In a special meeting in the city on June 7, the WMSU board of regents cut short its 90-day suspension of Dr. Rebollos, which took effect last May 12, after it downgraded its earlier charge of gross insubordination and gross neglect of duty to simple neglect of duty. The regents’ earlier decision came on the heels of charges that Dr. Rebollos failed to implement a board resolution that nixed two vice-president appointments out of six such appointments she made soon after she was appointed president herself in September, last year. Dr. Rebollos had since formally responded to the charges, even as her suspension raised protests from various sectors in the city.
In lifting the suspension, the regents also ordered her to return to her job immediately.
Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Regional Director Dr. Emmylou Yanga, who acted as OIC president during the 25-day suspension, formally turned over the presidency to Dr. Rebollos at the end of an ecumenical religious service held at the WMSU Social Hall in the morning of June 10.
I have always been for peace and unity in the university, Dr. Yanga told the attendees, even as she thanked its officials and personnel for their support during her short stint. It was her second within a year, since she also served as OIC for almost four months last year, before the appointment of Dr. Rebollos.
“I thank the regents for their decision to lift the suspension order”, Dr. Rebollos said during a press conference held after the ecumenical service. “In particular, I thank Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat, who sat in the (Saturday’s ) deliberations of the board as proxy for Regent Congresswomasn Cynthia Villar, for his masterful negotiation with the other board regents to resolve the crisis spawned by the suspension.” Dr. Rebollos also acknowledged the interventions in her favor of the city’s two congressmen, the Sangguniang Panlungsod, and various civil society organizations including the Inter-Religious Solidarity Movement for Peace (IRMSP).
“Indeed, the suspension was a trying and difficult experience not only for me personally but also for the university and the public we serve,” she said in the press conference. “Hence, as we see the end to the crisis, I extend my hand of reconciliation and healing to the regents and to all others who I may have displeased or offended. I call on all who were adversely affected to do likewise. It is imperative that we all do our share and our best to restore goodwill and respect amongst our university family,” she added.
June 10 was also the first day of classes in all levels in WMSU for the new school year.