A HIGH-RANKING University official found nothing wrong with a professor’s decision to give “incentives” to students who would go public with their position against the controversial Reproductive Health bill.

Theology professor Aguedo Florence Jalin drew the ire of the left-leaning Akbayan Youth Group when he encouraged his students to post their opinion on the bill at the group’s Facebook fan page last month.

Sought for comment, Secretary General Fr. Florentino Bolo, O.P. said Jalin and other UST professors enjoyed “academic freedom” so long as they would not violate student rights and University policies.

“The UST professor’s actions were entirely his personal initiative, and not that of the University,” Bolo said in an interview. “I asked Father Rector about it, and he also said that the University allows academic freedom among its constituents, as long as they do not violate the rights of the students and the ideals of the University as a Catholic institution.”

Jalin, who admitted to giving bonus points to students voicing out their sentiments on issues such as the alleged corruption in the military, defended the practice of giving incentives.

“The incentive, a means of increasing the grade, is not an isolated case,” Jalin said.

Jalin’s student, Journalism sophomore Brian Agustin, said they were not forced to do the assignment.

“It will only be bad if we were forced to post in the Internet,” he said.

In its website, Akbayan Youth criticized the “manner on how students are motivated to register their opposition [to the] RH bill.”

“Akbayan youth welcomes the posts made in the spirit of open and respectful debate. However … we lament the manner on how the students were motivated to register their opposition,” Akbayan Youth said in a statement.

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But Jalin said he just wanted to bring the message across that the government should not spend P3 billion a year to implement the measure.

Last February 14, Akbayan members, led by former Rep. Risa Hontiveros, distributed condoms at Nepa Q Mart in Quezon City to promote the passage of the bill.

Saying the Internet is an “online parliament,” Jalin said he asked his students to identify themselves with their respective sections when they posted their comments.

He said students supporting the RH bill need not avail of the incentive. But should they wish to comment in the Akbayan page, they were encouraged to include the Catholic Church’s position before explaining why they wanted the bill passed, he added. Kalaine Nikka Kay C. Grafil

4 COMMENTS

  1. Nothing wrong? how about nothing right? This is completely unethical. This is bribery in the form of additional grade. Most of all it promotes complete ignorance and blindly lashing out your opinions without having the students read the RH bill.

    Nakakahiya. Nakakahiya na nga ung fact na hindi niyo pa tinatanggal sa institution niyo yung professor na yan, mas nakakahiya pa na kinakampihan pa ng buong institution niyo ang ganitong klaseng asal. Take note, theology professor yan.

    Parang yung issue lang na hinayaan lang ng supreme court si Justice Mariano del Castillo sa kanyang pagpaplagiarize sa papeles.

    Wag niyo naman itwist yung fact na mali yung ginawa. What kind of educational institution would promote this kind of conduct?

  2. What good is a 1 in Theology, if it costs you what you’ve stood up for and believed in all your life?

    What good is a 1 in Theology, if it remains just as a number in paper and not practiced after graduation?

    What good is a 1 in Theology, if the HR of your target company doesn’t even consider it when screening for applicants?

    What good is a 1 in Theology, if you can’t even earn money to satisfy life’s basic needs?

  3. I don’t think the admin is tolerating the said professor. Its the right of the professor to express his thoughts about the RH Bill. Well, if a student doesn’t believe in the RH Bill, don’t study in catholic school. I know someone from the Ateneo that they are also being thought about the negative effects of the RH Bill. Even my cousin who still in a catholic high school. They also get higher grades if they will right an essay against the RH Bill. It seems like the CBCP is using all Catholic schools to spread their opposition to the RH Bill. So please don’t post messages as if only UST does this thing. Please visit ALL catholic schools and see it for yourselves.

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