THE DEAN of the University of the Philippines-Cebu College (UP-Cebu College) and two other school officials were suspended for three months pending investigation on charges of gross negligence, grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty.
The suspension was given by UP President Alfredo Pascual in a May 26 administrative order against Dean Enrique Avila, budget officer Alsidry Sharif and consultant Ernesto Pineda.
Associate Dean Richelita Galapate was named acting university dean in the meantime.
The investigation will be handled by the UP Administrative Tribunal.
The suspension comes at a crucial period for UP Cebu, which was recently granted autonomy from the Iloilo-based UP Visayas and is striving to expand the campus and develop new colleges.
Avila was hounded by off-and-on protest actions by UP Cebu students and faculty members over various issues, including the phaseout of programs and planned closure of the high school.
The tension came to a head in March after he didn’t renew contracts of 15 security guards and removed student representation in the UP Cebu Executive Committee, prompting UP Diliman officials to come to Cebu to hold a multisecotral dialog to listen to grievances.
Last April, Avila filed libel charges against seven professors and two employees who had accused him of technical fund malversation before the Cebu City Prosecutors’ Office.
The UP Cebu dean was accused of violating policy by using the tuition increment paid by undergraduate students to pay for the UP Centennial bonus of campus employees.
Avila said the bonus came from the savings of UP Cebu’s revolving funds.
Avila was also accused of authorizing the use of land in UP Cebu by private entities without a contract approved by the UP Board of Regents.
Transactions that came under question included the entry of a Sun Cellular site in campus and the stockpiling of construction filling materials by a private firm in a football field behind the Performing Arts Center.
Avila appointed Pineda, a non-regular employee of UP Cebu, as chairman of the Resource Development Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).
Alsidry was accused of collecting money from job order employees.
Raymond Palatino of the Kabataan party list earlier passed a resolution seeking a congressional investigation of the three UP Cebu officials. Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol