The University of the Philippines Visayas decried the decision of the Department of National Defense to terminate its agreement with the University of the Philippines that prohibits police and military units from entering its campuses without prior notice.
“UPV denounces the sudden termination, without consultation, of the 1989 DND-UP Agreement,” Chancellor Dr. Clement Camposano said in a statement issued yesterday.
He added that the attempt has “serious implications on the security and rights of the members of the UP community, especially those that belong in vulnerable sectors of society”.
Camposano said that “while the DND has given assurances that constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedoms would not be suppressed, historical events [that have shaped the relationship of UP and the country’s security forces] and the sordid reality of recent killings, abductions, and other forms of human rights abuses widely believed to have been perpetrated by security forces cannot but leave us unassured”.
“We call on the members of the UPV community to be steadfast and resolute in the defense of their democratic rights, and in ensuring that the university’s campuses remain free, safe, and welcoming towards a wide range of ideas and advocacies,” he added.
“We strongly urge the Secretary of Defense to return to the path of reason and reconsider this unilateral and ill-conceived abrogation,” Camposana further said.
The DND-UP Agreement, which was signed on June 30, 1989, prohibits the military and the police from entering all UP campuses without prior notice from its administration.
The Defense department decided to terminate the agreement effective Jan. 15, 2021 as Secretary Delfin Lorenzana called the arrangement “obsolete”.
The agreement was used by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army to turn UP into the breeding ground of “intransigent individuals and groups whose extremist beliefs have inveigled students to join their ranks to fight against the government,” Lorenzana said. – NND