A measure filed by Senator Francis Pangilinan seeks to prohibit the conduct of unauthorized military or police operations in all state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the Philippines.
Pangilinan’s Senate Bill No. 2016 or the proposed Academic Freedom Act primarily seeks to preserve academic and basic freedoms in SUCs. He filed the bill amid the Department of National Defense’s pressing for the abrogation of its long-standing agreement with the University of the Philippines that bans military and police presence in its campuses.
“All institutions of higher learning, especially all state universities and colleges (SUCs), should be centers of free thought – environments that encourage new thoughts and test old ones,” Pangilinan said in filing the bill.
“Intellectual liberty is foundational to a democracy. Our nation’s top political, legal, business, economic, civic, and scientific leaders, both past and present, are fruits of the enjoyment of unimpeded and unrestrained academic freedom by institutions of higher learning,” he further said.
The measures only allows the conduct of operations by uniformed personnel only after coordination with the administration of the SUC.
Also, no uniformed personnel may enter the SUC premises except only in the case of hot pursuit and similar occasions of emergency or in cases of “ordinary transit through the premises.” SOVEREIGNPH