/ 20 October 2021

THE ACADEMICS Unite for Democracy and Human Rights issued a call to defend libraries from government “attacks.”

It cited the decision of three state universities to pull out from their libraries reading materials either donated by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines or authored by communist leaders.

These schools were the Kalinga State University, Isabela State University, and Aklan State University.

“An attack on the library is an attack on the very heart of the University itself. It is an attack on the freedoms of thought and expression which are the very foundations of academic freedom,” the group said.

It added that the “deadly” red-tagging of students, faculty, and workers in the academic sector surged under the Duterte administration.

“As the government further escalates its campaign, the attack on academic freedom has recently taken on another extremely palpable and ominous form. Books and the libraries which house them have now become target,” it added.

The group pointed out that the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict has “absolutely no right” to intrude into universities and libraries.

“We therefore call on all students, teachers, librarians, researchers, education workers,

ublishers, writers, and everyone who values academic freedom and the life of the mind to take a united stand to protect our libraries and universities from military and police incursion,” it said.