UP Board of Regents refers strong resolution of sectoral regents to a technical working group

Published January 28, 2021, 9:44 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

The University of the Philippines (UP) Board of Regents (BOR) has failed to adopt a resolution lodged by its sectoral regents that called upon the board to continue upholding the UP-Department of National Defense (DND) accord.

In a Facebook post, the UP Office of the Student Regent said the BOR instead referred the resolution to a technical working group, supported UP President Danilo Concepcion’s efforts to engage in dialogue, and affirmed Concepcion’s statements on the matters of UP-DND accord and red-tagging.

“The members of the Board have made known that they stand with the principle of academic freedom. The challenge now is to translate this unity into decisive action,” the UP Office of the Student Regent said.

“In representing the interests of its constituents, the Board must protect the safety and sanctity of the university, and the rights and freedoms of the members of its community,” it added.

The UP BOR held a meeting on Thursday where the sectoral regents submitted the resolution.

“We must resound our calls to uphold the UP-DND Accord and resist against attempts to intimidate and threaten members of our community. Let us ensure that proactive action is being taken to protect the community and hold erring officials accountable,” UP’s Office of the Student Regent said.

The resolution calls on the BOR to declare UP as a safe place for free thought and expression, criticism, and dissent.

It also noted that the Board should “ensure that acts that will impede upon and violate the academic freedom, human rights, and civil liberties of its constituents are not permitted,” as well as “ensure the constituents’ freedoms to study, research, teach, and organize according to its constituents’ interest.”

They also appealed to the BOR to uphold and fortify the UP-DND accord against police and military forces entering UP campuses, and support causes to institutionalize and legislate the accord into law.

“The Board of Regents shall uphold the non-criminalization of the political beliefs by its constituents, in line with the principle of academic freedom,” the resolution read.

The petitioners also requested the BOR to “continue to stand resolutely with the UP community, pursue subsequent action to the damages done by baseless accusations to the image of the university, its constituents and alumni, and exhaust all means to uphold and defend academic freedom and human rights.”