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Mandaue City College tug-of-war: Graduating studes caught in crossfire

CEBU, Philippines - With the controversy hounding the school, it has become very to graduate from the Mandaue City College and more than 100 students surely feel it.

This prompted an official of the other MCC (Jagobiao campus) to ask the Ombudsman to help the more than 100 students, who might not be able to graduate because their scholastic records are allegedly held hostage by the director appointed by Mayor Jonas Cortes.

Dr. Elmer Repalda, dean of the MCC department of information technology and engineering, yesterday asked Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Pelagio Apostol to do something to help the 108 graduating students.

Repalda called up Apostol during the anti-graft body’s weekly radio program aired over dyLA to bring to the latter’s attention the plight of the students.

According to Repalda, they have scheduled the graduation on March 27, but they could not go on with the evaluation because the complete scholastic records of the students are in the custody of Dr. Susana Cabahug.

Cabahug is the president of the other MCC, which Cortes recognizes.

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The other MCC campus under Dr. Paulus Cañete, where Repalda is a dean, is not recognized by the local government.

The leadership squabble of the MCC has already reached in court with Cañete’s group questioning Cabahug’s authority.

Cabahug, backed-up by the mayor, has also filed counter charges against Cañete for allegedly refusing to step down.

At the height of the tug-of-war between Cañete and Cabahug last year, the records of the students were allegedly taken by Cortes himself and were turned over to Cabahug.

According to Repalda, they have asked for the records of the students from Cabahug for them to be able to do the evaluation to determine who among the 108 students will graduate.

However, Cabahug reportedly refused to give the records unless Cañete will make a formal request.

Repalda said Cañete refused to make a written request because he does not acknowledge the legitimacy of Cabahug’s presidency.

Repalda said there are 56 graduating students in associate in information technology; 40 in Hotel and Restaurant Management and 12 in information technology who are waiting for evaluation for graduation.

Repalda said that without the complete records these students will not be conferred for graduation and will likely loss the jobs that are waiting for them in the companies where they undergone their internship.

Apostol ordered an immediate docketing of a request for assistance to attend to the problem as soon as possible.

Apostol advised Repalda to visit the anti-graft office for mediation.

The anti-graft office promised to call Cabahug’s attention on the matter.

Legimtimate MCC

Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes yesterday said that they never took the records of the students of the MCC.

Cortes yesterday said that the MCC, which Dr. Susana Cabahug was appointed as its officer in charge, should be the rightful custodian of such documents because the school under her leadership is the one being recognized by the city government and not the MCC which is being run by Cañete.

Cortes said that if the students of the MCC-Jagobiao campus would wish to get a copy of their records, the city is willing to provide them such. 

In fact, those students who have decided to transfer to other schools after they were informed that the city did not recognize the MCC run by Cañete and that the said school is not even accredited by CHED got a copy of their grades from the city government.

However, Cortes yesterday said that even if the students will be given a copy of their records, but still they cannot graduate from college this month because the school run by Canete was not able to comply with all the requirements of the Commission on Higher Education.

Cortes said that he maintains his stand on a “one school, one campus policy” and has only recognized the MCC under Cabahug, which is presently holding their classes at the vacant rooms of the Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex and not MCC Jagobiao campus run by Cañete.

Cortes said that the Jagobiao campus can even be considered as a private school.

In a separate interview with CHED-7 acting director Cadelario Aytona, he said that they will abide with the stand of the Mayor.

“We are government of Laws not of men,” Aytona said.

Aytona said that what is stipulated in the law is that the mayor should be the one to sit as the chairman of the board of trustees.

He added that he also received instruction coming from their central office in Manila to let the mayor resolve the issue on MCC. — with Flor Z. Perolina/NLQ (THE FREEMAN)

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