Pangilinan files bill championing academic freedom

Published January 26, 2021, 8:08 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Opposition Senator Francis ‘’Kiko’’ N. Pangilinan on Tuesday sought to conditionally bar police and military operations in all state universities and colleges.      

Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan (Photo from Kiko Pangilinan website / kikopangilinan.com / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Francis Pangilinan (Photo from Kiko Pangilinan website / kikopangilinan.com / MANILA BULLETIN)

This after Pangilinan filed Senate Bill 2016, or Academic Freedom Act, banning all police and military operations in all state universities and colleges without coordination with school management.            

 The measure seeks to strengthen and uphold the freedom of teachers and students to teach, study and pursue knowledge and research without  unreasonable interference or restrictions in all state universities and colleges.        

Pangilinan, a former student leader, filed the bill after Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana recently unilaterally abrogated the 1989 University of the Philippines-Department of National Defense (UP-DND) accord.       

The proposed measure seeks to protect and guarantee academic freedom enjoyed by SUCs by:

–  Recognizing that SUCs can exercise their full acts of ownership over their property, including ensuring security within school property;
–  Requiring prior notification before the service of warrants against students;
–  Clarifying situations where law enforcement agents can enter SUC property (e.g., hot pursuit and emergency situations); and
– Creating a joint monitoring committee to ensure its proper implementation.

 
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