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Schools hit AFP's rehashed, unproven claim on ties with CPP-NPA
This composite photo shows Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, Far Eastern University and University of Santo Tomas
Facebook/Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, Far Eastern University, University of Santo Tomas

Schools hit AFP's rehashed, unproven claim on ties with CPP-NPA

Christian Deiparine (Philstar.com) - January 24, 2021 - 5:09pm

MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila universities have denounced the military's claim yet again done without proof that they are recruiting students to the communist movement, in what appears to be another attempt by state forces to tag schools as having ties with the CPP-NPA.

School administrators on Sunday rejected Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade's recent remarks, describing it as irresponsible and a mere rehash of what he had alleged in 2018, which had visibly failed to materialize as like this one, came with no concrete evidence.

"We therefore object to General Parlade's statement and emphasize that our institutions neither promote nor condone recruitment activities of the New People's Army and, indeed, of any movement that aims to violently overthrow government," the statement read, as posted by Ateneo on Twitter.

Signatories of the joint statement were Fr. Roberto Yap of the Jesuit-run Ateneo, Bro. Raymundo Suplido of De La Salle Manila, Fr. Isaias Tiongco of University of Santo Tomas, and Dr. Michael Alba of Far Eastern University.

There were 18 schools in total included in Parlade's claim, others of which would no longer be named as he had not supported his allegation.

The military spokesperson has long been known as having a knack for blatantly resorting to "red-tagging" or naming individuals or institutions as having communist ties, which often results in those linked as facing threats or worse, killed.

In October last year, no less than Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana essentially told Parlade to keep it to himself if he would only fail to substantiate his accusations which, at that time, was hurled against celebrities.

To date, Parlade faces criminal and administrative charges for his repeated red-tagging, particularly on members of the progressive Makabayan bloc in Congress in July 2020 and of human rights advocates later in December of that year.

No progress, however, has so far been reported on the cases.

"We assert that: As Philippine schools, we value the Filipinos' basic constitutional rights of speech, thought, assembly, and organization," the statement continued, asserting that higher educational institutions "must retain independence and autonomy from the State and other social institutions."

The incident comes a week after the defense department nixed its accord with state-run University of the Philippines, which had prohibited entry of military and police personnel in its campuses after three decades. 

It has since been viewed largely as a threat to academic freedom, and is seen to reduce spaces for expressing dissent at a time when protests are disallowed due to the pandemic.

The Duterte administration has sought to rid the country of its decades-long insurgency problem, but no less than President Rodrigo Duterte just years ago shunned holding peace talks until the end of his term.

Such efforts have seen him, Parlade and others particularly in the anti-communist task force, as naming individuals out in the open as having ties with the now declared terrorist group CPP-NPA, sans proof. 

ANTONIO PARLADE ARMED FORCE OF THE PHILIPPINES ATENEO DE MANILA UNIVERSITY DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FAR EASTERN UNIVERSITY RED-TAGGING RODRIGO DUTERTE UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: March 25, 2021 - 11:15am

University of the Philippines President Danilo Concepcion shoots down allegations by the military of "infiltration" by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples' Army in the university's units.

Concepcion says the university administration had no knowledge of the allegations nor details and circumstances of such claims by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

"We call on the military and police leadership to engage with UP and other universities in a constructive dialogue on the issues involved in these allegations, to dispel their chilling effect and encourage trust and confidence in our uniformed services," Concepcion says in a statement.

 

March 25, 2021 - 11:15am

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon files a bill seeking to criminalize red-tagging.

If passed into law, it would make red-tagging punishable by up to 10 years in prison and disqualify those convicted from holding public office. —  Phistar.com/Bella Perez-Rubio

January 28, 2021 - 12:49pm

Maj. Gen. Alex Luna has been relieved as armed forces deputy chief for intelligence over the publication of an incorrect list of alleged communist rebels, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana announces.

Luna's relief from the post, first reported by CNN Philippines, is over social media posts that falsely tagged UP alumni as having been captured and killed after joining the New People's Army.

Lorenzana says the incident was "an unforgivable lapse."

He says Luna's "negligence only shows a lackadaisical attitude towards his job resulting to confusion and damage to reputation."

January 25, 2021 - 10:54am

Military social media page Armed Forces of the Philippines Information Exchange apologizes to people it tagged as University of the Philippines alumni whom they said had been captured or killed after joining the New People's Army.

Some of those named, among them lawyers, held a press briefing over the weekend to condemn their inclusion on the list and to declare that they were neither captured by the military, or, obviously, killed.

"The Office of the J7, AFP is already conducting an internal investigation as to how the list got published. Personnel who are responsible will be held to account," it also says.

January 24, 2021 - 3:42pm

Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, Far Eastern University and the University of Santo Tomas deny the claims of Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. that their universities serve as "recruitment havens" for the New People's Army.

In a joint statement, ADMU President Fr. Roberto Yap SJ, DLSU President Br. Raymundo Suplido FSC, FEU President Dr. Michael Alba and UST Vice Rector Fr. Isaias Tiongco OP say the charge is "really getting old" and "irresponsibly since cast without proof."

"We therefore object to General Parlade's statement and emphasize that our institutions neither promote nor condone recruitment activities of the New People's Army and, indeed, of any movement that aims to violently overthrow the government," the joint statement read.

JUST IN: Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, Far Eastern University, and the University of Santo Tomas...

Posted by The GUIDON on Saturday, 23 January 2021
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