UST Vice Rector Fr. Isaias Tiongco, O.P. (left) and UST Rector Fr. Richard Ang, O.P. (right)

UST Vice Rector Fr. Isaias Tiongco, O.P. is set to take charge as acting rector of the University beginning May 1, marking the start of a transitional phase as Fr. Richard Ang, O.P., completes his first term as UST Rector.

Due to his appointment coinciding with Labor Day, which is a regular holiday in the country, Tiongco will commence his duties as acting rector on May 2. Tiongco previously took on the responsibilities of the rector when Ang went on medical leave early in his term.

While Ang remains eligible for reelection to a second term, a multistage process will be initiated to select the next rector. The chosen candidate must be a Filipino member of the Dominican Order who holds a civil or ecclesiastical doctorate degree.

This process begins with UST Dominican friars convening to nominate three candidates or the terna,  which is akin to the selection of diocesan bishops. This is done through a secret ballot by Dominicans living in the Priory of St. Thomas Aquinas in UST and Dominicans assigned to teach at the University in the current academic year.

This list will then be forwarded to the UST vice chancellor, Fr. Filemon de la Cruz, O.P., for approval. The Academic Senate, the body composed of the vice rectors and academic unit heads, will receive the list and evaluate and rank the candidates. 

The ranked list of candidates will be forwarded to the Board of Trustees, composed of University vice rectors, the secretary general, and other Dominican friars. It will subsequently submitted to the Master of the Order and UST chancellor, Fr. Gerard Timoner III, O.P., who will endorse the ranked list to the Vatican’s Dicastery for Culture and Education.

After final evaluation by the dicastery, the Holy See shall issue the declaration “nihil obstat,” Latin for “nothing obstructs” or “there is no obstacle,” and gives the name of the top nominee back to the Master of the Order, who announces the official appointment.

UST rectors are granted four-year terms and are allowed to assume the post for two straight terms. 

Ang took over from Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. in 2020. However, his installation as Rector was delayed until May 2021 due to medical reasons.

Prior to his appointment as Rector, Ang concurrently served as UST vice rector and Faculty of Philosophy dean from 2012 to 2020. 

Tiongco, who will assume the rectorship temporarily, previously served as the dean of the Faculty of Canon Law and regent of UST-Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy.

Tiongco obtained his bachelor’s degree in commerce, majoring in accountancy, from the University of the Assumption in 1978. He also holds a doctorate in canon law from the Universidad de Navarra in Spain.

He specializes in sources of canon law, the temporal goods of the Church, and sanctions in the Church, according to his profile on the Ecclesiastical Faculties website.

The Office of the Rector and the Office of the Vice Rector are currently in a transition period following Tiongco’s appointment as acting rector. With reports from Karis M. Tsang


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