|January 22, 1998|
Salvador Carlos, 57|
Vichael Angelo Roaring
For the alleged victims of Professor Salvador Carlos' sexual advances, the sickle of death that swooped upon his prison cell may have been karmic. Karmic or not, however, the public will never know now. Carlos or "Bading" as was referred to by close friends, died of cardiac arrest at the age of 57. He complained of chest pains midnight of January 11 at the Quezon City Jail, where he was detained for charges of rape filed by one of his former students. He was proclaimed dead on arrival at the East Avenue Medical Center at 1:15 in the morning of the next day.
His detention started on September 1,1997 while the rape case was being tried. A former student alleged that he forced her into sexual intercourse and maintained that he did the same for many others in exchange of passing grades or money. Rumors had been circulating that Carlos was allegedly in the practice of "Kuwatro o Kuwarto," in which he was said to harass female students with failing grades into sleeping with him. Carlos' accuser also charged him with acts of lasciviousness and illegal possession of firearms. Both were dismissed. Professor Leonardo De Castro, Chairperson of the Department of Philosophy and a long-time friend of Carlos remembers Carlos from the days Carlos was still a masteral student and he himself was just starting to teach. De Castro said that, Carlos loved to drop the names of books and authors and that he had an extensive library of literature although he was not really sure if Carlos read them. After a teaching stint in Diliman, Carlos transferred to UP San Fernando where he lectured in Political Science. It was while teaching there that one of his students filed the charges.
Earlier Carlos had been portrayed by the major dailies as a terror professor whose forte was harassing girls. He was also regarded as an "eccentric" as he mostly tried to keep to himself. But a contrasting portrait is painted by De Castro as he described Carlos as being"madaldal, mahilig magkuwento-kuwento, magyabang. Magyabang na yung mga boundaries ng imbento at katotohanan ay hindi mo na nalalaman...Nakakatuwa siya." Maxinne (not her real name), one of Carlos' former students recalled that while most students were afraid of Carlos and his strong temperament, he must be credited for his "unique flair at teaching." Another former student Ryan (not his real name) added "He always wanted to show off that he knew stuff, and he had a habit of putting students in the spot during recitation."
On his being an educator, Professor De Castro described Carlos as "Malapit siya sa mga estudyante, karamihan dito mga babae, at natutuwa siya kapag may kumukonsulta sa kaniyang mga babae na natutuwa din sa kaniya." De Castro also adds "Tinrato niya ang pagtuturo bilang pag-aartista. Kailangan daw nagsusuklay ka daw ng buhok at nag-aayos (ng sarili) bago mag-klase. Others may perceive Salvador Carlos' death as the end of a longstanding criminal case that has brought to light questions regarding the ethics of student-teacher relationships in the University. But for those he allegedly victimized, and the rest of us who will never surely know of his guilt or innocence, it is always a matter of continued vigilance for justice. Guilty or not, the case of Salvador Carlos and his alleged victims has exposed vulnerability in an environment where most mentors are given a freehand in the name of academic freedom.
Carlos was buried last January 14 after lying in state at the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice.