On April 3, Vice President Leni Robredo posted about her ‘proud parent’ moment on Facebook when her eldest daughter, Jessica got admitted to Harvard and Oxford universities’ Master’s programs.
On April 11, the Facebook page “We Are Collective Backup V2” posted a sample letter urging Harvard to reconsider their decision to admit Aika, considering Vice President Robredo’s alleged ill-gotten money, allegations of electoral fraud, efforts to sabotage the Philippine government, and her deceased husband’s links to gambling lords and drug lords. The page also noted how the Vice President’s SALN shows that she could not afford to send Aika to Harvard.
“While we are in no position to question Jessica Marie’s academic credentials, we pray for you to consider granting her admission. Doing so will constitute a grave injustice to the Filipino people, majority of whom cannot afford even 1% of the amount required for Jessica Marie to enter your prestigious school,” WAC wrote.
WAC also encouraged their followers to flood Harvard with revised emails of their sample letter. The revision, as they said, is necessary to avoid sounding “like f*cking trolls and bots.”
However, New York University Dean for Science Michael Purugganan spoke up about these efforts to stop Harvard from admitting Aika.
In two Facebook comments on WAC’s post about the sample letter to Harvard, Purugganan explained how Harvard “couldn’t care less about the parents” and how the university admits students based on merit alone.
“I am a dean of a major US university. Just in case you didn’t know, all graduate admissions at Harvard and Oxford are strictly on merit, and if you get admitted to graduate school on scholarship (like she [Aika] did) you are automatically given free tuition plus a stipend that is about $30 K a year so that you can attend school. At least this is what we give at NYU where I am a dean, and Harvard is 10 times richer than NYU (NYU endowment $3.5 B vs. Harvard at $36 B),” he said.
“And just in case you want to know, Harvard (or my university NYU) couldn’t care less about the parents – what we care about is the record of the student,” he added.
Vice President Robredo has also spoken about her detractors efforts to block her daughter’s Harvard admission.
“Aika showed me a letter of my detractors… Iyong letter nila pinapa-rescind iyong acceptance niya sa Harvard. And the grounds na sinabi nila was iyong tuition daw kasi ay mahal. Ang mahal ng tuition,” Robredo said during her speech at St. Theresa’s College in Quezon City on May 6.
“Sabi nila iyong gagastusin daw nung anak ko, kasi wala naman daw akong legal na pagkukunan, iyong ninakaw namin na yaman. Kasi nakaw na yaman tsaka drugs iyong pinanggalingan nung ipapaaral sa anak ko” she added.
Robredo slammed the “hatred” and “visciousness” of her detractors for involving her daughter’s Harvard admission, which Aika obtained on her own.
“Pero you know the viciousness, nakapasok iyong mga bata without any help from me. Nakapasok tapos ipapa-rescind mo lang. How much hatred iyong pinasok doon,” she said.
Robredo said that WAC’s and her other detractors’ efforts did not work, though. Aika is still headed to Harvard and is scheduled to leave for the US university on June 18.