School publications slam termination of UP-DND accord

Published January 20, 2021, 6:59 PM

by Gabriela Baron

Two school publications slammed the decision to terminate the 31-year-old accord signed between the Department of National Defense (DND) and the University of the Philippines in 1989.

(JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a statement released Tuesday (January 19), Ang Pahayagang Plaridel, the official publication in Filipino of the De La Salle University, condemned the unilateral termination of the UP-DND Accord.

“Isa itong lantarang panlalapastangan ang pagbuwag sa kasunduang ito dahil hudyat ito ng paggapi sa kalayaan at karapatan ng mga estudyante. Isa itong pahintulot sa unti-unting militarisasyon sa ating mga akademikong institutsyon (The termination is a blatant violation of the agreement because it signals the suppression of the freedom and rights of the student. This may also pave way to the gradual militarization inside academic institutions),” its statement read.

Ang Pahayag Plaridel added that the move is a “step to openly intimidate progressive groups fighting for various sectors of society.”

“Bilang kabataan, iparating natin sa pamahalaan ang katotohanan hindi tayo kailanman yuyuko sa intimidasyon o magbubulag-bulagan sa unti-uting pagkitil sa ating kalayaan (As youth, we must let them know that we will not succumb to intimidation or blindly follow the gradual suppression of our freedom),” its statement further read.

Meanwhile, UE Dawn, the official school publication of the University of the East (UE) on Monday denounced the decision of DND to scrap the accord.

UE Dawn said “the blatant disrespect” of the state to educational institutions poses danger to the students not just of UP, but to other universities and educational institutions.

“Schools are safe spaces for students. Letting the military enter the Universities for their empty aims of eradicating will not solve the problems as the real terrorists don’t reside in the academic spaces of the youth,” its statement read.

“We do believe that peace talks, among all other means, shall be of greatest priority to end terrorism, not blindly pinpointing to the active but innocent youth,” it further read.

On Monday, the DND unilaterally terminated the UP-DND accord, an agreement signed on June 30, 1989 by then UP President Jose Abueva and then Defense Chief Fidel V. Ramos.

The agreement prohibits state forces from entering the university premises without prior notice to the UP administration.

 
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