THE HEAD of the Dominican Order has accepted the resignations of three top University officials over the spinoff of UST Hospital into a separate corporation and a P3 billion loan signed last April for a grand hospital expansion plan.

Fr. Carlos Alfonso Azpiroz Costa, O.P., Master of the Order of Preachers, immediately named two-term rector and former Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) chairman Fr. Rolando V. De La Rosa, O.P. as acting rector and called for a “new leadership team” to handle developments in the University and the hospital.

Putting his foot down, Father Azpiroz ordered the hospital corporation dissolved as well as the cancellation or renegotiation of the bank loan. The project must be reviewed “to protect the patrimony of the University,” he said. (See story below.)

The resignations of the prior provincial of the Philippine Dominican Province, Fr. Edmund Nantes, O.P., who had served concurrently as UST vice chancellor, Rector Fr. Ernesto Arceo, O.P., and Vice Rector Fr. Juan Ponce, O.P. were announced by Secretary General Fr. Isidro Abaño, O.P. in a circular last Sept. 11.

The changes came in the middle of a canonical visitation by Father Azpiroz, who arrived in Manila last Aug. 26.

In a joint meeting of the boards of trustees of the University and UST Hospital last Sept. 17, Azpiroz said the “separation and incorporation” of the hospital in 2004 and the P3 billion loan to build a 19-story hospital tower were “unlawful” based on canon law or the law of the Church.

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