THE UNIVERSITY of the Philippines installed Atty. Angelo A. Jimenez, the first-ever Manobo and Mindanaoan president installed by the state institution in 115 years.
The investiture of Jimenez as the UP’s 22nd president was held in UP Mindanao Atrium, in Tugbok, Davao City, on Sept 14.
Senator Cynthia Villar, chairman Prospero “Popoy” de Vera III of the Commission on Higher Education (Ched), UP national scientists, previous presidents, and executive officials from the eight constituent universities were present at the event.
In his inaugural speech, Jimenez said that for the university to take a century before having a President from Mindanao “tells something about Mindanaons especially those who come from Lumad origins have had to contend with.”
“That the boy from Butuan can become president of UP is not my achievement alone but that of all our indigenous peoples who have striven to venture far beyond their visible horizons,” Jimenez said.
He said that being the newly appointed UP president is both an honor and a challenge, which will accept with optimism and enthusiasm.
“Tempered only by my awareness gained over the past seven months of practice that the leadership of this university is one of the country’s heaviest and most complex responsibilities, but it is also an opportunity of a lifetime not just mine but that of my generation, to serve the Filipino people with all I have learned from this institution and from my engagement in the world,” Jimenez said.
He recalls in his speech that during the rechartering of the course of his administration, the word “service” was added to the hallowed motto of UP, which will be his mantra for the next six years.
“Service looks beyond the individual. It reminds all of us that the UP Education has been paid for by the sweat and sacrifice and in some cases the blood of our people and that every UP graduate has a lifelong responsibility to pay back that debt through service to society,” Jimenez said.
“Service will be the ultimate measure of our relevance and success. Service is not an option but part of our duty to lead,” he added.
Jimenez is a labor lawyer and has served in the country’s new Department of Migrant Workers, including the labor migration regulatory framework in countries in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. He was also awarded Presidential citations for his work in ensuring the Filipino workers’ safety during the Israel-Lebanon conflict including a Filipino hostage rescue.
MindaNews photo by MIAH CHRISTINE BONTILAO
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