The statement of support for Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Kiko Pangilinan from more than 100 current and former presidents and heads of the largest schools, colleges, and universities in the country has been gaining momentum since its release on March 3, 2022. Various other former and current education leaders have joined the statement.
Former Education Secretaries Fr. Rolando V. de la Rosa, OP, Former CHED Chairperson and UST Rector, and Edilberto de Jesus, Former DepEd Secretary and AIM President have signed the statement. They join former CHED Chairpersons, Dr. Patricia Licuanan, Dr. Ester Garcia, and Dr. Angel Alcala, former DepEd Secretaries, Bro. Armin Luistro FSC and Dr. Fe Hidalgo, as well as former TESDA Director General Edicio dela Torre.
Sr Merceditas Ang, President, St. Paul’s University Philippines, Elizabeth Quirino-Lahoz, President, Technological Institute of the Philippines (T.I.P) have also joined.
Former Vice Presidents of the University of the Philippines Jose Dalisay Jr., PhD and Maria Serena I. Diokno, Ph.D. along with Former Chancellors of University of the Philippines Michael L. Tan of UP Diliman, Rex Victor Cruz of UP Los Banos, Priscilla S. Macansantos of UP Baguio, Ida M.L. Siason and Minda Formacion of UP Visayas, Liza D. Corro of UP Cebu, and Grace Javier Alfonso of UP Open University (UPOU) added to the representation of the University of the Philippines.
University-Belt presidents have also joined. Fr. Henry H. Santiago, OAR, President of San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Fr. Marcelo V. Manimtim, C.M., President, Adamson University, Fr. Gregorio Bañaga, Jr., CM, Former President of Adamson University and of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines, Dr. Elizabeth Quirino-Lahoz, President of Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP) Manila, and former CHED Chairperson, Ester Garcia.
Of note, as well, is representation from the three biggest universities in Baguio. Fr. Gilbert Sales, CICM, President of Saint Louis University, Javier Herminio D. Bautista, President of University of Baguio, and Ray Dean Salvosa, Chairman of the University of the Cordilleras.
Citing the “learning crisis” in the country, the group lamented the country’s poor performance in the recent 2018 PISA and the 2019 TIMMS, wherein the Philippines ranked lowest among 79 and 58 countries, respectively. “These challenges need to be faced head-on by a hands-on government,” the Statement read.
“As Robredo has demonstrated in her tenure as Vice President and especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, her brand of leadership shines through best in times of crisis—one that can find solutions that are context-based, data-driven, and equity-oriented,” said the group. “We believe that Robredo is the ‘Education President’ our country needs to address this learning crisis and attain quality education for all.”
According to Fr. Karel San Juan, SJ, President, Ateneo de Zamboanga University”VP Leni is our model: she is honest, smart, noble, hardworking. She is dedicated to God and country. She knows how to fix our education system, and the whole country. She is definitely our Education President.”
They are joined by more than 10,000 students, faculty, staff, and alumni who also recently expressed their support for Robredo. Including De La Salle Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, University of Santo Tomas, University of the Philippines Los Banos, University of San Beda, Silliman University, University of the Assumption, Centro Escolar University – Malolos, Holy Spirit School of Tagbilaran, Marist School Marikina, Philippine Science High School System, Holy Angel University, PHINMA Education, University of San Agustin, Xavier School, Ateneo de Iloilo – Santa Maria Catholic School.