Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales urged the graduating class of 2014 of the UP National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP-NCPAG) to “patriotically recognize the people’s rights, including the right to an ethical and accountable government.” Ombudsman Carpio-Morales was the guest of honor and speaker of the 2014 UP-NCPAG Recognition Rites held on 25 April at the Governance Dome.
The invitation for Ombudsman Carpio-Morales to address the College’s graduates fits the theme of this year’s recognition rites, which is “Ethics and Accountability in Public Service.”
In her introduction of the ombudsman as guest speaker, NCPAG Dean Maria Fe Villamejor-Mendoza described Carpio-Morales as the “epitome of ethics and accountability” in public service. After retiring as associate justice of the Supreme Court, Carpio-Morales was appointed by President Aquino to boost the administration’s anticorruption drive.
Ombudsman Carpio-Morales’ attendance in NCPAG’s recognition rites comes at an opportune time when the extent of the alleged pork barrel scam is continuing to unfold.
Carpio-Morales advised the future public servants to “lead modest lives” and not to make money and wealth as yardstick of their accomplishments.
“One plain way to uphold ethics and accountability in public service is to stay humble and humane at all times,” she said.
The Ombudsman said that misuse public money is “depriving the [poor] of their rightful chance at life.”
Carpio-Morales invoked the characteristics that UP iskolars ng bayan are known for—patriotism and their assertiveness in upholding people’s rights. She told the graduates to continue respecting the rights of others as they pursue careers in public service.
In the midst of the corruption cases some government officials are embroiled in, Ombudsman Carpio-Morales asked the graduates to be patriots and “join in the unrelenting pursuit of governance.”
3 magna cum laude, 19 cum laude lead graduates
In behalf of the graduating class, magna cum laude graduate Kim Robert de Leon responded to the challenge posed by the Ombudsman. De Leon said that they will not put the reputation of UP-NCPAG to shame.
De Leon called on his fellow graduates to be what the late Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo described as both “mahusay at matino” (excellent and with integrity) as they serve the people through a career in public service.
De Leon said that as iskolars ng bayan, NCPAG alumni should not be mere lingkod bayan (public servants), that they should strive to become lingkod bayani (servant-heroes) by emulating the ideals of national heroes such as Rizal, Bonifacio and Tandang Sora.
Earlier this year, de Leon was awarded the Gawad Chanselor parasa Natatanging Mag-aaral.
De Leon, together with two more students who graduated magna cum laude and 19 cum laude graduates, led the graduating class composed of 78 who completed the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration (BAPA), 24 with Diploma in Public Management, 24 with a degree in Master of Public Administration, and three with a degree in Doctor of Public Administration. College Secretary and Center for Public Administration and Governance Education (CPAGE) Director Dr. Ma. Oliva Domingo presented the roster of graduates to Dean Mendoza.
In her welcome remarks, Dean Mendoza extolled the graduates’ “passion, commitment to the tradition of dangal, galing at tapang (honor, excellence and courage), and heart and mind for public service.”
“We know in your own way, you have done and will continue to assume the role of social critic, reformer, advocate and positive change agents, adhering to our core values of ethical and exemplary public administration in the service of the nation,” Dean Mendoza said.
UP President Alfredo Pascual graced the recognition rites along with former NCPAG deans Dr. Proserpina Tapales and Commission on Higher Education Commissioner Dr. Alex Brillantes, Professor Emeritus Leonor Briones, UP Vice President for Public Affairs Prospero de Vera, and the faculty members of the UP-NCPAG.
Click here to view photos of the Recognition Rites.
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