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Hinay lang sa banat: Roque warns protesting UP profs they could be sanctioned

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Officials of state universities and colleges (SUCs) have the right to air their sentiments against President Rodrigo R. Duterte as long as they do not violate rules under the Civil Service law, Malacañang said on Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark after faculty members of the University of the Philippines-Diliman’s Mechanical Engineering department accused Duterte of being a “tyrant.”

Roque, a former UP law professor, said Duterte “highly respected” people’s right to free speech but reminded SUC professors that they are working for the government.

“Bagaman at mayroon pong karapatan ng malayang pananalita, huwag po nating kalimutan na tayo po ay empleyado pa rin ng gobyerno sa mga state universities and colleges at dahil diyan sakop pa rin tayo ng civil service laws,” Roque said in a radio interview.

Roque added that SUC officials and professors who were liable of violating civil service laws would be sanctioned.

“Kapag nalabag po ang civil service laws, may pananagutan din ‘no. Iba po iyong magsabi kayo na hindi kayo sumasang-ayon sa mga polisiya, pero iba rin iyon na himukin ang mga estudyante na gumalaw,” Roque said.

Roque earlier said while students were free to protest, they should do it after class since government was paying for their tuition.

“Libre na po ang tuition sa lahat ng state universities and colleges; i-ehersisyo po natin ang karapatan natin, pero igalang pa rin natin angcivil service laws (Tuition in all state universities and colleges is free; let’s exercise our rights but let’s also respect civil service laws),” Roque said.

Roque, however, reiterated that the President was open to criticism from all Filipinos, not foreigners. (PNA)