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UP-PGH doctors go on mass leave of absence

to protest the blatant disregard of democratic process

and the oppressive ouster of the PGH director




March 29, 2010


Video Clips






UP-PGH Doctor’s STATEMENT on Mass Leave of Absence

to Protest the Blatant Disregard for a Democratic Process

and Oppressive ouster of PGH director

The Philippine General Hospital is in crisis because of a Hospital Director’s questionable appointment. When a tenured, democratically elected and functioning PGH Director in Dr. Jose C. Gonzales can be removed from office without due process and cause, it sends a message of oppression and shock to the PGH community. On February 25, 2010 upon orders from the University of the Philippines’ Board of Regents, Dr. Gonzales was replaced by Dr. Enrique Domingo. On March 2, 2010 the College Council of the UP College of Medicine whose membership represents the majority of doctors and faculty members of PGH, overwhelmingly approved a resolution (with a vote of 199 to 19) recognizing Dr. Jose Gonzales as the duly appointed Director of PGH until December 2012.

We the undersigned have therefore decided to take a mass leave of absence starting the week of March 29, 2010 to express our anger and dismay over the oppression and dubious removal from office of one of our own PGH Doctor and to strongly protest the lack of a democratic process in selecting our Director. In view also of the fact that this matter has already been brought to the courts and has yet to decide on who should be the legally recognized Director, our leave of absence protects us from following orders from a de facto PGH Director. We wish to make it clear that our actions will not affect life threatening or emergency cases in PGH patients but may only delay elective surgeries attendance to outpatient cases or other non-life threatening illnesses for a limited time only. Those of us in very sensitive leadership posts will likewise continue working in a limited capacity despite our LOA. We will not abandon our patients already admitted in hospital and will be available for emergency cases and critical aspects of patient care.
To this end,

We call on our patients and the public for understanding, as we will not neglect the care of the critically ill and emergent conditions, but may sadly have to defer outpatient consultations, elective surgical procedures and non-essential administrative functions.

We call on our medical students and resident trainees for support, as we demonstrate in deed, as in word, what it means to uphold and enflesh the noble traditions we cherish and the timeless principles we value.

We call on our colleagues- physicians, health professionals and health workers alike for introspection, reflection and realization that we share a common situation, and that we are challenged to make a common stand in conscience and with conviction.

We call on our leaders, elected or appointed to positions of authority in the University system, to examine their consciences, rectify the situation and assume the rightful role of servant leader rather than that of lord and master, for they are accountable to the People for their words and deeds.

We particularly call on the other members of the Board of Regents and the President of the University of the Philippines, to heed our resounding call, expressed through the representative voices of our organic Faculty, Staff and Alumni Regents, and through the silenced voice of our Student Regent, as we echo the closing lines of UP Naming Mahal:

Ating pagdiwang, bulwagan ng dangal,
humayo't itanghal, giting at tapang,
mabuhay ang pag-asa ng bayan,
mabuhay ang pag-asa ng bayan!

SIGNED (initial list as of March 28):
1. Manny Agulto
2. Marge Lat-Luna
3. Joey Lapena
4. Randy Abdullah
5. Eric Legaspi
6. JJ Cruz
7. Jonas del Rosario
8. Eric Talens
9. Butch Felizar
10. Gerardo Legaspi
11. Jojo Jocson
12. Randy Nicolas
13. Venancio Garduce
14. Mario Geronilla
15. CJ Gloria
16. Pio Villacorta
17. Jubert Benedicto
18. Abundio Balgos
19. Mariel Nicolas
20. Arnel De jesus
21. Abe Marinduque
22. Dennis Serrano
23. Ted Herbosa
24. Leo Cubillan
25. Delen Dela Paz
26. Herbie Uy
27. Alvin Marcelo
28. Atoy Manalo
29. Rene Tuazon
30. Leah Tantoco
31. Edison Ty
32. Ricky Salonga
33. Bebol Paterno
34. Maloy Calaquian
35. Butching Paterno
36. Felix Lukban
37. Pablo Lazatin III
38. Jimmy Tan
39. Aileen Cubillan
40. Portia Marcelo
41. Adrian Manapat
42. June Lopez
43. Telly How -Hidalgo
44. Ben Vista
45. Gene Abes
46. Pia Malanyaon
47. Carlos Chua
48. Eris LLanes
49. Charlotte Chiong
50. Gary Mercado
51. Peter Bernardo
52. Jun Kaw
53. Ting Leynes
54. Joan Ocobillo
55. Agnes Mejia
56. Grace Herbosa
57. Joan Ocubillo
58. Eduardo Bautista
59. Benjie Dela Paz
60. Lara Alentahan
61. Cynthia Dominguez
62. Eugene Reyes

If you are a faculty member of the UPCM and you wish to be added to this list please e-mail or call/txt the following cell phone numbers below ASAP. To determine the mechanics of applying for an LOA for this purpose please contact, text or e-mail the following:

Dr. Iggy Agbayani 09175318648 or
Dr. Jonas Del Rosario 09178456627 or
Dr. Joey Lapena 09179137258 or
Dra. Marge Lat Luna 09189234718 or


Maraming salamat po. Tuloy ang Laban para Ibalik ang Tama.

Unibersidad ng Pilipinas ang Eskwelahan ng Matatalino, Matatapang at May Malasakit sa Kapwa at Lalo na sa Mahihirap.

Laban UP-PGH Movement




Whereas the University of the Philippines Board of Regents in its 1252nd meeting on December 18, 2009, appointed Dr. Jose Castillo Gonzales as Director, Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines Manila from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2012;
Whereas Dr Jose Gonzales took his oath of office as Director of Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines Manila before the BOR Chair on December 21, 2009 and before the UP Manila Chancellor on January 7, 2010;

Whereas Dr. Jose Gonzales has already served as PGH director and has performed responsibly since January 4, 2010 with honor , integrity and transparency;

Whereas under Civil Service Laws, Dr. Jose Gonzales can only be removed as PGH Director for due cause;

Whereas the removal of Dr. Jose Gonzales as PGH Director is unjust and arbitrary, he should therefore continue to perform his duties and functions as Director of PGH for the welfare of the Filipino people;

Whereas the College Council of the UP College of Medicine upholds Academic Freedom, human rights, due processes and the protection of its constituents under the Civil Service Law;

We, the members of the College Council of the UP College of Medicine resolve, as it is hereby resolved:

That we recognize and support Dr. Jose Gonzalez as the duly appointed UP PGH director from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2012 in accordance with his original appointment.

Approved on the 2nd day of March 2010 at the Class 64 lecture room, UP College of Medicine, 547 Pedro Gil St, Ermita, Manila.




February 28, 2010

On the historic day of Feb 25 and the 24th anniversary of the People's Power Revolution, the UP Board of Regents under the clouds of a walk out by the student, alumni, faculty and staff regents and a dismissed temporary restraining order against a decision to remove the student regent Charisse Banez, declared null and void a board decision that appointed PGH Director Dr. Jose "Joegon" Gonzales. By a vote of 6 to 5, Dr.Gonzales was elected over Dr. Carmelo Alfiler on December 18, 2009.

A grave abuse of power has been done in the State University where we were taught the importance of dissent and critical thinking, where we learned to love democratic principles and idealism. Spearheaded by UP President Emerlinda Roman and supported by the three other GMA appointed regents and Congresswoman Cynthia Villar, CHED Chairman Manny Angeles (CHED Chair Angeles) made a sudden and very suspicious reversal by following the lead of GMA's BOR appointees in January 2010. They have oppressed a UPCM faculty member and employee of the UP-PGH by arbitrarily removing Joegon, a legally appointed, sworn in, and functioning PGH Director under very extra-ordinary and highly suspicious circumstances. Civil servants are protected by law from such arbitrary actions even by the highest governing body of any institution in the Philippines. To make matters worse, Dr. Gonzales was replaced by Dr. Eric Domingo, who did not receive a single vote from the Board of Regents during the initial election for PGH directorship on December 18, 2009. Ironically on February 25, Dr. Alfiler did not receive a single vote while Dr. Domingo got all the votes of the participating regents.

It is time to wake up from our apathy and fight not just for Joegon but also for what he represent and for what our conscience deems as just and right. Many have maligned him for his unambiguous stand on controversial issues in PGH and foremost is the disadvantageous deal made between UP's BOR and the Daniel Mercado Medical Center that will soon operate a private laboratory, diagnostics, pharmacy and outpatient clinic within PGH itself. He has been singled out as the main stumbling block to the estimated hundreds of millions of pesos in profit that is grossly slanted to favor only a non-PGH entity.

Therefore on Monday, the first day of March at seven in the morning, we the LABAN UP-PGH Movement and all our allies will barricade the PGH Director's office to protect Director Joegon and rightfully keep his position as PGH Director. The All UP Worker's Union have already committed to join us. UP students from Diliman, Manila and other units are rallying their constituents to join this barricade. We are counting on the PGH Faculty, the UP Medical Students and UP Medicine Alumni to be there. Anyone who cares for UP and PGH should be there physically or in spirit. We need all the help we can get. We can no longer afford to sit on the fence or watch from the sidelines. We need to act now and we need to act fast.


Respect the civil service law protecting the tenure of all government employees including the Director of UP-PGH. The arbitrary attempt toremove and replaceDirector Jose Gonzalesunder suspicious and extra-ordinary circumstances is unjust, oppressive, illegal and immoral.

Kung ginawa ito kay Director Joegon maari din itong gawin sa lahat ng empleyado ng UP at PGH

Ituwid ang baluktot, itama ang mali.
Kung Di ngayon kailan pa
Kung Di tayo sino pa.
Si Joegon naTama na.





Oppose Roman’s undemocratic governance!

Oppose Malacanang intervention in decision-making in the University of the Philippines!

Uphold democratic representation in the university, appointments based on merit and the principles of accountability and transparency in decision making!

Statement of the UP Democratization Movement, March 3, 2010

Barely two years after the U.P. Centennial Celebration, the Roman Administration is eroding the cherished valutes of democratic representation, appointments based on merit and the principles of accountability and transparency in decision-making in the University of the Philippines.

President Emerlinda Roman plays the leading role in the weakening of democratic governance in the university as indicated in her recent actuations and decisions during the following crucial moments: the Student Regent’s Disqualification, the deliberations on the expired terms of the Malacanang-appointed acting Regents, the removal of PGH Director Jose Gonzales, the UP Mindanao chancellorship, her denial of the appeal for tenure of Prof. Sarah Raymundo, her continuing inaction on the appeal of UP Los Banos faculty and students to hold in abeyance the full-scale implementation of a policy requiring ALL general education, foundation and legislated courses to be taught in large class mode starting June 2010.

Sec. 3 (h) of the U.P. Charter stipulates that the University “shall provide democratic governance based on collegiality, representation, accountability, transparency, and active participation of its constituents….”. Pres. Roman is reneging on this responsibility, is twisting the democratic processes, and is leading the maneuvers for the adoption and implementation of decisions detrimental to the interest of the UP constituents.

For the first time in UP's 100-year history, students were stripped of their representation from the UP Board of Regents (BOR) on the basis of a technicality rather than on failure to meet the academic requirements of the university.

For the first time in UP's 100-year history, three regents overstayed their temporary designations to the BOR which lapsed in 2009; yet they remain regular members of the Board.

For the first time in UP's 100-year history, the appointment of a University official was revoked without due cause. The sitting UP-PGH director was removed from his post even though he has been sworn into office, has occupied that office for over a month and is protected by Civil Service rules on tenure.

For the first time in UP's 100-year history, all General Education, Foundation and Legislated courses will be transformed into large class (as large as 160 to 350) mode at UP Los Banos.

President Roman is turning the BOR into a highly politicized body by initiating the attack to remove the Student Regent, by conspiring to reverse a BOR selection of the PGH Director that she did not want, by acting as the President only of some segments of the university instead of the whole university. She is demonstrating all the weaknesses of her appointing authority, which is to divide and confuse instead of leading and governing. The crisis of the University is really a gross failure of executive leadership of President Roman.

Pres. Roman has to answer for her leading role in the erosion and weakening of democratic representation, democratic processes and accountability in the University through maneuvers that reek of double standard, the selective use of legal justifications to reward persons loyal to her and to exclude perceived opponents to her policies and her administration. We call on the faculty, students, REPS and staff of the University of the Philippines to oppose the undemocratic moves of the Roman Administration.

The UP Democratization Movement forwards the following calls:

Ensure student representation in the Board of Regents. Grant the appeal of the Student Regent for residency!

Recognize Dr. Jose Gonzales the duly appointed UP PGH director from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2012 in accordance with his December 28, 2009 original appointment!

Oppose Roman’s undemocratic governance! Oppose Malacanang intervention in decision-making in the University of the Philippines!

Uphold democratic representation in the university, appointments based on merit and the principles of accountability and transparency in decision making!
    UP Issues website:

Signing the statement on mass leave of absence



Philippine Daily Inqiuirer

Passion For Reason

Unceremonious unseating of UP PGH director
By Raul Pangalangan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:39:00 03/04/2010

I AVOID writing about faculty intramurals in the University of the Philippines, preferring to talk instead about the more benign politics of murders, massacres and wars. However, the recent unceremonious ouster of a sitting hospital director smacks too much of Malacañang-style politics that writing about it, come to think of it, is just like writing about President Macapagal-Arroyo.

On Dec. 18, 2009, the university’s Board of Regents appointed Dr. Jose Gonzalez as the new director of the UP Philippine General Hospital. I do not know Gonzalez, have never met him, have never spoken to him. I also do not claim to evaluate his qualifications or platform. I write solely about the sheer brazenness of his ouster.

The university is governed by the 11-member BOR, consisting of two co-chairs (the Commission on Higher Education chair and the UP president), two seats for Congress (one each from the House and Senate), four organic members each chosen respectively by the faculty, students, staff and alumni (“organic” in the Gramscian sense), and three non-organic members or as the Philippine Collegian loves to call them, “the Malacañang appointees” (a four-letter word in Diliman’s lexicon, as you can imagine). Gonzalez won by a 5-4 vote (should be 6-5). He got the vote of all the four organic regents plus the tie-breaker by the CHEd chair.

On Jan. 4, 2010, the first working day after the long Christmas holidays, the BOR officially announced Gonzalez’s appointment. This is where the story starts to get exciting. The next day, at around noon, UP president Emerlinda Roman announced that one of the non-organic regents, former Supreme Court Justice Abraham Sarmiento, had filed a protest letter to strike out the vote of the student regent, Charisse Bañez, on the ground that she did not enroll for the second semester. On that basis, Roman appointed an officer-in-charge for PGH, which provoked opposition. On Jan. 7, the long-delayed formal appointment of Gonzalez as PGH director was finally released and on that same day, he took his oath.

In its January meeting, the BOR upheld Sarmiento’s motion to declare the seat of the student regent vacant and to nullify her vote in the earlier decisions. The organic regents walked out: faculty regent professor Judy Taguiwalo, staff regent Clodualdo Cabrera, and Charisse. Alumni regent Alfredo Pascual, president of the UP Alumni Association, did not participate in the vote.

In its February meeting, the BOR nullified the appointment of Gonzalez and elected Dr. Rolando Domingo as the new PGH director.


To start with, why the tangled legal attempts to block Gonzalez? Why try to appoint an OIC when there was no vacancy? How can the vote of a collegial body be set aside without a collegial decision, and on the basis of a letter by one regent? Is there such a thing as a super-regent whose solitary vote overrides those of his colleagues?


Gonzalez is entitled to hold office for the duration of his term. In the archaic language of the law of public officers, the “termination of official relations” occurs only upon death or disability, retirement, resignation, expiry of term of office, abandonment, abolition of office, recall or removal for cause. Not a single ground is present in this case.

The entire ouster of Gonzalez was actually carried out by first ousting yet another person, Charisse Bañez. Indeed Charisse wasn’t enrolled, but there are two important issues here. One, when her vote was counted in favor of Gonzalez on Dec. 18, the BOR fully debated her enrollment issue (even asked her to step out then) and decided that she could vote. I recall the joke during martial law. Marcos was complaining: Filipinos are so demanding—I already let them vote, now they want their votes to be counted! The BOR must respect its own decisions, and not reverse it only after they discovered that Charisse voted for Gonzalez.

Two, Charisse has a pending application for residency as a student, which is routinely approved for others but which has been kept hanging for Charisse who, not surprisingly, has been harassed by a series of disciplinary cases filed for her activist work. Again, I do not know where she stands ideologically—and I have my own criticisms of the dogmatic and doctrinaire—but the students have chosen her as their regent and the school administration cannot frustrate the students’ choice by harassing her with disciplinary cases.

Irony of ironies, it now turns out that the three Malacañang appointees all have expired appointments. President Arroyo appointed them merely as “Acting Member, Board of Regents.” However, the Administrative Code, Executive Order 292, provides that “in no case shall a temporary designation exceed one year.” All three had exceeded one year. Sarmiento himself was appointed on Sept. 29, 2008. They were all essentially impostors on Dec. 18, trying to oust the student regent who enjoyed an authentic mandate.

The BOR has pooh-poohed that argument, saying that “acting” is different from “temporary.” In what way, I ask? That is a cockamamie legal distinction. I ask the BOR: What is the difference between an “acting” regent and a “temporary” regent? The “acting” designation is as temporary as it gets.

What I have chronicled here is familiar to us by now: the Machiavellian manipulation of technicalities to justify just about anything and to maneuver events to get precisely the desired result. It is a mindset, a way of life, that I identify with the Arroyo administration, and I am saddened when I see it practiced in a university that has become a part of my life since I entered as a freshman 36 years ago.

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