“No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press... (Sec. 4, 1987 Philippine Constitution)”
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines/18 April 2012 by Vic Larato—Dr. Milabel Enriquez-Ho is now the president of the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) after six of 10 members of the Board of Regents voted in her favor during the election last Monday at the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) national office in Manila.
Ho bested three other candidates for the WMSU presidency, namely, University Board Secretary Dr. Armando Arquiza, who garnered four votes, College of Science and Math dean Dr. Marilou Elago and College of Nursing dean Dr. Gloria Florendo.
Serving WMSU for almost 34 years now, Professor Ho rose from the ranks, from being a visiting lecturer to accredited Professor V and has served such positions in the University as Board Secretary, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Research and Extension Development and various other designations.
She is the rightful successor to former WMSU president Dr. Grace J. Rebollos, whose four-year term expired in September 2011.
In an interview over the phone yesterday, Dr. Ho expressed her profound thanks and gratitude foremost to the WMSU Board of Regents, the entire WMSU family and the Zamboangueños in general for supporting her bid for the WMSU presidency.
“I thank all of them for their support. It’s now time to buckle down to work and I call on my WMSU family, let us unify all our efforts and programs for the advancement of the university,” Ho said, adding that she will be convening any time soon the University’s executive management committee on matters that need to be discussed and some other things to be done.
To recall, the WMSU presidency was left vacant after Dr. Rebollos’s term expired in September 2011. Three women candidates vied for the position. They were former CHED Commissioner Dr. Luningning Umar, Dr. Ho and Dr. Elago.
Dr. Umar won in the first election and officially occupied the post on November 15, 2011. However, her stint in the WMSU presidency was short-lived. This, after the Civil Service Commission disqualified her from the position on account of her being a CHED commissioner who had direct supervision over the very institution she wanted to lead as president.
The issue resulted in a legal controversy, haunting the WMSU presidency until finally, the CSC declared Umar’s election null and void from the very beginning. In effect, WMSU did not have a sitting president since Rebollos left the office in September of 2011.
After seven months, the WMSU Board of Regents met last Monday and elected Dr. Ho as the new University president, succeeding Rebollos.
The Board of Regents is chaired by CHED Commissioner Patricia Licuanan with Sen. Eduardo Angara and Rep. Juan Eduardo Angara, chairmen of the Senate and House Committees on Higher Education, NEDA 9 Regional Director Teresita Socorro Ramos, WMSU Alumni Association President Charlie Mariano, WMSU Faculty Union President Grace Alasco, WMSU Student Council President Alvin Rex Lucero and Private Sector representative Servando Evangelista. (Vic Larato)
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