Fisherfolk to military: Patrol West Philippine Sea, not UP campus

Published January 19, 2021, 6:16 PM

by Raymund Antonio

A militant fisherfolk group on Tuesday said Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana should deploy troops in the disputed West Philippine Sea and not in the University of the Philippines.

The Department of National Defense (DND), headed by Lorenzana, unilaterally terminated a 1989 agreement with UP, which keeps State forces from entering the university premises, effective January 15.

Its move was publicized on Monday night, after UP posted on social media a copy of Lorenzana’s letter to UP President Danilo Concepcion.

“Mr. Lorenzana should instead deploy his troops in the contested and militarized West Philippine Sea, wherein armed Chinese militias have been harassing and threatening the livelihood of Filipino fisherfolk, and moreover, our national sovereignty,” Pamalakaya chair Fernando Hicap said in a statement.

He asserted that the police and military should be patrolling in the country’s “Chinese-occupied marine territory, not inside campuses that threaten the academic freedom and students’ movements.