Over 200 Ateneo and UP faculty members sign statement in support of RH Bill, decry teachers giving bonus points for anti-RH Bill statements

(SPOT.ph) More than 200 faculty members from Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and the University of the Philippines (UP) expressed their support for the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill in a statement released yesterday, reports GMA News Online.

Calling the bill "a vital piece of legislation," instructors, professors emeriti and deans all signed the statement, including National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera, UP economy professor Solita "Winnie" Monsod, UP Law Dean Marvic Leonen, and ADMU history professor and husband of whistleblower Heidi Mendoza, Meynardo P. Mendoza.

ADMU professor Marita Castro Guevarra said the faculty members’ move started as a small initiative by a group of teachers. "We were amazed at the response from our colleagues," Guevarra said. "It took us less than a week to gather the signatures."

The signatories also expressed concern over reports of teachers giving students bonus points in exchange for anti-RH Bill statements or acts. Last month, theology professor Aguedo Florence Jalin Jr. of the University of Santo Tomas admitted to giving students extra credit for posting anti-RH Bill comments on the Facebook page of the Akbayan party list.

The statement reads: "We believe that it is an abuse of our role as value formators to dictate the political actions of our students in this way... We denounce any such violations of our duties to inculcate critical thinking and respect our students’ right to their own opinions. We denounce this, regardless of whether the teacher is for or against the RH Bill."

For more on this story, log on to GMA News Online.

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