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UP Cebu dean, 2 allies ordered dismissed

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UP Cebu dean, 2 allies ordered dismissed

/ 07:54 AM September 03, 2011

A movement to oust the dean in the University of the Philippine Cebu College over internal complaints of mismanagement claimed victory yesterday after his dismissal was ordered by the Office of the UP President.

Militant students welcomed the decision of the exit of Dr. Enrique M. Avila by holding a “boodle fiht” or communal meal of rice and viands served on banana leaves in the campus.

In a decision dated Aug. 26, the Office of the UP President found Avila “guilty of grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty”.

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The same finding was rendered against a consultant, Prof. Ernesto Pineda, and budget officer Alside Sharif.

All three were penalized with dismissal from service after the conduct of an administrative investigation.

The notice was signed by Danilo Concepcion, vice president for legal affairs.

It said the decision becomes final and executory after the 30-day period for filing a motion for reconsideration or appeal to the Board of Regents.

Cebu Daily News called Avila’s residence yesterday for his comment but he declined to give a statement or be interviewed.

Avila was placed on preventive suspension for 90 days starting June while the investigation was made.

The inquiry capped over two years of mounting complaints from faculty, student groups, alumni and other staff about various decisions Avila made in running the college, including an unpopular decision to close the high school, a plan which didn’t materialize.

At the UP Cebu campus yesterday, militant students celebrated the outcome in a festive outdoor lunch.

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They gathered around a table for a “boodle fight” or a shared meal of sardines, lumpia (Chinese egg roll), bihon noodles, fried chicken and rice laid on banana leaves.

“We started the Avila Ouster Movement with a boodle fight. We shall end with a boodle fight to manifest unity to bring democracy back to the college,” said Kristian Jacob Lora, vice chairperson of the UP-Cebu College Student Council.

Chito Patiño, a college instructor, said he hopes UP Cebu College will be in better shape with a new dean.

“At least, the next dean should be consultative and have a vision for UP Cebu. He or she should allow the constituents to participate and make sure no one is left out,” Patino said.

At present, Richelita Galapate is the officer in charge of UP-Cebu College.

Avila was held liable for gross neglect of duty” in three transactions.

The decision said he “recklessly granted” use of part of the UP campu s as a temporary facility site for Grean Peaks Development Inc., a private contractor, and used the footfball field as a stockpile area for excavated earth materials from the site.

This was done without referring the dumping proposal to the CDMO for competent technical assessment.

He was also held liable for appointing Ernesto PIneda as hair of the Resource Development Bids and Awards Committee.

Third, Avila was cited for “illegal use of the undergraduation tuition fee increment fund to pay for the UP Centennial bonus” of staff.

Pineda, the university’s consultant, was held liable for recommending the Grean Peaks proposal to use the land with no compensation and without observing university procedures in consideration of five truckloads of garden soil allegedly to improve the football field.

He was also cited for the purchase of goods and materials, without public bidding, for the reapir of the UP Cebu Guest House and another building.

Budget officer Sharif was penalized for “endorsing a project, which was clearly out of his competence to evaluate, in his capacity as administrative officer,” resulting in damage to the university.

rvice by the Office of the UP President.

The complaints against Dean Avila esclated this year when 15 security guards were terminated in February, a decision which militant students protested as “unjust” and student representation was taken out of the executive committee of UPCC.

In a statement to the UP Newsletter, Avila said the allegation that he terminated the guards is “baseless”

Last April, Avila filed libel charges against seven professors and two employees before the Cebu City Prosecutors’ Office for allegedly accusing him of technical malversation in the use of savings for the Centennial Bonus for employees.

Avila demanded P1 million in damages from each of the respondents.

Avila’s appointment of Pineda was questioned since the law stated that the BAC should be chaired by at least a third ranking permanent official of the procuring entity.

Although Pineda has already retired, he is “permanently separated from service of UP-Cebu College either as lecturer or consultant” said the decision of the UP President.

Sharif was meted a one-month suspension for his failure to turn over a lost and found camera to the Office of the Student Affairs but this was deemed “immaterial” since he was already penalized with dismissal for grave misconduct. Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol

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