[Statement] Workers with UP in fighting for academic and workplace freedom -PM

#HumanRights #DefendUP

Workers with UP in fighting for academic and workplace freedom

Only tyrants are hostile to academic freedom. Sila ang bawal sa UP, hindi ang aktibismo at malayang kaisipan.

The Partido Manggagawa (PM) joins the UP and the whole academic community in upholding academic freedom within the UP system in particular, and for all other universities and learning institutions in general. Academic freedom does not make enemies of the state. It is, on the contrary, this democratic value that unmasks and unmakes tyranny, bigotry, and fundamentalism.

The current generation of workers are surely not aware of this old, little-known pact between UP and the government as represented by the Department of National Defense. Now it shall be known, as it is in the same context – the threat against freedom at the workplace level – that the ‘50-meter proximity rule’ during labor disputes is being observed by the police (Rule 19 Section 3 of 2010 PNP Operational Procedures). This was further upheld by the 2011 “Guidelines on the Conduct of the DOLE, DILG, DND, DOJ, AFP and PNP Relative to the Exercise of Workers’ Rights and Activities”.

This rule, however, is often violated during strikes and lockouts. Lately, a more systematic way of undermining workplace freedom is imposed with the establishment of Joint Industrial Peace Concern Office (JIPCO) in economic zones or EPZAs.

It is in this context that Filipino workers cannot sit idle watching hard-won freedoms collapse in the workplace and campuses because a new tyrant thinks that his only way to preservation is the demolition of human rights. It is because he is also aware of the fact that it is only freedom that can stop a tyrant from perpetuating his rule.

Partido Manggagawa
19 January 2021

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