By Ibarra C. Mateo
Maybe the reason why then UP Diliman student Fidel R. Nemenzo survived a bullet which pierced his body during a protest rally in Welcome Rotonda in the late 1980s was he was to become UP Diliman’s 11th chancellor.
On Feb. 3, 2020, Prof. Fidel R. Nemenzo was appointed incoming UP Diliman chancellor (2020-2023), taking over from Prof. Michael L. Tan, who served from 2014 – 2020.
Of the many recent articles written about Fidel, there was no mention that he survived a sniper’s bullet.
Fidel earned his undergraduate degree in mathematics from UP Diliman and his master in science and doctor of science in mathematics from Sophia University in Tokyo.
A side story
During an English class meeting under Prof. Nieves Epistola sometime in 1979, we had then Prof. Francisco “Dodong” Nemenzo, father of Fidel, as our guest resource person.
I was requested by Prof. Nieves to introduce Dodong in one sentence. I said: “Classmates, may I introduce the future president of the University of the Philippines.”
Before being installed as UP president, Dodong was UP Visayas chancellor.
Nur Misuari and Jose Maria Sison were classmates in one political science class under him, Dodong told us.
Fidel is the current vice chancellor for research and development of UP Diliman and leads the Mathematics Division of the National Research Council of the Philippines. Fidel’s grandfather, Francisco Sr., is considered as “the father of Philippine coral taxonomy.”
Joshua Ceasar Chan Photo