The University of the Philippines underscored that they do not recruit communists, following Pres. Duterte’s allegations amid the academic strike undertaken by several higher education institutions last week.
A statement issued by the office of UP’s vice president for public affairs, Elena Pernia, read: “The University of the Philippines is an educational institution. [Its] core mission is knowledge and innovation creation, production and dissemination, using various approaches of knowledge transfer.
“UP does not recruit for the communists as this is not its mission,” it said.
The University also pointed out that they produce professionals, specialists, scientists and researchers that contribute to the development of the country. Most recently, UP had conducted clinical trials and developed Covid19 testing kits and mobile apps that help track suspected cases.
The statement went on to say that UP alumni hold positions in all branches of the government; in the executive alone, some Cabinet members are current or former university professors.
“The University of the Philippines values academic freedom,” it added. It also clarified that this did not equate to being “anti-government”, citing the school’s mandate as the national university.
Early last week, students of the Ateneo de Manila University threatened non-submission of requirements in protest to the government’s “criminally neglectful” response to the aftermath of typhoons that ravaged the country just this month.
UP joined the fray but focused their campaign to call for an end to the semester. Some 200 members of faculty signed a petition backing this, as students and families needed time to recover and rebuild their lives disrupted by the recent calamities.