/ 21 January 2021

A GROUP of artists, students and other individuals promoting heroism and social consciousness threw its support behind the students and officials of the University of the Philippines fighting the termination of the university’s accord with the Department of National Defense.

“As we commemorate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Diliman Commune — an uprising led by students, workers, teachers, and residents of UP Diliman against the price hike and the invasion of the state forces within the university — we at DAKILA stand with the whole UP body and its students in struggling against the fascists of our times,” DAKILA said in a post.

It supported the university after Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana decided to unilaterally end the 1989 agreement that barred police and military from conducting operations in UP campuses without informing university officials.

DAKILA said that the termination not only contradicts the very essence of the accord, but is also “outright ridiculous” because of the recent violent events that justified public mistrust of the police and military.

“UP has become one of the last few remaining civic spaces for holding rightful expressions of dissent. DND and Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s termination of the accord is a shameless attack against the very foundations of democracy. Threatening civic spaces with the presence of the police and the military— especially in a time when the massive red-tagging and the enactment of the Anti-Terror Law endanger the freedoms, safety, and lives of critics and activists alike,” the group added.