MANILA – The Department of National Defense (DND) on Friday called the appeal of the University of the Philippines (UP) Council to revive the terminated 1989 agreement between the two institutions as untimely.
This is because discussions on the cancellation of the agreement that limits the movement of government security forces inside the campus have already started between DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and UP President Danilo Concepcion, Defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said in a statement.
“Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and UP President Danilo Concepcion have already started their dialogue and have both agreed to continue their discussion to address the issue,” he added.
The dialogue between the two officials took place last February 4.
Andolong said both parties have agreed to sit down again to further express their positions on the issue, and possibly come up with an acceptable deal that would balance legal considerations and moral obligations.
“We find this appeal to be untimely and surprising since the UP President himself has said that their discussions should continue,” he added.
Lorenzana earlier terminated the 1989 DND-UP agreement which requires government security forces to give the university administration prior notification before they conduct any operations inside UP campuses.
Exceptions to the said requirement include hot pursuit cases and ordinary transit. In abrogating the agreement on January 15, Lorenzana called the arrangement “obsolete”.
He added that the agreement was used by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army to turn UP into a breeding ground of “intransigent individuals and groups whose extremist beliefs have inveigled students to join their ranks to fight against the government.”
The Senate, on January 26, has adopted Resolution No. 616 urging DND and UP to “revisit” their 1989 agreement on military presence in the state university’s campuses and called for a dialogue between both parties. (PNA)