Graft charges filed vs CHED officials

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MEDICAL students of Southwestern University (SWU) in Cebu City on Tuesday filed graft charges against officials of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for their alleged partiality and gross negligence when they granted government recognition to Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine (MHAM) and canceled the permit and authority of SWU to operate its College of Medicine.

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The complaint was filed before the Office of the Ombudsman by lawyers Joseph Noel Estrada and Terese Ray Anne Aquino and Sabrina Datuon on behalf of the affected SWU medical students.

In their complaint, the SWU medical students alleged that the CHED en banc composed of Chairman Dr. Patricia Licuanan and Commissioners Maria Cynthia Rose Bautista, Ruperto Sangalang, Minella Alarcon, Alex Brillantes Jr. and CHED Region 7 Director Freddie Bernal have violated Section 3 (e) of Republic Act 3019 or Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act when they allegedly exhibited gross partiality and bias toward MHAM by granting it government recognition and canceling the permit and authority of SWU to operate its College of Medicine.

The complaint stemmed from a conflict among the owners of the SWU in 2013 that created a division between the SWU Inc. and the SWU-Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine.

“This is the subject of the two questionable resolutions of CHED and a cease and desist order against SWU,” the students’ lawyers said in an emailed statement.

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