The League of Filipino Students (LFS) denounced on Tuesday the unilateral termination of the 1989agreement signed between the Department of National Defense (DND) and the University of the Philippines (UP), which prohibits state security forces from entering the campus premises without prior notice to the school administration.
In a letter addressed to UP President Danilo Concepcion, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the Department of National Defense finds the 1989 accord “as a hindrance in providing effective security, safety & welfare of the students, faculty,and employees of UP.”
LFS National Spokesperson Carwyn Candila said the defense secretary “cannot claim concern when he’s part of the very institution that puts the youth’s lives in danger.”
“The supposed mandate of our military forces is to defend the Filipino people from looming threats and attacks. If they have genuine intentions to protect us, deploying troops to schools will be a waste of time and resources, not to mention severely inutile.” Candila said.
On Monday night, Lorenzana clarified that the DND will not station military or police units inside UP campuses now that the accord has been terminated.
He said law enforcement agencies, particularly the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) “are willing toreach out to the youth” to make them realize that they are”protectors worthy of trust, not fear.”
Candila said the termination of the agreement is an attack on the democratic rights and academic freedom.
“You dismiss our genuine militant actions as mere negative changes in attitude, when it is in fact a resistance to your anti-people policies. We are not afraid. We will not cower. You are giving us more reason to fight back,” Candila added.
READ MORE: Defense chief terminates 1989 pact with UP