Response of the Board of Trustees on the issues arising from the Commencement Address of Manuel V. Pangilinan

SPECIAL BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING

11 April 2010

The Board of Trustees met on April 11, 2010 to deliberate on the issues arising from the commencement addresses of its Chairman, Mr. Manuel V. Pangilinan, on March 26 & 27, 2010. The Board reviewed the history of the case, from the writing of the speeches to the posting of the blogs, from the response of Mr. Pangilinan to the reply of Fr. Nebres issued on April 3, 2010. It kept in mind as well the concerned statements from faculty, students, staff, administrators and the public at large.

The Board came to the following conclusions:

1.    The Board considers the matter of plagiarism very serious, particularly for an academic institution. It recognizes that Mr. Pangilinan considered this a very serious matter that has caused him deep embarrassment and pain. With him, the Ateneo community has struggled with the issue and engaged in a deep reflection on its own values of honesty and integrity.

2.    In its discussion, the Board kept in mind the Catholic moral tradition which for culpability considers not just the seriousness of the matter but also whether there is full awareness and consent. It recognizes that the matter is serious, but that the plagiarism happened without full awareness on the part of Mr. Pangilinan.

3.    At the same time, the Board acknowledges with deep respect Mr. Pangilinan’s immediate and full acceptance of responsibility and apology for this mistake. This is particularly admirable, because in acting in this manner, he spared others from this responsibility. This is a rare example of humility, selflessness, and leadership in our midst.

4.    The Board accepts Mr. Pangilinan’s apology as the appropriate response to this unfortunate incident.

5.    However, the unanimous decision of the Board is not to accept Mr. Pangilinan’s resignation. It expresses full confidence in his leadership as Chairman.

6.    On the matter of the honorary degree conferred on Mr. Pangilinan, the reasons for the conferment are articulated in the citation. These are his visionary leadership, his love of country and service and commitment to our people, his generous self-giving to our country, the Ateneo de Manila and many other institutions. These remain unchanged.

In conclusion, the Board of Trustees asks Mr. Pangilinan to please reconsider his resignation from the Ateneo Board of Trustees. There is so much to be done, not just for the Ateneo, but for our country and people. His leadership is needed today more than ever.

About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

4 Responses to Response of the Board of Trustees on the issues arising from the Commencement Address of Manuel V. Pangilinan

  1. Meg says:

    I am not sure how to react to this.

    The way it reads is, if you make large donations; apologize as soon as the Internet spreads the word that your ghostwriter fouls up, and offer to resign from the Board; wait for the Board of Trustees to decline your resignation; then you can stay as Chairman, and make large donations again.

    This is Philippine society. Sigh.

    I am an alumna of ADMU. I wish the Board had accepted Mr. Pangilinan’s resignation and then waited at least a few years for him to show that he is making restitution through his support at the games and for the projects (without being Chairman).

    PS Pls continue your blog. I admire your pro-life and pro-family views.

  2. Meg says:

    Judging from the Facebook fan club of Mr. Pangilinan,
    I am perhaps one of the few alumni who disagrees with the Board’s decision to reject his resignation as Chair.

    I think the ADMU has made a mistake out of charity, while opening up itself to allegations of injustice towards others.

    The way it reads is, if you make large donations; apologize as soon as the Internet spreads the word that your ghostwriter fouls up, and offer to resign from the Board; wait for the Board of Trustees to decline your resignation – then you can stay as Chairman, and make large donations again.

    This is a very bad sign of the way Philippine society addresses its flaws. Sigh.

    I wish the Board had accepted Mr. Pangilinan’s resignation and then waited at least a few years for him to show that he is making restitution through his support at the games and for the projects (without being Chairman).

    Apologizing was the least thing Mr. Pangilinan could do, and offering to resign was the second least.

    But the real noble thing to do is to insist on resigning, and then continuing to offer his time and fund-raising efforts for the ADMU even without the title.

    Then he can really say he made reparation for such a terrible mistake, that he stood tall, that he took command responsibility, and that we are guided morally by his stand.

  3. blackshama says:

    The Ateneo board I am amazed seems not to be aware of responsibility in the corporate sector. The executive TAKES ALL THE BLAME for shortcomings of subordinates, aware or unawares. MVP’s offer to quit is admirable. It actually completes the apology. The Ateneo board to my amazement NEVER GOT THAT IDEA. But then again it is up to MVP. Ateneo has no right to stop him from resigning irrevocably.

  4. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    It may be a good moral investment if the Ateneo Board accepts MVP’s resignation, because plagiarism is a serious offense in Ateneo de Manila.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: