After UP pact scrapping, PNP says academic freedom to remain 'intact'

After UP pact scrapping, PNP says academic freedom to remain 'intact'

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday said the University of the Philippines’ (UP) academic freedom won’t be violated even after the Department of National Defense (DND) terminated its 1989 agreement with the university.

“The abrogation of the DND-UP accord does not make the state university less of itself. It still has its academic freedom kept intact,” PNP spokesman Brigadier General Ildebrandi Usana said in a statement, reacting to the abrogation of the UP accord, which is an agreement that requires state security forces to notify school officials before conducting anti-insurgency operations in their university.

“It must do its job for the proper development of the youth in order to become productive members of our society,” he further said.

Usana also assured that the police organization, which is facing alleged human rights violations in the bloody drug war, will protect human rights of students in UP campuses.

“The security sector will likewise do their job in protecting the higher interest of the people, human rights one of them, as mandated by the Constitution,” he said.

Earlier, Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana defended their with the state university because it has become “a safe haven for the enemies of the state.”

Usana, for his part, said the DND is only doing its mandate to “protect the state and its people from its enemy.”

In 2019, the nation’s police force also called for the review of the agreement between DND and UP to maximize police visibility inside campuses.