Chancellor Jose V. Camacho Jr. addresses the UPLB community in a letter, assuring that the campus will continue to stand for freedom and democracy.
In the statement posted in UPLB’s website, Chancellor Camacho assures that the campus will be a safe space free from red-tagging and the violation of rights protected under the law.
“Magpapatuloy tayo bilang institusyong kumikiling sa ating mandato na magpayabong ng kaalaman, manaliksik, at maglingkod sa sambayanan. Mahalin natin ang bawat isa at patuloy nating mahalin ang ating bayan,” Chancellor Camacho wrote.
Last year, the UPLB Safe Haven Resolution was approved by the University Council (UC) ensuring that UPLB remains a safe space for constituents to express academic freedom and critical thinking.
Part of its resolutions also include support for human rights and civil liberties (READ: ‘Hindi mali ang pakikibaka’: UPLB students push to keep campus a safe haven after alarming police presence in Brgy. Batong Malake, Los Baños).
Despite the approval of the Safe Haven Resolution, UPLB students encountered a red-tagging incident last March 21 during a National Service Training Program (NSTP) webinar.
The webinar speaker, who is a former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff, tagged mass mobilizations and international solidarity work as front acts of the New People’s Army (NPA) (READ: UPLB progressives condemn red-tagging in NSTP webinar; USC calls for ‘thorough review’ of lecture materials).
Meanwhile, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) released a statement on May 11 cautioning against disruptors and destabilizers of peace and order.
This was after various sectors reported irregularities during the May 9 National Elections.
On UNTV, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon cautioned against school walkouts as dangerous avenues for NPA recruitment.
As a response, the UP’s President’s Advisory Council (PAC) releases statement expressing grave concern on the NTF-ELCAC’s red-tagging of UP constituents.
PAC adds that “such statements maliciously misrepresent legitimate forms of protests”, endangering students in their “democratic exercise”.
“We will not stand down when our students’ lives are at risk. We will continue to defend our academic spaces. We will protect our students vigorously against red-tagging, harassment, and intimidation. We will safeguard the University from destabilizing forces,” PAC assured.
Read PAC’s full statement here: https://up.edu.ph/statement-of-the-university-of-the-philippines-presidents-advisory-council/
Read Chancellor Camacho’s full statement here: https://uplb.edu.ph/all-news/magmamatyag-maglilingkod-magmamahal-sa-bayan/ [P]
Photo by Dianne Sanchez