STOP FEUDAL RELATIONSHIPS AND ABUSE OF AUTHORITY IN SCHOOLS & UNIVERSITIES: A support statement of Anakbayan Cordillera against libel allegations faced by UPB Outcrop

Jesusa Paquibot, the current editor-in-chief of UP Baguio Outcrop, is currently facing charges of libel filed against her by UP Baguio College of Arts and Communications professor Rina Locsin, stating that the school newspaper wrote a lampoon article containing a fictional character aimed at her. This character, named “Si Raulo Locaret” is described as sensitive to noise and abuses her authority over her students. The professor claimed that the character is indeed written in the article, to destroy her name and profession even though her name was not dropped. Nevertheless, Outcrop passed a letter of apology to the professor for the emotional damages that the article may have caused her, but to no avail. Even though the case was dismissed in the School Tribunal, the professor brought the case to the Regional Trial Court for no clear reason.

Outcrop maintains its stand that the article written on August of 2011 was not aimed to maliciously destroy her. The accusations given by the professor were pure allegations, since the character in the article is purely coincidental. This incident only shows the abuse of authority of the said professor and the continuing repression of Campus Press freedom and the democratic rights of the students. Every article that Outcrop writes is within the bounds of responsible journalism, writing for the voices, issues and rights of the UP Baguio community.

Therefore, Anakbayan Cordillera, supports Jesusa Paquibot and UPB Outcrop in the charges filed against them and for their fight for Campus Press Freedom. Anakbayan condemns this current feudal or unequal relationship between teachers and students where authority is used to repress students instead of working with them. Anakbayan praises the professors who continue to level with the students such that there is no demarcation line between them and that “authority” is never used to stifle the voices of the students. The university should be a venue for exercising the freedom of students in voicing out the issues that concern them. The students along with their representation, the student council and student publication, are institutions within the university that should exercise the freedom and rights of students in facing the issues that concern them which is why repression to do so, limits their campus freedom and democratic rights.



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