THE University of the Philippines-Mindanao (UP-Min) has yet
to re-assess its position on the genetically-modified eggplant
even as it followed the order of the city government to uproot
the plants that marked the end of its field trial.
UPMin vice chancellor Vicente Calag said in a phone interview
over the weekend that the university will look into the details
and facts of the recent events that happened before they could
issue a statement.
“As of the moment, we could not categorize any concrete
action to be done next,” Calag added as the university
has a mandatory Christmas break starting Wednesday until January
However, some students were outraged when they knew about the
genetically-modified eggplants being uprooted. Some also felt
bad that it happened on the same day of Kasadya, UPMin’s
annual lantern parade.
“They must know that UP in Davao is not UP Davao…
it’s UP Mindanao. Thus, we are not yours, dorks! Leave
the BT Talong,” a student posted on her status on a social
Other students who were enrolled in biotechnology class of
Prof. Eufemio Rasco Jr. also came out with a poster that read:
“We won’t stand against [the Bt eggplant project]
because we fully understand what [it is] all about.”
Rasco and University of the Philippines-Mindanao Chancellor
Gilda Rivero were still out of town and could not be reached
Other red and white posters also read, “Avila, respect
our talong and respect academic freedom” were hung in
the fence of the testing site, in reference to Leonardo Avila
III, acting head of the City Agriculturist Office.
Meanwhile, the Greenpeace Philippines social networking website
fans rejoiced over the good news. Last Friday, in a press statement,
Greenpeace praised the city government for issuing a cease-and-desist
order against the Bt eggplant field trial.
On Friday, about 2,000 Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) eggplants
were finally uprooted from the testing site of the university
in Bago Oshiro, Mintal as a result of the December 13 order
of Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio.
Avila said in a phone interview that the activity finished
at exactly 2:15 pm on Saturday. He said it was the people of
the community as hired by the city government who finished the
“We hired 20 people from the community, to dig a hole,
uproot and chopped the Bt eggplants. The mayor paid them,”
Avila said, adding that each of the volunteer received P500.
Avila said the project team did the symbolic act on uprooting
the specimens on Friday.
The mayor ordered the uprooting of the plants, claiming the
university failed to comply with the requirements in the conduct
of the field test. (WITH REPORT BY JESSE P BOGA)