/ 13 March 2021

THE UNIVERSITY of the Philippines Baguio decried what it claimed were deliberate attempts by some government agencies to suppress critical thinking and threaten those who dissent.

The university’s Executive Staff lamented that despite efforts to promote the facts that dissent is not terrorism, members of the community continue to be victims of red-tagging.

“On behalf of the University of the Philippines Baguio, we, the Executive Staff, stand firm with our position to uphold the fundamental principle of defending our basic human rights,” it said in a statement.

“We reiterate that our stand to uphold this principle is integral to our role in society which contributes to the well-being of the Filipino nation,” it added.

Last month, at least 45 government executives, including seven lawyers, signed a resolution calling for the resumption of Oplan Tokhang in the Cordillera region.

In the resolution, the officials acknowledged that Oplan Tokhang took a wrong turn and resulted in “crimes against humanity” lawsuits in the International Criminal Court but they insisted on using the same police tactic on suspected rebels and those whom they described as “left-leaning.”

However, the university said that “lawless persecutions and widespread killings” created a chilling effect on citizens.

It urged the community to stay united in ensuring that human rights and freedoms are uncompromised and in demanding justice for the oppressed.