University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Chancellor Jose Camacho Jr. said the entry and presence of the Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel on campus is still prohibited, allaying “insinuations” of “any agreement” during a recent visit to the Laguna Police Provincial Office.
“Some sectors are demanding that we disclose the details of our visits to the Office of the Governor Extension Office in Calamba City and the Laguna Police Provincial Office (LPPO) on 28 January 2021,” Camacho said in a statement on Monday.
“The details of the twin visits are already available in the updates provided in our website. We took a proactive stance to uphold the academic freedom of the university, and ensure the safety and security of our constituents and our surrounding communities where our faculty and staff live and where our students reside in private dormitories,” he added.
Camacho considered the visits as opportunity to expand off-campus graduate programs as a number of uniformed personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and PNP have enrolled in the UPLB’s degree programs at the master’s level.
“We are one with the faculty, staff, and students in denouncing the abrogation of the UP-DND accord as we view it as an assault on the freedom of UP as the only declared national university in the country by law and not simply an institution of higher learning,” he said.
“Thus, there is no reason for any apprehension or misgivings from the ranks of our faculty, staff, and students. Any insinuation of any ‘agreement’ with the Laguna PNP that does not conform to the purpose of our visit is not true. The university will always be a safe haven for the freedom of speech and expression and a venue for voices that cry for social justice and human rights,” he added.
Camacho also pointed out that the 1992 Department of the Interior and Local Government-UP memorandum of agreement is still in effect.
“Because of it, we would like to make one thing clear–the entry and presence of PNP personnel on campus remains prohibited except in hot pursuit operations and when their assistance is requested by the university. And we will always demand that this be respected,” he said.
The 1992 DILG-UP agreement was signed by then Interior Secretary Rafael Alunan and former UP President Jose Abueva after the Republic Act No. 6975 placed the police from the DND to the DILG.
Earlier, the DND unilaterally terminated the 1989 UP-DND accord, which prohibits state forces from entering the university premises without prior notice to the UP administration.