by Rex Godinez Ortega and Michelle Jeanne C. Caracut, OPI
Police Director General Ronald “Bato” Marapon dela Rosa cancelled his speaking engagement at MSU-IIT’s 47th Commencement Ceremonies (7th Midyear Graduation) to the disappointment of the 538 graduates and their parents, and Institute officials, faculty, and staff members who were excited to have the famous chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) as their commencement speaker.
Dela Rosa, who was able to make it on Wednesday to MSU-Marawi where he was also commencement speaker, cited an important Senate hearing in Manila on Thursday for the cancellation.
In a video message that was played during the commencement ceremonies at the gymnasium yesterday, Dela Rosa apologized to the graduates and to Chancellor Sukarno Tanggol “for being absent”.
“I just received an invitation from the Senate’s Committee on Public Order the other night to shed light on the death of a Korean national inside Camp Crame,” Dela Rosa said in the video message that was recorded while he was still in MSU-Marawi.
Dela Rosa was referring to the case of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo who was allegedly killed right inside the PNP headquarters by corrupt police officers.
“…Nevertheless, I would like to convey my sincere gratitude for inviting me… [and] I would like to express my congratulations to the graduates,” Dela Rosa said.
He also told the graduates to continue dreaming and to stay away from drugs.
“Walang mangyayari sa buhay ninyo kapag kayo ay na-involve sa droga. Sisirain ang buhay ninyo, sisirain ang buhay ng mga mahal sa buhay ninyo, sisirain ang pamilya ninyo, ang lahat ay masisira. So iwasan po niyo ang droga,” Dela Rosa said.
It was Chancellor Tanggol who announced Dela Rosa’s absence when he gave his welcome address at the start of the graduation program.
And, despite the commencement speaker’s nonattendance, the Chancellor proceeded to introduce Dela Rosa before having the video message played.
MSU System President Dr. Habib W. Macaayong conferred the various titles and degrees on the 538 graduates from the Institute’s eight different colleges and schools.
This midyear graduation included students who completed their program on July 2016.
The College of Engineering and Technology (COET) posted the highest number of graduates at 181, followed by the College of Education (CEd) at 111; the School of Computer Studies (SCS) at 83; the College of Science and Mathematics (CSM) at 54; the College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) at 45; the College of Business Administration and Accountancy (CBAA) at 34; the College of Nursing (CON) at two, and the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) at 28.
Present in the graduation ceremonies are the new members of the Board of Regents: Faculty Regent Cecile B. Mambuay, Alumni Regent Luz C. Sevidal-Castro, Student Regent Omar M. Mangona; and the MSU System Officials, MSU-Naawan Chancellor Proserpina G. Roxas, and MSU-IIT Officials.