Students claim school plans to kick them out for attending rally

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014


FOUR students of the University of San Carlos (USC) believe they are facing possible expulsion for their participation in the rally by personnel of the school’s General Services Office (GSO) at the Talamban campus last month.

They are Supreme Student Council vice president Ken Ecarma, Justic Gular of the Student Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy, Kabataan Party-List member Alem Garcia and Katleen Abugan of Anakbayan-USC.

However, a representative of the USC-Talamban campus (TC) denied reports that they’re expelling the four students.

In a text message to Sun.Star Cebu yesterday, Cerwin Eviota said the school is still conducting an investigation regarding their participation in the rally.

Calling for support

“There is an ongoing investigation, but no recommendation has been made, much more a decision,” Eviota said.

Speaking before the 888 News Forum, Abugan said they attended a hearing conducted by the school administration last Monday.

She said there will be more hearings since the school wants to expel them.

Abugan, in a separate press statement, said they are not afraid of what the school is accusing them of since they were just practicing their rights.

“We call for the support of the whole student body with this fight because this could happen to anyone in the university. If we choose to remain silent in the repressive policies of our university, then who else will dare to speak up and expose those anti-student policies?,” she said.

Consulting the Vatican

Ecarma said they joined the dismissed workers to show their sympathy and solidarity with their struggle on their sixth day of picket outside the USC-TC.

“It is our inherent right to freedom of speech and expression that is why we gave our full support to the workers but we are not expecting this to happen, that the administration will file a complaint against us,” Ecarma said.

Art Barrit, spokesman of the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines of which the USC employees union is affiliated, said they will inform Pope Francis about the matter so he’ll know what the priests at USC are doing.

Barrit said they will consult the Vatican if the actions of the SVD priests against the four students are still within the policy and teaching of the Catholic Church.

The GSO employees were retrenched as part of the school’s precautions in response to the implementation of the K to 12 basic education program.

Last month, the school announced that the last 12 of the 77 retrenched employees finally settled their differences with the school and decided to accept the early retirement package offered to them.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 02, 2014.

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