UST Professor admits motivating students to flood Akbayan’s fan page with “anti-RH comments”

This is another press release from Akbayan and I am posting this in full – Noemi

Below is the formal admission of the UST professor who motivated his students to post/flood “anti-RH sentiments at Akbayan’s Fanpage. The UST professor is Mr. Aguedo Florence A. Jalin, a Theology professor of the University of Santo Tomas’ Institute of Religion. He admitted that all the classes identified were his and further admitted that the posts made by the students were specifically “designed” “to show consistency of thoughts.”

He also admitted that the posts were based on Circular No. 2010-31 issued on 26 July 2010 by His Emminence Bishop nereo P. Odchimar, DD, the president of CBCP. There was no mention in the letter if the proposed Reproductive Health bill currently filed before Congress was used in his classes as one of the analytical instruments to arrive at such anti-RH positions. There was also no mention of the “extra grades/incentives” offered to students, something which was already admitted by many UST students who posted messages in this site.

Lastly, he declined the invitation of Akbayan youth for a debate saying it is merely a “display of arrogance.”

We are re-posting his letter which he posted today at Akbayan youth’s blog. We are also posting our youth wing’s previous statement on the matter. (Link is here)

Again, we maintain, the students are not at fault here. The blame should rest on the involved teacher/s who used them as cannon-fodders and “front-liners” to advance their own opinions without the benefit of academic discourse.

Akbayan youth on reports that certain UST teachers motivated students to “reject” the RH bill in exchange for “bonus points”

I am the professor of theology you are referring in your lengthy discourse about certain professors. And the classes you categorically named were my classes. First, I appreciate with much intense your effort in analyzing the efforts we have done. It only proved we, my students and I, have achieved what we are dearly hoping – to bring across the message of opposition to: 1) the “valentine’s day activity” your group decided to take up and 2) the RHBill. Indeed, it takes a lot of time to put into the foreground what you wanted- to have safe sex and the passing of the Bill, that you have to go out and meet everyone and give them pabaon (…condom).

The messages you have received were not “ill-informed stances” as you have succinctly termed. Instead they were designed to show consistency of thoughts. My students and I are simply echoing the very contents of Circular No. 2010-31 issued on 26 July 2010 by His Emminence Bishop nereo P. Odchimar, DD, the president of CBCP. This document is the CBCP’s Pastoral Exhortation on Proposed Bills on Sex Education and Reproductive Health which highlights the need to SECURE OUR MORAL HERITAGE: TOWARDS A MORAL SOCIETY. The Letter mentioned two timeless and simple but profound truths:

1. At the foundation of moral society is a central religious truth- our divine origin and our divinely-given identity as persons, and

2. Real corruption is moral and spiritual corruption. The rejection or disregard of morality and religious belief is at the core of corruption. Moral and spiritual corruption breeds its kind in other spheres of life- political, social, and economic.

In the academic world, we carefully mold and filter the knowledge we impart because that is part of our Code of Ethics as rabbi. We guide our students toward the narrow-road which is the road-less-traveled. Even the giving of incentive(s) is an age-old system that originated with the birthing of Universities and other Educational Institutions. Great thinkers like St. Thomas Aquinas came to be primarily due to their mentors who did everything to open their minds with the societal affairs.

With regard to your invitation for a debate, allow me to make a comparison. In the olden times, duel or in our term ‘square tayo” was the best manifestation of manhood but now, being a provider and a true father to your family or respecting and not hurting women are manifestations manhood and of being a real man. Debate, as you and I fully know, showcases arrogance more than clarity of the issue. This is what is clear to me –we both know where we stand.

And if the 2 bishops (Bishop Bastes and Bishop Odchimar) mentioned in the Philippine Star News, Friday, February 4, 2011,p.8, explicitly stated: “We bishops are willing to be imprisoned together with our priests and protest the immoral things “, then I will express the same mind- imprison me and my students.

As Thomasians we commit ourselves to the cause of truth. Thank you for your time, I am Sir Agui.

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