[Statement] Uphold the UP-DND Accord! Defend UP! -UP Manila SC
Uphold the UP-DND Accord!
The UP Manila University Student Council rejects the recent move of the Department of National Defense (DND) to unilaterally terminate the UP-DND Accord. We vow to remain in our long-fought struggle to safeguard academic freedom and the democratic rights of the members of the UP community as concretized in the agreement.
We refuse to cower to the deceptions of a government institution that masquerades as a protector of human rights but in reality, only serves as a conduit for the further curtailment of our freedoms.
Last January 15, DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana wrote to UP President Danilo Concepcion stating the abrogation of the said agreement with the goal of “protecting and securing the institution and youth against the enemies of the Filipino people.” In the absence of any substantial evidence, Lorenzana claimed “clandestine recruitment” of the CPP-NPA in the University. The only basis thereof is the undisclosed number of UP students identified to be members of the said organization.
Lorenzana justified the withdrawal of the agreement by asserting the need to perform their legal mandate and thus allowing the unimpeded entry of police and military purposes in the University. Despite his claim of steering from “suppress(ing) activist groups, freedom and freedom of expression,” the fascist nature of the police and military renders this statement empty and deceitful. Especially in the face of the countless assaults to the UP-DND Accord and the fully broadcasted vendetta of law enforcement against dissent and activism, we have no other option but to resist.
The dangers that come with the termination of the UP-DND Accord are even amplified with the implementation of the unconstitutional Anti-Terrorism Law. When the state has exhibited unrelenting disrespect for human rights, our trust rests anywhere but the very institutions supposed to protect us.
Ultimately, we have nowhere to train our eyes to but the fascist and oppressive Duterte regime. So long as Duterte and his lackeys rest on their positions of power, our security as a nation will never be guaranteed. Hence, we call on every member, institution, and student formation of the UP community to unite in resisting and overturning the termination of the UP-DND Accord.
We must also remember that no agreement nor law could outweigh the collective struggle of the masses in advancing our democratic rights. And as we resist the DND’s advances, our struggle to unseat Duterte continues.
Uphold the UP-DND Accord!
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