University of the Philippines Diliman (UP) Chancellor Dr. Fidel R. Nemenzo emerges as the frontrunner going into the final days of the race for the UP presidency, as shown by the growing number of support that Nemenzo has received from various sectors in the UP community. 

To date, a total of 380 faculty members have endorsed Nemenzo from UP constituent units in Diliman, Manila, Los Baños, Cebu, Baguio, Visayas, Mindanao and the Open University. 

Significant support for Nemenzo has emerged among Emeritus Professors with 59 signing a statement endorsing the UPD Chancellor. 

They include 10 National Artists and National Scientists, former UP Presidents Emerlinda Roman and Emmanuel Soriano, and former Chancellors Priscilla S. Macansantos (Baguio), Cristina Padolina (UP Open U), and Ida M. Siason (Visayas). 

National Artists include Ryan Cayabyab, Benedicto “Bencab” Cabrera, Ricky Lee, Gemino Abad, Virgilio Almario, and Ramon P. Santos.   National Scientists include Raul V. Fabella, Lourdes Cruz, Gavino Trono and Fr. Bienvenido Nebres.

 “Fidel Nemenzo embodies the UP DNA: he will never sell out to higher powers (honor) while being embracive of new knowledge and technologies (excellence),’’ said Raul V. Fabella, National Scientist for Economics, UP Professor Emeritus for Economics, and former Dean of the UP School of Economics,

National Artist for Music Ramon P. Santos, who is also Professor Emeritus for Music, said: “Dr. Nemenzo is a mathematician who has initiated cutting edge programs in data science and intelligent systems. But he has also shown much understanding, appreciation and support for the humanities. I have had discussions and conversations with Dr. Nemenzo on music and cultural heritage, and have observed that his appreciation of disciplines from the sciences to the humanities have informed his views and plans in the university.”

The Emeritus Professors represent the whole range of academic disciplines at UP, namely the social sciences and economics, the natural sciences and mathematics, health sciences, art and humanities, business and public administration, women and gender studies, engineering, area studies, and computer science. 

Among the emeritus professors are former Education Secretary Leonor Briones, two former NEDA Director Generals – Gerardo Sicat and Dante B. Canlas, and several former College Deans from the different constituent UP units.

UP Professor Emeritus for Psychology Violeta Bautista, PRC 2022 Outstanding Professional in Psychology, believes that Nemenzo will make a very good president of UP. “He has a total person approach to education, addressing not only the students’ intellect but also their mental health and wellbeing. As Chancellor he has boosted the university’s mental health program from end to end… from instituting policies to aggressively hiring mental health professionals and volunteers, encouraging research, publication, training and advocacy. He can do more when he presides at the system level,” Bautista said.

The student councils of UP Diliman and UP Baguio and the student paper, Philippine Collegian, have also issued endorsement statements for Nemenzo. There is an ongoing signature campaign among alumni and administrative and research and extension staff where thousands have already signified their support for Nemenzo. From the, 134 have signed up as well. The UP Board of Regents meets on Friday December 9, 2022 to vote on the UP Presidency.