Acclaimed Author Bino Realuyo Returns His Award to Make a Point About Mocha Uson
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Bino A. Realuyo, a proud alumnus of the University of Santo Tomas and author of the novel, “The Umbrella Country” and the poetry collection, “The Gods We Worship Live Next Door,” a recipient of the 2009 Philippine National Book Award. In 2003, I was one of the 75+ humbled alumni of UST High School who were selected from its graduate pool of the past 75 years to receive its “75th Founding Anniversary Award.” Although I no longer lived in Manila, I accepted the recognition with pride, honor and dignified belief in VERITAS as I spent ten years of my formative years at the University of Santo Tomas Elementary and High School.
The recent Thomasian Alumni Award recognition of Mocha Uson, a known propagandist and “purveyor of fake news” at a time when Freedom of the Press is under attack in the Philippines is an insult to all UST Alumni who believe in upholding one of the pillars of strong democracies—VERITAS. I echo the sentiment of UST’s Central Student Body that “Mocha Uson does not embody the ideals of a real Thomasian.” According to Uson, “it is a great honor for me that my Alma Mater recognize[d] my efforts for change in our country.” Her idea of change has resulted in the death of many Filipinos. I am sure there are many unsung and worthy alumni of UST whom you can honor and recognize. Mocha Uson is certainly not one of them.
I continue to cherish the values that my teachers and staff at UST have instilled in me. They have prepared me enough to eventually pursue graduate studies as a Leadership Fellow at Harvard University, another university with a similar motto—VERITAS. VINCIT OMNIA VERITAS. Truth conquers all. History will judge us. For now, we have to keep our faith in Truth by rejecting those who obscure and twist it in the name of propaganda. I am demoralized by your recognition of Mocha Uson. As a protest of your decision to support a political propagandist who thrives in attacking the highest ideals of Philippine democracy, I am returning the award given to me. Please give me a mailing address so that I may send this award back to you.
Vincit Omnia Veritas,
Bino A. Realuyo
Novelist, Poet, Educator, New York City
This letter was addressed to UST Chancellor Fr. Bruno F. Cadore, O.P. MD, and to the officers and members of the UST Alumni Association.