” he said.

Rappler on May 6 shared photos of 30-year-old Esquelador with the Mayon volcano as backdrop and described him as a scholar of the VP for the last five years.

It added that Esquelador Jr. was on his way to join the Albay grand rally of Robredo.