We in the University of the Philippines take exception to recent claims made by the Armed Forces of the Philippines that some UP colleges, units and offices have knowingly condoned their alleged “infiltration” by the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army.
The UP administration is unaware of and has received no specifics regarding these recent allegations and the circumstances surrounding them. We are, of course, willing to sit down with the authorities to discuss the facts of each case in the spirit of open dialogue, and to cooperate with them in going through the proper legal procedures for their resolution.
As it stands now, these allegations, lacking as yet any factual evidence, serve as unnecessary distractions for both UP and the AFP at a time when there are far greater crises, including a global pandemic, confronting us. At worst, these allegations pose a very real danger to the lives and safety of our students, faculty, staff and the members of the UP community. These dangers come not only from elements of the military and the police, but also from vigilantes who seek to take justice into their own hands.
The University of the Philippines is, has always been and will continue to remain a safe space for free thought and expression, intelligent criticism and dissent. This, too, is in accordance with the law of the land. While we will continue to work with the AFP, the PNP and other government agencies to achieve our common aspiration to improve the lives of the Filipino people, we will also continue to defend UP from all attacks and machinations against our academic freedom and to uphold the safety and freedom of all the members of our community.
Again we do not condone violence, terrorism, or coercion as a means of political action from whatever source or for whatever purpose. We call on the military and police leadership to engage with UP and other universities in a constructive dialogue on the issues involved in these allegations, to dispel their chilling effect and encourage trust and confidence in our uniformed services.