/ 21 March 2023

FACULTY, employers and other members of the community of the University of the Philippines welcomed the decision of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court dismissing the charges filed by the Social Security System against UP Professor Melania Flores after the SSS executed an affidavit of desistance.

“Prof. Flores should be the last to experience such dirty harassment schemes of the state to attack UP activists, unionists and academic freedom. We call on the UP administration to hasten the creation of a university-wide Committee on the Promotion and Protection of Academic Freedom and Human Rights to ensure the rights and liberties its constituents against attacks by state forces, as proposed by UP faculty regent Carl Marc Ramota,” All-UP Academic Employees Union national president Perlita Raña said.

Meanwhile, Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy Vice chairperson and UP professor Mon Sy said that the issuance of an arrest warrant against Flores, without due process, was a violation of the accord between the UP and the Department of Interior and Local Government.

“Their tagging of Prof. Flores as Quezon City’s most wanted criminal over a petty charge of non-remittance of SSS contributions for a former house helper should prompt the UP administration to stand its ground and hold the line,” Sy added.

Flores thanked the UP community for rallying behind her.

“It is through the vigilance and collective action of the UP community that I was released on bail, charges were eventually dismissed, and further attacks were repulsed,” Flores said.

“This experience teaches us an important lesson: that in the face of repression and oppression, our only recourse is to collectively push back, not only for UP constituents but for every Filipino whose rights are violated,” she added.