FRS. ANTONIO Aureada, Ernesto Arceo, and Juan Ponce may be the early favorites, but the selection of the other candidates cannot be overlooked especially since they have their own share of impressive credentials.

Fr. Rodel Aligan is the UST Vice Rector for Religious Affairs, the director of the Institute of Religion, and regent of the UST High School. He is also a member of the UST Academic Senate.

Fr. Vicente Cajilig is the regent of the College of Commerce and former director of the Center for Contextualized Theology and Applied Ethics (now headed by Fr. Pablo Tiong, O.P.) from 2002-2005. He also served as editor of Boletin Eclesiastico, the inter-diocesan formal for the Catholic clergy published by the Dominican fathers of UST.

Both Cajilig and Aligan are also associate professors at the Faculty of Sacred Theology.

On the other hand, Fr. Romulo Rodriguez serves as regent of three different departments: College of Education, UST Education High School, and Elementary School. He is also an assistant professor at the Faculty of Canon Law.

Fr. Norberto Castillo, who served as UST Rector from 1984 to 1990, currently teaches at the Faculty of Philosophy. His rectorship saw the fall of the Ferdinand Marcos’ 20-year rule in 1986. Like Ponce and Lana, he has served as rector of Angelicum College. He is also a Chemistry board topnotcher and was one of the people who pushed for the creation of the TARC. He was a Varsitarian editor during the 1970s.

Frs. Isaias Tiongco and Jose Ma. Tinoko are regents of the Faculty of Engineering and Conservatory of Music, respectively. They also teach at the Faculty of Canon Law.

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Rector's fate up to the Vatican

Tinoko, along with Castillo and former UST Rector Fr. Frederick Fermin, O.P., was one of the top candidates for rectorship in 1986 when Castillo ended his first term. Castillo was reappointed.

Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, probably the best known among the candidates, is currently a member of the UST Board of Trustees and Economic Council. He served both as UST rector and president of the Association of Catholic Universities of the Philippines from 1990-1998, and Commission on Higher Education (Ched) chairman from October 2004 to April 2005. He completed his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, magna cum laude, from the Dominican House of Studies in 1977. He has a masteral degree in Higher Religious Studies and a doctorate degree in Philosophy in Higher Religious Studies, and its ecclesiastical equivalent, Doctor of Sacred Theology. He was also Witness (religion) editor of the Varsitarian during the 1970s.

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