Senator Kiko Pangilinan took to Twitter on Monday night to express his outrage against the decision of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to unilaterally terminate the agreement that barred the presence of the military on the campuses of the University of the Philippines.
“Tinutulan natin ang panghihimasok ng diktador noon. UP has always been and will always be a citadel of freedom and democracy. No to the unilateral and arbitrary termination of the Enrile-Soto Accord. Pakiusap lang. Please don’t mess with UP,” he tweeted.
In a January 15 letter to UP President Danilo Concepcion, the DND chief informed the university that the DND was terminating or abrogating the agreement.
The UP-DND accord, according to Pangilinan, was signed in 1989.
“During my term as USC chair in 1986 what was governing was the Enrile-Soto accord of 1981. The precursor was the 1981 Enrile-Soto accord entered into by Sonia Soto, LFS Natl Chair and then Defense Secretary Enrile,” he recalled.
“The 1981 accord covered all campuses nationwide. The agreement was forged when a synchronized nationwide student boycott was successfully organized but many student activists were arrested and jailed…..” Pangilinan said.
“The nationwide protests however continued despite the arrests,” he recalled.
“To diffuse the tension, the DND agreed to negotiate with the students culminating in the signing of the Enrile-Soto 1981 accord. The DND had to notify campus officials prior to their entry into campus grounds,” Pangilinan said.