UST prepares to fire assistant professor who stood with UST students

, ,
This article is available in Pilipino

The University of Santo Tomas (UST) administration is harassing Assistant Professor Vladimir Villegas PhD of the College of Science after he supported the fight of the youth and organizations in the university for democratic rights and against the repression of the administration. On May 17, the administration gave Villegas an “unsatisfactory rating,” jeopardizing his standing in the university.

According to the report, among the reasons for the pressure on him is his participation in the actions of “unrecognized organizations that have a left-wing and radical agenda that is incompatible with the university’s mission-vision.”

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

To condemn the administration, UST students picketed on May 24. “UST students are united with Sir Vlad’s fight for his position and for the democratic rights of all Tomasinos,” said Allen Ballesteros, Anakbayan-UST spokesperson.

Ballesteros insists that the use of the university’s “mission-vision” to silence critics and progressives is very disappointing. “If UST’s standard for being a good teacher is not speaking out in the face of worsening injustice, then it is true that there has been no significant change in the university since it was established by the Spanish conquerors to serve as an instrument of their rule,” he added.

Ballesteros is also a victim of UST intimidation after being summoned by the administration under a “show cause order” for participating in protests and leading student activities on campus.

Assistance Professor Villegas has already submitted a letter of appeal to the UST College of Science dean regarding the harassment done to him. He insisted, his participation in the protest was framed in the freedom of the press, and the right to peaceful assembly sealed in the 1987 Constitution.

AB: UST prepares to fire assistant professor who stood with UST students