Statement on the Alleged NPA Recruitment in UP Mindanao
Lyre Anni E. Murao
Chancellor, UP Mindanao
We express grave concern over a recent post from an alumnus on social media about the alleged NPA recruitment in the UP Mindanao campus, which has affected the UP Mindanao community. The post may have been based on an experience of the concerned individual while he was a student about two decades ago. This does not warrant the citing of the post as the basis of allegations from the National Security Council of the Philippines.
The impact of this baseless allegation and irresponsible publication through social media has created distress among our faculty, students, and staff. Some are currently experiencing harassment, both in person and on social media. We are one with our students in the call against any form of harassment because of this recent red-tagging and hasty generalizations.
We will take legal action due to harassment, when necessary, to protect the welfare of our constituents, especially our students. Furthermore, we are committed to remain vigilant and to uphold the welfare of our students and the entire UP Mindanao community against undue harassment by any form or means.
Over its 27 years of existence, UP Mindanao has produced graduates who are now serving as public servants, health workers, educators, scientists, lawyers, communicators, business professionals, development workers, etc. As the country’s national university, UP is a community of diverse personalities, ideas, and beliefs. This is encouraged as part of its respect for academic freedom and to develop critical thinking among its students. These form the foundations for their discernment and decision-making to build their capacities for leadership roles. We encourage our students to be genuine iskolars ng bayan and to serve the people and communities.
Academic freedom is articulated in the UP Charter and the 1987 Philippine Constitution. This valuable principle is a recognized rule of law, as specified in Article XIV, Sec. 5.2, that “academic freedom shall be enjoyed in all institutions of higher learning.”
Let us all, as one community, join efforts to assert academic freedom and encourage critical thinking. Let us join the fight against baseless red-tagging. We call on our students, faculty, staff, and alumni to protect the enabling environment for responsible freedom of thought and expression.
We are one with all universities that have been similarly identified as recruitment havens of so-called enemies of the state. We call on the academic community to work together to sustain academic freedom and critical thinking --- the hallmarks of a flourishing learning institution.
21 May 2022