SUSPENSION STARTS APRIL 16
LINGAYEN—Dr. Dexter Buted last week bade goodbye to the staff and students of Pangasinan State University (PSU) as president.
Buted signed off at a forum he called in anticipation of the PSU Board of Regents decision on April 16 to implement the Ombudsman decision suspending him and another campus executive for nine months on charges of oppression by arbitrarily dismissing a faculty member.
However, before he acknowledged what fate awaited him, Buted presented the various strides made by PSU under his stewardship—from major infrastructure projects built in the PSU’s nine campuses, sound financial status, academic achievements of students in licensure examinations including its topnotchers, top ranking of the university compared to other state universities and colleges across the country, benchmarking of ASEAN universities here for PSU’s best practices, among others.
During the open forum that followed, he recalled how he was called to serve as PSU president, and how he was made aware of the risks that went with the appointment.
A teacher greets Dr. Buted to express his sympathy to his cause (Punchphoto by Nora Dominguez)
He recalled that before the then Commission on Higher Education chair Patricia Licuanan signed his appointment, she asked him the following questions: “Dex, are you really sure? Are you ready to face the Ombudsman and Civil Service Commission in the future? Because SUC (State Universities and Colleges) presidency means a bunch of cases in the CSC and the Ombudsman”.
He said he firmly replied “Yes”, adding that, “life is nothing without challenge”.
And as he called out his detractors for falsely accusing him of things that they were never able to prove, he narrated how he was humiliated and insulted by his detractors on social media, painting him as terrible person.
“They threw baseless allegations that they themselves cannot prove. But I remained silent. I did not respond because I don’t want to dignify their lies. I don’t want to subject myself into further humiliation because I had enough,” Buted said.
In his closing statement, Buted thanked the PSU officials, citing them for meeting their targets and accomplished their big dreams “because majority of us gave our everything”.
He said “it has been a great ride and part of the ride are bumps that came along the way.”
On the charge brought before the Ombudsman against him, Buted said, “I never oppressed anyone because I for one, being a professional and a family man, intend to resolve all issues in a way that is just, fair, and moral”.
“If there are people who are affected by my decisions or hurt their feelings, I ask for forgiveness,” adding that he was merely doing what he is tasked to do.
“But I do not regret what I have done,” Buted stressed, and went on to quote former president Gloria Arroyo who once said, “I would rather be right than popular”.
He said he is not there “just to please anybody, anyone or any group which pretends to be agent of change or those who are acting like they are “the real superheroes of PSU”.
Buted added, “You be the judge of their motives and intentions”.
He said his administration may not be perfect but he stressed that he did his best as he also saw the concerns of PSUnians.
Buted said it was hard for him to leave an institution that became part of what he is now. “I found a second family in all of you here in PSU. But I know this is just temporary,” he said.
He said he treats this as a bonus from God as he stressed, “I will not regret or be sad at the truth that I am leaving PSU because nothing is permanent in this world”.
He said what he regrets though is the remaining months in his first term as he could have done more and could have reached more dreams for PSU.
“But I guess, I am happy knowing that I will leave PSU in the hands of people whom I know have learned a lot from our experiences,” he said.
“To all of you my friends, and fellow PSUnians, I love you all! This is Dexter R. Buted, your University President, now temporarily signing off,” he said that elicited tears from the crowd.
People in the forum hugged him in tears when he stepped down from the stage as they wished him well.
Buted is set to seek his second term as PSU president. (Eva Visperas and Nora Dominguez)
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