/ 8 February 2021

THE UNIVERSITY of the Philippines and the Department of the Interior and Local Government sought the formation of a technical working group to study the 1992 UP-DILG pact.

In a statement, the university said that school officials, led by UP President Danilo Concepcion, had a meeting with the DILG and the Philippine National Police a day after school leaders met with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

“The three parties declared their willingness to form a Technical Working Group to study the 28-year-old agreement and, depending on the TWG’s findings and recommendations, to mutually decide whether to amend some of the provisions of the UP-DILG agreement, or to draft a new accord altogether,” it added.

The agreement, which limits police presence in UP campuses, was signed by then UP President Jose Abueva and then DILG Secretary Rafael Alunan III after the enactment of Republic Act 6975 which transferred the country’s police force from the DND to the DILG.

The DILG said that the agreement is essentially the same as the recently abrogated 1989 UP-DND pact.

Under both agreements, the military and the police should inform the UP administration before entering UP campuses.

The DILG and PNP assured school authorities and the whole UP community that they would respect academic freedom and abide by the rule of law.

“During the meeting, the DILG and the PNP affirmed their recognition of the value of academic freedom as well as peace and security in the University of the Philippines. The DILG then presented their list of concerns pertaining to provisions in the 1992 agreement, which included the need to review and update the agreement to present conditions,” UP said.

“The DILG assured UP that the review of the agreement will not in any way diminish basic rights and the freedom of speech and assembly in UP, which are protected and enshrined in the Constitution,” it added.

The university agreed to review and present its own observations regarding the points raised by the DILG and PNP in subsequent meetings.