THOMASIAN student leaders, activists and media organizations called on UST Rector Fr. Richard Ang, O.P. to terminate Office of Student Affairs (OSA) Director Maria Cecilia Tio Cuison and Asst. Director Maria Regina Arriero and hold them accountable for their “abuse of power.”

In an open letter addressed to the Rector on March 12, members of Rise for Education-España, a loose network of UST student groups, alleged that the OSA had been going against its mandate of upholding student development and honing student life in the University.

“We have endured repression and the neglect of democratic rights at the hands of the institution, instead of guiding us with sociopolitical consciousness and honing our capabilities and character,” it read. 

“We have persevered and persisted to come this far; But enough is enough, the abuse of power must come to an end,” it continued. 

Thomasians also slammed Tio Cuison for staining student leadership in the University by “gagging” the UST Central Student Council (CSC) and reducing its officers to  “mere events-makers.”

As OSA director, Tio Cuison serves as the de facto adviser of the CSC. 

“Our very own UST (CSC), our central student government under the one supreme tyrant of student repression, is composed of student leaders who [have] been beaten, shaken, and railroaded off their very purpose,” the letter read. 

“We have come to a point that no matter who we elect, other than becoming a sacrificial lamb tied and gagged until the end of their term, no actual student leadership and representation is ever going to happen with a UST OSA like what we have now,” it continued.  

The groups urged Ang to sack Tio Cuison and Arriero and end the “unnecessary bureaucratic and repressive culture and system.” 

“We firmly demand accountability through the termination of the current OSA Director Maria Cecilia A. Tio Cuison and Assistant Director Maria Regina P. Arriero for their transgressions,” their statement read.

The letter was released a day after three Makabayan bloc lawmakers filed House Resolution 1633, which orders the House of Representatives to launch a probe into the OSA’s censorship of online media organization TomasinoWeb and “other violations of students’ rights” in the University.

Should the resolution pass muster, Tio Cuison and Arriero could be summoned to appear before the House probe as resource persons.

The open letter to the Rector was signed by the UST Senior High School Student Council, UST Artlets Student Council, media organizations TomasinoWeb and Education Courier, and progressive groups Constitution Revision Alliance, Anakbayan UST, Panday Sining UST, League of Filipino Students UST, Kabataan Partylist UST, Tindig UST Senior High School, and Tindig-UST AB.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.