/ 20 January 2022

THE UNIVERSITY of the Philippines community urged the Senate to pass bills that aim to institutionalize the school’s accord with the Department of National Defense.

In a manifesto, the Defend UP network which consists of students, teachers, staff, alumni and other community members pushed to reinstate the 1989 UP-DND accord which bars the police and military from entering UP campuses without prior notice to school officials.

The campaign’s goal is to protect academic freedom and combat rights and freedom violations by state forces.

“As the Senate will be resuming its sessions this January 17, we urge the committee on higher, technical and vocational education and our duly elected senators to immediately pass four bills that seek to institutionalize and strengthen the provisions of the UP-DND Accord by inserting them into the UP Charter – specifically House Bill No. 10171, Senate Bill No. 2002, Senate Bill No. 2014, and Senate Bill No. 2035,” Defend UP network said.

The community sought the support of UP alumni in the Senate namely Senators Franklin Drilon, Dick Gordon, Francis Pangilinan, Miguel Zubiri, Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay, Pia Cayetano, Koko Pimentel and Cynthia Villar.

On January 18, 2021, the DND unilaterally ended the three-decade old agreement with UP.

“An entire year has passed since members of the UP community have collectively experienced state-enforced attacks. Harassment, intimidation, and red-tagging has worsened, moreso amid the militaristic response of the administration to address the pandemic,” the group said.