Lorenzana: Termination of DND-UP deal to protect youth from NPA recruitment

CALOOCAN CITY, Jan. 20 (PIA) -- Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana said he is eyeing to terminate the almost 31-year old deal between the DND and the University of the Philippines (UP) because it is being [ab]used by recruiters and supporters of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as a shield or propaganda.

“By reason of national security and safety of Up students, this Department intends to remedy this situation by terminating or abrogating the existing “Agreement” in order for us to perform our legal mandate of protecting our youth against CPP/NPA recruitment activities whose design and purpose is to destroy the democracy we have all fought for,” Lorenzana said in his letter addressed to UP President Danilo L. Concepcion dated Jan. 15, 2021, terminating the DND-UP agreement signed on June 30, 1989.

The deal prohibits the military and police from UP campuses and prevents the government from conducting operations against the communist terrorist group.

The DND, Lorenzana said, is aware of ongoing clandestine recruitment inside UP campuses nationwide by the CPP-NPA, an organization declared by the Anti-Terrorism Council as a terrorist organization and listed as such by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand.

He added that recent events undeniably show that a number of UP students have been identified as CPP-NPA members, some of them have been captured or surrendered while others have been killed in armed encounters with the military and police.

He said it is time to terminate the existing agreement in pursuit of true national peace and development in order to protect and secure the institution and the youth against the enemies of the State without sacrificing the freedoms that have been preserved for about 30 that the “agreement” has been in effect.

Lorenzana, however, said the DND has no intention to assign military and police personnel inside UP campuses nor will it suppress activism, academic freedom, and freedom of expression

“The Department of National Defense has nothing to gain from suppressing these rights and freedoms but will only alienate it further from the people,” his letter read.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, he said, are willing to reach out to the youth and provide them with another perspective on the nation and society, and see the military and police as protectors worthy of everyone’s trust, and not to be feared.

Barring police and military from UP campuses including its regional units without prior notice from the State University’s administration has been a hindrance for the DND in providing effective security for the safety and welfare of its students, faculty, and students, he added. (PIA NCR)


Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

Post a Comment