Heads roll amid furor over Mocha Uson’s award

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UST Alumni Association President Henry Tenedero and Alumni Relations Director Cherry Tanodra resigned on Tuesday following the furor over the government service award given to Palace Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux “Mocha” Uson.

In a statement, Tenedero apologized to UST Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. and to alumni and students for the public outcry over the “recognition” given to Uson, a medical technology alumna and die-hard supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte who has gained infamy for spreading so-called fake news.

The alumni association’s board of trustees, however, decided not to revoke the award for Uson, along with other alumni given the “Thomasian Alumni in Government Service” plaque.

“It was unanimously approved…not only for Mocha but for the whole. Because remember, there were 20 recipients…so we’re not focusing on that particular person but on [all] recipients,” Tenedero told the Varsitarian.

Tenedero said he was still open to a dialogue.

“I’m still open to conversations. We just hope that we’ll be more, if I may use the term, magnanimous, I’m taking the pains — kaliwa’t kanan [na] suntok. You know, pag ikaw ay na-bash, pati pamilya mo nasasama, masakit pero as I said that’s part of being a president,” he said.

Cherry Tanodra, Alumni Relations office chief, also resigned from her post after being asked to take a leave of absence until her term ends.

The alumni association clarified that the award conferred on government officials was by its own initiative and did not involve Tanodra or the Alumni Relations office and the UST administration.

A source told the Varsitarian that alumni association vice president John Simon, who was appointed acting district collector at the Bureau of Customs last December of 2017, nominated Uson as one of the recipients of the award.

UST Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. earlier said he did not know the alumni association had decided to give an award to Uson for her service in government.

READ: UST Rector denies knowledge of Uson’s gov’t service award

Uson graduated from UST in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in medical technology, and had a brief stint in medical school.

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