/ 23 January 2023

KABATAAN Party-list Representative Raoul Manuel on Sunday said that all educational institutions should have accords with government security agencies to ensure academic freedom.

Manuel noted that the termination of the accord between the University of the Philippines and the Department of National Defense which bars the presence of uniformed personnel inside the school premises led to increased military presence inside the campus and nearby communities.

“Worse, with UP and other educational institutions rendered vulnerable in the absence of accords, the Duterte and now Marcos Jr. regimes railroaded policies to militarize civilian life and virtually extinguish civil liberties in the whole country,” Manuel said.

He cited as an example the ROTC bills which are now set to be tackled by the Senate.

The Kabataan Party-list has refiled academic freedom bills, including House Bill 1154 which seeks to institutionalize the UP-DND Accord and House Bill 254 which seeks to institutionalize similar accords to all schools.

“In a time of historical economic and social crisis, students and youth should have the freedom to study, express and criticize even those in power to address the nation’s problems,” Manuel said.