PUP URGED TO OPPOSE ATTEMPT TO SCRAP PACT WITH DND
A STUDENT group at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines called on the school’s president to fight any attempt to scrap the agreement between the PUP and the Department of National Defense that bars police presence in its campuses.
The Sentral na Konseho ng Mag-aaral urged PUP President Dr. Manuel Muhi to protect the accord.
“We call the attention of President Manuel Muhi, the PUP administration, and the whole PUP community to take a unified stand against the potential scrapping of the safeguard of one of the known bastions of activism and assert the academic freedom of our institution,” the student body said.
Partylist group Duterte Youth on Tuesday, January 19, called on Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to also terminate the PUP-DND accord like what he did with the agreement with the University of the Philippines.
Rep. Ducielle Cardema said that the accords gave the two state universities “special treatment” and have been “abused by some radical leftist groups to promote the youth recruitment” of communists in their campuses.
The PUP-DND agreement, also known as the Prudente-Ramos accord, was signed in 1990 by PUP President Nemesio Prudente and then-defense chief Fidel Ramos. It was patterned after the UP-DND pact enforced the previous year.
Both accords were accomplished during the time of Ramos as defense chief.
Boyet de Mesa, a professor at PUP, said that the threat to scrap the agreement has a “chilling effect” on the students and faculty.
“Sa malayang akademiko, bukas ang diskurso at ang mga kilos, lahat para sa karunungan. Hindi masakit na mapuna o makritik, basta hindi ka pikon, muli para sa karunungan,” De Mesa said.
“Tinuruan kaming maging mabuti ng PUP. Ang maging mabuti ay hindi pagtahimik. Ang maging mabuti ay pagkiling sa katuwiran at katotohanan. Ang maging mabuti ay ialay ang karunungan para sa pamilya, kapwa at bayan,” he added.
De Mesa stressed the move is an attempt to “further sow fear, intensify the attacks on academic freedom, and threaten the rights of teachers and students.”
Abrogating the pact, he said, would show “a blatant disregard for the community’s historic victory” against campus militarization.
“Huwag nating iatras ang kasaysayan, dahil sa may iilang naghahari-harian, bulok lang ang makikinabang dito. Bumagsak na ang mga diktadura at isa na siyang sumpang nakakatakot. Ang tunay na kataasang uri ay nasa mga taong nagpundar ng demokrasya sa ating pamantasan. Nagpapatuloy sila ngayon sa mga kabataang ito,” he said.