Mocha Uson never embodied Thomasian values – UST students
MANILA, Philippines – Students from the University Santo Tomas (UST) gathered on Monday, January 22, outside the pontifical university to denounce the award given by the UST Alumni Association to Palace Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson.
"Tinututulan namin ang paggawad ng award ng Alumni Association sa isang propagandista ng rehimeng pumapatay at mukha ng black propaganda na si Mocha Uson," UST student and spokesperson of the League of Filipino Students Bluei Fausto said.
(We are condemning the award conferred by the Alumni Associaton to a propagandist of a regime that has launched a killing spree. Mocha Uson is the symbol of black propaganda.)
"Kahit kelan ay hindi po naging repleksyon si Mocha Uson ng Thomasian values," she added. "Hindi nararapat na bigyan siya ng isang award ng institusyon na dapat ay nakikipaglaban sa karapatan ng bawat mamamayan."
(Mocha Uson never embodied Thomasian vlaues. She does not deserve an award from an institution that should fight for the rights of every Filipino.)
This was the same argument made by the UST central student council in their statement where they "strongly denounced" the award given to the entertainer-turned-government worker. (READ: Mocha Uson: Fake news victim or fake news peddler?)
Uson was awarded on Sunday by the UST Alumni Association for having attained the organization's two criteria for the recognition: to graduate in UST, and to work for the government.
The Alumni Association claimed in a statement that the award is meant "to inspire and challenge the recipients to lead the Thomasian core values," after graduates of the university expressed their disappointment with the organization's decision to award the rabid supporter of the Duterte administration,
Meanwhile, UST clarified in a statement that the award was given solely by the alumni association and not by the whole university. "The University does not interfere with the affairs of UAAI or any of its alumni organizations," it said.
Still, UST students demanded that the university's administration step up and withdraw the award from Uson, if not directly denounce the recognition.
"Kung puwede tanggalin yung award ni Mocha Uson o kung hindi, sabihin nila directly na tinututulan nila. 'Wag silang mag-sugarcoat, sabihin nila kung ayaw talaga nila ibigay kay Mocha Uson," Fausto said.
(They should take back the award or directly denounce it. They should not sugar-coat or beat around the bush if they really are against the giving of the award to Mocha Uson.)
More than the actual award, College Editors Guild of the Philippines member Josiah Antonio also said that the decision to recognize Uson is equivalent to giving recognition to the continuing killings under the Duterte administration.
"Hindi lamang ito usapin ng pagbibigay ng parangal, usapin din ito ng pagkikilala sa patuloy na pagpaslang sa mga kabataan, magsasaka, at manggagawa," Antonio said.
(This is not just an issue about awards. This is also an issue about the propriety of continually killing the youth, farmers, and laborers.)
He also reminded the youth that the administration has not withdrawn martial law in Mindanao, and has not stopped its war on drugs which has killed thousands of fellow Filipinos.
Apart from these students, the award also drew outrage from fellow Thomasian graduates, including author and educator Bino Realuyo, who said in a Facebook post that the recognition given the rabid supporter of the administration is "an insult" to all alumni of the university.
As a form of protest, Realuyo said he is returning the award given to him by the university in 2003, the "75th Founding Anniversary Award." – Rappler.com