• Licuanan also told not to attend Cabinet meetings

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    COMMISSION on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson Patricia Licuanan has also been told not to attend Cabinet meetings anymore.

    Licuanan on Monday admitted that she received the same text message sent by Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. to Vice President Leni Robredo.

    “I received a text message from Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. relaying President Rodrigo Duterte’s instructions to stop attending Cabinet meetings starting this Monday, December 5, 2 p.m.,” Licuanan said in a text message sent to reporters.

    But the CHED chief said she will not resign.

    “I assured Secretary Evasco that I would comply. In the meantime, I will continue my work as Chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education,” she added.

    But militant youth and student groups said Licuanan should resign.

    “Why does she want to remain in office? Is it because she is sensing that she still needs to be in CHED to protect the interests of big profit-hungry school administrations, just as she has done in the past? Is it because she feels she still needs to be in CHED to counter the growing clamor for free public education? Is it because she thinks she needs to cling to power for her to once again approve a new wave of tuition and other fee increases this coming academic year?” Rep. Sarah Elago of Kabataan party-list said.

    Elago claimed that CHED “has become nothing but a stamp pad for tuition hikes.”

    The National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) also asked the CHED chief to quit for being “anti-student and pro-capitalist.”

    “CHED’s irresponsibility on the plight of the students is absolutely appalling. Education has become a privilege rather than a right. Licuanan is a political and economic bigot for not ensuring the agency’s mandate to provide and achieve quality, free tertiary education,” Kevin Castro, the group’s spokesperson, said.

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