Philippine arts

UST disowns Varsitarian’s stance vs ‘lemons, cowards’
UST says the Varsitarian's statement against pro-RH bill Ateneo and La Salle professors 'does not bear the university's imprimatur'

Screen grab from the Varsitarian

MANILA, Philippines – The University of Santo Tomas (UST) on Tuesday, October 9, disowned its student newspaper’s opinion against Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University professors who support the Reproductive Health (RH) bill. 

In a statement, UST said it supports its student newspaper, The Varsitarian, in opposing the RH bill. But it said it grants The Varsitarian editorial independence.

“Thus, the opinion expressed in the Varsitarian opinion-editorial, insofar as it supposedly called the pro-RH bill professors of the Ateneo de Manila University and the De La Salle University as ‘intellectual pretenders and interlopers’ does not bear the university’s imprimatur,” UST said in a statement posted on its official Facebook page. The university’s Sept 30, 2012 edition of the Varsitarian however clearly referred to the professors as such.

The university, nevertheless, acknowledged that the bill is a “highly charged” issue that brings emotions to a “feverish pitch in the healthy exchanges of ideas.”

“The University of Santo Tomas has been steadfastly consistent in its opposition to certain provisions of the bill which are repugnant to the teachings of our Catholic faith,” it added.

UST’s official student publication sparked heated reactions after it published the controversial opinion-editorial. The newspaper also challenged them to resign after their universities “treated them with kid gloves.”

“They have clung on to their faculty membership in Catholic institutions. They want to have their cake and eat it, too. They’re intellectual mercenaries, nothing more, nothing less,” the Varsitarian said.

The Varsitarian adviser Lito Zulueta, for his part, acknowledged that the editorial may have been “un-Christian.” “We admit that, and we apologize for that,” Zulueta said in an interview aired on GMA-7’s Saksi newscast on Monday, October 8.

Zulueta, however, stood by the newspaper’s stance against the RH bill. –

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