Marc Lino Abila
National Deputy Secretary General
The College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), the oldest and broadest alliance of tertiary student publications in the Philippines and Asia-Pacific region, expresses its disgust on the act of Liberal Party Cebu City South District Congressional bet and Cebu City Councilor Rodrigo Abellanosa for using the city government’s scholarship funds for personal interests.
Councilor Abellanosa used his authority as the Chairman of the Committee on Social Services, Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Education, Science and Technology, and member of the powerful Scholarship Committee of the City Council of Cebu to boost the enrollment of Asian College of Technology (ACT) where he also serves as the Chairman, President and principal owner of the said private higher educational institution.
Roughly 156,580 city scholars enrolled in ACT which is more than double the combined number of scholars that enrolled in all of the 18 other accredited universities and colleges in the City.
Under the Cebu City Government College Scholarship Program, the city grants every scholar Php10,000 per semester that will be directly paid by the city government to the school.
The city government accredited 19 colleges and universities in Cebu City, including ACT, for the scholarship program. It is curious that ACT has been accepting more scholars from the program other than the 18 others. He even lauded his actions as “a fine example of the public-private partnership that the President himself espouses.” (Cebu Daily News, Sun.Star Cebu and The Freeman, January 13, 2013)
Serious administrative and graft charges have been filed against the Councilor before the Office of the President and the Ombudsman.
It is obvious that Councilor Abellanosa uses his position in the City Council not to primarily benefit the youth but to accumulate wealth from the city government’s scholarship program.
This is clearly not the kind of representation the people of Cebu City want in the Congress. Councilor Abellanosa’s deed conflicts with the Liberal Party leader, President Noynoy Aquino’s “Daang Matuwid.”
Cebu City and ACT scholars should not permit this abuse of power. We call the students of ACT and Cebu City to stand up and fight for a transparent and honest leadership in Cebu and for their right to education.
CEGP stands by its principles that education is a right should not be used by politicians to personally amass the people’s money. This is plainly an act of corruption on the part of Councilor Abellanosa.