DAVAO CITY, Jan. 26 (PIA)- The University of the Philippines-Department of National Defense accord perpetuates the martial law image of military and police, which is already outdated, opined National Security Adviser Sec. Hermogenes Esperon Jr.
The 1989 accord provides that police and military personnel must give prior notice to UP officials before entering the campus.
"Yang pagbabawal sa police sa UP ay galing pa yan sa estorya sa martial law... tapos na tayo sa martial law samakatuwid bakit mo ipagbabawal ang police operations sa Diliman (The act of not allowing police in UP came from the stories of martial law, we are no longer under martial law why would you prohibit police operations in Diliman)," Esperon said.
Asked of his opinion on the unilateral abrogation of the 1989 UP-DND Accord by the current Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Sec. Esperon said the provisions of the accord is based on the old martial law image of the police and the military.
"...Ang nangyari dito parang napepertuate yung martial law image parang sinabi mong bawal ka dito sa UP dahil pulis ka o military ka, masamang tao ka. Di ba? Masama bang tao si military atsaka pulis? Diba sila ang nagbibigay ng proteksyon, safety at public order, (what is happening here is that it perpetuates the martial law image, its like saying you are not allowed here in UP because you are a cop or a soldier. You are evil. Are the military or police evil? They are the ones giving protection, safety and public order)," Sec. Esperon said during the Saturday (Jan. 23) press conference held at Camp Panacan in Davao City.
He said that police operations inside the university do not in any way affect academic freedom which has the following elements; what to teach, who will teach, how it will be taught and who will be allowed to study.
"Saan ang police operations dun sa academic freedom na yun?" (where is police operations in the academic freedom) Esperon added.
The National Security Adviser who is also the concurrent vice-chair of NTF-ELCAC (National Task Force-Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict) said the accord could have been obsolete as 1989 the police were still the PC-INP (Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police) which was under the AFP.
It was in 1992 when the PC-INP was replaced by a civilian police force, the Philippine National Police which is under the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Sec. Esperon said they are ready for a dialogue with the other party though he wants to ask a question to them.
"So ano yang agreement na yun, is that to preserve academic freedom or don't you think it has given unnecessary protection to those who are advocating the violent overthrow of the government by people who may happen to be inside Diliman," Sec. Esperon said of his query if ever there would be a dialogue. (PIA/RG Alama)