^
Bato denies heâs anti-UP, says heâs anti-Red
“I have known UP as a fertile ground that cultivates free thinking. It encourages ideas coming from the left, right or center. It welcomes a wide range of discourses that redound to the welfare of the youth. I am quite puzzled now why they are resisting ideologies from the right and center of the political spectrum,” Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said.
The STAR/Geremy Pintolo

Bato denies he’s anti-UP, says he’s anti-Red

Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) - January 28, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker yesterday urged University of the Philippines officials to be open to ideas not just from leftists, but also those coming from the government in the wake of the controversial termination of the UP-Department of National Defense (DND) agreement.

“I have known UP as a fertile ground that cultivates free thinking. It encourages ideas coming from the left, right or center. It welcomes a wide range of discourses that redound to the welfare of the youth. I am quite puzzled now why they are resisting ideologies from the right and center of the political spectrum,” Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said.

Dela Rosa has expressed respect for the country’s premier state university following his lone abstention on the adoption of the proposed resolution welcoming the dialogue between DND and UP officials.

“For the record, I am not anti-UP, I am anti-CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front). I respect UP as a breeding ground for the best and brightest minds that this country has produced,” he said as he urged both parties to revisit the agreement.

Dela Rosa, a former Philippine National Police chief, also stressed his decades-long fight against the ideologies of the CPP, its armed wing the NPA and the NDF.

“My decision for not supporting the proposed resolution should not be interpreted that I am against UP. My vote and this manifestation are a testament of my lifelong battle against the ideologies of CPP-NPA,” Dela Rosa said. “I cannot think of any benefits for our country for their existence. Many police officers and military personnel have been killed in the hands of this communist-terrorist group.”

For over 30 years, Dela Rosa said the communist rebels have taken advantage of its 1989 agreement with the DND by recruiting young and promising minds to be their combatants against the government.

“With this protective mantle, this leftist group randomly recruited young and brilliant students from this premier university to be members of their organization, and served as its juvenile frontliners in fighting the government,” he said.

Dela Rosa, who chairs the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, led several public hearings in 2019 on the alleged recruitment of minors by leftist groups, where parents and communist rebel returnees testified that the CPP-NPA-NDF recruited minors for their armed struggle to topple the government.

Meanwhile, rights advocate Karapatan said the red-tagging by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) of people and institutions in the country serves as pretext for the implementation of the Duterte government’s terror law.

Karapatan decried “these baseless and deplorable acts” as direct violations of the people’s rights to freedom of thought and free expression, to association and the exercise of the defense of human rights. “Such acts pose grave and serious risks to the lives, liberties and security of individuals, groups, and communities – and it is a clear preview of what is to come if and when the terror law is fully implemented and used by the same actors in their recycled posts at the Anti-Terrorism Council.”

Karapatan secretary-general Cristina Palabay reiterated their support for individuals, communities and institutions, particularly the academic entities, affected by these acts “in asserting the right to spaces and exercises for critical thinking and academic freedom.” – Rhodina Villanueva

DND
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with