UP Faculty Regent calls for impartial investigation on Cebu abduction, creation of UP committee on acad freedom

18 January 2023 — Faculty Regent Carl Marc Ramota joins the call of the UP community and human rights advocates for an impartial investigation and accountability on the abduction of UP Cebu (UPC) lecturer Armand Jake Dayoha, and alumna, April Dyan Gumanao on January 10, 2023 at the Cebu City port area. Dayoha and Gumanao have been located six days after with the help of the UP Cebu administration.
 
Dayoha, a lecturer of the National Service Training Program since 2015, is an active member of the Cebu chapter of the All U.P. Academic Employees Union (AUPAEU) and a volunteer organizer of the Alliance of Health Workers in Cebu. A Psychology graduate of UPC, he is taking his second undergraduate degree in Fine Arts in the same constituent university.
 
Gumanao is also an alumna of UPC’s Psychology program, and is part of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers’ regional formation.
 
This brazen incident is the latest in a series of documented cases of harassment and intimidation against members of the faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the University who are also active in union and development work, and other human rights advocacies.
 
In February 2019, UPC professor and former AUPAEU Cebu chapter president, Dr. Phoebe Zoe Sanchez was subjected to harassment by suspected security agents during the People Power mobilization in Cebu City. A month after, UPC’s gates were vandalized accusing the university community of being rebels and communist sympathizers.
 
In July 2019, the Miag-ao municipal police station in Iloilo province sent an official communication to the UP Visayas (UPV) administration requesting to obtain information on AUPAEU members.
 
AUPAEU’s Director-at-large, Prof. Noe Santillan, who is also from UPC was subjected to questioning in a checkpoint in his hometown in Cebu for wearing a green cap with red star in September 2019. Meanwhile, Dr. Regletto Imbong, AUPAEU Cebu’s current president received death threats from an unknown number in January 2021.
 
During the celebration of Buwan ng Wika in 2022, Dr. Rommel Rodriguez, AUPAEU’s national campaign officer, Prof. Dexter Cayanes of UP Los Banos, retired UP Diliman professor Reuel Aguila, along with two other writers were tagged as subversives by the National Taskforce to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) for their books that were published by Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, a government agency.
 
These cases highlight the need for the University to intensify efforts by employing its administrative and legal machinery to safeguard its constituents against all forms of human rights violations, and keep its campuses and communities a safe haven for political thought and action.
 
Faculty Regent Ramota is scheduled to convene a system-wide consultative meeting in UP Manila on February 2 to discuss the proposal for the institutionalization of the Committee to Protect and Uphold Academic Freedom and Human Rights, both at the UP System and constituent university levels, and other programs promoting democratic governance in the University.