Open Statement on the Arrogance of UP President Roman
Last night, December 18, 2007, someone, obviously with connections to the UP Administration, sent this text message around: “PERR and VP Leonen had heated argument wd Jamby Madrigal who brought group of union members and students 2 pres roman and insisted that she debate wd them on charter. Then got on mic and insulted perr and all univ officials as arrogant n vs. transparency. D session was adjourned after kiko pangilinan put on record that he disagreed. Pls. pas.”
I was in the Senate Session Hall yesterday and was with Sen Madrigal when the incident referred to by the text message happened. What I have seen were actions hardly fit for a University President, much more when that president comes from my beloved UP.
For the whole day of 18 December 2007, my colleagues and I from the Office of Senator Jamby Madrigal were busy drafting amendments to the UP Charter Bill based on the submissions of the UP Wide Democratization Movement (UP WIDEM) to promote democratic governance and accountability, and to strengthen state support to the University of the Philippines through its charter amendments. At the same time, we were discussing these matters with the staff of Sen. Pangilinan to hopefully reach a compromise.
My principal discussed these proposals, too, with Sen. Pangilinan and Senate President Villar , who advised us to discuss the same with UP Pres. Roman and her group. Sen. Madrigal took the initiative to approach them at their seats in the gallery, with myself by her side.
We expected a congenial discussion, but what we got were verbal abuses and insults to my self.
I was yet to say my greetings to UP Pres. Roman when she started pointing her finger at me, saying loudly that I was doing a “disservice to the University” repeatedly just because I have a different position with her as regards the UP Charter. Her manner of speaking was bereft of respect for a former colleague in the UP administration. She knows this: I was a member of the Board of Regents which elected her as UP President. I voted for her on the basis of a principled stand at that time. I differ with her and her administration now on the specific provisions of the UP Charter that they are supporting. Again, it is a principled stand.
Does Pres. Roman see me as just a “former student regent”? Not even an ordinary student is entitled to such disrespect, much more right in the halls of the Senate. Her arrogance is unacceptable by any standards. I will not cower. I demand an apology from her for the insults she hurled to me in public in the Senate Plenary Hall yesterday.
I have served the University of the Philippines well and will continue to do so.
MARCO M. DELOS REYES
Office of Senator Madrigal
UP Student Regent (2004)
UP Diliman USC Chairperson (AY 2005-2006)