CvSU prof confirms students were ‘required’ to attend Binay’s ‘Sona’
SAN PEDRO CITY, Philippines—Students of the Cavite State University (CvSU) filled the gymnasium during the so-called “true” State of the Nation Address (TSONA) of Vice President Jejomar Binay at the university on Monday because they were made to, a CvSU professor said.About 3,000 students, mostly from the upper year levels, were “required” to attend and fill up the gymnasium’s seating capacity for Binay’s “Sona,” according to the professor, who asked not to be named for fear of repercussion from the university administration.
The professor said they in the faculty were not even expecting their school to host the event, saying it was only on Monday, or hours before the Vice President arrived at 4 p.m., that they were told that Binay’s visit was confirmed.
He said the arrangement was brokered by Cavite Gov. Juanito Victor “Jonvic” Remulla, who was formerly Binay’s spokesperson.
Earlier media reports initially said Binay’s TSONA was supposed to be at the provincial capitol in Trece Martires City, which is next to Indang.
But on Sunday afternoon, the Office of the Vice President (OVP) sent out a media advisory confirming the venue at CvSU.
“The governor has always been generous to the university. It was like out of gratitude (to Remulla),” the professor said in a phone interview.
“Who could say no to the request of the governor and of the vice president?” the professor added.
The source, however, stressed that even if some 3,000 upperclass students were “required” to attend Bin’’s TSONA, classes went on for the rest of the students.CvSU has a total student population of 17,000, he said. “But the classes went on for those who have to. The faculty (members were) not required,” the professor said.
The Inquirer tried to seek comments from the university but a university personnel said only CvSU president Dr. Divinia Chavez could speak on the matter.
Chavez, however, was unavailable for an interview.”We (faculty) were talking here, why don’t we invite (Mar) Roxas too, just to be fair,” the professor quipped.
The Liberal Party, just last Friday, formally announced that Roxas would be its 2016 presidential candidate.
In an emailed statement, Joey Salgado, head of the OVP media affairs, said Monday’s event was organized by the CvSU student council, which only invited Binay as its guest speaker.
He said Malacañang over-reacted over the holding of Binay’s TSONA, showing its tendencies to “use its power to harass and intimidate during the election season.”