• ‘UP Econ School faculty’s statement re Columbia protest vs Aquino’


    “By participating in these events against President Aquino, the protesters have declared themselves enemies, not of our President, but of the Philippines itself. As an invited guest, President Aquino was covered by the same blanket of academic freedom and safe passage that the University guarantees for all who set foot on campus.

    The purpose of that high privilege is to guarantee free traffic in diverse ideas – and of the diverse people who espouse them – which is the lifeblood of a liberal academic institution. Those who violate that security and privilege by resorting to physical threats and violence sow apprehension and fear among bearers of contrary and unfashionable ideas, who would henceforth shy away from participating in the University, resulting in an impoverishment of intellectual life and a reduction of debate to a monologue among the already-converted.

    The acts of Wednesday’s protesters, therefore, not only violated decency and courtesy, they were an assault on the University itself.

    To remove this blot on the University’s reputation:

    We enjoin those who participated in the dishonorable events of last Wednesday – but who were possibly misled or sincerely unaware of the gravity of their acts – to come forward, own up to their participation, and proffer a public apology to President Aquino and to the University.

    Filipina activist displaying protest placard vs Aquino at Columbia University last Wednesday.

    Filipina activist displaying protest placard vs Aquino at Columbia University last Wednesday.

    We call upon the University responsible for organizing the event to publicly dissociate themselves from the actions of Wednesday’s hooligans;

    We enjoin the University authorities to begin an inquiry to identify those ultimately responsible for the violence, and who cynically staged the incident, applying penalties, wherever necessary;

    We call on the University authorities henceforth to enhance the security provided to invited visitors of the University to prevent a repeat of the said incident.

    Finally, we call for a renewed discussion and clarification among faculty, staff and students, of the University’s unwritten rules of free speech and safe passage, to ensure that the University remains a free and fearless field for ideas, where debates are won not by assault but by argument, not by shouting down but by speaking up.”

    I’m just having a thought experiment that could sharpen our views of issues, and clarify things in a “what-if” fun.

    I had been expecting the above statement from UP School of Economics faculty members, as it would have taken them just a few seconds to replace, using their Microsoft Word program, “Secretary Abad” with “President Aquino.” And after all, it is the same issue—of “decency and courtesy”—involved.

    Why was there no outrage by their academic colleagues in Columbia University over the Filipino activists’ “disrespect” for Aquino? Maybe it’s because Columbia University is ranked in 2014 by the annual “QS University Rankings” as the 14th best university in the world, while UP stands far behind at the 367th slot.

    What a hypocrite
    President Aquino’s address to the UN Summit on Climate Change is as hypocritical as his speeches on his tuwid-na-daan tack. For Aquino to talk about climate change in a high-level meeting is like having him speak in an anti-addiction retreat. He doesn’t know anything about, and has never been interested, in the issue.

    “Everyone here has to do everything they can to address climate change, without first waiting for their neighbors to engage in action,” he said in his speech. “Doing anything less leaves the problem unattended to thereby increasing the problem we all face.”

    But Aquino is a heavy smoker, and one villain for climate-change activists is the global cigarette industry.

    One reason for this is that the tobacco industry has been funding heavily those who claim that climate-change is a myth. Environmental and political activist George Monbiot, among others, wrote in his book Death Denial: “The corporate funding of lobby groups denying that manmade climate change is taking place was initiated not by Exxon, or by any other firm directly involved in the fossil fuel industry. It was started by the tobacco company Philip Morris.”

    The reason for this is that if governments tighten regulations on environmental issues in order to reverse climate change, they would in the same laws include harsher restrictions on cigarette smoking, as there is a view that cigarettes produce pollutants just as factory smoke-stacks do that worsen our climate.

    The respected newspaper Handelsblatt, Germany’s version of the British Financial Times for instance had reported:

    According to the World Health Organization, about 1.1 billion people smoke around the world. This number is likely to triple over the next 25 years. About 11,000 people die every day by smoking. Smoking also worsens everyone’s environment. The addiction releases 2.6 million tons of carbon dioxide and 5.2 million tons of methane gas to the atmosphere every year, according to the newspaper.

    But there’s worse: tobacco farming and disposal of its waste. Tobacco farming extracts six times more potassium from the soil than growing other plants does. Some 150 kg of wood are needed for drying one kilogram of tobacco, which means to 1.2 million hectares of forest of fuel. About 600 million trees are chopped down annually to make room for tobacco plants. These trees could remove 22 million tons of the climate-killing gas yearly.

    And then, cigarette filters end up on the ground, and contaminate the groundwater with nicotine, dioxin, formaldehyde and cadmium. Tobacco companies produce 5.5 trillion cigarettes every year—approximately 900 for each person in the world. Of those, 4.5 trillion have non-biodegradable filters that are thrown to the ground, accounting for as many as one out of every five pieces of litter. Cigarette butts require months or even years to break down, releasing almost 600 toxic chemicals into the soil.

    Because of these, the first thing one has to do to contribute to the world’s efforts to stop climate change is to stop smoking, if you’re a smoker — and Aquino is one.

    Before he opens his mouth pontificating that everyone should help reverse global warming, Aquino should first stop smoking. He would even strengthen respect for our laws by curbing his addiction, since regulations now categorically ban smoking in any government facility, where he is—even in his official car—nearly 24/7. He will have to go home in Quezon City or to a private house to smoke legally.

    FB: Rigoberto Tiglao


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    1. @pedropenduko: yeah, moron. These leftists are the reason why you enjoy your democratic state today. They are also the reason why your stupid government is careful not to just kill and overbear people. They are the reason why there is still hope for humanity in this country.
      Shame on you to even use “pedro penduko” as an alias here.
      You, idiotic pup!

      • i dont think the leftists are the reason why we are in a democracy since edsa is more of a collective participation from different groups but if you are crediting it to the leftists then you should accept you are the reason the hacienda luisita wasnt distributed since marcos was about to but edsa happened, also the leftists aka the npa fronts are the reasons why foreign investments wouldnt come because you are so against cha cha because you are too stupid to realize it would create jobs and too stupid to realize you are protecting shitty businesses in our country

    2. We enjoin the University authorities to begin an inquiry to identify those ultimately responsible for the violence, and who cynically staged the incident, applying penalties, wherever necessary; — VIOLENCE? really?

    3. Abs0lute hypocrite as he will be c0mmissi0ning diesel p0wer plants s00n. A situation caused by his n0yn0ying 0n the energy situation. He’s a scammer.

    4. Rod De La Cueva on

      I’m tempted to repeat what my friend said, “Let him smoke himself to death. The faster the better.” That’s a cold one. But, as president of a country of almost 100 million people, one way President Benigno Aquino III can show he really cares about the Philippine people and country’s welfare, is when he disciplines himself to keep his body and brain healthy by eliminating the smoking habit. To serve and lead long and well, he needs a strong body, a clear lung and a sound mind.

    5. Since EDSA 1986, hypocrisy has been the new normal. This country is cursed…why is the mystery. Maybe when an ordinary housewife filled with unjustified hatred was put in charge, the gods were insulted. I hope a blood sacrifice is not the solution, but a desperate people can be blinded with rage too, and with more reason than that beast of a vindictive housewife.

      • Horacio B. Freires on

        . . and she gave the secret info (that only she… knows) . . to her cousin crony of Macoy. . afraid that his business will crumble if her husband will replace the dictator. . that MARCIAL BONIFACIO is coming at this date, time, plane, name. . and the rest of masterminding is now history. . Macoy was blamed by the public. . the only one with affidavit that her cousin was involved. . Martinez. . was murdered a few months ago. . bicycling at the Roxas Blvd.

    6. I for one don’t believe in man producing global warming. i do believe though, that man is a major pollutant, and a destroyer of forests.
      Hence the effects we see in the Philippines is not of “climate change”, but lack of working water sheds. you only have to look at the mountains to see just how bald they are of trees vesus a couple of decades ago.
      Want to solve the flooding cities and landslides? Plant trees!
      Want to talk about global warming? Try telling that to my fellow Winnipegans. We just had the coldest winter in 100 years. Nothing is happening, because too much money is being spent on TALKING ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE.
      I think it’s time to spend more money on planting trees instead.

    7. Haaay Berto, do you really think they will apologise to him? GROW UP!
      Why was there no outrage by academics in CU? coz they know issues are legit!
      You want inquiry to their violence?- what violence did occur? is shouting physical?

    8. Let Panggulong PeNoy smoke his heart out. Enjoy na siya, good for the Philippines eventually. we dispose of him naturally.

    9. Mr. Tiglao, has someone from UPSE come up with a thorough study to explain the GDP data for the Philippine for the last couple of years. I seen your plausible explanation which has not been so much refuted! Or from other university or even NEDA for a exhaustive explanation on DAP or PDAF impact on the GDP! just asking!

    10. The UP econ faculty never heard of free expression. The student should have thrown a shoe instead. Shame on the UP econ faculty for calling people invoking their right to protest as “hooligans.” They’ve got their noses so far up pnoy’s ass they forgot to tell w/c is w/c.

      • Dapat tinapon din si a bad sa basurahan. Kagaya yong ginawa sa Ukraine. Kulang yong ginawa nila sa UP Diliman Economics forum, sa kanya.

    11. I think we should blame PNoy’s speechwriters for those gaffe’s at Columbia U. But of course, PNoy is also to blame for delivering those inane speeches – for the Philippines! I am embarrassed, as a Filipino. That UP School of Economics professor who wrote that comment is only preserving his tenure in a govt facility. He is, as you said, a hypocrite, like a Pharisee. I am saddened that you printed his comment in full. Well, it served a purpose: the UPSE is a school of nincompoops because they are against free speech. Protesting against a foreign leader is nothing new in the U.S. Everybody gets it, so why not PNoy, a smoker and an incompetent in the enforcement of Phil laws? Demos are nothing; he should be impeached.

    12. victor m. hernandez on

      Enlightening. I learn something new today. For a smoker like me, I am castigated., Mea culpa, But addiction is not easy to irradicate. The topic is enlightening, nonetheless. Congress should indeed give more budget to MMDA, rather than cut it by 15%.

    13. What the UP student did was the most moderate expression against the corrupt government compared to the Arab Spring. The Filipino people urgently need to replace the people in the government. I did not mean chance the type government but REPLACE THE CORRUPT PEOPLE! In the 6 year term of PNoy, so much government assets and sweet heart deal has transpired to the disadvantage of the Filipino people. Government lands, hospitals, GOCC or government (Profitable) Owned and Controlled Corporation were transferred cronies like the Ayala, Henry Sy and etc, and adding insult to injury, these cronies borrowed billions of pesos from government banks to take over the ownership or operation. The MRT 3 wherein the people has paid hundreds of billion will again be bought by the government for 53 billion for total ownership, and then literally given to the Ayala group for it to take all the profit. Our President is committing an act of treason!
      almost reaching the crime of treason!

    14. Leodegardo Pruna on

      P-Noy should read this column for his own sake. Academic freedom- what truly is it, how should it be exercised, who are entitled to invoke academic freedom? Have the actors in the exercise of academic freedom gone beyond logic, ethics and reason when they did what they did? Hopefully, all these will be resolved after a thorough assessment of what happened in UP and Columbia University. God bless the Philippines.

    15. Either maka-Binay o Marcos ang Columbia University student na ito, ayon sa mga yellow supporters. Hahaha.

      It’s clear that the US visit for propaganda. He went to their old Boston home (even if it’s now owned by a quiet old lady) to remind everyone of their ‘exile’, he had photo ops with a Kennedy, because of course a photo with a Kennedy is always useful, nevermind that they didn’t have any real association.

    16. P. Akialamiro'discipline' on

      The smoking habit of this president show lack of ‘discipline’; I was once a smoker, but I quit just like that without any ‘fanfare’. The early morning awful mouth taste alone, even after a good brushing of teeth the night before, encouraged me to quit. What more with its effect in the lungs. Unless, he is ready to carry along his oxygen tank wherever he goes in the near future.

      I once read that the subtlest way to ‘revenge’ is to teach one to smoke or share cigarettes. Once hooked, the revenge is complete!

    17. Inimbita ba siya sa Columbia University o nagpaimbita siya? Ang pagpunta niya sa ibang bansa ngayon ay pakana na siguro ng mga foreign consultant niya.

    18. and i say:

      by defending aquino and harshly criticizing protesters, you are making yourselves enemies of the constitution, specifically the provisions on the country’s fiscal management and freedom of speech.

    19. Just let Pnoy smoke more cigarettes, 4 packs a day, the more the merrier, never mind the air pollution, as long as he remain addicted to cigarettes. And do you know what will happen to him? You’re right to sing the Frank Sinatra song “My Way”, because the end is near.

    20. Don’t expect these LEFTIST students to apologize being rude or barbaric in their gestures. The main reason why these LEFTIST are so arrogant against Pinoy (not against any BINAYS because they are given a share of Binay’s kurakots) or the government is because some of the NPA generals are one at a time caught by the military. Let Palparan go back to active military service and these LEFTists will be quiet. They need a tough gauy like him to quiet them do3wn.