Ateneo profs to trustees: "Let Manny Pangilinan resign as board chair!"

Some faculty members and staff of the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) have objected to the decision of its board of trustees to reject tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan's offer to resign as board chair in connection with charges of plagiarism, Inquirer.net reports.

In a letter published online, at least 66 signatories as of late Thursday morning expressed opposition to the board decision announced on Monday. There are 700 faculty members of the Loyola Schools.

The signatories–among whom are published writers Danton Remoto, Ambeth Ocampo, Rica Bolipata-Santos, Alwynn C. Javier, and Edgar Samar–pointed out that the Ateneo should take cases of plagiarism very seriously because these were "violations of intellectual integrity."

An excerpt of their letter reads: "While it was suggested by Mr. Pangilinan himself that he had some help with the speeches, he also accepted 'full and sole responsibility' for the plagiarism. Having taken full and sole responsibility, Mr. Pangilinan bore the sole burden of accountability. As a University, we should have applied the standards we usually apply to cases of plagiarism, the same standards we use in handling acts of intellectual dishonesty among our students, staff, professionals and faculty. We teach the members of our community to accept responsibility for their actions and to accept the consequences for such actions. But in this case, there is a claim of responsibility without accountability."

In short, they'd prefer it if the board had just let Pangilinan resign.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer contacted a staff member of AdMU's Development Studies program (since the first signatory was from the said department), who confirmed the authenticity of the letter and said a copy was sent to the university's administrators Thursday. AdMU spokesperson Sonia Araneta could not be reached for comment, explained Inquirer.net.

Menwhile, blogger Ace Ramos reports that a Facebook group supporting Pangilinan has been set up. It's called We support MVP, sack the speechwriter! It currently has over 1,200 members.

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