April 14, 2023
PWC Board Chair Says Canivel is Not the President of the School
In a letter addressed to the heads of schools in Davao and the leaders of educational associations in the country, Philippine Women’s College of Davao Board of Trustees Chairperson Elizabeth San Pedro Lietz clarified the ongoing intra-corporate dispute over control of the school.
Regarding a letter sent by Mr. Canivel to the educational community, Ms. Leitz wrote, “Please be informed that the letter sent by Mr. Emmanuel Q. Canivel on March 24, 2023 claiming to be the President of PWC and revoking the authority of Prof. Vicente Antonio V. Pijano III as Chancellor and COO of PWC, is devoid of authority and validity.”
Last January, Mr. Canivel led a small group of Board of Trustees members in a hostile takeover, declared himself president of PWC, and revoked the authority of Prof. Pijano as Chancellor and COO, without any legal basis.
Ms. Leitz explained: “PWC is currently facing an issue involving a rogue group of a miniscule number of corporation members (the ‘Canivel group’ for brevity) attempting to seize control of the institution through machinations and questionable maneuvers. One of the early attempts of Mr. Canivel to take over PWC was to appoint himself as President, absent any legality.”
Ms. Lietz provided a certified true copy of the PWC General Information Sheet (GIS) on record with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicating the line-up of the school’s officials, which was submitted to and accepted by the SEC on 21 February 2023.
Amid this intra-corporate struggle, PWC employees staged a quiet protest when Mr. Canivel withheld the salaries of all teaching and non-teaching personnel. Although the teachers and other rank and file employees eventually got their pay when the release of the payroll was finally given the green light, the salaries of administrators and middle managers have, so far, been withheld.
Such disruptive incidents have made employees seek the intervention of appropriate government agencies. A long time PWC employee, who requested anonymity, pointed out that what Canivel and his small group are doing is against the law, as well as an affront to the values of morality, ethics, and decency that PWC stands for. He cited Article 116 of the Labor Code, “Withholding of wages and kickbacks prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, to withhold any amount from wages of a worker or induce him to give up any part of his wages by force, stealth, intimidation, threat or by other means whatsoever without the worker’s consent.”
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