We, members of the faculty and officials of the University of the Philippines Manila, are one with the studentry and U.P. community in expressing our condemnation of the immediate termination of the UP-DND Agreement executed between former U.P. President Jose Abueva and the Department of National Defense on June 30, 1989, pertaining to the conduct of operations of uniformed forces in any of the U.P. campuses.
Forged in the spirit of upholding academic freedom and preserving U.P. autonomy, the Accord was intended to shield the University from State intervention, arbitrary arrest, and violence.
The UP – DND Accord remains highly relevant under the current circumstances. Under a militarized and repressive environment, the Accord provides the University with a tool to protect its constituents and its institutions from external interference and the threat of violence, especially emanating from the State. The Accord has contributed in the preservation of the University’s intellectual independence. It has been valuable in maintaining the University as a bastion of critical thinking and dissent against repression and authoritarian rule.
The unilateral decision of the DND under the leadership of Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is highly unacceptable and cannot be forcibly imposed on the University of the Philippines, the national university of the country. Claiming that the Accord has served as a “hindrance in providing effective security, safety, and welfare of the students, faculty, and employees of UP” is certainly an empty assertion and cannot be used as justification over this arbitrary action. On the contrary, the termination of the Accord will make University constituents vulnerable to State attacks and various forms of human rights violations.
We call on the U.P. Manila constituents to unite and express our indignation over the unilateral termination of the UP – DND Accord.
No to State Intervention and Interference!
Uphold the Right to Freedom of Expression and Assembly!
CHANCELLOR CARMENCITA D. PADILLA, MD, MAHPS
University of the Philippines Manila
19 January 2021