In a rare move, nearly 400 UST faculty members have endorsed Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo for president, saying she was the leader who embodies UST’s “3Cs” (compassion, competence and commitment).

The group “Thomasians for Leni” released a statement of support for the vice president’s candidacy signed by 396 faculty members from at least 22 UST academic units.

The breakdown of the faculty members is as follows:

  • Faculty of Arts and Letters – 49
  • Faculty of Civil Law – 6
  • Faculty of Engineering – 19
  • Faculty of Medicine and Surgery – 16
  • Faculty of Pharmacy – 18
  • Graduate School – 14
  • Institute of Physical Education and Athletics – 6
  • Institute of Religion – 24
  • Senior High School – 41
  • Education and Junior High School – 24
  • UST-Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy – 26
  • College of Architecture – 8
  • College of Commerce and Business Administration – 26 (including one anonymous)
  • College of Education – 31 (including one anonymous)
  • College of Fine Arts and Design – 3
  • College of Information and Computing Sciences – 4
  • College of Nursing – 22
  • College of Rehabilitation Sciences – 24
  • College of Science – 13
  • College of Tourism and Hospitality Management – 7
  • Conservatory of Music – 11
  • Ecclesiastical Faculties – 1
  • Other units – 3

Among the signees were Asst. Prof. Emerito Gonzales and Asst. Prof. Edilberto Gonzaga, president and internal vice president of the UST Faculty Union, Nursing Dean Prof. Rowena Escolar-Chua, Accountancy Dean Patricia Empleo, Commerce Dean Leonardo Canoy Jr. and Education Dean Pilar Romero.

Prof. Maribel Nonato, who was appointed assistant to the Rector for UST General Santos, also signed the statement.

According to the group, it was “a first in the history of UST” that faculty members banded together to support a candidate.

“Our country is at a crossroad. We are in a critical period of our history. We need a competent, committed, and compassionate leadership to rise above troubling times, to overcome health and economic challenges, to revive the respect for human dignity, to achieve moral restoration, to champion truth, justice and peace,” the faculty members said.

“We need the leader that is Leni Robredo,” they added.

According to the faculty members, they “aspire for a leadership that clearly espouses and exemplifies” the values in the seal of Thomasian education (Servant leader, Effective communicator and collaborator, Analytical and creative thinker, Lifelong learner).

“Leni Robredo has consistently demonstrated exemplary servant leadership by promoting advocacies on life, freedom, justice and solidarity in the service of the family, community, Church and environment,” they said.

“She has […] repeatedly shown respect for the dignity of a person regardless of race, religion, age and gender,” they added.

Thomasians for Leni is composed of UST students, faculty members and alumni, as well as Thomasians from UST Angelicum and UST Legazpi, who support Robredo’s candidacy for president in the 2022 elections.

The group was launched in December 2021 with 1,500 Thomasian volunteers. Its Facebook page has more than 15,000 followers as of this story’s writing.

Robredo herself attended the group’s launch, during which she said the country needed a leadership that would embody the University’s “3Cs” (compassion, competence and commitment).

The 2022 elections are slated for May 9, 2022.


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