• UP dean lies to honor Virata


    The University of the Philippines may have more than a hundred distinguished alumni: Five Philippine presidents, three vice presidents, six Senate presidents, thirteen Supreme Court justices, and 40 past and present senators; and the heroes of our democracy such as Benigno Aquino, Jovito Salonga, and Lorenzo Tañada.

    Yet not one of its 60 colleges, schools, and institutes had been named after a distinguished alumnus or any person for that matter.   The highest honor given them has been to name a building after them: for example, Quezon Hall, the main administration building for instance after President Manuel Quezon, and Romulo Hall, where the Asian Center is after Carlos P. Romulo.   An anomaly is that there isn’t even a building named after Ninoy Aquino, a UP Law alumnus, who defied the Marcos dictatorship and was killed for it.


    Marcos with Cesar Virata, his chief technocrat and “Prime Minister” of his sham Batasan Pambansa parliament in a 1981 photo. (COPYRIGHT: ART DIRECTORS & TRIP PHOTO LIBRARY.)

    Ninoy though must be turning in his grave with the recent decision made by the UP Board of Regents, composed of people his son has appointed, to name the College of Business Administration after Cesar Virta,  the chief technocrat and pillar of the Marcos dictatorship that had Ninoy assassinated.

    Virata was Marcos’s Finance secretary throughout his dictatorship, and a member and “Prime Minister” of the sham, stamp-pad Parliament, whose sole purpose was to fool the world that the Philippines was democratic. And this is the first time ever a college of the UP is to be named for a person.

    Even setting aside Virata’s role in the dictatorship, the rationale for naming UP’s business school for him is just plain stupid.

    In his March 15, 2013 letter to the Board of Regents, business school dean Ben Paul Gutierrez states:

    “The naming of a business school after a distinguished person is widespread in American universities, e.g., George Baker Graduate School of Business of Har­vard, the Haas School of Business of the University of California in Berkeley, the Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago, the Wharton School of Finance, and the Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

    Gutierrez lies through his teeth.

    There is no such “George Baker Graduate School of Business at Harvard,” only a George Baker Library at the business school, one of the university’s 42 libraries.

    And why was the library named for Baker? Baker was a finance magnate who provided the initial funding for Harvard’s business school by donating $5 million in 1924, the equivalent of at least $50 million today.

    Which brings us to the dean’s other lie that “the naming of business schools after a distinguished person is widespread in US universities.”

    Except in one business school  – Darden in the University of Virginia named after its former president who had also been governor and congressman of that state –business schools in the US are not named after “distinguished” persons, as it would be controversial to determine who among their many graduates is the most distinguished person deserving that honor.

    While not all business schools are named after persons, those that do carry the names of magnates are those who donated huge amounts to them, certainly living up to their nature as business schools.

    Walter and Elise Haas (of Levi Strauss) in 1989 donated $24 million for the building of the University of California’s business school. Finance tycoon David Booth is the record holder, who donated in 2008 $300 million (the equivalent of P13 billion) to the University of Chicago. Bethlehem Steel founder Joseph Wharton founded the University of Pennsylvania’s B-school with a donation in 1881 of $100,000, equivalent to $25 million today. The philanthropic foundation of General Motors chairman Alfred Sloan gave MIT $5 million in 1952, equivalent to $60 million today.

    Asked about these factual errors in the Virata proposal, Mr. Gutierrez did not reply at all. “Duly noted,” was UP President Alfredo Pascual’s.

    Ateneo and La Salle must be laughing at their counterpart’s stupidity. Ateneo’s John Go­kongwei School of Management was so named after the tycoon donated P200 million for the construction of the school’s building. Tycoon Ramon V. del Rosa­rio, Sr. gave P250 million not only to La Salle’s Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business but also to finance its Science and Technology complex in Canlubang.

    Did Virata donate anything to the UP Business School? The clueless Gutierrez seemed to be even proud that his college got nothing for giving away its most important asset, its name: “There was absolutely no financial considerations received for the renaming of the school.”

    Gutierrez could be a dean of a college of charity, if that had been invented, but certainly not of a business school.

    There is the very practical reason why naming UP’s business school after Virata is a big mistake, for which future generations of its faculty and students will suffer for.    It means that it cannot hope that a Filipino magnate or group of magnates would in the future donate huge sums to it in exchange for the honor of the school to be named after him or them.

    Filipino billionaires – and there are at least 100 of them – make at least P500 million yearly.  Many of them would donate that much in exchange for the immortality of having a prestigious school named after them, especially is arrangements can be made for their donation to be tax-deductible. They would even bid to have the UP business school named after them.  And why would UP students and faculty object to this, which is a common pragmatic practice in the US, one which would raise the quality of the college and even raise its faculty’s salaries?

    What is shameless is that the Board of Regents in charge of our national university had such cavalier attitude, giving away the university’s jewels, so to speak.

    What is shameless is that the Board of Regents in charge of our national university had such cavalier attitude in giving away the university’s jewels, so to speak.  Dean Gutierrez submitted to them the Virata proposal 15 March 2013. They approved it barely a month after, on April 12, obviously after little or no study of the proposal by their staffs.

    To be fair to them though, it is President Pascual who should have subjected Gutierrez’ proposal to rigorous evaluation before presenting the decision to the Regents.  After all, it is not only the first college to be named after a person, but a person whose role in a dictatorship is to say the least, controversial.

    Gutierrez not only lied but omitted crucial facts in his proposal:  “Virata was an honorable public servant who has served as Secretary of Finance and Prime Minister of the Philippines,” he wrote, so intellectually dishonest that he did not even mention that all of Virata’s  “public service” was under Marcos’ dictatorship.

    Virata was Marcos’ deputy he put in charge of the economy — which collapsed in 1983 to 1985 to throw the country back a decade, and push millions of Filipinos  to poverty.   As member of the sham Batasan Pambansa for eight years, five of those as  “Prime Minister”, Virata was not just Marcos’ political leader but the dictatorship’s principal deodorizer.   He never protested, then and now, the imprisonment, torture and killings of thousands of Filipinos —  many of whom were UP students and alumni — who went against his boss.

    Yet the UP honors him?

    (More on Virata’s r0le during the dictatorship on Monday.)

    E-mail: tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
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      • Benjamin Vallejo Jr on

        The UPAA in a board resolution puts the minimum qualification for being a UP alumnus is completion of 60 units (approximately 2 sems) of academic credits. I think Ninoy Aquino spent more than 2 years in Malcolm Hall. So per UPAA rules, he is an alumnus.

        The UPAA has proposed new criteria for being an alumnus and one of this is completion of a UP certificate training program (which could be non academic in nature) and being an alumnus of the UP Integrated School and its progenitors. The latter is fair enough but the first one is a matter of debate.

    1. Hi, hope you can correct another detail. The DLSU Science & Technology Complex is in Biñan (not Canlubang), adjacent the Laguna TechnoPark. Thanks!

    2. Kaso founder ng FEU e. Pwede sanang Bulwagang Nicanor Reyes (since UP alumni un and then head of UP dept. of Economics ng College of Liberal Arts). Just wondering pero still, he’s one of the alumni.

    3. ricardo alberto on

      Mr. Tiglao,

      The word “alumni” has a singular form: “alumnus.”

      And you are too late: There is already a Virata Hall in U.P.–the Institute of Small-Scale Industries.


    4. @ Nelson Navarro –ano po iyong BA College Mafia?..always heard that often but I can’t relate,,,thanks

    5. Anti-revisionist on

      This entire re-naming affair stinks of a further attempt at historical revisionism. I am not a conspiracy theorist by a long-shot, but something somewhere has brought Virata’s rightfully disrespected name forward for—as demonstrated—no good reason and several potentially bad ones. There are a lot of smoke & mirrors at work here. Does the university leadership expect, for instance, that with enough whitewashing & revisionism, their “honor” will be redeemed by our having another Marcos presidency?

      Clearly people can be found who are willing to testify of the Viratas that “they’re decent enough people…” but where is the honor here? Already the Marcos family publicly denies having done any wrong at all…despite the number of court cases they have lost all over the world…and the testimony of UP alumni.

      If he wants the UP business school named after him, let him do what the Marcos family refuses to do: repudiate his past associations with the crooked martial law regime and apologize to the public—and especially to formerly tortured and imprisoned UP alumni—and to the families of salvaged & disappeared university students & grads. Then again, perhaps business schools hold themselves to some different concept of honor.


    7. Benjamin Vallejo Jr on

      UP should have just named its business school after one of the Rizal sisters, I think it was Trinidad Rizal who was the successful entrepreneur. No one has any bad thing to say about the Rizals!

    8. Open-Minded Filipino on

      Can I just say that this article is flawed. Please check the background first of the person you are mentioning. We cannot assume that because Cesar Virata worked with Marcos automatically means that he is corrupt. Check the credentials of this person and his contribution to the mentioned university. Second, please do not say that the Marcos administration had Aquino assassinated. There are no evidences towards this and what was mentioned in the article is mere speculation. Let us respect the decision of the University. Heck, Cesar Virata may even have better credentials than any of us commenting. Let us give UP the benefit of the doubt and carry on with life. The issue of naming is not a big one as long as it does its job of producing the best graduates for this nation.

      • Cesar Virata and his wife owned the house in front of ours. I don’t know them that personally but my family does to some degree and they’re decent enough people. My issue is why the college has to be renamed at all.

      • Another UP student on

        Different strokes for different folks I suppose, buut wouldn’t it be better if the people of this institution find pride in its name?

        What I’m getting from here is, for an institution to be named after someone, that person should have had a huge impact in their chosen profession and industry, or in the country. It’s done to pay homage to the ‘honor and excellence’ (UP’s motto by the way) they have displayed.

        Not a lot of people have been able to do that and to give it to someone who has not yet achieved such a feat would make it seem like the standard of ‘honor and excellence’ the institution has doesn’t live up to its motto.

        My two cents.
        from another UP student

    9. Even more surprising is that the student body of CBA did not vehemently reject to this renaming. That should’ve been the expected reaction from a student body that prides itself for its student activism. Now look at the price they pay for their inaction. Their school gets an ugly name and they retain that ugly building unworthy of a business school.

      But hey, UP CBA arguably still and will continue produce the best business practitioners and accountants in the country. Problem is, these people don’t seem to have principles anymore, except business principles. Pragmatic much?

      Sigh, UP. I hope the name gets reverted back to CBA.

      • Hi Olive,

        Thank you for your interest in our university.

        However, coming from UP’s business school, I am offended by how you judged our dean. I respect your views and judgment but choosing a dean is far beyond resumes. When we do screening, it is not only the papers that we look into but the person, as a whole – his ideas, his vision, his views, and his character. Though school and company backgrounds do matter, they should not be the entire basis of one’s work capacity and competence.

        I have interacted with our dean a couple of times and I must say, he is one great administrator. He does his best to address students’ concerns and help us achieve our big plans in life. Add to that his very approachable aura which makes it easy for us, students, to seek his help, to hand in our suggestions and to give our feedbacks.

        Again, thank you for your interest. May the issue of the name change be an intelliget and objective discussion, and hopefully, not a personal attack. God bless :)

      • Parang tipikal na kumpanya lang ‘yan, kung ano sabihin ng boss, makikinig na lang lahat para ‘di sila masipa sa trabaho. Malamang ayaw ng mga estudyante mapahamak sarili nila para makuha ang matataas na grado, maging (at least) cum laude at magtrabaho sa P&G, Unilever, at Neslte.

        Pera pera lang ‘yan. Walang aktibismo sa CBA. Typical corporate drones.

    10. Nelson Navarro on

      As a UP College of Business Administration graduate, I am offended by the renaming of our college after a major pillar of the Marcos dictatorship who remains unrepentant and silent about the crimes of that regime to this very day. I always wondered how supposedly brilliant people could close their eyes and serve Marcos so slavishly and still imagine themselves honorable and worthy of respect. More shameless is the BA college mafiosi which pushed for their idol without consulting alumni beyond their incestuous circle and presumed that we have no choice but to accept their presumption and arbitrary move as a fait accompli. Being a “technocrat” is a shallow and self-serving defense for serving dictators and torturers for two whole decades without making an honest accounting or apology.His drum beaters could have named a library or a center after him; that would already be pushing the limit. But they wanted the college itself marked for all eternity after a man who will forever be identified with the craven souls who were Marcos’ co-conspirators in bringing this country to ruin. And they gave away the naming rights for free! Not that P400 million donated in his behalf by the taipans who prospered under Marcos and whom he serves to this day would mitigate this travesty. Fred Pascual and the Board of Regents can only redeem themselves by revoking this misguided decision that equally dishonors them for lack of diligence and plain common sense. They may have been under heavy pressure by the B.A. college mafia, but the higher interest of the university and the nation must be upheld. Unless Pascual and company realize their colossal mistake and disservice to posterity, I wouldn’t be surprised if they come up with the UP Ferdinand Marcos College of Law.

    11. Thank you very much for the eye-opening article.

      This is certainly an indictment on UP College of Business.

      What is surprising to me is not Dean Gutierrez’s “lies” — but that he is appointed dean in the first place.

      Ben Paul Gutierrez has a very thin resume to begin with. He got his undergraduate and MBA from UP, and his DBA from the obscure Victoria University. You would expect the dean of UP to be a graduate of a Harvard or Wharton or one of the major universities from the United States.

      Furthermore, his working background is restricted to Colgate Palmolive Phil as “packaging specialist” and Avon Manufacturing as “lab analyst”. I would expect the UP business dean to have worked with a major financial corporation in a major responsible position here in the Philippines and abroad.

      His choice of Cesar Virata, his distortion of facts to support his case, and his ignorance of basic information clearly reflect poorly on him and the University. I am not a UP alumni — but I expected more from this venerable institution.

      • Hi Olive,

        Thank you for your interest in our university.

        However, coming from UP’s business school, I am offended by how you judged our dean. I respect your views and judgment but choosing a dean is far beyond resumes. When we do screening, it is not only the papers that we look into but the person, as a whole – his ideas, his vision, his views, and his character. Though school and company backgrounds do matter, they should not be the entire basis of one’s work capacity and competence.

        I have interacted with our dean a couple of times and I must say, he is one great administrator. He does his best to address students’ concerns and help us achieve our big plans in life. Add to that his very approachable aura which makes it easy for us, students, to seek his help, to hand in our suggestions and to give our feedbacks.

        Again, thank you for your interest. May the issue of the name change be an intelliget and objective discussion, and hopefully, not a personal attack. God bless :)

      • I happen to be a UP alumnus and I see your point in liking a personality who helps you achieve your “big plans in life.” I also—to some degree—see your point about one’s professional background not needing to be the whole basis of one’s capacity.

        However, the choices and decisions one makes while in office do become a basis for one’s “capacity and competence.” And the decision he made regarding Virata does reflect badly on his ability to judge history—at the very least.

    12. Albert pennano on

      Huwag na kayong magmalinis pa. Karamihan nag graduate sa UP ang natutunan ay kung paano wasakin at durugin ang bansang Pilipinas. Example na si Jovito Salonga isa siya sa bumoto na lpatalsikin ang US bases sa Pilipiinas. Hindi sana mangangahas ang China na kunin ang buong South China Sea kung ang US bases ay nasa Pnas pa. Iyong mga decision nila Salonga ang pinakamaling decision at inilagay ang Pnas sa alanganin. Ngayon saan tayo hihingi ng tulong kundi sa US din. Si Ferdind Marcos naman ano ginawa nito sa bansang Pilipinas? Nilagyan ng piring ang mga mata ng sambayanang Pilipino para nakawin ang kaban ng bansa at ilagay ang Pilipinas sa poorest stage. Ganito ba ang natutunan nila sa UP wasakin at durugin ang bansang Pilipinas?

      • Research research din ha. Wag kang me-ma lang sa isyu. Tulod mo ang mga taong mismong sumisira sa bansa. Reactionary asshole.

      • Karamihan? I’m pretty sure that the people you know that graduated from UP are only less than 1% of the total UP grads.

      • “Hindi sana mangangahas ang China na kunin ang buong South China Sea kung ang US bases ay nasa Pnas pa.”

        kung nagdeklara ng giyera ang NOKOR against US, sino sa tingin mo ang maiipit kung nasa Pilipinas pa ang mga base militar ng US? will US send all its war ships to defend us? wow! colonial mentality at its finest! and why do you seem to have so much grudge against UP? don’t answer. i think you don’t know what you’re talking about. your statement above simply lacks common sense.:)

      • I agree with this.
        Napaka colonial mentality ng taong nagsasabi na dapat pinanatili ang military base ng US dito sa Pilipinas. Come on! Kung naglaban ang China and US, casuality of war lang tayo. It is a military tactic to put their base in our country so the battle will be brought here. Mejo wala ngang alam. Pero kung makapag bigay ng opinion napaka sigurado. Di man lang nagbabasa ng maayos. Sige magpadala ka sa pagkacolonial minded mo. Kaya hindi umaasenso ang Pilipinas eh dahil sa mga taong to na parang Diyos ang tingin sa US na sasalba sa atin.

      • Ito masasabi ko sa iyo Bert. Makabayan sa salita, makadayuhan sa diwa at gawa. Tsktsktsk. Nakalulungkot na ganito ang kaisipan ng ilan sa ating mga kababayan. Saka paano mong nasasabi at anong basehan mo sa paratang mo na winawasak ng mga taga-UP ang bansa natin?

        Baka lang di mo alam, ang UP (kahit ang aking alma mater na PNU) ay produkto ng kolonyalismong Amerikano. Subalit di matatawaran ang papel ng mga mag-aaral ng UP sa paglaban sa diktadura ni Marcos at neokolonyalismo ng US.

        Ito reaksyon ko sa artikulo. Di ako taga-UP bagaman ako ay Iskolar ng Bayan rin mula sa PNU. Nakababahala lang ang indirektang pag-aangat muli sa mga Marcos at kanilang mga kasapakat. Nagkalat rin ang mga larawan sa Facebook na pumupuri kay Marcos. At isang ironiya na ang institusyong minsang nasa unahan ng pakikibaka ng kabataan at mamamayan ay ganito na ang tunguhin.

    13. aaron a. legaspi on

      Nice expose Mr. RT. The Viratas are low profile Martial Law Technorats who help in enriching the Cronies of Macoy. Is it true that Virata knew how the gold reserves in the Central Bank was converted by Macoy into his own assets?

      • Largion Najera on

        aaron,why dont you ask CESAR VIRATA himself,he is still alive.for confirmation, also inquire from the past CB Governors who served under the Marcos dictatorship who are still living, including BSP Governor GABRIEL SINGSON. Also ask why CB had to establish that “MINTING FACILITY” in Quezon City.inquire further whose gold hoards(bars) were being minted there.
        certainly,all those personalities aforementioned have all the answers,if they are not suffering from Alzheimer’s yet.

    14. What you didn’t mention is that each of those benefactors of US business schools represented a significant business and/or economic philosophy; Wharton, for example, was a proponent of strategic protectionism to support domestic industrialization (the basis of the now mostly-passe “Philadelphia School” of economics).

      So in a sense, Virata may be a dubiously appropriate choice; he does represent a uniquely Filipino economic perspective.

      Think I might send my kid to Ateneo after all.

      • It depends on what career your child wants to pursue. In the arts, law, and languages, Ateneo is an excellent choice.

        But in the field of science and technology, you might want to also consider De La Salle University. If you look at the recent results from the Professional Regulation Commission — in chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, CPA, etc.., you will find the DLSU is consistently ranked first or second in terms of highest overall passing percentage and most number students of top 10 performance. DLSU consistently surpassed UP in PRC results — which is really surprising but true.

        In corporate world, you will find DLSU CEOs in Ayala group, Ortigas Group, Philam Life, SM Group, Globe Telecom, Manila Water, etc … The current Finance Minister, who is the architect of Phil’s “investment grade” status is also from DLSU.

      • Law maybe (but even debatable). But Arts and Languages? You’ll do a disservice to your kid not to send them in UP. Just compare the number of Centre of Excellence they have (Arts, Humanities, Languages). If that doesn’t convince you, how about the totality of National Artists it has produced?

        Certainly incontestable.

      • and yeah.. name a few members of the dlsu faculty. most of them are from UP, FYI… just saying :-)

      • A.E.M. de Leon on

        The University of the Philippines has been certified to have multiple Centers of Excellence in Arts, Languages, and Social Sciences, (to name a few). I find it offending that naming one school after a Marcos crony has made the prestigious state university shameful and the laughing stock of its private competitors. No doubt UP is one of the best (if not the best) in fields which it has proven to be the best (quite obviously), but as I said, I find offense in naming one of our schools after a man who is less than honorable.

      • yea that’s true. (-: people who can speak that way is people who don’t get to experience how awesome education in UP is. :D

      • I would take those licensure exam rankings with a grain of salt, though. For the CPA exams, for example, DLSU graduates do not take the exams with the UP graduates. UP alumni mostly take theirs in October while DLSU’s takes theirs in May. Many licensure exams are scheduled twice a year. UP graduates, mostly take theirs during the 2nd half of the year since they graduate in March/April. DLSU students usually take the 1st half board exams since a lot of them graduate in December.

      • Excuse me, may I ask which specific course are you pertaining for la salle surpassing UP in PRC exams? I beg to disagree for chemical engineering. For how many years, UP ChE maintained its spot as the top performing school in the chemical engineering board exam having numerous top notchers each year.

        Here we are talking about facts and still some claims are done. I guess its best to research rather than claiming something. Or at least be specific when making a claim.

      • The University of the Philippines have institutes that are CHED-designated centers of excellence in science:

        National Institute of Geology (NIGS)
        National Institute of Physics (NIP)
        National Institute of Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (NIMBB).

    15. Rick Tuason on

      Why do you Filipinos in the Philippines always pattern everything from the US? Why not other countries like Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Austria, South Africa, Brazil, India, Australia, UK, etc?

      • Colonial minded drones. Even the national university of our country has no sense of originality anymore.