The University of the Philippines (UP) remains “one of the rich sources” of warm bodies for the New People’s Army (NPA), but the tragedy is many UP students who become NPAs get killed in clashes with government forces.
That fact, according to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Gilbert Gapay, should be grounds to terminate the agreement between UP and the Department of National Defense (DND) banning police and military personnel from conducting operations or searches within the university’s campuses.
“The termination of the agreement should instead be focused on the fact that UP is one of the rich sources of NPA recruits,” Gapay said in a statement.
He said, citing AFP records, that at least 18 UP students recruited by the NPA were killed in clashes with government forces. “And this deadly recruitment has to stop,” he said.
“We cannot remain bound by an agreement that dictates that we have to seek permission before we can enter UP campuses,” Gapay said. “We should not be tied to a covenant that requires prior notice before we can effect arrests or searches even if the courts have issued the warrants,” he added.Gapay also clarified that the scrapping of the UP-DND agreement will not result in the military interfering with students exercising their freedoms. SOVEREIGNPH