UST fires assistant professor who stood with students

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This article is available in Pilipino

The University of Sto. Tomas (UST) administration eventually fired College of Science Assistant Professor Vladimir Villegas, PhD on May 30 when it terminated the teacher’s contract with the university. The university targetted Villegas when he supported the youth and university organizations’ fight for democratic rights and against the administration’s repression.

On May 17, the administration gave him an “unsatisfactory rating” which jeopardized his position. The report said among the reasons why he was persecuted was his participation in actions of “unrecognized organizations which have a left-wing and radical agenda that is incompatible with the university’s ‘mission-vision’.”

The administration referred to the protests of organizations and students on February 21, led by Rise for Education-España, against the arbitrary closure of TomasinoWeb. The protests asserted the independence of the organization, as well as of the councils and other student institutions within the UST.

Apart from Asst. Prof. Villegas, many UST students were “summoned” for participating in “unrecognized” organizations within the campus. It targeted leaders of progressive organizations. Furthermore, UST also enforces unfairly strict rules on campus councils, organizations and publications.

“The University’s weaponization of the twisted and inherently repressive Codes of Conduct and Sanction tramples on our right to organize and academic freedom,” the League of Filipino Students said. It asserted that the university blatantly ignores the rights guaranteed by the Philippine constitution.

AB: UST fires assistant professor who stood with students