Statement of Chancellor Michael L. Tan on his disqualification as Candidate for the UP Presidency

Michael L. Tan
October 3, 2016

I am confirming that the Board of Regents decided, at a special meeting on October 1, to disqualify me and three other senior citizen candidates from the UP presidential race.

I intentionally filed my candidacy papers last September 23 to challenge the age requirement of having to complete the 6 year presidency before the age of 70.  I will turn 70 in September 2022, and the term of the incoming president will end February 2023.

While I still feel this age requirement is discriminatory and perhaps even illegal, I will not take further action, and urge my supporters to keep calm.  I do not think there was a conspiracy involved here, as rumors go, but there was, certainly, an unfortunate convergence of different interests to impose this age requirement.

I am almost relieved I was disqualified because I will now have more time for my work, including being chancellor, teaching, research and a very important activity this month as UP Diliman hosts an expanded Manilakbayan from October 12 to 30, now involving contingents of national minorities, from northern and central Luzon and Mindanao, including Moros.  Please come and visit our guests, express your solidarity, and learn from them.

I thank all those who supported my rather short candidacy, including the regents who challenged the age requirement.  I assure all of you  that my vision statement will continue to guide me and my colleagues in all we do, a vision clear and bold to take us to 2020 and beyond.

As I informed the Board of Regents in the letter that accompanied my candidacy papers, it is wrong to discriminate against senior citizens, who have much to contribute.  I told them I do not have claims of greater wisdom, only of great sensibility, and a love of people and of education.

I intend to keep healthy, not only to show the folly of the age requirement, but to be able to continue serving our iskolar ng bayan, our faculty, staff and communities, in and out of UP Diliman. Your support for our many common causes has been the source of my strength; you keep me forever young.

Michael Lim Tan, DVM, PhD
University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City