SENATORS on Wednesday adopted a resolution expressing the sense of the chamber in opposing the termination of an agreement between the University of the Philippines (UP) and the Department of National Defense (DND).
Sen. Aquilino Pimentel 3rd said the DND must focus on why the ideology of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army continues to be attractive to young idealistic Filipinos.
The 1989 accord prevents the military or police from entering UP campuses except in cases of hot pursuit or similar occasions of emergency.
“We should focus on why they were able to attract our idealistic young Filipinos instead of focusing where the recruitment takes place,” Pimentel said during the discussion on Senate Resolution 616 introduced by Sen. Francis Pangilinan.
“We’d better study and ask the more difficult question of why the ideology, which has not proven itself to be successful in any country in the world, continues to be attractive to our idealistic citizens,” Pimentel said.
The Senate welcomed the DND’s decision to answer calls for a dialogue with UP on the termination of the agreement.
Pangilinan urged “both parties to revisit the accord and to further urge DND to hold dialogues with other academic institutions to find a common ground that promotes the rule of law, peace and security, and protects academic freedom and the pursuit of excellence.”
“Academic freedom which includes the freedom to think, speak, move and even dissent
critically, is a freedom that everyone is entitled to; a freedom that UP allowed its students, activists or not, and a freedom that everyone must enjoy,” he said.
“We hope this resolution will inspire an open and transparent, as well as participatory and inclusive dialogue among all parties,” Pangilinan continued.
All senators voted for the adoption of the measure except for Sen. Ronald dela Rosa, who abstained because he supports the abrogation of the accord.
He said “such move is intended to protect the youth from the snares of communism and its empty promises.”