Sat. Sep 18th, 2021

The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on second reading a bill institutionalizing the 1989 University of the Philippines (UP)-Department of National Defense (DND) accord into the UP Charter.

The chamber passed through voice voting House Bill 10171, which seeks to amend Section 11 of Republic Act 9500 or the University of the Philippines Charter of 2008.

The bill mandates that prior notification should be given by the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), or any other law enforcement agency intending to conduct any police, military, or law enforcement operation in any UP campus nationwide to the UP President or the Chancellor of the constituent university or dean of the college concerned.

It seeks to ban members of the PNP, AFP, or other law enforcement agencies from entering the premises of any of the University campuses or regional units, except in cases of pursuit and similar occasions or emergencies, or whenever requested by law enforcers.

It mandates university officials, whenever requested by law enforcers, to extend the necessary assistance in law enforcement within the premises of the UP campuses.

It shall prohibit subjecting any student, faculty member, or employee to custodial investigation without prior notice to the University President or Chancellor of the constituent university or Dean of the regional unit concerned.

Members of law enforcement agencies shall be prohibited from interfering with peaceful protest actions by individuals or groups within university premises.

The DND-UP Agreement signed on June 30, 1989 prohibits the military and the police from entering all UP campuses without prior notice to its administration.

The agency decided to terminate the agreement effective Jan. 15, 2021, with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana calling the arrangement “obsolete.”

Lorenzana said the agreement was used by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) to turn UP into the breeding ground of “intransigent individuals and groups whose extremist beliefs have inveigled students to join their ranks to fight against the government”.

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