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ateneo batch 2010 response to manny pangilinan’s plagiarism – calls who disagree with it as “vultures”

Batch 2010’s Official Response to Manuel V. Pangilinan

Dear Mr. Pangilinan,

Graduation is an event marked by people overflowing with triumph and euphoria, with some hint of sadness. It is a time of hanging on to the fond memories of friendship and lessons learned; letting go of the bad things which hinder one’s own and others’ growth; looking forward to the future as the graduates face a brand new chapter in their lives in entering the “real” world; and going with love because it is true that the world would die without it.

Just a day after that momentous event, the Graduation of SOH and SOSS Sesquicentennial Batch 2010, however, I and the rest of my batchmates still in the dark were greeted with the news of other people comparing parts of your commencement address with other previously given addresses by (as far as I know) J. K. Rowling, Barack Obama, Conan O’ Brien and Oprah Winfrey. People were voicing out views, comments and reactions all over the place, specifically on the social networking site Facebook. They ranged from the most negative and severe, the impartial and reflective, to the most supportive and optimistic on your behalf. The enormity with which the incident blew out of proportion, significantly because of media coverage and the internet, seemed astounding in the days that followed. This was then followed with the immediate release of your public apology and you owning up (and taking full and sole responsibility at that) to the mistake many of your detractors have maliciously chosen to point out, highlight, and emphasize. For that alone, you already have our full respect and admiration. Father Ben replied consequently, and asked that you reconsider your decision, after he accepted your apology with much care and understanding.

In view of all these and upon consultation, Batch 2010 would like you to know that like Father Ben, we understand that this incident has caused much personal embarrassment and pain on your part. And also with Father Ben, the Batch accepts your earnest apology wholeheartedly, and also utterly respects the fact that you do take full responsibility, even though the whole thing was not entirely of your doing.

Also like Father Ben, the Batch would have to disagree with your decision of retiring from your duties in the Ateneo, especially for the Ateneo community. The Batch recognizes that your response to what has become a sort of fiasco for waiting vultures was apt for a man such as you, and we can only imagine your distress throughout this whole unfortunate event – enough that you would claim that “wala na akong mukhang maihaharap.” Speaking in behalf of the alumni and undergraduates of the university, we indeed recognize that you are very much valued by the Ateneo community; so much so that it is believed we are fully equipped in moving on, learning, and going forward from this whole regrettable occurrence. And enumerating everything you have contributed to the Ateneo would be futile and overwhelming, to say the least; hence, I will refrain from doing so here.

As you must have felt that the events which unfolded were out of your hands, we too believe that your decision in the end is also beyond our grasp – it is between you, Father Ben, and the Board of Trustees. It has always been an honor that a man such as your magnanimity, innovation, dedication, and ardent spirit chose to be prominently of service to and for the Ateneo; and we sincerely hope you continue gracing us with that honor despite whatever ultimate decision you make. You, together with other Ateneo visionaries, were given the gift of having the capacity to change lives – lives which work and thrive from being inspired and motivated by you – through your life right now and beyond. Now, more than ever, we need someone who can show us how to deal with challenges, the way you have handled this situation with courage and utmost humility.

Sincerely yours,

Gregorio Ramon A. Tingson
Sanggunian ng mga Mag-aaral ng mga Paaralang Loyola
Pamantasang Ateneo de Manila
Academic Year 2009-2010
Ateneo de Manila University Batch 2010

date posted: 2010-04-12 15:03:36

  1. PV Ferrer
    April 16, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Mr. Tingson, you are not the only alumni concerned here. Please DO NOT speak in totality as “Speaking in behalf of the alumni and undergraduates of the university”. I do not recall appointing you to speak on my behalf nor would I consider your opinion expressed in that letter as mine. Your self-importance and presumptuous self-appointment as spokesperson for the alumni and undergraduates is misplaced.

    Better start looking at life beyond the Ateneo since you’ve graduated already. Its not the only way of life. And with this blessed plagiarism, I suggest you start looking for a better way other than the “Ateneo Way” lest you get waylaid in your bright future.

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