UNP sues student publication editor-in-chief

VIGAN CITY (May 14) — The University of Northern Philippines (UNP) administration filed a criminal complaint for theft before the City Prosecutor’s Office here against one of its student leaders.

Docketed as I.S. Number 08-049, UNP alleged that in January 11, 2008, their student stole the computer central processing unit (CPU) of Tandem, its official student paper from the locked and the barricaded publication office.

In the complaint-affidavit filed by Mr. Nolito Ragunjan, Coordinator for Student Publications of UNP-Vigan, accused Ma. Criselda Diocena, 23 years old, of taking the CPU outside the office without permission from the administration. His complaint was supported by an affidavit signed by Warren Rafal stating that Diocena took the CPU, issues of Tandem and other personal belongings out of the office.

Warren Rafal, in his affidavit said he asked permission on January 11, 2008 from the administration to open the office, which was locked by the UNP administration since October 2007. The school president Dr, Lauro Tacbas allowed them to enter the office provided they will only get some receipts.

The CPU brought to the UNP Student Resource Center (SRC) still within the UNP premises.

Diocena and Rafal were Editor-in-Chief of Tandem and Student Regent respectively, active student leaders and one of those who led the campaign against tuition and other fees increase and other repressive policies of the university administration.

As of press time the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) Director Dr. Gilbert Arce has not issued any clearance for Diocena and she has not been allowed to take her final examinations.

Meanwhile, Rafal had to plead with the UNP administration to be able to enroll. Both Diocena and Rafal were also sued by the administration for robbery earlier but the case was not pursued.

Also, last March 2008, Dr. Joel Beleno of the UNP College of Health Sciences sued Jeric Pelayo, the standard bearer of Alliance of Concerned Students-Partido ng Demokra-tikong Mag-aaral (ACS-PDM) for slander.

Desperate attempts

According to TANGGULAN Youth Network for Civil Liberties and Human Rights spokesperson Reizell Santos, the cases filed against Diocena and other students leaders are desperate moves of the UNP administration to silence the students who are conscious of and are upholding academic freedom; for their rights and the welfare of their fellow students.

Santos stressed that these cases are the reaction of UNP administration to the steadfast campaign of the publication and student organizations against the increase of tuition and other fees; and against campus repression.

“The UNP administration opts to suppress the basic rights of the students to protect its interest from the growing clamor against its tuition and other fees increases. It clearly shows its disregard for academic freedom that we should enjoy.” Santos concluded.

Santos also added that the guards and administration officials constantly harassed Diocena and her colleagues during the peak of the campaign that led to the barricading of their office . To date, Tandem office is still locked-up. The UNP administration has opted to produce a new publication, The Blazers.

Diocena admitted that they took the receipts, issues of Tandem and personal belongings out of the office and brought them to the Student Council Office so that they can be read and utilized. “Mr. Rafal suggested that we also bring the CPU out of the office and because we still have files saved in the computer for the next regular issue of TANDEM.” She furthered.

Diocena said she does not have access to the Student Resource Center where the CPU is now found, Mr. Ragunjan has unlimited access to it so that he can have the CPU anytime he wants. “I never intended to take the CPU for my own use. Even the accompanying affidavit of complainant Ragunjan’s supposed witness, Warren Rafal, states that the CPU is and has been at the Student Resource Center at the UNP premises” she stressed saying that if his interest was to protect the property of UNP, Mr. Ragunjan has all the means to verify himself that the CPU subject of his complaint has not been taken away from his watch.

The Diocena and Pelayo’s cases were brought to the attention of various institutions such as the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Committee on Education and Culture of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Sur, Committee on Education of the City Government of Vigan and the Office of Congressman Ronald Singson. # Rod Tajon for NORDIS

8 Responses to “UNP sues student publication editor-in-chief”

  1. TALIBA Says:

    This is also a blatant form of human rights violation, which should be reported as well to CHR for its immediate investigation.



    this kind of action taken by the school administration reflects its inability to solve internal matters within the very walls of the academe. in its effort to instill fear to the said student leader, they did go outside, used the court to harass the students, and made a fool out of them, by technically admitting to everybody that they are unable to solve such minor misunderstanding.


  2. indurinarsireddy Says:

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  3. indurinarsireddy Says:

    details of M.B.B.S course details

  4. indurinarsireddy Says:

    information of unp corency

  5. indurinarsireddy Says:

    language of unp

  6. seiji Says:

    Heh, serves them right. The administration is working hard to maintain good relationships with everyone in the organization, but there are still the stubborn “pasaways” who want their own way. So, as the saying goes, they “nip them right at the bud” before things get worse.

    These goons are up to making villains of those more powerful than them and make themselves heroes. Sheesh.

    Man, why do some people want to become a pain in the ass?

    • barangayrp Says:

      Well.. if i’m reading the news right, the real pasaway here is the UNP administration.

      Using muscle against simple youth activism is a villianous act really. Why can’t they use words against words? Are they really demonstrating their ‘awesomeness’ by terrorizing the students? Sigh.

      The UNP administration is a real trouble to freedom of expression, and academic freedom in this country. Tsk!

      Talk about educating our youth. Tsk!

  7. seiji Says:

    “The UNP administration is a real trouble to freedom of expression, and academic freedom in this country. Tsk!”

    They always say that. And they’re dreaming.

    I think it was a mistake TANDEM was given near-full autonomy from administration or faculty supervision… Yep, TANDEM is autonomous. And what they did is “bite the hand that fed them.”

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