It was late April, WMSU’s ground is already wrapped in deep silence because of the absence of students who usually roams and dominates the wide campus of the university. No one walks on the wide corridors of the Academic Buildings except for a few who are taking summer classes. Majority of the students are already taking their lushious vacation in the different spots of the country and others are preparing for another chapter of their tertiary sojourn. Then suddenly a striking news shook the entire academe, “President Rebollos was suspended by the University’s Board of Regents, the highest policy-formulating body of WMSU”. As those words have arrived in the tip of my eardrums, my nerve cells immediately sent a message to my brain causing me to utter questions of curiosity.
Why did it happened? What are the grounds of her suspension? What will happen to WMSU now? I searched for answers from any possible sources. I tried to inquire from my classmates about the issue, but then they have failed to quench my thirst for the pieces of information that i badly need. As an incoming Senior Political Science student and an incumbent President of the Political Society, it is my responsibility to actually get the gist of the issue that will surely become subject of numerous debates when the class will formally start in June. That’s why, i never stopped from searching for the answers, until my work was finally rewarded.
May 19, 2008, I went to Professor Esnaen Catong, the Chairperson of the Department of Political Science to help in facilitating the enrollment for the freshmen. But in the bottom of my brain, i tought that this endeavor will possibly become my bridge in unveiling the truth beyong the hottest issue in the academe now. I was sitting then at the table adjacent to the table of our chairperson, holding a reciept, ballpen, stomp pad and an ink ready for the collection of the Php 50.00 Political Science Membership Fee waiting for enrollees to come in the office. Then suddenly Sir Teng broke the silence, he asked me if i know the details and pecularities of the recent issue that seems to be the “talk of the campus”. I replied, “Yes Sir, but only a little”. I whispered to my self, “Yeah this is really the time im waiting, to clear the doubts that are proliferating in my head”.
According to him, what happened to Dr. Grace was a 90-day preventive suspension, a standard operating procedure in the Philippine legal system that is usually done to prevent the accused from using the institution’s resources and if their is a pending investigation that is occuring, and not the real penalty of the charges. He further informed us that there are five charges that was filed against her, on which two was dismissed and three did flourished thus advancing to the next step. I also knew during the intellectual discourse between the brilliant UP-trained Professor that the one who initiated the complaint was a Political Science Professor, currently sitting as the Faculty Regent, Professor Jarah Hamja.
It was so ironic that the next day, we saw a streamer hanging in the entrance to the College of LIberal Arts bearing the text ” The Department of Political Science supports the Presidency of Dr. Grace J. Rebollos”. According to my mentor, they supported the President not because of the friendship they had but because of the mockery of the process when they seemingly-ousted the President.
“Huh?”, i replied. “Is there such thing as that sir?”
He directly answered me “Sad to say,yes.”
“What really happened?”, i inquired.
He explained that during the trial, Professor Hamja acted as the complainant because he is the one who initiated the charge, he also acted as the witness because he testified before the body about the act and worst is he acted as the judge because he joined the voting and raise his hand in favor of the proposition to oust Dr. Rebollos.
Under a very basic principle in Political Science, if the complainant is within the body, he must inhibit himself from voting because naturally he will go against the defendant. But in the case of what happened during the Board meeting, it was all mockery and a shame to the most noble policy-making body of the university.
He also told us that the defendant was also dragged out of the hall and prevented from hearing the proceedings. A very clear deprivation of the right of the accused, deprivation to avail due process of law, be it procedural or substantial.
Where on earth we can see this things?
Only in WMSU!!