Student Life

Statement of UP Mindanao Against “Red-tagging”

on .

The University of the Philippines (UP) Mindanao administration has seen posts published on social media that accuse UP Mindanao and one of its alumni of collaboration in misleading the youth into joining terrorist groups.

The UP Mindanao strongly repudiates the red-tagging of the institution, its student publication, and its alumnus for the malicious accusation and labelling on subversive involvement in the communist ideology.

Moreover, UP Mindanao neither promotes nor condones any recruitment activity by the outlawed communist party.

We request the public to refrain from spreading disinformation and false allegations that circulate online. The University administration warns such groups that publishing accusations without acceptable evidence or proof is a crime under multiple laws.

As an institution of higher learning, repository and producer of knowledge, and builder of communities, we firmly retain independence and autonomy against those perceived to be enemies of the state.

While we aim to protect one’s right to life, liberty and security from being associated with any communist front organization, this blanket act of red-tagging endangers our students, faculty and whole academic community as it maligns and imperils people for the lawful exercise of their freedom of expression.

In the prevailing context where some of the members of the UP community become the targets of harassment and threats, we in UP Mindanao stand to end the vicious practice of red-tagging.

We urge pertinent government agencies to address legitimate criticism of its policies, and take concrete steps to ensure the safety and protection of individuals from these unlawful acts of red-baiting and other similar acts.

Full text of UP President Concepcion's Letter Reply To The DND

on .

19 January 2021

Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana
Department of National Defense
Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City

Dear Secretary Lorenzana,

I am acknowledging receipt of your letter of 15 January 2021 informing me of the unilateral abrogation by your office of the agreement signed on 30 June 1989 by then DND Secretary Fidel V. Ramos and then UP President Jose V. Abueva—an agreement that, you will recall, established certain norms and protocols governing relations between the University and military and police forces.

I must express our grave concern over this abrogation, as it is totally unnecessary and unwarranted, and may result in worsening rather than improving relations between our institutions, and detract from our common desire for peace, justice, and freedom in our society.

That agreement was forged with the formalities that attend the execution of agreements, imbued with the highest sense of fidelity of the parties. It was grounded in an atmosphere of mutual respect, which we were able to maintain for 30 years through the observance in good faith of its provisions. With few exceptions, protocols were observed and any problems or misunderstandings were amicably and reasonably resolved. The agreement never stood in the way of police and security forces conducting lawful operations within our campuses. Entry was always given when necessary to law enforcers within their mandate.

We regret that the agreement was abrogated unilaterally, without the prior consultation that would have addressed the concerns you raised in your letter. Instead of instilling confidence in our police and military, your decision can only sow more confusion and mistrust, given that you have not specified what it is that you exactly aim to do or put in place in lieu of the protections and courtesies afforded by the agreement.

Perhaps this will be a good opportunity to emphasize that we sought and secured that agreement not to evade or weaken the law, but to protect the climate of academic freedom—guaranteed by the Constitution—that makes intellectual inquiry and human and social advancement possible. We want to maintain UP as a safe haven for all beliefs and forms of democratic expression. In that, all the signatories to the agreement believed and bound themselves to uphold.

Our University community does not and cannot fear the fair and speedy enforcement of the law, and we value and appreciate the contributions of our uniformed services to our safety and security. We do not condone sedition, armed insurrection, or the use of violence for political ends.

At the same time, especially given our experience of martial law, we must reject any form or semblance of militarization on our campuses, which will have a chilling effect deleterious to academic freedom. This abrogation endangers the goodwill necessary for both of us to achieve our mission as responsible members of the same national family.

Our police and military authorities should have no fear of academic freedom. Indeed UP has bred rebels and nonconformists—as well as it has bred presidents, senators, congressmen, and business, civic, and even military leaders. All the world’s great universities have produced the same range of thinkers and doers. By and large, intellectual and political dissidents in UP have always been in the minority, but it is a critical minority that has historically been vital to the maintenance of a healthy democracy.

Left in peace, UP will continue to be a major contributor to the country’s development and to its national leadership in all fields. Its most recent international ranking—65th among the 489 universities in Asia evaluated by the Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings—attests to the high quality of its achievements.

That performance, Mr. Secretary, is the result of its exercise of academic freedom—the freedom to think, to probe, to question, to find and propose better solutions.

May I urge you, therefore, to reconsider and revoke your abrogation, and request further that we meet to discuss your concerns in the shared spirit of peace, justice, and the pursuit of excellence.

Yours sincerely,

Danilo L. Concepcion

Lock full review 888 Bookmaker