The Philippine Air Force (PAF) on Thursday said the abrogation of the Department of National Defense-University of the Philippines (DND-UP) agreement will provide more protection for Filipino children, families, and the nation itself.
“The PAF believes that abrogating such agreement will ensure that the AFP can help UP accomplish its mandate to protect the lives and future of Filipino children from duplicitous, ungodly tentacles of CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) recruitment in UP that has been going on for decades. These children – our children – should be guided to enjoy family life and support their families; not go against and be separated from them,” said Lt. Col. Aristides Galang, PAF spokesperson.
He added that the PAF believes that these youths should be nurtured to emerge from UP as the “best and the brightest” of the land who will lead this nation to peace and development; not as terrorists who will kill people, damage property, and divide the nation.
“The termination means that the AFP/PNP is no longer obliged to give “prior notice” to the UP President, Chancellor of constituent university or Dean of regional unit before conducting military or police operations, serving warrants and custodial investigation in any UP campus and of any UP student, faculty or employee. There is nothing irregular or illegal in this as UP would be treated like the rest of the Filipinos.,” Galang said in a statement.
The termination of the agreement that was signed on June 30, 2021, he said, does not diminish “academic freedom” – as UP would still be free to choose who may teach, what to teach, how to teach, and who may be admitted as students.
It will not hinder the search for truth and pursuit of knowledge nor not curtail peaceful assembly.
In abrogating the agreement on Jan. 15, the Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana called the arrangement “obsolete”. He said the CPP-NPA used the agreement to turn the state university into a breeding ground of “intransigent individuals and groups whose extremist beliefs have inveigled students to join their ranks to fight against the government”.