Student orgs assail First Lady’s inclusion in WVSU law school

By John Noel E. Herrera and Jennifer P. Rendon

Several student organizations in West Visayas State University (WVSU) disagreed with the decision of the administration to include First Lady Louise “Liza” Araneta-Marcos as one of the professors under its Juris Doctor program.

Sandigan ng Mag-aaral para sa Sambayanan (SAMASA)-WVSU condemned the decision of the university and said that as an academic institution, WVSU should never give the Marcos family a platform to continuously spread disinformation.

“The SAMASA-WVSU strongly condemned the inclusion of Marcos, Jr.’s wife, Louise Areneta-Marcos to the WVSU Law as one of its professors. Her inclusion, especially being assigned to teach Criminal Law shows a loss of respect for the law, especially for the defenders of the law,” the statement read.

The WVSU-University Students’ Alliance (USA) also said that the organization “does not tolerate any person who, by reason, is an accessory to historical distortion by advocating people watch films that are produced to change the narratives of history.”

“May we remind our fellow Taga-West that our organizations should be founded on our causes and on the integrity that we hold and uphold,” USA added.

Meanwhile, WVSU Federated Student Council said in a statement that they are firm in their resistance towards the acceptance of Lisa Araneta-Marcos’ application as part-time faculty of the College to teach Criminal Law 1.

“The decision of the university to admit the First Lady to teach law is a slap on the face, not only to the core values that the institution enshrines, but also an insult to the justice system. A wife of a current president that faces tax evasion cases that will teach Criminal Law would be a grave insult to the victims of the Martial Law led by her late father-in-law, who ruled as a despot and a dictator, who until now seeks justice,” part of the statement read.

The WVSU University Student Council, through a joint statement with WVSU-College of Law students also lamented the inclusion of Araneta-Marcos and called other students and organizations from other universities to join them in resisting the decision of the WVSU administration.

The National Union of People’s Lawyers in Panay also issued a statement following the appointment of Araneta-Marcos as a professor of WVSU-COL.

“Accepting the application of Araneta-Marcos to teach in WVSU-COL runs afoul of the tenets of the legal profession. The Marcoses have a long record of graft and corrupt practices, and human rights violations supported by judicial decisions, as well as blatant moves of historical revisionism, fake news peddling, and dis- and misinformation campaigns,” part of the statement read.

WVSU President Dr. Joselito Villaruz said in a radio interview that the first lady applied as part-time faculty of the WVSU-COL and underwent a regular process of submitting her documents for evaluation and processing.

Villaruz said that the university accepted applicants based on their credentials and teaching performance, regardless of their physical appearance, social status, or political stands.

“In our merit and selection plan, we indicated that regardless of age, color, political affiliations, or beliefs, we cannot deny an application just because the applicant has a different belief,” Villaruz added.

Villaruz has also stressed that the university did not ask for her to teach. Instead, she applied.

Teaching in law school, though, is not something foreign for Mrs. Marcos. She used to teach at Mariano Marcos State University, St. Louis University, Northwestern University, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, and Far Eastern University.

Mrs. Marcos reportedly wanted to teach at WVSU because her father, Manuel “Manolet” Araneta, is a native of Jaro, Iloilo City.