CHED to sue Mandaue City College
- Flor Z. Perolina () - August 10, 2011 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Central Office in Manila will file criminal and administrative cases against the Mandaue City College (MCC) run by Dr. Paulus Maria Cañete.

Lawyer Lily Mildred Milla, CHED’s director for Local Universities and Colleges (LUC), in a teleconference with reporters yesterday said that because Cañete’s school defied the closure order issued in December last year, the commission is now bent on pursuing criminal and administrative cases against Cañete for illegally operating a school.

“He’s the only one recognizing himself,” said Milla.

MCC, however, welcomes the filing of case against them for violating the Education Act.

 Dr. Elmer Ripalda, the dean of MCC’s IT Program, said that although it is CHED’s right to file cases against them, they should also be given due process.

Ripalda pointed out that after they were ordered closed in December last year, their lawyer filed a petition nullifying the closure order. He added that up to now, no hearing has been conducted for their petition.

 CHED should also wait for the decision of the mandamus case they filed in court, added Ripalda, who further stated that CHED has no business encroaching on the court on the issue of legality.

 Furthermore, Ripalda said they will file libel and contempt charges against CHED for maligning their school.

 However, Milla reiterated CHED’s authority and supervision on schools offering higher education courses. The commission, according to her, was never aware of any court proceedings as no communication has reached their office.

 Milla yesterday said that since 2009, they have been sending notices to both the MCC run by Cañete and the other MCC, which is run by Dr. Susana Cabahug, after they learned that both schools failed to comply with the requirements set by the Commission.

 So far, according to Milla, CHED only recognizes the MCC run by Cabahug as it is the only school which complied with their requirements and was able to secure a permit to operate higher education programs.

 She added that since Cañete’s school was ordered closed last December, CHED no longer recognizes the higher education programs it is offering.

 As for the MCC’s pronouncement that they have already complied with all the requirements set by CHED in 2008 and are just waiting for the commission to inspect them again, Milla said they already made an inspection in 2009 and found that MCC does not have a permanent building and its students were holding classes at the corridors of the Eversley Sanitarium hospital.

 On Cañete’s continued defiance of the closure order, Milla said their authority lies only on the operation of the higher education and the physical closure of the school is now the responsibility of the PNP, the DILG and the local government unit.

CHED will soon be sending a letter to enforce the closure order to these government agencies for the physical closure of the MCC –Tipolo campus.

 Aside from the Tipolo campus, CHED will also issue a closure order of MCC’s extension school in Villaba, Leyte .

 Since CHED no longer recognizes Cañete’s school, Milla yesterday advised its students to coordinate with the CHED regional office so they can be assisted in transferring to any school of their choice.

 Milla also assured that the subjects they have taken from Cañete’s school will be accredited once they transfer to a government institution.

 But Milla did not comment on Cañete’s opening of a graduate program wherein most of its students are teachers from the Department of Education.

She said there was no official instruction from the commission on how to deal with these students.

 Earlier, the Professional Regulations Commission announced that it will not allow Cañete’s graduates to take the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) this September unless they present an authority to operate board programs from CHED. The PRC would not also renew the licenses of those who already passed the board exams.

If Cañete wishes to comply with all the requirements for them to operate a school, Milla said they can. But the school would no longer be recognized as MCC. The school would now be a private institution because the commission already recognized the other MCC under the administration of Cabahug.

 Milla also clarified that the authority of the CHED, based on R.A 7722, is both on public and private schools offering higher education programs.

 Earlier, Cañete said they are not under the supervision of CHED but the Association of Local Colleges and Universities (ALCU).

 Milla said that although ALCU is an organization and is an accrediting body of CHED, it could not give permit to operate higher education programs.

 She said that aside from the notice to the public which they earlier released against the school of Cañete for operating illegally and offering spurious degrees, she said the commission also informed all upcoming college students in the province that his school’s program is not legitimate and not recognized by CHED. – (FREEMAN)

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