DEPUTY Speaker Rufus Rodriguez has urged the Department of National Defense (DND) to reconsider its decision in unilaterally abrogating its agreement with the University of the Philippines (UP) on the entry and operation of the military and the police in UP campuses.
“The unilateral decision sends a chilling effect on the exercise of the constitutionally guaranteed rights of academic freedom, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, which have thrived in UP. It will breed mistrust in the government and its uniformed forces. UP has produced trail-blazers in all fields and sectors; thus it is in the State’s interest to protect the rights of the institution, its faculty, and students whose exchange of ideas have continuously strengthened our democracy as shown in our history,” said Rodriguez.
“The scrapping of the agreement could drive political dissenters, who are a minority in the UP community, into extremism, a prospect the DND wants to prevent in its abrogation decision and would be counterintuitive to the goals of the State,” he added.
Rodriguez is an alumnus of the UP College of Law and was once a law professor there.
He called on the defense-military establishment to discuss its concerns with UP officials.
“I am sure UP president Danny Concepcion and other university officials will listen. The two sides can perhaps agree on refinements or changes in their agreement that protect the interests of both the State and UP and its constituents,” Rodriguez added.Publication Source : People's Journal