• Saturday, Jun 29 2013
  • Written by  Abu Hajams

Irresponsible reporting concerning the University of Southern Mindanao (USM) may help for the return of crisis in this University. The reports were published in local and national dailies saying, the problem in this University is over and solved. One irresponsible correspondent said, Governor Emmylou “Lala” Talino-Mendoza of North Cotabato led a group of Police troops that dispersed the picketers.

This is an absolute lie. There has not been in the past that Gov. Lala Talino-Mendoza led any group of troops that dispersed the rallyists. On the other hand, she scolded the Police Officers that led the illegal dispersal of the rallyists on February 13, 2013 when a joint 100 Army and 100 PNP troops in full battle gear and with three armored tanks attacked the sleeping rallyists at 2:00 A.M., dawn. What had been consistently done by the good Governor of North Cotabato was negotiating peacefully with the parties, the University President and the rallyists, to observe peace and the rule of law. As a result of her initial engagement-talk with the parties, Dr. Teresita Cambel was designated Officer In-Charge in USM. The solution was momentary, however, that it lasted shortly after the Election Day.

Another irresponsible reporting was the alleged personal coming of Secretary Mar Roxas to USM on order of President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco-Aquino III to settle the stand-off in the University. This is another blatant lie.

The truth of the matter is that Secretary Mar Roxas has not come to USM concerning the stand-off therein. According to a student leader, Mar Maungangen, there is an obsession by these irresponsible reporters to confuse the public so that concerned authorities such as P-Noy and Mar Roxas will no longer step-in to the problem because it is already solved, when in reality it is not.

The real situation in USM is “temporarily normal” when in the afternoon of June 14, 2013, Representative Nancy Catamco arrived in the Campus armed with an order from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). The order contained the designation of Atty.

Christoper Cabelin as Officer In-Charge of the University commencing June 14, 2013 and until superseded by another order. She explained to the rallyists that President Jesus Antonio G. Derije signed a 29-day leave of absence.

In the duration of his leave, another fact finding committee will be constituted to investigate the anomalies committed by President Derije. A Congressional body will help to address the root cause of the crisis to be led by Congresswoman Catamco herself.

The leadership of the CHED will look for another position for President Derije. Thereafter, he will be considered resigned in USM. The University Presidency then will be opened for competition and a new President will finally be appointed. These were the explanation and promises of Representative Catamco.

Classes were restored but amid such normalcy, several happenings took placed. These were the partial burning of the “Fortuner” car of the former Security Director Orlando Forro on the night following the coming of Rep. Catamco, the gun shooting of the Director of the Human Resource and Management Development Office, Dr. Cynthia Alpas, and the attempted burning of the Granary building.

Assailants on these crimes were unknown. However, in the early morning of June 16, 2013, over the DXVL or USM Radio Station, President Derije accused his predecessor President on anomalies and burnings committed during such predecessor’s term. This logically points out that such President today of USM which is President Derije must be blamed for the anomalies, the burnings and the other atrocities that recently happened. Asked, what if the victims were among his loyalists? Mr. Maungangen answered, that it can be true even if the victims were members of his supporters because such motive can be “silencing of potential witnesses” and “concealing of evidences of the corruption”.

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