The Department of National Defense (DND) is looking at scrapping the pacts forged with other schools similar to the newly terminated agreement with the University of the Philippines.
“We are looking into other similar agreements to terminate them as well,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in response to a query about agreements with schools where the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) has reportedly infiltrated and recruited students.
Lorenzana said the department can unilaterally scrap the more than 31-year-old agreement with UP without consultation with its officials.
The DND-UP Agreement signed on June 30, 1989 prohibits the military and the police from entering all UP campuses without prior notice from its administration.
“Of course. Ayaw na namin. We have determined that it doesn’t serve the interest of the students,” Lorenzana said.
The agency decided to terminate the agreement effective Jan. 15, 2021, with Lorenzana calling the arrangement “obsolete”.
READ: Reds use DND-UP deal as shield to recruit members: Lorenzana
The agreement was used by the CPP-NPA to turn UP into the breeding ground of “intransigent individuals and groups whose extremist beliefs have inveigled students to join their ranks to fight against the government”, Lorenzana said.
Philippine National Police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana said the police would likewise do its job in protecting the public and human rights, noting that the DND’s move to terminate the pact with UP is fulfilling its mandate to “protect the state and its people from its enemy”.
“The abrogation of the DND-UP accord does not make the state university less of itself. It still has its academic freedom kept intact. It must do its job for the proper development of the youth so that they become productive members of our society,” Usana said.
“No crackdown. No arrests without warrant. No militarization. The police will just normally do their daily work in communities. If we are called, we will be there as well to protect the rights of students from threats posed by lawless elements,” he added.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (With reports from Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)