BY JOSEPH PEDRAJAS, JEFFREY DAMICOG, MARTIN SADONGDONG
An indignation rally was held Tuesday inside the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman campus against the supposed “state terror,” following the unilateral abrogation of the Department of National Defense’s (DND) accord with the university.
DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s move to end its accord with UP, which prohibits state forces from entering UP campuses, was not welcomed by the community as shouts of “Defend, Defend, Defend UP” filled the air of Quezon Hall.
UP Student Regent Renee Co led the students and other members of progressive groups that pushed to “uphold UP-DND accord,” which she said, was the product of the many sacrifices and works of university leaders.
Tuesday’s rally drew a crowd, including UP President Danilo Concepcion and UP Diliman Chancellor Fidel Nimenzo.
Concepcion, in a statement, said the UP community “regret[s] that the agreement was abrogated unilaterally, without prior consultation that would have addressed the concerns raised in Lorenzana’s letter.
He said that “instead of instilling confidence in our police and military,” the Defense department’s decision can “only sow more confusion and mistrust, given that” it has not specified what it is that it exactly aims “to do or put in place in lieu of the protections and courtesies afforded by the agreement.”
Concepcion, in his speech during the rally, said that some could not understand the importance of the accord, which in fact gives freedom to students and their professors to think and speak “creatively.”