The Office of the Student Regent (OSR) of Western Visayas State University (WVSU) has expressed its firm “resistance” to the acceptance of First Lady Lisa Araneta-Marcos as a part-time faculty of the College of Law.

In a statement posted in its official Facebook page, the OSR said allowing Araneta-Marcos to teach Criminal Law 1 is a “slap on the face” not only of the university but also of the “justice system.”

The council said WVSU has survived the “darkest part of history” during the dictatorship of the late president Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and “inviting another Marcos inside the university is blatant disrespect to the Martyrs of the Marcos’ Martial Law in Iloilo.”

“Giving her this platform to teach will only widen their disinformation campaign and their illusion that the Marcos family can run away from their legal obligations from a long line of Supreme Court decision implicating their family of various offenses,” said the statement.

The council also emphasized how Araneta-Marcos’s claim to being a member of the New York bar which was debunked by the New York State Bar Association, along with other cases and court decisions against her husband’s family.

In two years, WVSU will produce its first graduates from its college of law. It is the only state university in the entire Western Visayas that offers a law degree program.

“We want to protect the sanctity of their dreams and their reputation unblemished. If not, our pioneering lawyers will just be seen by many as products of a law school that is a Marcos enabler. Worse, we will be producing lawyers only to be discarded and frowned by many as someone who underwent a Marcos training,” the statement reads.

Last Aug. 6, a group of WVSU law students called university officials and fellow students to resist giving the first lady an opportunity to teach at the university. In a statement written in Filipino, the students said it will never be a good example to students to have a Marcos at the university since they see the Marcoses as law violators who have yet to answer for their crimes against the nation.

 

WVSU President Dr. Joselito Villaruz told local reporters that the first lady’s application was accepted based on the regular process of admitting part-time workers to their Juris Doctor program.

Villaruz insists that all applicants are equally assessed and accepted based on their credentials and teaching experiences, among other considerations regardless of their political views and social status.

“Probably the reason why she (Mrs. Marcos-Araneta) applied to teach (is that) her roots are from Iloilo also. Maybe she realized that she wanted to give back to her hometown,” Villaruz said.

In the 2022 National and Local Elections, former Vice-president Leni Robredo bested President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in most of the areas in Western Visayas, except Aklan and Bacolod City. – Ryan Christopher J. Sorote