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Napolcom wants 1992 DILG-UP accord canceled; UPLB says deal still in effect
Police on standby at the University of the Philippines Cebu where protesters gather vs the anti-terror bill on June 5.
The Freeman/Aldo Banaynal, file

Napolcom wants 1992 DILG-UP accord canceled; UPLB says deal still in effect

(Philstar.com) - February 1, 2021 - 6:39pm

MANILA, Philippines — The National Police Commission on Monday backed the interior department's proposal to scrap its deal with the University of the Philippines requiring police personnel to notify the institution before entering any of the university's campuses. 

This comes after Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana also abrogated his department's similar deal, prohibiting both police and military forces from carrying out warrants before doing the same. 

Napolcom vice chairman and executive officer Vitaliano Aguirre II was quoted in a report aired by DZMM TeleRadyo as saying that if it were up to him, the Department of the Interior and Local Government's 1992 deal with UP would also be terminated, adding that Lorenzana's decision was the right one. 

Speaking at the PNP's flag-raising earlier Monday commemorating the agency's 30th anniversary, newly-minted Aguirre vowed to repay President Rodrigo Duterte for his trust and confidence in the recently-appointed chief. 

“I commit all my God-given talents and abilities and even my sacred honor to live up to our dear President’s expectations. With the providence and guidance of the Almighty and the political will of our President, it can be done and it will be done,” he said.

“I cannot do it alone. I need the help and support of everyone. Can I trust you with this?” he also said in Filipino.

The DILG, under which the Napolcom and PNP are attached agencies, also called for a review of its own 1992 agreement with the premier state university.

“With the growth of the population within each campus, the current capability of the university’s police and firefighting forces must be assessed. Are they capable of carrying the responsibility of ensuring the safety and security of their students inside their campus?” DILG spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said in a statement.

“Upon the request of UP, we are open to a meeting. We really need to sit down and talk about many of the changes and problems inside UP. The bottom line is, and will always be, to ensure peace and security in the students and faculty of UP,” he also said in mixed Filipino and English.

Why does this matter?

  • Peaceful protest actions and demonstrations are typically held within the UP Diliman campus
  • The Commission on Human Rights, also a common site for protesters, is also within the campus' borders 
  • UP grounds have long been a safe haven for activists, as they cannot be arrested on school grounds 
  • With the agreement scrapped, police and military forces can freely enter campuses if they so desire 

'Entry of PNP personnel on campus remains prohibited'

In a separate statement issued Monday, UP Los Baños Chancellor Jose Camacho, Jr. reminded authorities that while the DND accord had been terminated, the university's deal with the DILG remained in effect. 

Thus, he said, police officers are still prohibited from entering the state university without notifying its administrators beforehand. 

"The last time we checked, the 1992 DILG-UP Memorandum of Agreement is still in effect. Because of it, we would like to make one thing clear–the entry and presence of PNP personnel on campus remains prohibited except in hot pursuit operations and when their assistance is requested by the university. And we will always demand that this be respected," his statement read. 

"We are one with the faculty, staff, and students in denouncing the abrogation of the UP-DND accord as we view it as an assault on the freedom of UP as the only declared national university in the country by law and not simply an institution of higher learning," it also said. 

Franco Luna

NAPOLCOM NATIONAL POLICE COMMISSION PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE PNP
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: February 12, 2021 - 4:24pm

The Department of National Defense has told the University of the Philippines that is is terminating an agreement that requires the police and military to coordinate with the university administration on entering or holding operations in UP campuses.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the department "is aware that there is indeed an ongoing clandestine recruitment" inside UP campuses and the accord is being used to prevent government from holding operations.

The move has been criticized widely on social media, with many saying it endangers the academic freedom and activism that UP is known for. UP campuses have also been venues for protests on national and social issues. 

Photo: The UP Oblation symbolizes excellence, sacrifice and service for the common good. The STAR, file

February 12, 2021 - 4:24pm

The Department of National Defense says the appeal of UP Diliman's University Student Council to restore the abrogated 1989 DND-UP accord is untimely.

Defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong points out that discussions between the DND and the UP on the cancellation of the pact have already started.

"Both parties have agreed to sit down again to further express their positions on the issue, and possibly come up with an acceptable deal that would balance legal considerations and moral obligations," Andolong says.

February 8, 2021 - 8:20am

A technical working group will be formed to study a 1992 security agreement between the University of the Philippines and the Department of the Interior and Local Government, DILG spokesperson Jonathan Malaya says.

The agreement prohibits the police to operate on campus grounds without prior notice.

"At first I thought the men who made up the UP police were actually policemen. If these are security guards or security teams, they should be called such and regulated by the PNP. UP police force is not currently regulated by the PNP," Malaya tells ANC's "Headstart."

January 27, 2021 - 11:26am

The police and military should not be in a panel that the Commission on Higher Education says will be tasked with defining academic freedom, Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan says.

The panel will be convened amid backlash against the security sector insistence on entering UP freely to conduct operations against supposed communist rebels.

"Might we ask [CHED Chair Prospero] De Vera, what qualifies the generals of the AFP and PNP as ‘education experts’ that justifies them having a role, a determining role at that, in defining academic freedom?” John Lazaro, SPARK national spokesperson, says in a statement.

“To add, why should they be included in a discussion about academic freedom, while the real stakeholders, the students, professors, and school employees are left out of the discussion?”

January 26, 2021 - 3:24pm

The Quezon City government supports academic freedom in the University of the Philippines and in other colleges and universities in the city, Mayor Joy Belmonte says in a press statement.

"I was a lecturer at the UP before, and I know how important academic freedom is in an educational institution.  True learning will only happen in an environment where there is a free discourse of ideas by all members of the community," she says.

Quezon City is home to UP Diliman as well as to Ateneo de Manila University, both of which have been accused of being recruitment grounds for communist rebels. The two universities — as well as Far Eastern University, University of Santo Tomas and De La Salle University — have rejected the allegations.

"In Quezon City, academic freedom will always be protected and upheld," Belmonte also says.

--

Disclosure: Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte is a shareholder of Philstar Global Corp., which operates digital news outlet Philstar.com. This article was produced following editorial guidelines.

January 24, 2021 - 4:40pm

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana stands by his decision to abrogate the DND's agreement with the University of the Philippines.

"We stand by our choice to protect our youth and encourage our fellow Filipinos to help us finally end this 50-year war," Lorenzana says.

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