The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) supports the recent act of the Department of National Defense (DND) abrogating the 1989 University of the Philippines (UP)-DND accord.
DILG Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Usec. Bernardo Florece said that “The agreement has become obsolete and no longer attuned to the times. It was signed way back in 1989, three years after the end of the Marcos dictatorship. The times have changed. The conditions have changed.”
Florece agreed with the DND of the ongoing clandestine recruitment inside UP campuses by the CPP/NPA/NDF through its various front organizations and that the agreement is being used by the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) to allow them to operate freely. "This fact has been tolerated by the government for a long time out of respect for the agreement,” he added.
In a letter to the UP President, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenza said that “By reason of national security and safety of UP students, this Department intends to remedy this situation by terminating or abrogating the existing ‘Agreement’ in order for us to perform our legal mandate of protecting our youth against CPP/NPA recruitment activities.”
For its part, the DILG will call for a meeting with officials of UP next week for a review of its own 1992 UP-DILG agreement which limits police presence in UP campuses to find out if the agreement is still relevant and serves to uphold public order and safety within UP campuses.
DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that they are calling 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.
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 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.
Malaya said 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 to determine compliance with the provisions of the agreement.
“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 earlier raised by Secretary Lorenzana.
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 placed 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.