Colleagues raise alarm over arrest of UP professor by undercover cops

Colleagues raise alarm over arrest of UP professor by undercover cops
This undated photo shows the University of the Philippines' campus in Diliman, Quezon City

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 4:21 p.m.) — A UP professor and former president of an academic employees union was arrested Monday by police officers who pretended to be from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

According to the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Dr. Melania Flores of the Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas of the College of Arts and Letters at UP Diliman was served a warrant of arrest but that police did not properly explain the charges against her.

A copy of the arrest warrant posted by AlterMidya indicates Flores has been charged for allegedly violating the Social Security Act, specifically the provisions on the Remittance of Contributions. The warrant, issued last September by Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 230 sets bail at P72,000. AlterMidya, citing information from paralegals assisting Flores said she had not received any complaint, subpoena or notice prior to her arrest.

ACT said the arrest on campus was in violation of a 1992 agreement between the university and the Department of the Interior and Local Government that police operations should be coordinated with the UP administration except in cases of hot pursuit.

"The entire [Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas] is calling on the UP administration for the assistance it can give when teachers like Professor Flores are arrested," her colleagues said in a statement in Filipino, adding it is unclear what Flores has been accused of.

They pointed out that Flores is known as a union leader who has served as All UP Academic Employees Union president for several terms and called for vigilance over the arrest "that could put teachers and unionists in inappropriate situations."

RELATED: PNP backs UP-DND accord termination, claims agreement 'did not serve best interest'

In a separate alert, All UP Academic Employees Union said that Flores was supposedly arrested for violations related to the Social Security System benefits of her househelp.

"Flores' family was just with their helper yesterday and there was no mention of filing cases," the union also said as it also stressed that the arrest violated the UP-DILG Accord.

"Police cannot just enter UP Campus to make arrests," they said.

RELATED: UP questions ‘intrusion’ of armed cops in Diliman campus

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