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Absconding on their other social responsibility

UNLESS the University of the Philippines (UP) administration admitted that it bears part of the responsibility, it would continue to be blind to the ugly truth raised by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on why he decided to unilaterally terminate the 1989 DND-UP “agreement” that bars the university to the entry of the police and military without the administration’s “prior consent.

With 18 UP students (thus far) confirmed as ending up as “fighters” for the New People’s Army or “cadres” of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP-NPA), both declared as “terrorist organizations” their defense that UP has never been a “haven of enemies of state” as pointed out by the defense chief, rings hollow indeed.

That UP being the recruitment ground of the communists, along with the country’s other colleges and universities, public or private, is an established fact.

Indeed, the “scholars” and the “academics” that they are, they should have known that much earlier, the first echelon leaders of the CPP-NPA, like founder Jose Maria Sison and next party chairman, Rodolfo Salas, are both UP graduates while others were also recruited during their student years.

And that this has been the case is because school administrators, as the facts bore out, have been wholly negligent (or tolerant) to the activities of CPP-NPA front organizations right under their noses all these times.

It is in this expectation– that our premier state university should now be protected from the communist scourge– that we should appreciate Sec. Lorenzana’s scrapping of the 1989 UP-DND accord.

We agree. To encourage critical thinking, to “think outside of the box” and for our citizens, thru our educational system, to form an independent opinion on a lot of things is important in the strengthening of our democracy. And our democracy is strong when we have an enlightened citizenry who are products of our educational institutions.

But when the administrators of our educational system, like those at UP, cannot understand, or refuse to understand, the line that separates legitimate dissent and “academic freedom” from political agitations designed to plant the seed of hatred against the government (and everything else that we hold dear),

When they continue to countenance the launching of activities by these front organizations aimed at converting our students into radicals and terrorists, then they need to be reminded they have become irresponsible administrators.

And that having absconded with their other social responsibility to protect the students, our children, from turning into future terrorists and our campuses into a refuge for their recruiters, the State, would have to take decisive action for the greater good.

While we also expect that another agreement may soon be signed between the DND and UP if only for the sake of “peaceful coexistence” between the government and our academic community, the abrogation of the 1989 agreement should be a wake-up call to our school administrators.

That more than providing “quality education” to our students, they have also a similar responsibility to ensure that our national unity and stability are strengthened and not destroyed by their official negligence.

And this is a responsibility that they must be conscious of all the time.