Thirst for a wider horizon: An assessment of CMCSC 2013-2014

Weeks of campaigns and debates all lead to one thing: a new line-up of students leaders expected to serve the college for another academic year. Before the seats become occupied by new faces, there is a need to assess the current council’s performance.

Weeks of campaigns and debates all lead to one thing: a new line-up of students leaders expected to serve the college for another academic year.

In March last year, 13 seats for the College of Mass Communication Council (CMCSC) were filled, dominated by local party Interdependent Student-Centered Activism (ISA) with eight seats. ISA standard bearers Anj Sebastian and Macky Manicad lead this year’s council as chairperson and vice chairperson. The incumbent treasurer, journalism representatives, and film representatives, meanwhile, come from the local arm of the Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP (STAND UP).

CMCSC 2013-2014

But the results of the elections will always remain accelerators to the tale – the green light, but seldom the runway of change and improvements that need to be carried out. Before the seats become occupied by new faces, there is a need to assess the current council’s performance throughout the academic year.

Hits and misses

Aided by her party’s concept of alternative activism, chairperson Anj Sebastian envisioned One Maskom to unify CMC while strengthening its academic core.

The CMC Cup, a college-wide sports competition, was launched December 12 last year and involved students from the Journalism, Film, Broadcast Communication and Communication Research departments in a week-long sportsfest. The Mass Media Students’ Choice Awards, Sebastian’s flagship program, was developed into Gawad Daluyong, dubbed as a “student-initiated award-giving body in the field of media and communication.” Gawad Daluyong awaits its final execution in March.

Manicad’s aptly-named SuperBase aimed to establish a comprehensive database of basic profiles, projects and events of CMC student organizations for ease of publicity and promotion. This initiative, however, was only made during the Alternative Classroom Learning Experience (ACLE) season of the first semester and was not sustained and regularly updated, along with PrimeRead, which was pegged as a primer for the use of facilities and as aid for the annual org recognition in both the local and university levels.

Project FreEdom, spearheaded by Film Representatives Che Tagyamon and Robi Sarmiento, made the Council stand as bridge between students and detainee Maricon Montajes with the former’s continued support.

But there are other projects that were only left printed on campaign flyers. Proposals to streamline the coordination among council, college and org events, as well as to organize the room reservation system (Room-arampa and MASKOM–portable), both under the leadership of incumbent secretary Mari Arambulo, were not systematically implemented. Organizations followed the old rules on room reservations which still caused occasional overlapping schedules and delays. Arambulo clarified on Hot Off the Grill, however, that the administration still needs to familiarize themselves with Google Drive before the new online protocol can be used.

Treasurer Keisha Mayuga’s proposed CMC-walat initiative to publish regular budget updates and discussions on the Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP) did not materialize either.

ObleVision, the moniker for a proposed monthly online news channel on the affairs of the university, proved to be just a vision that never materialized. This was a proposed project of incumbent CMC Representative to the University Student Council (USC) Carla Cucueco, who was earlier criticized for her poor attendance in official meetings of the USC. What was left was a banner project with the USC of a post-SONA analysis forum on the implications of the president’s address to governance, media, economics and the social sciences, dubbed as Kung Ako SONA si PNoy.

Several hits and misses also translate at the level of the department representatives. While some projects pushed through, proposals for workshops, a photojournalism contest, and a CMCSC newsletter remain inexistent as of this writing – barely a month away from the end of the school year.

Need for deeper engagement

Last year, the college saw a myriad of issues clamoring for attention and action. Janet Napoles and the P10-billion pork barrel scam shook national politics and sparked discussions on the lack of transparency and accountability in government. Typhoon Yolanda severely affected the lives and economies of Filipinos especially in Visayas, where the UP Tacloban and Palo campuses are.

There were also threats to UP’s honor and excellence amidst budget cuts, privatization and state neglect, as depicted by the death of  UP Manila student Kristel Tejada, the plagiarism case of UP Diliman graduate student Mark Joseph Solis, the recently-approved STFAP and Student Code revisions, and the shift in the academic calendar from June to August. Among the issues mentioned, the CMCSC failed to release any official statement to assert the stance of the student body. There were attempts to engage students in discussions about these issues by sharing posts through social media, but there were also no projects initiated to concretely address the given issues to the core.

The highlight of council efforts was felt during the Mass Media Awareness Month (MMAM) last November. Launched in 2011, the MMAM is the flagship project of UP CMC. This year, the event was headed by Arambulo and Tagyamon. MMAM kicked off with a series of talks on internet workshop, filmmaking, and broadcast journalism. The fourth year commemoration of Maguindanao Massacre, meanwhile, engaged the students not only in the act of remembering, but also in learning to fight impunity through roundtable discussions, an exhibit, human chain and Lugawan for Maguindanao.

Living up to the duties

With our college’s departments dubbed as Centers of Excellence, UP CMC needs a working council that will uphold the rights and welfare of its students while recognizing that problems within the college are almost always linked to bigger societal issues.

The current council is successful in initiating academic projects which can be avenues for discourses on practice within the field, but the council’s voice needs to resonate across a wider horizon of national, university and college issues—a feat that the next set of elected leaders must consider. Now is the best time to lay out these facts to point out to aspiring CMCSC candidates that the College means business and expects tangible results. CMC will be celebrating its 50th founding anniversary next year, adding to the already growing pressure on their shoulders.

What do we make of empty promises? Beyond witty taglines and well-rehearsed presentations, CMC students look forward to realistic projects and student leaders who are capable of translating from paper to action. – By Mariejo Mariss Ramos, Melissa Luz Lopez, Alyssa Joy Jose, Charmaine Ycasas, Dexter Cabalza, Pathricia Ann Roxas, Bryan Ezra Gonzales, Roleen Camille Delos Reyes and Alliah Czarielle Guerra

(This article was earlier published in Botong Isko 2014, Tinig ng Plaridel’s special election primer. Read it here.) 

Timeline of the Maguindanao Massacre

A timeline of events on the Maguindanao Massacre

Compiled by Justine Jordan

Nov. 23, 2009: Buluan Vice Mayor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu’s wife and sisters, media workers and lawyers were killed by armed men. They were on their way to file Mangudadatu’s certificate of candidacy for the governorship of Maguindanao. A total of 58 people were killed, 32 of them journalists.

Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato City were placed under a state of emergency.

December 2009: Martial Law was declared in Mindanao. Heavy firearms were discovered within a vacant lot about 500 meters away from Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr.’s mansion. Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. was charged with 25 counts of murder.

January 2010: Ampatuan Town Vice Mayor Rasul Sangki said he witnessed a member of the Ampatuan clan, along with his family members, gunning down the victims, who “knelt and begged for their lives.”

February 2010: Ampatuan Jr. pleaded not guilty to the 15 murders charged against him.

March 2010: A witness said he was one of the gunmen, adding that Ampatuan Jr. and Datu Kanor, the Department of Justice’ primary suspect and vice mayor of Salibo, should be locked up. The Quezon City Regional Trial Court dismissed rebellion charges against supporters of the Ampatuan clan, citing lack of evidence.

September 2010: The trial of the Maguindanao massacre case against the Ampatuan clan began at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig. A helper of the Ampatuans claimed the ambush was talked over six days before, at dinner.

June 2011: During his arraignment, Ampatuan Sr. pleaded not guilty. Live coverage of the Maguindanao massacre trial was approved.

July 2011: DOJ rejects Zaldy Ampatuan, son of Ampatuan Sr., to stand as state witness.

October 2011: Two years after the massacre, about a hundred accused remain at large.

November 2011: The International Freedom of Expression Exchange marked Nov. 23 as the International Day to End Impunity, coinciding with the second year of the massacre.

January 2012: Daughter of photojournalist Reynaldo Momay, the 58th victim of the massacre files murder charges against the Ampatuans. His body has not yet been found and could not be officially included in the death tally. However, his dentures were said to be found in the massacre site.

March 2012: Ampatuan Sr. was brought back to jail after being rushed to and confined in a military hospital for two weeks.

May 2012: Arraignment for the 58th murder case in the Quezon City Regional Trial Court.

October 2012: The Supreme Court retracted its decision of allowing the public to watch Maguindanao Massacre trial in order to protect the rights of the witnesses and suspects.

November 2012: As a tribute to the third year of the massacre, members of the College of Editors’ Guild gathered to protest in front of Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

February 2013: First state witness of the Maguindanao Massacre trial is Sukamo Badal, former vice mayor of Sultan sa Barongis town in Maguindanao.

Relatives of 14 of the 58 killed in the massacre signed an agreement to allow an emissary to negotiate a P50-million settlement through Jun Chan, allegedly an agent of the Ampatuans.

March 25, 2013: Chan, the emissary, was killed in an ambush in General Santos City a month after the agreements were signed.

May 2013: Several Ampatuans were elected in Maguindanao despite the ongoing trial. A total of 78 suspects pleaded not guilty for the murder of Momay.

July 2013: Students, media groups and widows of the victims commemorated the 44th month since the massacre at the UP College of Law.

November 2013: Only eight of the 96 suspects have been arrested four years after the massacre. Lawyers of the kin of the victims have appealed for help from international organizations, such as the United Nations and the ASEAN.



Ineligibility tagging alarms students: UP’s painful enrollment process

Ineligible students suffer the technical glitches in the registration process. ARA VILLENA

By Melissa Luz Lopez

Juan Alcanices, a transferee student from the Trinity University of Asia, was all set for the enrollment second semester this year. After all, he had already submitted his Bracket B certification form, his family’s income tax return and the vicinity map of their residence – requirements for the Socialized Tuition Financial Assistance Program (STFAP)

He was then caught by surprise when he was stopped from proceeding with the registration process come enrollment: he was tagged as ineligible by the Office of Scholarships and Student Services (OSSS).

The OSSS required him to submit his separated parents’ annulment papers to confirm that he belonged to Bracket B. “Makukuha ko yung Bracket B kasi separated yung parents ko, meaning mom ko lang yung nage-earn ng money. Mas kaunting money, mas kailangan ko ng support from the school (I will be placed at Bracket B because my parents are separated. Only my mom earns money for my school. With little money, the more I needed the support from the school),” he said.

At first, Alcanices was reluctant to submit the papers since he wanted to keep his family’s situation confidential, but he had to comply with the rules.

Submitting the documents was a hassle for Alcanices, since he was in a rush to enlist more subjects for his first stay in UP. There was a long line at the OSSS but only one computer was being used to entertain those students settling their ineligibilities, he said.

Alcanices’ story is not an isolated case. More students have experienced the rigor brought about by technical glitches and heavy requirements in the University’s enrollment process.

Ineligibility tagging

The revision of the Enrollment Eligibility, a module of the UP Diliman’s Computerized Registration System (CRS), stirred alarm to some students before enrollment for the second semester this year. The Enrollment Eligibility module was upgraded to let various UP offices tag students with ineligibilities through their CRS accounts.

By incorporating this module, the Office of the University Registrar (OUR) aims to go paperless by going online, according to University Registrar Dr. Evangeline Amor.

Amor described this module as an “accountability module,” where students are reminded of their accountabilities beforehand so they could settle their ineligibilities prior to the registration period.

A student is tagged ineligible if he or she failed to submit the Bracket B certification, pay the loan, among other reasons.

The purpose of tagging students is then to call their attention to settle their ineligibilities such as in the STFAP, assessment or in loans, said OSSS officer-in-charge Richard Philip Gonzalo.

“Tagging is one of the means to remind the students na meron silang accountability… Tina-tag ka para pumunta ka rito sa office to remind you na meron kang obligation to pay (Tagging is one of the means to remind the student that they have an accountability. We are tagging you so you could go to the office and be reminded that you have an obligation to pay),” Gonzalo added.

When tagged as ineligible, a student can participate in the CRS preenlistment, but is not allowed to proceed with the succeeding registration procedures unless he or she has cleared the ineligibility.

Loans and STFAP

Sara Bangayan, a second year Journalism student, came from a family of five. Her mother assists in her uncle’s business, earning P8,000 per month, while her father, an airport maintenance employee, rakes in P10,000 a month, exclusive of taxes.

Though both of her parents are working, their wages are not enough to meet all of their family’s financial needs, Bangayan said.

To be able to enroll in the first semester, Bangayan went to the OSSS for a student loan. But due to money constraints, she was not able to pay off the loan before the second semester enrollment.

For this, she was tagged as ineligible.

When she first saw her ineligibility, Bangayan was not able to pay at once for she did not have the money for it. She had to take her younger brother’s tuition to finally pay off the loan.

In a way, Bangayan finds the tagging system inconvenient to the students. “Kasi, ipinapamukha nila na napakairesponsable kong estudyante at hindi ako nagbabayad ng dues on time (They make it appear as if we are irresponsible students who cannot pay on time),” she said.

Bangayan saw her STFAP bracket as the reason she could not pay off her loan on time. She was placed in bracket C, but she believed that she deserves to be in bracket D.

Kasalanan ko bang hindi namin kayang magkapera kaagad kaya hindi rin ako nakakapagbayad on time? (Is it my fault we can’t afford to have the money to pay on time?)” she said.

In her case, Bangayan knew that she could only do one thing: pay on time. But her family’s financial situation could not let her do so. She believed that she will encounter the same problem in the future.

Recordkeeping lapses

For two semesters in a row, Mico Arevalo (not his real name) was tagged as ineligible by the Office of the University Registrar (OUR) for his Form 137, only to find out that his file was with the office all along.

He was tagged a day before enrollment, a big inconvenience on his part.

Arevalo is from the Asian Institute of Tourism (AIT). To clear his ineligibility, he had to go to and from OUR and AIT, the latter located at the other side of Commonwealth Avenue.

Naiinis ako kasi sila naman yung may kasalanan dun sa ineligibility ko. Inosente ako pero ako ang nahihirapan tuwing enrollment (I am frustrated because they are the ones responsible for my ineligibility. I am innocent but I suffer the consequence every enrollment),” he said.

Meanwhile, another lapse in recordkeeping was why Marlon Fernando, a Computer Science student, was tagged as ineligible.

Fernando was tagged by the College of Engineering for two ineligibilities.

First, he was tagged for a retention policy being implemented by his home college, where Engineering students need to sign on a signature sheet verifying that they passed at least three to four units of their subjects taken in the first semester. Fernando was able to settle this after signing on an online eligibility signup sheet created by the Engineering Student Council.

“It was less hassle since I don’t have to go to UP,” Fernando said.

But there was another ineligibility to be settled. He was also tagged for library accountability.

“I asked help from the UP Diliman CRS group what possible reasons why I was tagged (since I remember that I returned all books I borrowed) and where to settle the ineligibility,” Fernando recalled.

He was told to contact the Engineering Library II. Inquiring about his ineligibility, the librarian said that Fernando had not returned a borrowed book.

“They gave me the details for the accountability and fixed it urgently. A few minutes after the call, I was untagged,” Fernando said.

Careless mistake

Christian Desoloc and Gerald Caalam, both BS Computer Engineering sophomores, were tagged as ineligible for being “underassessed.” A student is underassessed if he or she failed to pay the tuition fee in full.

They later found out that there was a mistake in the assessment of their fees back in the first semester.

Desoloc’s assessed form 5 for the previous semester was short of P315.To settle this ineligibility, he had to go back and forth from the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute, OUR, and Melchor Hall for payment and for untagging.

Medyo naiinis ako about this kasi pwede namang ma-avoid yung situation na ito… Kung naibigay ito nang maaga sa students then wala na sanang problema come enrollment given na na-accomplish ito (I am quite annoyed with this for it could have been avoided… If this information was given to students early, there should have been no problem come enrollment),” Desoloc said.

Meanwhile, Caalam recalled how frustrated he was when he saw his ineligibility. In the middle of his semestral break, he had to go to UP to pay P360 – the amount that was not included in his first semester fees.

According to Amor, the error happened at the college level for they are the ones in charge of the form 5 assessment.

Pre-enrollment panic

The revised Enrollment Eligibility module may have served as a cause of alarm for students, but the University Registrar believed students only need to adjust to this new system.

“Later on, when we get used to the system, force of habit na lang ito,” Amor said of the new module.

The entire purpose of the new module was to “streamline” the registration process, Amor explained.

The only major problem, Amor clarified, is the early launch of the new module which may have surprised the students. The new module did indicate what the students need to do to settle their ineligibility, she added.

“As it is, I think we have an intact registration system already, a working registration system that has become more efficient over the years,” Amor said.

But students’ comments to this new module were far from being an efficient system. The University Student Council Student Rights and Welfare committee head Soraya Escandor said the ineligibility tagging had only caused panic to the students during enrollment.

“That (tagging as ineligible) is a very heavy term as if (students cannot enroll anymore),” Escandor said.

Students who were tagged as ineligible also run out of time during registration period, for they had to settle their accountabilities before they could finally enroll, she said.

Escandor particularly singled out tagging according to the Bracket B certification, which she said was a wrong move by the administration to ensure efficiency in the STFAP.

Effective this school year, all freshmen and transferees are required to submit documents to accompany their STFAP Bracket B certification on or before September 16, according to a memorandum released by the Office of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs dated April 8. Gonzalo said students who failed to submit their Bracket B certification will be immediately placed at Bracket A.

Bakit ba kailangan ng bracket B certification? It’s as if na you’re assuming that the freshmen coming to UP come from bracket B and bracket A families. Wala ka na sa premise na you’re catering to the poorest of the poor (Why is there a need for the Bracket B certification? It’s as if you’re assuming that freshmen in UP come from Brackets A and B families. There is no more premise of catering to the poorest of the poor),” Escandor said.

Show me the money: USC’s failure to publish financial reports

For the past 30 years, the USC has failed to make its financial reports public. GIAN JEREMY SUYAT

By Karlitos Brian Decena, Gianfranco Geronimo and Dawnavie Dadis

Fifteen years ago, Ibarra Gutierrez III did the unusual: he served as the student council chairperson of the University of the Philippines Diliman just three months after his term as the editor-in-chief of UP’s official publication, the Philippine Collegian.

But Gutierrez’s uniqueness did not change an old misdeed the University Student Council (USC) has been doing through the years. In fact, he just shrugged it off.

“Since it was not being enforced anyway, nobody felt the need to, I suppose, comply with it,” Gutierrez said. “I can’t even recall a single USC that did that.”

The USC has, over the years, ignored a simple yet crucial provision in its constitution (see here: 1980 USC constitution), raising issues on whether or not the council is accountable enough to students whose tuition comprise a big chunk of its funds.

Issues of the Collegian for the past 30 years archived for this report revealed that since the creation of the USC constitution in 1980, only seven student councils published their financial reports in the newspaper. Art. VIII, Sec. 4 of the constitution requires the publication of the council’s financial report in the Collegian every semester.

A wide gap of years divides every USC financial report that graces the Collegian. Worse, all of the reports failed to comply with the requirements of the constitution. It took 12 years from the creation of USC constitution for the first statement of finances to come out, during the time of Angelo Jimenez as the USC chair in 1991.

However, Jimenez’s report, the only one during the 1990s, covered only first half of his term.

No reports were published during the 1980s, the period when the constitution was created.

Eleven years passed before the next financial report of the council was published under the leadership of Rommel Romato in 2002. However, the report still failed to obey the constitution as it only covered the first semester of the academic year.

The 2002 USC financial report was followed by five other councils – under JPaul Manzanilla in 2003, Kristian Ablan in 2004, Shahana Abdulwahid in 2007, Herminio Bagro III in 2008 and Titus Tan in 2009. The 2000s was a major turnaround from the past decades as six statements of finances were published during that time.

These councils, however, still failed to comply with the provision, as they published the financial reports only once during their terms.

Interviews with some former council chairpersons and Collegian editors for the past 30 years cited various reasons for not following the constitution. Gutierrez claimed the records suddenly disappeared when they were about to make the financial report.

“For some strange reason, all the records… (they were) all lost!” Gutierrez said.

He said the record-keeping system of the council was not secure, resulting to a loss of important documents that the council only realized during the final days of their term.

Meanwhile, 2009 USC Chairperson Titus Tan cited the problematic transition of power from the outgoing to the incoming councils as the reason for the non-publication of the council’s financial reports.

Preparing the reports and clearing up the council’s funds, Tan said, are usually done at the end of the term – contrary to the semi-annual requirement of the constitution – when most council members have already graduated and lost interest in finishing tasks.

“There is a culture (in the council) that after the term, many (of the council members)
disappear,” Tan said.

Former Collegian Editor-in-Chief Herbert Docena also said that he would have published the council’s finances if the USC gave him its reports.

“I don’t remember him (USC chair) or any other council member giving the Collegian a copy of their financial statement,” said Docena, the 2000 Collegian chief. “And it would certainly have been newsworthy (if it was published).”

List of financial reports submitted by the USC from 1980-2010. INFOGRAPHIC BY DAWNAVIE DADIS

But the USC should not be solely blamed for breaking the rules. After all, it is the Collegian that has the say as to what issue and page section the financial reports would come out.

Former Collegian editor-in-chief Raphael Lotilla said pressing issues during his time pushed aside the release of the financial statement of the USC.

“I recall the requirement of publication of the financial report, but the (student population) was occupied with the Aquino assassination and the waves of events that swept through our student lives at that time,” said Lotilla, the newspaper’s head in 1983.

Another former staffer, Bernard Cobarrubias, said the USC furnished them a copy of a financial report, but his fellow editors argued against its publication due to lack of space in the newspaper.

“I recall that the Collegian had no space for it, to the dismay of the then USC reps,” said Cobarrubias, who served as the features editor before becoming the Collegian editor-in-chief in1993.

Compared to other USC-related stories that consistently appeared in its issues, such as yearly assessments and the attendance of the council members for the whole term, most of the financial reports were almost unnoticeable to the readers.

In fact, only four of the seven financial reports published in the Collegian occupied at least half of the paper’s page. The rest only occupied small spaces of the Collegian – comparable to the sizes of today’s classified ads. Two financial reports came with an article – in 2002 when a feature story about the history of the USC was put alongside the statement of funds, and the 2008 report when it was accompanied by an article on the assessment of the USC for the 100th anniversary of UP.

Cobarrubias, now a lawyer, said this issue is reflective of how independent the Collegian is from the USC.

“On USC’s part, they may presumably just want to comply with the requirement… But on the Collegian’s part, it would want to exercise its broad editorial prerogative,” Cobarrubias said.

But whichever of the council or Collegian is at fault, neither institution strictly followed the constitution. The reason, Tan said, is the constitution’s lack of a “penalizing mechanism” that would assure all of its provisions followed and its violators liable.

“So even if that certain council did not release (the financial reports), they would get away with it because there is no mechanism to run after them,” Tan said. “The only thing that would make them do so is accountability from the students.”

Tan believes that students should demand the USC to make its finances public.

“(What is needed) is pressure from the students. When it’s your term, it’s your (the council) name that is in it (financial reports),” he said.

Napoleon Poblador, the 1982 Collegian chief, also pointed out that the provision is necessary to ensure the funds of the council are spent on reasonable activities and projects.

“Students have the right to know how the money they contribute is being spent by the people they elect to man the USC,” Poblador said. “These people, being only human, will be tempted to abuse their prerogatives (if the provision is not followed).”

Last year’s USC chairperson Rainier Sindayen echoed the same sentiments, saying that students should be well-informed with how the USC works with its finances.

However, no financial reports were published during Sindayen’s term, citing the resignation of their finance committee head as a reason.

“Due to the inefficiency of our finance committee, we were not able to make a financial report,” Sindayen said.

Current USC chairperson Jemimah Garcia, meanwhile, vows to fix this dilemma under her watch.

“Rest assured that our Finance Committee is a hardworking committee,” Garcia said. “This USC will release its semestral financial reports through the Oblation (USC’s official publication), and more importantly through the Philippine Collegian, as mandated by the USC Constitution.”

Sindayen, however, rejected the idea of amending the constitution to resolve this practice of the council.

“I think the house rules would suffice to address that in the interest of transparency and accountability to our constituents,” Sindayen said.

Tan, meanwhile, said that a system involving other offices in the university is needed to ensure that both the council and the Collegian abide to the rules.

“These kinds of mechanisms (are needed) to hold accountable (those who do not follow the rules), ” Tan said.

But Gutierrez, now a law professor at UP, remains unfazed with the issue, saying there is really no big deal publishing the financial reports of the council.

“Even if the formal requirement was not followed, I don’t think that there was injury done to everyone,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez added that the students would have little interest on it since the council funds are too small.

“I suppose the amounts concerned are very trivial,” Gutierrez said. “I can’t even remember one meeting that we were given one softdrink.”


This report was originally written by journalism students Decena, Geronimo and Dadis for their investigative reporting class last semester.