Castillo Family Says Death of Atio “Barbaric,” Demands Justice for the Killers

The Death of University of Santo Tomas (UST) law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo III last Monday once again opened the inhuman behavior of some fraternity groups in the Philippines such as the Aegis Juris.

Based on the statement of the Castillo family, they death of the young Castillo is “barbaric” after he joined the brotherhood of the Aegis Juris fraternity and died during the hazing rites.

“Clearly killed by criminals from the Aegis Juris fraternity in a blatant act of hazing,” stated by the family of the victim as quoted by the news online. Adelfa Villar has this statement and given by the Castillo family during the wake of Atio at the Santuario  de San Antonio in Forbes Park, Makati City.

“While the death of Atio is still under investigation, it is clear to us that Atio was killed by criminals from the Aegis Juris fraternity in a blatant act of hazing. We are outraged that barbaric and criminal acts continue to be performed in the false name of brotherhood,” the statement of the family continued.

Villar is the lawyer of the Castillo’s and they are also urging the school and its Dean to help them about the ongoing investigation of the case.

“We call on Dean Nilo Divina to exhibit heroic leadership and champion the rights of Atio, his fallen student, regardless if his affiliation with this fraternity,” said family as quoted by

The loved ones of the killed young Castillo also want the fraternity members to reveal the exact killers and serve justice. They also promised Atio that they will never stop and rest until they get justice for his “barbaric” death.

In line with this issue, one of the primary suspects of the UST law student killing came out on Friday in Taguig City at Senator Panfilo Lacson’s office. The authority identified him as John Paul Solano and this somehow open a good lead to identity the other suspects who took part of the hazing.

Senator Lacson is the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs chairperson and is preparing to investigate the case. Solano has a lawyer with him when he went to the office and the chief of the MPD and the UST Dean are also present.

They did not yet open the wake of Atio in public as requested by his family.


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Senate Questioned Unspent P21.5B DepEd Budget in 2016

Due to the issue about unspent budget from the Department of Education (DepEd) in 2016 amounting to 21.5 billion pesos, the Senate Committee on Finance grilled the officials who attend the hearing on Monday.

The department needs to explain things further before the next budget.

From the latest news reports online, the officials of the Department of Education needed to give their sides in front of the Senate Committee on Finance because of the issue about the unspent 2016 budget of the department. According to the shared information, the committee wants DepEd to explain about the non-spent P21.5 billion budget.

The hearing on Monday focused on weighing in the capacity of the department in spending the allocated budget because the submitted proposal for the 2018 budget is bigger that is amounting to P613.1 billion.

Senator Loren Legarda instructed the education agency to complete and submit their list of infrastructures and programs affected when they returned the money to different unsuitable surplus of the general fund from the government. In addition to this, the lady senator wants them to specify the exact reasons on why they incurred the P21.5 billion budget last year.

“Before we even talk about giving you a new budget, we want to know why you returned P21.5 billion. Last week, we were very disappointed, saddened by the Department of Transportation returning P11.5 billion. Now we see DepEd returning P21.5 billion,” Senator Legarda as detailed by the Inquirer news.

“When we return funds to the Treasury, that means there are people unserved, there are classrooms not rehabilitated, there are books not printed and there are children not helped,” she continued.

The lady senator is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance.

Based on the explanation of the department, they utilized about 12 billion pesos for the teacher positions, 1.3 billion pesos for provision and maintenance of basic education facilities, 5 billion pesos for Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (Gastpe), 3.6 billion pesos for provision of textbooks and instructional materials and 1 billion pesos for the technical vocational supplies, as detailed by the news reports.

DepEd is supposedly to use such budget from its allocations in 2015. However, they just carried the money over the 2016 budget.

Current Education Secretary Leonor Briones attended the hearing and answered the questions in front of the panel on Monday.

Thousands of Professionals Signs Petition, Opposes New CPD Requirements

In a very surprising news update on Monday, almost 43,000 professionals in the Philippines signed a petition online that focuses to inform the rightful agency about that created the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Act about the importance of re-evaluating the license renewal requirements.

The requirements made effective last March and many professionals disagree.

From the latest news report through, almost 43,000 professionals in the Philippines made an effort to sign a petition online through to call the attention of the agency that created the CPD Act. According to Junven Lavapie, it appears that the new requirements are “seemingly unfair” to Filipino professionals and needs proper re-evaluation.

“As professionals in the Philippines, we strive hard to make a living for our families,” Said Lavapie. “That small plastic card we earned through our board exams, which took us four to eight years in college to learn, is an assuring edge for our tenureship. Honestly, a lot of us now feel that having our licenses is more of a burden than a privilege,” he added.

The 23-year-old Lavapie is a civil engineer and adding that the requirements may cause professionals much time and money because they will need to attend trainings and seminars.

The young engineer likewise revealed that if the Philippine government will have programs that can support the needs of the professionals and subsidize the CPD programs, the requirements can be acceptable.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is responsible in creating the CPD Act, which aim to require all professionals to complete their CDP units and if they pass, they can then renew their licenses through PRC.

The Professional Regulation Commission already issued new rules about the implementing of the law and a professional need to complete the required units before renewing the professional license.

The news report added that engineers, medical practitioners and architects need to pass about 45 units and 120 units for the accountants before their renewal.


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QC Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte Explains for Not Suspending Classes

Because of not suspending the classes in Quezon City yesterday (July 27, 2017), Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte received negative comments and criticisms from many people, especially the parents of the affected students due to typhoon “Gorio.”

Many parents did not hide their disappointment with the Vice Mayor of Quezon City because of not suspending the classes despite the heavy rainfall on Thursday.

From the statement of Belmonte, she cannot immediately cancel the classes like what the other nearby cities did in Metro Manila. Even if they criticized her, she stands firm on her decision and accepting the negative comments posted through a social media networking site online.

The lady Vice Mayor explained that she decided not to suspend the classes in all levels in the city based on the information of the forecasted weather condition on Thursday. According to her statement published through Facebook, she discussed the matters with Michael Marasigan even before Thursday because the weather agency confirmed that there will be no heavy rainfall in Metro Manila.

Marasigan is the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) acting chief of Quezon City.

“It was a challenge for us not to be swayed by the bandwagon effect,” said Belmonte. The lady city official alludes to other local governments that already suspended their classes on Wednesday afternoon, as quoted by

Belmonte also explained that it is not easy to suspend the classes because almost 30% of the children in the elementary level had been missing classes, which seriously affected their regular studies to learn better.

In line with this, there are disappointed parents and netizens who posted their sentiments online.

One of them said that the Vice Mayor is lucky for not residing in an area where flooding is not an issue. Another comment stated that although it is right to prioritize education, it is not possible to sacrifice the health of the students in place of education.

Some even called her “insensitive” as reported by the news online.


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Nigeria Has 10.5M “Out-of-School” Children, Largest in the World

In the latest news about Nigeria, the country’s secretary of the education ministry Adamu Hussaini revealed that Nigeria has the most number of “out-of-school” children in the world.

Based on the record, it has almost 10.5 million of uneducated children.

The secretary of the education ministry of Nigeria revealed that the country has the most numbers of children who did not get an opportunity to study in a school, according from the online report. Secretary Hussaini said that currently, there are almost 10.5 million of recorded “out-of-school” youth in the country and this is a saddening record to consider.

He revealed this issue at the 62nd National Council on Education (NCE) opening in Kano, Nigeria.

The education permanent secretary reveals concern that this kind of problem affecting the Nigerian children will seriously affect the objective of the country to achieve success through proper education.

“Almajiri-children, those of the nomadic pastoralists, boy and girl-child drop out, social miscreants, children living with disability, those of migrant fisher men and more recently, children displaced by insurgency, constitute the bulk of the affected children,” Adamu explained as quoted by the news.

Another sad issue about the education of children in Nigeria is that no sufficient investments are coming from the country to support the youth. This is regardless of the strong effort of both local and international sectors to help the country improve its education system and promotion.

As detailed from the BBC News, the children’s agency of the United Nation and UNICEF had been making efforts to deal with this issue, but cultural factors affect the proposed plans of the government.

In line with this, Malala Yousafzal talked to the acting president Yemi Osinbajo and asking him to make a declaration for “an education state of emergency in Nigeria.” Yousafzal is an education activist who visited the country to extend her support in improving the education here.

The permanent secretary added that the increasing unemployment rate within the country is also affecting the programs to improve the education of children in Nigeria.

The news report added that in order to resolve this kind of problem, Professor Hafizu Abubakar said that there is already a drafted policy for the state regarding the all-inclusive education to provide the youth.

Abubakar is Kano State’s current Deputy Governor.






St. Scholastica College Students Rallied Against Duterte Administration

Students from Manila already revealed their disappointment to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday by carrying placards and shouting their personal expressions in public.

They consider the present administration as “misogynist and abusive.”

With the different placards and voices from the high school students in Manila, they gathered in public on Tuesday to express their disappointment about the Duterte administration, as reported by the online.

The rally of the students came before the upcoming State of the Nation Address.

The students are from the St. Scholastica College and went out the street to express their personal anger with Duterte and his administration. According from one of the speakers Shibby de Guzman, why do the Filipino people allowing them to abuse their power.

The entire issue of the rally include about extrajudicial kllings (EJKs) caused by the active campaign of the government against drug users and dealers.

As for Sister Mary John Mananzan, this kind of activity of the high school students is part of their education to keep their awareness of the issues about socio-political in the country.

“It’s the weak against the strong,” said Mananzan.

In a played videotaped during the program at the rally, 13-year-old De Guzman stated that, “Today I want to fight the dictatorship.”

Part of her speech includes the questions, “Why do we allow the police or vigilantes or whoever to kill people just like that? … Why do we allow taking another life to be the new normal?”

“Today we are asking these questions with the loudest voices, the loudest protest,” said de Guzman.

“A lot of people have asked how many people will be here today. The answer is we are more than enough to stand against the misogynistic, power-abusive administration,” she added as quoted by the Inquirer news.

Based on the shared information about the rally, there are about 200 participating students (Grades 9 to 11)  of which they gathered in front of the St. Scholastica College on Leon Guinto Street, Manila.


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UP Improves QS World University Rankings, Now Ranks 367th

According to the recent survey conducted by the QS World University Rankings, the University of the Philippines (UP) is still the top school institution in the Philippines.

This 2017, it ranked 367th compared to last year’s ranked 374th.

The University of the Philippines (UP) is the only university that improved its ranking as opposed to its counterparts and garnered a 32.9 overall score, as detailed by the reported news.

“UP Diliman is not only the home of diverse colleges, offering 94 graduate and undergraduate courses, it also runs several centers of research, many of which have been declared by the Commission on Higher Education as National Centers of Excellence,” as stated on the official website of QS and quoted by

“UP Diliman affirmed its own commitment to modernizing its facilities and services. Many of the libraries are already computerized and are providing automated services. It has also identified specific growth areas, foremost of which are in engineering education, interdisciplinary programs such as Material Science, Technology Management and Archaeological Studies and International Studies,” QS added.

Adamson University, De La Salle University and University of Santo Tomas somehow declined on the latest rankings.



Maharashtra State Board of Secondary Education to Change Mark Patterns

From the latest decision of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary Education in India, they might consider a decision to change the internal assessments when it comes to giving recognition or awards to students.

According from reported news through, the board believed that the awards given to students are unjust or unfair. The main issue is about the examinations for the students known as Secondary Certificate (SSC) as well as Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC).

Based on the shared information provided by the state board, there are students who do not even take and exams, yet received the awards for the internal tests. They were able to come up with this conclusion after they revealed the lenient when it comes to giving the awards.

On this, they will present a new method in the coming days about the replacement of the internal assessments, according to the officials of the education department.

The reported news added that the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary Education currently is following a mark pattern of 80:20. This helps in judging the potential students both on internal and written examinations. They compute the passing mark after checking both the given exams to the students.

“The department is planning to change the marking scheme, discussions have begun, it will be finalised in the next couple of days and we will issue a circular,” one of the department’s senior officials said as quoted by the news online.

One of the most interesting proposals they want to consider is to remove the internal exam and a student must get 100 mark for the written examination to receive an award.


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End of “Ramadan” Observance, Declares June 26, 2017 as Regular Holiday

With the upcoming end of “Ramadan” or “Eid’l Fitr” observance nationwide, the Duterte administration declared June 26, 2017 as a non-working holiday in the Philippines.

The decision came under the Proclamation No. 235 as a regular holiday.

According from the latest news online, the Malacañang Palace declared June 26, 2017 as a non-working holiday in the country due to the upcoming end of “Ramadan” or “Eid’l Fitr” observance of the Muslims.

“The entire Filipino nation should have the full opportunity to join their Muslim brothers and sisters in peace and harmony in the observance of Eid’l Fitr,” as stated on the proclamation and quoted by the reported news.

The decision of the Palace is in coordination with the National Commission of Muslim Filipinos in observance of the religious culture for the greatness of Allah.

It is important to respect the end of “Ramadan” because this is a symbolic tradition for the Muslims in ending their Islamic fasting for almost 30 days.

With this latest proclamation, all government agencies, various workers and students will have 3-day break from June 24-26.


Credit image: Rappler


CHED to Offer Free Tuition for Medical Students, Designates 8 SUCs Already

For the aspiring medical students in the Philippines, the good news came from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to help them achieve their goals. For those students who qualify, they will have an opportunity to receive free tuition in different state universities and colleges (SUCs).

The free tuition will be available for the school year 2017-2018.

According from the news online, CHED had already allocated the amount of P317.1 million to provide aspiring medical students with free education as part of their prepared budget for 2017. At least eight state universities as well as colleges will be part of this program.

The announcement came from Prospero de Vera III on Tuesday, which he posted through a social media network online. Rappler likewise confirmed the good news on Wednesday to CHED chairperson Patricia Licuanan during an interview.

“Doctors of Medicine students in the State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) can now avail and enjoy full tuition subsidy through the Cash Grants to Medical Students enrolled in State Universities and Colleges (CGMS-SUCs) program of the Duterte administration,” as stated by the joint memorandum circular of CHED and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and quoted by the news.

De Vera is the current commissioner of CHED.

The following eight SUCs offer full tuition subsidy through the Cash Grants to qualified Medical Students for the program:

  • Bicol University
  • Cagayan State University
  • Mariano Marcos State University
  • Mindanao State University
  • University of the Philippines-Leyte
  • University of the Philippines-Manila
  • University of Northern Philippines
  • West Visayas State University

According to the commission, each of this school will get almost P39 million for the program implementation.


Credit image: Taho News