/ 19 March 2021

TWO QUEZON City councilors sought the restoration of the 1989 accord between the University of the Philippines and the Department of National Defense which the latter abrogated early this year.

Councilors Winnie Castelo and Karl Castelo filed a resolution entitled “A Resolution Urging the Department of National Defense to Uphold the UP-DND Accord.”

The councilors said they filed the resolution because of the rampant red-tagging “perpetrated by certain government agencies” against members of the UP community.

“Despite the stand of the community, efforts to red-tag and intimidate state universities have been persistent, leading up to the unilateral abrogation of the UP-DND Accord,” the resolution reads.

On January 15, DND chief Delfin Lorenzana announced the termination of the agreement citing recruitment activities of the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army inside UP campuses as the reason.

However, the city councilors stressed the dangerous precedent set by the scrapping of the agreement on the security and sanctity of academic and social institutions.

They also said that UP has been a major contributor to the country’s development.

“The UP-DND Accord recognizes the institutional autonomy of UP in the governance of its affairs and the principle of academic freedom, or the liberty to study, express and exercise beliefs without fear or harm,” they said in the resolution.

UP’s Office of the Student Regent expressed support to the two councilors saying that other lawmakers must also resist the “state’s attack on our fundamental rights and freedoms.”

“This resolution, along with the various efforts nationwide, demonstrate the wide unity of individuals, organizations, and institutions that calls for the restoration of the UP-DND Accord to protect us all at a time of blatant and rampant abuse of authority. Let us continue our struggle for the community’s rights, freedom, and welfare,” it said.