/ 15 May 2022

THE PRESIDENT Advisory Council of the University of the Philippines denounced the red-tagging of National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict on some of its students who had been part of the protests alleging irregularities tainted the May 9 elections.

The UP-PAC made the remark after the NTF-ELCAC cautioned against supposed disruptors and destabilizers of peace and order following the conduct of elections.

It also referred to the interview of NTF-ELCAC Vice Chairperson and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon in which he said school walkouts are “dangerous avenues for recruitment of National People’s Army members.”

“Such statements maliciously misrepresent legitimate forms of protests as breeding grounds for terrorist recruitment, violate civil liberties and carelessly endanger our students in their democratic exercise of constitutionally protected freedoms,” the UP Council said.

“These accusations are baseless and paranoid, and by themselves sow the discord that they purport to prevent,” it added.

The UP-PAC vowed to stand with its students and defend them against red-tagging, harassment, and intimidation.

“We will not stand down when our students’ lives are at risk. We will continue to defend our academic spaces. We will protect our students vigorously against red-tagging, harassment, and intimidation. We will safeguard the University from destabilizing forces,” it said.

“Critical thinking and service to community and country are hallmarks of UP’s tradition as an institution of higher learning,” it added.

The UP-PAC is composed of the President, Vice Presidents and Secretary of the University, the Chancellors of the eight UP constituent units, the Director of the UP Philippine General Hospital, and the Executive Director of the UP Bonifacio Global City campus.