IT STARTED when 15 guards of University of the Philippines Cebu College was unjustly amd hastily retrenched at 10 p.m., February 28 by Dean Enrique Avila’s administration. That same night, around 20 members of Churbarbies Sorority (4th Year Mass Communications Batch 2011 organization), the Student Council, members of political parties Nagkahiusang Kusog sa Estudyante (NKE) and Union of Progressive Students (UPS), and other students quickly gathered and held candle-lighting, marking it as the beginning of protests for the guards and against Dean Avila.
In the next morning, March 1, UP Cebu was again rocked when more than 300 students, teachers and workers marched and gathered in front of the Administration building to protest Dean Avila’s harrassment to the 15 guards that were left unemployed after the retrenchment. Later in the protest program, protesters unanimously called for the ouster of Dean Avila.
“The plan was just to protest for the rights and welfare of the 15 guards. But when Avila administration’ and Budget Officer Alsidry Shariff’s alleged anomalies were finally exposed, almost everyone was shouting to oust Dean Avila and his minions. This mobilization was briefly planned but the result is overwhelming,” said NKE spokesperson and Student Council Vice-Chairperson-elect Kristian Jacob Abad Lora.
Around 4 p.m., signing of petition to oust Dean Avila, Budget Officer Alsidry Shariff and the dean’s consultant began. According to outgoing SC Chairperson Euvic Ferrer, as of 5 p.m., the petition significantly gathered around 500 signatures. It was to be sent to the Office of the UP President, Staff Regent and Student Regent for it to be included in the agenda of the UP Board of Regents meeting, March 2.
CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS
Around 12 noon, around 20 students, teachers, workers and the retrenched guards gather in the Oblation Square to kick off snake rally to convince more students, teachers and workers to join the rally.
More teachers, students and workers join the snake rally and march outside the main campus and towards Arts and Sciences Building to pick up more constituents there.
Protesters pause for a while in front of the 2nd gate facing the streets to create public opinion. Protesters chant and show placards to inform the Cebu community on what’s happening in UP Cebu.
On the other hand, Dean Avila riding on his silver Suzuki APV passes by the protesters and goes out of the university.
Protesters continue the march to AS Building.
All UP Workers Union Cebu Chapter joins the rally.
Outgoing 2nd year representative and 3rd Year Representative-elect Kirby Palang Taghoy invites students, teachers and workers in the AS Bldg. to join the sympathy fasting and the protest action.
Snake rally picks up around 280 students, teachers and workers. Protesters march bakc to the Oblation Square for a Sympathy Fast and Protest Action.
Around 300 protesters gathered in the Oblations Square to show rage and disgust on the retrenchment of the 15 UP Cebu security guards and Avila’s UNdemocratic governance.
More teachers and workers join the protest.
Darwin Muralla of League of Filipino students-UP Cebu Chapter gives solidarity message; introduces the recent crisis in UP Cebu.
NKE spokesperson and SC Vice-Chair-elect Kristian Jacob Abad Lora gives solidarity message; emphasizes the “death of Democracy” in UP Cebu under Dean Avila’s administration and calls UP Cebu students, workers, and teachers to continue the fight.
More of his speech: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150104866739794&id=100000053506248
Tatay Taniel of All UP Workers Union-Cebu Chapter delivers message; calls everyone to unite and fight against the repressive incumbent administration.
Professor Phoebe Sanchez delivers message; stresses that one possible reason of the retrenchment of the guards is that they are witnesses of some anomalies in the administration. Moreover, Prof. Sanchez aks who is/are the people behind the alleged anomalies: (1) robbing and selling of the Guest House gate; (2) selling of COA papers from the basement; (3) stealing of the laptop that is supposedly for everyone; and (4) not immediately returning a camera found by a guard in 2008.
Professor Karl Roque expresses dismay and disgust on the recent happenings in the college and tells the chronology of events until the guards were replaced by 10pm on Feb. 28. He officially announces his resignation as Security Officer and Head of the Security Committee as the Avila Administration never listen to his recommendation/proposal in strengthening security in the campus.
Professor Primitivo Ereno (UP High school professor and former Associate Dean) talks about how certain administrative decisions were readily imposed without consulting the faculty members and students. He reveals that Professional Education Department is already gone as it has no longer a chairperson. He calls all constituents to be vigilant and militant to bring back democratic governance in UP Cebu.
Former head guard, Kuya Nico, talks about how hastily they were fired. He shows a hand-written letter telling them all 15 that by 10 pm, February 28, they were about to be replaced by new security guards.
Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) Cebu Chapter delivers solidarity message.
Outgoing SC Chair Euvic Ferrer and Prof. Roque expose surplus budget for Security which would amount to more than 800,000 php. This is enough to hire 3 more guards to improve the security setting in UP Cebu and to open both gates. It can be remembered that Avila administration would always reason out that there is no enough budget to hire more guards to open both gates.
Incumbent KASAMA sa UP Vice-Chair for Visayas and SC Chairperson-elect Liezyl Anne Gomez expresses sympathy to the unemployed guards and their families. Protesters also get emotional.
Math Professor Lawlita Cabahug proposes to put all complaints into writing. Prof. Sanchez motions to conduct petition signing calling for the ouster of Dean Avila and his cohorts especially Budget Officer Alsidry Shariff.
UP Cebu is united in shouting: “OUSTD DEAN AVILA! Tama na! Sobra na! Patalsikin si Avila!”
Outgoing SC Vice-Chair Sheena Dabon, also a member of the Churbarbies Sorority expresses sympathy to the retrenched, cheated and unemployed 15 guards and their families. Protesters get emotional again.
Doreen Mancao, Fine Arts student expresses Fine Arts Sutdents Organization (FASO)’s support to the guards and recall good relationship with them.
Oblation’s head is covered with black cloth and tied Avila and Shariff’s names around his neck to symbolize Avila’s administration repressing Oble, making him blind and mute and killing Democracy in the College.
To conclude the one of the most massive protests in UP Cebu’s history, Kristian Jacob Abad Lora emotionally sings UP Naming Mahal with tears, anger, courage and eagerness to continue the fight.
The protesters’ chants “Iskolar, Guro at Trabahante ng Bayan, ngayon ay lumalaban!” echo around the college.
Credits to NKE for the photos and few captions from their album:
Students, faculty, staff and workers AOM (Arouse, Organize, Mobilize for AOM (Avila Ouster Movement)