March 22, 2016
MANILA, Philippines – The University of the Philippines (UP) has denied issuing a resolution declaring presidential aspirant Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as persona non grata.
In a statement, UP vice president for public affairs Prof. Prospero De Vera said certain individuals and organizations have issued and circulated a Facebook post “purportedly claiming” that the UP’s Board of Regents (BOR) issued a resolution declaring Duterte as persona non grata.
However, he noted that this supposed resolution from the university’s BOR circulating on social media was “fake.”
“In very clear and in no uncertain terms, the university would like to make it known that the Board of Regents has not made any such issuance,” De Vera said.
“There has been no resolution of such nature passed by the Board,” he added.
In a photo circulating on Facebook and showing the supposed UP’s persona non grata resolution on Duterte, it said the presidential candidate “has shown gross incompetence and lack of leadership in controlling/pacifying his followers who have resorted to bullying one of our students through social medias.”
“Resolved as it is hereby resolved that Mr. Rodrigo R. Duterte be declared persona non grata of the entire University of the Philippines system,” it added.
It further stated that it was the BOR’s “Resolution No. 103, Series of 2016.”
The background of the photo was the UP’s logo.
The photo also showed that it was distributed through the Facebook account of a certain Isaac John Dela Cruz.
“Gudmorning mga ka POEsu galing poe ito sa isang post na kamag anak niya na nag aaral sa UP na diniklarang persona non grata si Duterte sa lahat daw ng UP Campus… paki share daw sa lahat,” Dela Cruz said in his post.
Dela Cruz’s profile picture showed the logo of Samahang Magdalo, a military rebel group-turned-party-list.
“We condemn and decry the malicious attempt of the individual, or group behind the social media user, to drag the name of the University of the Philippines into partisan political conflict,” De Vera said.
“As the national university, UP is non-partisan and does not support nor hold adversarial views against any candidate,” he added.
De Vera said university authorities are now investigating the matter, “with the aim of making those responsible for the malicious act liable under relevant laws.”
It could be recalled that last March 11, Duterte was invited in a forum at the UP-Los Baños, where a student reportedly had disrespected him.
A lot of well-meaning supporters of Duterte vented their anger against the student on social media for his supposed lack of respect for the mayor.
Reports named the student as Stephen Villena, who allegedly received death threats from Duterte’s supporters for rushing the mayor to answer his question.