Malacañang: SWU med school stays open

By: Vanessa Claire Lucero February 02,2016 - 10:50 PM

Medical students of Southwestern University (SWU) can now heave a sigh of relief with the latest order from the Office of the President upholding its decision to stop the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) from closing the College of Medicine.

In an order dated Jan. 12, 2016, Malacañang denied the motion for reconsideration filed by CHEd against the stay order. It was signed by Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra.

The same order also cited a Court of Appeals resolution in September last year which acknowledged Malacañang’s “primary jurisdiction” over the case.

“Right now, the position of SWU is OP has jurisdiction over this case. The office has denied the motion for reconsideration from CHEd and has reiterated its position that there´s a stay order, therefore the CHEd resolutions cannot be implemented,” said SWU President and Chairman Dr. Chito Salazar.

“Therefore, our students should be given the documents they deserve. Our foreign students need to get their certificates of eligibility, and the refusal of CHEd to do this is prejudicial against the students and in violation of the orders of the office of the president,¨ Salazar added.

He read a copy of the order in a press conference yesterday.

Malacañang stopped the implementation of CHEd’s cease-and-desist order against SWU College of Medicine.

The commission recognizes only the Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine Inc. (MHAM) as having the authority to operate a college of medicine.

“We can breathe easier now. Finally, some good news,” said third year medical student Jonathan Casio.

Casio, 49, and his two children, Dwight Casio (first year) and Vanc Casio (second year), are among the nearly 600 medical students in SWU-CM who have been affected by the ongoing controversy.

Some 23 graduates have not been issued by CHEd their special orders (SO) for graduation, which are required for the medical board exams in the third quarter of this year.

As many as 60 international students also need certificates of eligibility for their visa renewal.

Many of the international students have confirmed that they are already overstaying and have not been able to renew their visas since last year.

Salazar added that due to CHED’s continued refusal to comply with the school’s requests for special orders and certificates of eligibility to be issued to the concerned students, SWU will be filing a contempt case against the commission.

Jake Visera, a third year medical student and one of the representatives of the medical student body, added that the students are also considering filing their own case against CHED.

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TAGS: Cebu, Commission on Higher Education, Southwestern University

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