Comments made to explain policy rationale, not to pass judgment
This refers to the news article titled “School-attendance check at LP Cebu event tagged as ‘immoral’” (Across the Nation, 9/1/15).
The report pointed to me as having said that. This is not what I said in the phone interview we had.
The reporter asked me about the presence of students in school uniform at the Cebu Coliseum for the visit of President Aquino and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas for “A Gathering of Friends,” a Liberal Party event. I made clear that the students were not from my school, the University of Cebu, because we do not require students to attend events not related to their studies, especially political rallies. The last thing I expected was to be reported as someone passing judgment on the conduct of someone else.
I found the facts and treatment of the story—in particular the headline and the first few sentences, in reference to me—misleading, even placing me in a bad light. I was in the hospital for a medical condition when the story came out. It was a concerned friend, who was alarmed after reading the story, who called my attention to the matter.
The comments attributed to me in the report were NOT directed against the visit or presence of President Aquino in Cebu for that event. The President’s coming to Cebu is always welcome. In fact, I recognize the many achievements of the present administration, which have translated into concrete progress and development for Cebu, particularly in the fields of infrastructure and business. Cebu has seen steady growth in those areas under the Aquino administration. I also recognize the fact that Cebuanos would love to meet the President and would naturally be interested in what he would say during his visits to Cebu.
The comments were made in the context of explaining the rationale behind our school policy regarding student attendance in out-of-school events. Let me reiterate: It is not the policy of the University of Cebu to require its students to attend political gatherings or similar events; however, the school recognizes the right of students, especially the voters among them, to attend such events so they will know the candidates come election time.
I hope this will clarify the comments I made on the matter and dispel any misunderstanding on the part of Inquirer readers. As a longtime reader and supporter of the Inquirer, I trust in its commitment to fairness and accuracy.
—AUGUSTO W. GO,owner, University of Cebu
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