Pangilinan’s speech writers not from Ateneo, says school

April 27, 2010

Pangilinan’s speech writers not from  Ateneo, says school
By Daxim Lucas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 06:06:00 04/07/2010

Filed Under: Literature, University,  scandal
MANILA, Philippines—Ateneo De Manila University students did not write the speeches businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan read at two school events and which had used portions of commencement addresses delivered by several foreign personalities.

The university Tuesday made the denial after an initial report had pointed to “two Ateneo students” as the writers of Panglinan’s speeches.

Ateneo’s communication and public relations group head Sonia Araneta said in a telephone interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the allegation that two of its students had written Panglinan’s speeches were an important concern for the school and its stakeholders.

“The speech writers of MVP (Pangilinan’s initials) are not students of the Ateneo,” she said.

Araneta said Pangilinan had also written Ateneo president Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, S.J. to deny any link between the university and his speech writers.

“For the record, I would like to clarify that they are not students of the Ateneo,” Araneta quoted Pangilinan as saying in the letter that was e-mailed to Nebres Tuesday.

‘Borrowed’

Despite having closely coordinated with the business tycoon on the theme of his remarks—as is customary with commencement speakers—the school remained in the dark as to how exactly lines “borrowed” from international celebrities had found their way into Pangilinan’s speeches.

In an earlier letter of apology to Nebres, Pangilinan said he had received “some help in the drafting” of the remarks, but that he had also “labored long hours to get those speeches done.”

The Inquirer had identified the authors as being from the Ateneo based on information provided by several publicists who said they were  representing Pangilinan in the matter.

The publicists, who spoke on condition of anonymity, had worked for the businessman before on issues affecting his corporations.

Pangilinan addressed management and humanities graduates of the Ateneo on March 26 and 27, respectively. Both times, his speeches contained paragraphs found in commencement addresses delivered earlier by US President Barack Obama, author J. K. Rowling, talk show host Oprah Winfrey and comedian Conan O’Brien.

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