The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) today said that they and the University of the Philippines will hold a meeting this week to review their 1992 agreement and that the DILG will not unilaterally abrogate the agreement without consulting UP officials.
“Contrary to a report that came out in a broadsheet, the DILG wants to hold a dialogue with UP officials to revisit the 1992 agreement. For the record, what we said was that there is a need to review the 1992 agreement requiring the PNP to notify UP authorities before entering its campuses,” said DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya.
He said that they called for a meeting with UP officials in response to their request for a dialogue or meeting to address the concerns of the Department in the spirit of justice, mutual trust, and the pursuit of excellence.
“The 1992 agreement, in fact, calls for regular meetings between the 2 parties to discuss the implementation of the accord. This meeting therefore is in keeping with agreement and is for the purpose of determining if the agreement is still relevant and serves to uphold public order and safety within UP campuses,” he added.
The UP-DILG Joint Monitoring Team has not met for years now contrary to Section 7 of the UP-DILG agreement which tasks the team to meet at least twice a year or as often as necessary.
Malaya said that the dialogue is in keeping with the spirit of Senate Resolution 616 which urges a dialogue to promote peace and security in UP campuses.
He said that the meeting will assess the level of security in UP considering the proliferation of residential units, business establishments, and informal settler families within UP campuses, especially in UP Diliman. “The non-academic areas in UP have increased through the years and crime has been increasing, thus we need to discuss ways on how we can maintain peace and order in those areas,” he said.
Malaya said portions of the UP campuses which have been leased out to private developers such as UP Technohub and UP Town Center which are now open to the public as well as the entry of thousands of informal settlers inside UP property pose a problem for law enforcement because of the influx of non-UP faculty, students, and residents.
“With the growth of the population within each campus, the current capability of the university’s police and firefighting forces must be assessed. Kaya pa ba nilang panindigan ang responsibilidad na pangalagaan ang seguridad at kaayusan sa loob ng campus?” he said.
“Upon the request of UP, we are open to a meeting. Kailangan na talaga nating umupo at mag-usap dahil sa dami ng mga pagbabago, pangyayari at problema sa UP. The bottomline is, and will always be, to ensure peace and security in the students and faculty of UP,” he said.
The DILG Spokesperson said they also intend to raise the matter of continued clandestine recruitment by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its front organizations of UP students which was the reason cited by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana when it abrogated the UP-DND agreement.
The 1992 UP-DILG agreement was signed by then UP President Jose Abueva and then DILG Secretary Rafael M. Alunan III after the enactment of Republic Act No. 6975 which effectively transferred the country’s police force from the DND to the DILG. The Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police, now Philippine National Police (PNP), was formerly under DND.
Since the police was transferred from the DND to the DILG in 1991, both parties signed the UP-DILG Agreement in 1992 with essentially the same contents as the 1989 UP-DND agreement.
Under both agreements, prior notification shall be given by a commander of an Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) or PNP unit intending to conduct any military or police operations in any of the UP campuses. They shall not also be allowed to enter the premises of the campuses without coordination with UP administration except in hot pursuit cases and similar occasions of emergency, or in ordinary transit through UP premises.