Ateneo accepts MVP's decision to cut ties with university

Posted at 09/25/2012 5:05 PM | Updated as of 09/25/2012 11:16 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Ateneo de Manila University accepted the decision of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan to cut his ties with the university.

In a memorandum to the university community dated September 25, Ateneo president Fr Jose Ramon T Villarin SJ said the university accepts Pangilinan's decision with "sadness."

"In a letter dated 21 September 2012, Mr Manuel V Pangilinan informed me of his decision for 'complete and final disengagement from the Ateneo' on account of the document The Golden Mean in Mining: Talking Points issued by the Society of Jesus Social Apostolate," Villarin said. 

The so-called "Jesuit Paper" was shared by Jesuit Provincial Fr Jose Magadia SJ with the Jesuit ministries for study and discussion.

"As we accept this decision with sadness, we honor it with profound respect. Through the years, MVP’s presence and support in various capacities have helped the Ateneo achieve its mission and deepen its identity. Let us continue to accord him the gratitude and respect he deserves as an exceptional alumnus and leader," he said. 

Pangilinan, who is chairman of Philex Mining, cut his ties with his alma mater due to their conflicting views on mining as embodied in the Jesuit Paper. 

"I have come to the conclusion that this document, as drafted, is irreconcilable with our corporate position on mining and for me, more importantly, my conviction as a Filipino," Pangilinan had said, in the letter to Villarin.

On Monday, Fr. Bienvenido F. Nebres, who was AdMU president for 18 years, resigned as independent director of the Pangilinan-led Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT).

Pangilinan, who graduated from Ateneo with a degree in economics, has been a staunch supporter of the university.

In 2010, Pangilinan resigned as chairman of the Ateneo Board of Trustees after a plagiarism scandal. A speech he delivered at the Ateneo graduation rites was found to have been lifted from previous speeches made by JK Rowling, Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama.