Villanueva offended by UST Alumni Association statement on award criteria
Sen. Joel Villanueva admitted on Monday that he was “offended” by the statement of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Alumni Association Inc. (AAI) saying that the sole criteria for the recipients of its award was “to be a graduate of the UST and in government service.”
“If you ask me na-offend ba ko sa statement ng alumni association, I’d be hypocrite to say na hindi,” Villanueva, a UST alumnus, told reporters.
[If you ask me if I was offended by the statement of the alumni association, I’d be a hypocrite to say no.]
“The officers said the award is actually just a loyalty award, to that effect,” he added. “Dahil parang ang criteriang sinasabi you’re a graduate of UST and you work for the government.”
[It seems the critieria is you’re a graduate of UST and you work for government.]
Villanueva was among the recipients of the Thomasian Alumni Award for Government Service along with Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux “Mocha” Uson, who was criticized for also getting it.
According to association president Henry Tenedero and vice president John Simon, the “sole criteria” for the award is that the recipients are alumni of UST and employees of government.
When pressed for comment on whether Uson deserved the award and if she embodied the values of a Thomasian, Villanueva refused to react.
“It won’t be good if I comment on that, because the last time she made a comment she was slamming me. So it won’t look good because it would appear that I’m just getting back at her,” he said in a mix of Filipino and English.
“Let’s look for a more sensible issue that we can debate on, especially fake news,” he added.
Despite admitting that he was “saddened by the situation” hounding the award and the association, he said he would not return his award.
“Sa Thomasian community we are not fond of making a big fuss about it because with or without award first of all I didn’t ask for it or with or without award I will do what I have to do, I have 18,459,222 votes,” he said.
“Sila yung dahilan kung bakit ako nandito. Sila yung dahilan kung bakit ako bumabangon araw-araw para gawin ko kung ano ang tama,” he added.
[They’re the reason why I’m here. They’re the reason why I get up every day to do what’s right.]
In June 2017, Villanueva filed Senate Bill No. 1492, titled “An Act Penalizing the Malicious Distribution of False News and Other Related Violations,” which aims to establish a P5-million fine and up to five years imprisonment for any person who “maliciously” offers, publishes, and spreads false news or information in print, broadcast or online media. /atm
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