UP Board of Regents urges lawmakers to nullify motion to reconsider approved UP-DND accord bill

Members of the House of Representatives are urged by the University of the Philippines (UP) Board of Regents to declare as null and void the motion for reconsideration on the approval of House Bill No. 10171 which would institutionalize the abrogated University of the Philippines-Department of National Defense (DND) Accord, the university said on Friday, November 5.

University of the Philippines Diliman (Wikimedia)

According to UP's website, the UP-BOR in its 1365th meeting on November 4 has approved and adopted a Resolution that commends the authors of House Bill No. 10171 and the members of the House of Representatives “who heeded the calls of the UP community to defend academic freedom and who worked and fought for the approval of HB No. 10171”.

In October, seven lawmakers declared their opposition to the motion by Cavite 7th District Rep. Jesus Crispin Remulla to reconsider the approval of the said bill. In a letter they sent to Speaker Lord Allan Velasco on October. 4, they said the Lower House made an error when it recalled the approval of the measure during a session in September.

“Five session days had already passed since the deadline on Sept. 22, thereby making the reconsideration invalid,” they said in the letter.

READ MORE: Lower House violated own rules in recall of passage of UP-DND accord – authors

“Thus we would like to put this manifestation on record in the Journal for September 30 and request that the move for reconsideration of HB 10171 be declared null and void,” it added.

In UP-BOR's resolution, they lauded the same lawmakers namely Partylist Rep. Sarah Jane Elago; Bayan Muna Representatives Carlos Zarate, Ferdinand Gaite, and Eufemia Cullamat; ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro; Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas; and Quezon City 6th District Rep. Jose Christopher Belmonte.

During its session on September 21, the lower chamber, with 179 affirmative votes, unanimously approved House Bill No. 10171 that would amend Section 11 of the Republic Act No. 9500 or the 2008 UP Charter.

UP also said that the BOR resolution calls on the Senate to take action and make the necessary measures to approve the Senate version of the bill filed by Senator Joel Villanueva which is currently pending at the committee level. It was supposed to be sent to the Senate upon third and final reading in the Lower House.

The resolution is appealing to the DND and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to maintain the enforcement of the principles, objectives and guidelines of the 1989 UP-DND Accord and the 1992 UP-DILG Accord “as an act of good faith in the light of the recent development in Congress seeking to enact them into law”.

The UP-DND accord which was signed on June 30, 1989 prohibits the entry of both the police and military without prior notification or coordination with the university. In January, it was unilaterally abrogated following allegations of communist recruitment inside the campus.