‘Spocky’ Farolan disowned by UP board of regents after ‘threat’ against Ateneo

December 3, 2018 - 4:40 PM
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Quezon Hall in UP Diliman
File photo of gathering of students at Quezon Hall in UP Diliman Campus. (Facebook/CSSP Student Council)

The University of the Philippines Board of Regents has withdrawn its recommendation to reappoint member Frederick “Spocky” Farolan after his controversial Facebook post containing a ‘sarcastic threat’ to members of the Ateneo Blue Eagles basketball team.

“We dissociate ourselves from Regent Farolan’s statements and actions. Whatever his motives may have been, there is no excuse for sowing fear and confusion at a time when the University’s attention should have been focused on the rising successes of its athletic program,” the board wrote in its statement released to media.

The board also asked Farolan to refrain from making any other statements that could damage the state university’s reputation.

He drew flak after posting on Facebook that three members of Ateneo’s basketball team would be absent due to injury at Game 2 of the UAAP men’s basketball finals between the Blue Eagles and the UP Fighting Maroons on Wednesday.

Prior to the board’s decision, a number of public officials called on Farolan to tender his resignation.

Sen. Nancy Binay in a series of tweets said Farolan had put the state university “in a bad light twice.”

“Out of delicadeza and out of love for UP, it is best for Regent Spocky Farolan to tender his resignation. He has put UP in a bad light twice. First was about UPCAT, and now the UAAP,” said Binay.

Farolan in April 2018 was criticized for his violent reaction to complaints aired by graduating high school students who took the UP College Admission Test about the test’s delayed results.

Sen. Koko Pimentel also joined the calls hours later.

“Who is this? I am having him traced. I join the call of Senator Kiko Pangilinan for him to resign. He thinks too highly of himself, just because he was given a position, Pimentel said in a statement to media on Monday.

Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, a former UP regent, was among the first public officials to denounce Farolan’s now-deleted Facebook post where he asked UP students to choose which Ateneo players should be injured ahead of the game and suggested UP fraternities ally together to target the Ateneo players.

Farolan in another post explained that he was actually poking fun at the phenomenon of violence in college campuses and that the post was out of sarcasm.

“I posted something which might be construed as advocating violence and frat violence. To be clear, as I mentioned in a comment there, violence, especially frat-related ones are barbaric, machismo, stupid and ignorant. There was sarcasm in that comment which may not have been immediately and easily perceived by some,” he explained.

Calls for his resignation have also been echoed by other public figures.

Malacañang refuses to step in

Presidential spokesperson and chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo said that Malacañang would not intervene in the controversy and let the UP administration handle the matter.

“We leave it to UP because it happened there. We always respect the independence of any entity in this country,” Panelo said in a statement on Monday.

He added that Farolan deserved due process in the controversy he faced.

“I think we should give the person the benefit of the doubt. Let him explain himself. That’s what we call due process under the rule of law,” Panelo said.

Farolan was appointed as a regent by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016.

UP President Danilo Concepcion earlier disowned Farolan’s post about the Ateneo team.

1-Care Rep. Carlos Roman Uybarreta in April 2018 called for Farolan’s resignation after the regent dubbed those who complained about the delayed UPCAT results “ingrates” and “entitled millennials.”