This is not to set the record straight with regards to unfounded accusations being circulated by someone whose unbridled ambition fell woefully short of expectations.
Simply put, there is nothing to correct. As far the majority is concerned, no bribery, not even a semblance of it, occurred during the voting for the presidency of the Catanduanes State University.
As early as a week before the June 24, 2021 special meeting of the CatSU Board of Regents, we already had an inkling, nay, a feeling of certainty, that Dr. Patrick Alain T. Azanza had already secured the majority of votes needed.
The selection committee had given Dr. Azanza scores in the high nineties, including a perfect 100, for his performance during the Public Presentation of the three candidates.
In stark contrast, the two other aspirants both earned scores ten points lower. The race was never too close to call; it was, in fact, a rout at 8-2.
In the academic environment where meritocracy holds sway, there was no way most of the regents, who are all accomplished professionals in their own fields, could turn their back on excellence that is so evident.
In a private conversation with the aspirant, counsel was given for the candidate to consider backing off from the race but this was flatly rejected.
For several days, I considered the pros and cons of my vote, weighed down by the candidate’s presumption on the basis of our friendship and the dictates of a conscience honed by decades of professional experience.
In the end, I chose to vote for Dr. Azanza.
It was a decision that I felt was not only wise but also proper, something which earned plaudits from the discerning public which had closely monitored the proceedings at CatSU.
Unfortunately, my vote came under fire from the losing camp, which lost no time in contacting prominent people, including members of the clergy, regarding my alleged receipt of cash from backers of Dr. Azanza.
I kept my cool and stilled my voice, understanding the emotions of one whose cherished dream had just been dashed to pieces, perhaps irreparably.
To finally speak out on this issue is not borne out of frustration with the continued personal attacks against me but is intended to enjoin the public to consider where these baseless accusations are coming from and why they are being made.
To the people of Catanduanes who have known me officially and those who consider me an acquaintance or a friend, you know the real truth.
I would not have lasted in the academe for as long as I have, if I had compromised my integrity at any time in the past.
The fact that the public warmly welcomes the 8-2 vote, and the initial initiatives being undertaken by the new president, more than validates the path I chose.
True, a vote on the basis of friendship would not have affected the result. But then, I could not have performed my sworn duty and responsibility as a regent.
The Board of Regents did what it was supposed to do: give our beloved university the leadership that the students and the faculty rightfully deserve.
Dr. AIDA A. DIANELA
CatSU Board of Regents