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Monday, June 9, 2008

CMU students, faculty decry suspension on student council president and student regent

By BenCyrus G. Ellorin/ June 4, 2008

VALENCIA CITY -- Students of the Central Mindanao University are crying foul over the move of beleaguered university President Dr. Madronio M. Lao to suspend the President of the Supreme Student Government and student representative to the state university's Board of Regents.

Petros Absalon Bojo, President of the CMU Supreme Student Council (SSC) said that he learned of his suspension today from the Office of Student Affairs. He however is questioning the legality of the suspension order saying that he has been denied due process and that the suspension "is clearly meant to silence the student's opposition to the continued stay of Dr. Lao as university President.

Dr. Lao is facing investigation from the Commission on Higher Education and Malacanang for his alleged illegal term extension as President of CMU. He took over the helm of the university for a four year tenure on July 28, 1999. He was re-appointed for another four-year term on July 28, 2003. Under Republic Act 8292 or the Higher Education Modernization Act of 1997, presidents of state universities and colleges are allowed to have a term of four years and shall be eligible for re-appointment for another four year term depending on the his/ her performance. Under this law Dr. Lao's term should have ended on July 28, 2007

The CMU SSC and the CMU Faculty Association Inc. (CMUFAI) have questioned as "illegal" the term extension of Dr. Lao. Last March 19, 2007 the CMU Board of Regents extended his term as university president until July 2010.

CMU SSC Vice President Allan Rex Papey said the timing of the suspension order of Bojo is highly questionable and ill-motivated. He said that it is an obvious attempt to disenfranchise student representation in the Board of Regents which will meet this month to decide on the fate of Dr. Lao. CHED Secretary Romulo Neri chairs the CMU Board of Regents. In a Legal Opinion read during the May 23, 2008 Board of Regent meeting in Manila, CHED had branded the extension of Dr. Lao's term as illegal.

This is pure and simple harassment he said and the entire studentry of CMU "decry this attempt of the illegally occupying president of CMU to rob the students of its right of a due representation to the BOR," said Papey.

CMUFAI Vice president Prof. Edorlita P. Cubillas said that the action of the Lao administration is very unfortunate. She said that instead of continuing his "reign of terror" in the idyllic campus in Musuan, Maramag, Bukidnon, Dr. Lao should follow the law, step down and face the cases against him for alleged irregularities. Opponents of Lao point to the cases of unsolved crimes in the campus which to their count since 2002 already cost 15 lives, including that of the late Vice President Dr. Porferio Balanay who was gunned down on Nov. 12, 2007.

Meanwhile, the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), the association of student governments and councils throughout the country said that CHED Sec. Neri should look into the harassment of Petros Bojo. "Any form of student repression should be opposed and we appeal to Sec. Neri to allow Petros Bojo to sit in the next Board of Regents meeting" said NUSP Secretary General Gerald Leigh Laquinon.

Bojo said that he will fight for his seat in the BOR. "The students have overwhelmingly voted me into the SSC presidency and I will not fail them, I will continue to be their voice and representative in the highest policy making body of the university." He said that he can't understand why he is now being suspended "when all my sin is to point out a wrong in the CMU system." His other sin, he added is that "I am my mother's son." Petros' mother CMU Prof. Amelia Catarata-Bojo is an outspoken critic of Dr. Lao.

BenCyrus G. Ellorin

Cagayan de Oro City
Tel/Fax: (63) (8822) 71-0635
Tel. (63) (88) 8574011
Mobile Phone: +639292146198


  1. "The CMU SSC and the CMU Faculty Association Inc. (CMUFAI) have questioned as "illegal" the term extension of Dr. Lao. Last March 19, 2007 the CMU Board of Regents extended his term as university president until July 2010."

    Are you sure about this? You should make a more extensive research on your articles, if you consider yourself a journalist.

    You are free to use the freedom of speech and the liberty you get with the net but with this privilege is great responisbility.

  2. Sure about what? By the way the article is lifted from another source thus I am asking what needs further research?

    If you have information relating to the posted article then why not post it as well instead of just plain criticism.

  3. Before his unfortunate death due to a lingering illness, the Board of Regent recalled the extension it gave on the late Madronio Lao as President of CMU and declared the position open. This is an admission of the illegal action of the BOR.

    Just putting the record straight.

    Yeah privelege comes with great responsibility like stupidity, you can say or do anything and show to the world your stupidity.


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