UP professor, former union leader arrested inside UP campus; groups cite violation of UP-DILG Accord

University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) Professor and former President of All U.P. Academic Employees Union (AUPAEU), Dr. Melania Flores, was arrested in her home inside the UPD Campus Wednesday, Feb. 6 for an alleged violation of Social Security Law in relation to her house helper's benefits.

"Dr. Melania Flores at the Tipunan system-wide consultative meeting of the Office of the Faculty Regent on February 2." Courtesy of UP Office of the Faculty Regent (Facebook)

According to a statement from AUPAEU, undercover personnel from the Criminal Investigation Group of the Philippine National Police went to Flores' house this morning and introduced themselves as staff from the Department of Social Welfare and Development who came to give aid to Flores’ family.

When Flores went out of her house, the personnel in disguise presented a warrant of arrest and apprehended her for the alleged violation.

The union group noted that the involved house helper was with Flores' family last weekend and did not mention any complaints on that matter.

She was brought to Camp Karingal shortly after the incident.

AlterMidya said the warrant was issued to Flores last Sept. 6 by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court but did not receive any notice, complaint, or subpoena prior to the apprehension.

Several teacher's rights groups and university organizations promptly expressed their concern and conducted protests condemning Flores' arrest as a "violation of UP-Department of the Interior and Local Government Accord of 1992."

The Accord has prohibited the unauthorized entry of PNP to UP campuses.

Carl Marc Ramota from the UP Office of the Faculty Regent said in a statement that it did not only violate the UP-DILG Accord but as well as Flores' Miranda rights.

There was no prior coordination with Diliman authorities on the planned operation, he added.

Ramota noted that this event and the recent Cebu abduction incident proved the need for the "institutionalization of a mechanism for monitoring and quick response against rights violations."

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT)-Philippines, in a Facebook post, also stated that Flores' arrest was an "abominable attack by state security forces against teacher and union leader Professor Flores to harass and intimidate her and violate her basic rights."

"We demand the immediate release of Prof. Melania Flores from detention! We demand accountability for the gross violations of the CIDG-PNP on the rights of Prof. Flores and on the UP-DILG Accord," it added.

Flores is a faculty member of the Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature at UP Diliman.

She recently finished her term as AUPAEU president last Feb. 3 and is also a National Council member of ACT.