Lavarias skips AC Council hearing, CS students’ welfare in limbo

THE ROMAN Catholic Archdiocese of San Fernando, Pampanga (RCASF) skipped a committee hearing called by the Committee on Education of the the Angeles City Council which aims to protect the rights and welfare of 1,300 students while 89 teaching and non-teaching personnel who will be displaced in the wake of the sudden closure of the 60-year old Chevalier School (CS). 

The RCASF is recovering the three-hectare property after it won a lawsuit with a church court in Rome allowing it to rescind a contract of lease with the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC) which has been running the school since 1958.

Archbishop Florentino Lavarias cited in his letter to City Councilor and committee chairman Alfie Bonifacio, and it reads: “I respectfully ask to be excused. Although I wish to give my humble widow’s mite on your agenda, “educational stability of Chevalier School,” I happen to be a senior citizen and medically considered to be immuno-compromised.

Recently, too, a number of the Clergy of the Archdiocese have tested positive for COVID-virus; hence, at this critical time, it may not be mutually beneficial for us to have a physical, face-to-face meeting.” Chevalier School’s fate is ‘racing against the clock’.

Hence, Bonifacio calendared another hearing and requested Archbishop Lavarias to join over a video conference via Zoom and to send an authorized representative or legal counsel on February 22 to discuss this urgent issue because school operations are due to expire in the second quarter (April-May) of this year.

He pointed out the government has to intervene and invoked Section 1., Article XIV of the 1987 Philippine Constitution which provides, “The State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels, and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all.”