A two-day prayer vigil was started Monday at the Palawan State University (PSU) by its faculty union to ask for “divine intervention” in pushing through with the election for university president that has been postponed for several times.
PSU main campus faculty union president, Dr. Janet Bacuel Oab, told Palawan News on Monday that the prayer vigil was initiated by their group “to ask for God’s help” after the scheduled June 19 presidential election was again deferred.
Dr. Oab explained that the supposed election in Quezon City was canceled when PSU Board of Regent (BOR) chairperson, Dr. Perfecto Alibin, suffered from high blood pressure and would not be able to preside over the election.
“Talagang ang hope ay nawala na naman, nakakalungkot. Perhaps with the problems that we have, we do realize na baka dasal lang ang kulang para matuloy na ang election ng pagka-pangulo dito sa aming unibersidad,” said Dr. Oab.
She said they are not obliging the faculty and staff of their university to participate, but if they have free time, they are encouraged to attend the prayer vigil at the Student Lounge near the gate which will be until Tuesday, June 19, from 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
She said the main objective of the prayer vigil is to help enlighten the members of the BOR in choosing the right president for PSU and that the election “pushes through right away.” The two-day prayer vigil will be joined by leaders from different religions and denominations.
Dr. Oab added they appreciate the accomplishments of the current administration but the past two years without a president had been a struggle for PSU since transactions that need on time implementation have to go through the BOR which is time-consuming.
“Hindi na magandang senyales para sa aming pamantasan na hindi napapamunuan ng legitimate [na pangulo] upang ma-normalize ang aming operation. Kapag meron na kaming legitimate na president, may mga bagay na hindi na kailangang idaan pa sa board meeting, kundi ang presidente ay merong kapangyarihan upang ito ay aprubahan at hindi na maantala at hindi na kailangan ng mahabang panahong paghihintay,” Dr. Oab expressed.
Meanwhile, Venzon Limpiada, PSU and board secretary, told Palawan News there is no political agenda behind the several postponements of the election, including the canceled June 19 election.
“These specific cancellations were very precise. It’s not tainted with politics because it is really the fact that he (Dr. Alibin) was sent to the hospital and that we could not do it (the election),” said Limpiada.
Limpiada said that in 2016, the election was canceled because there were only two official candidates for the PSU presidency. The BOR supposedly wanted the search expanded to have more applicants.
The second postponement in 2017, he added, was because the BOR again decided to open the search to the public. He also reiterated that these postponements were decided by the members of the BOR.
“It is actually the board’s decision. We have 11 members on the board. They have the power to dispense or to dispose of such decision,” said Limpiada, tossing in that three of the BOR’s members are actually from Palawan, including PSU officer-in-charge president Marissa Pontillas.
Limpiada assured the public and the PSU community that the postponements were free from any political agenda. He said he does not know how or in what way politics can intervene in the process.
“The fact that the chairperson of the board is there na nagkasakit, I can say that we followed the procedure [and] timeline. As far as I know, politics, I don’t know for how long or what way can politics intervene. That I do not know about,” Limpiada stressed.
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