By Jennylou Canon

PHOTO: Manila Bulletin/PCOO

After Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana unilaterally terminates the 31-year UP-DND accord, President Rodrigo Duterte supports the termination, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque reported.

In a televised press briefing, Roque said that since Lorenzana is an “alter ego” of the President, he supports the decision.

“Si (Defense) Secretary (Delfin) Lorenzana po is an alter ego of the President. Of course, the President supports the decision of Secretary Lorenzana,” Roque said.

The UP-DND accord was signed on 1989, and prohibits unauthorized and unannounced entry of state forces. 

However, in the letter sent to University of the Philippines President Danilo L. Concepcion, Lorenzana said that this agreement has become a “hindrance to operations against communist rebels, especially the recruitment of cadres in UP.”

Lorenzana then stressed that the deal is now “obsolete” and that the country’s premier university is now “a safe haven for the enemies of the state.”

The termination earned criticisms across the UP community as well as Vice President Leni Robredo, who said that the abrogation of the deal was meant to “sow fear” and “silence criticism.”

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