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UST Alumni Association defends Mocha’s award: It’s a challenge!

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The University of Santo Tomas Alumni Association (USTAA) has defended the grant of the Thomasian Award for Government Service (TAGS) to Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson after the uproar it caused.

In a statement, USTAA the award is different from the Outstanding Thomasian Alumni Awards given by UST.

“TAGS, initiated by the UST Alumni Association, is envisioned to inspire and challenge the recipients to lead the Thomasian core values of compassion, competence and commitment,” it said.

USTAA said the sole criteria for the award is for the recipient to be a UST graduate and be in government service.

It noted that aside from Uson, 18 other individuals received the award, including Senator Joel Villanueva, BUHAY party-list Rep. Lito Atienza and Court of Appeals Justice Myra Fernandez.

Since the awardees were UST alumni, USTAA said the ceremony “was initiated as a call for the recipients to lead a life full of servant leadership anchored in the Thomasian values.”

The letter was signed by USTAA president Henry Atadero and vice president John Simon.

Uson, who graduated with a medical technology degree from the university, said the award was unexpected.

The UST Central Student Council has condemned the grant of the award to Uson, saying she does not embody the values of an ideal Thomasian.