The Department of Interior and Local Government and the University of the Philippines consented to a review of a 1992 accord that banned police officers from entering UP campuses without first notifying school officials.
Undersecretary and DILG spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that both parties agreed to form a technical working group whose function will be to review provisions of the accord.
“We have two options,” Malaya said. “Amend the UP-DILG agreement or create a new agreement.”
He also mentioned that some provisions were “unconstitutional” but did not divulge the specifics.
While both agreed that some sections of the agreement were no longer applicable, they discussed the need to strengthen security on campus especially due to presence of commercial establishments that may attract criminals, and the presence of alleged front organizations of the Communist Party of the Philippines that recruits students.
Malaya stressed that they only wanted to tackle the recruitment issue of students, not their expressions of dissent through peaceful protests.
Present at the meeting were UP President Danilo Concepcion and chancellor Fidel Nemenzo.
Last Thursday, UP and Department of National Defense officials met and renewed their pledge to protect academic freedom and enforce national laws while discussing differences caused by the unilateral termination of the 1989 pact preventing military forces on UP grounds.
Facilitated by CHED chairman Prospero de Vera III, the dialogue was the first interaction between both parties since the 31-year-old deal’s abrogation last month.
Photo: Manila Bulletin
A joint statement signed by De Vera, Lorenzana and Concepcion read: “The dialogue afforded the key leaders the opportunity to discuss the way forward and possible areas of cooperation on how both institutions can promote their mutual aspirations to ensure a safe and secure environment conducive to learning.”
The dialogue is set to continue in future meetings, however, specifics of the schedule were not mentioned.
CHED also announced that they planned to open dialogues between military and other higher education institutions to reach a compromise that upholds both protection of the public and academic freedom.
The 1992 accord signed by then-UP President Jose Abueva and former DILG chief Rafael Alunan, following the enactment of RA 6975, which birthed the Philippine National Police under the interior department.
Just last month, the government unilaterally abrogated a 1989 accord that prevented military and police from entering UP campuses without prior notice to the school administration, on claims that the university was a “hotbed” of recruitment into rebel groups.
The move caused widespread criticism from the public, especially from UP alumni, some of them government officials.