Duterte youth solon calls for end of PUP-DND pact

 By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Manila Bulletin

A lawmaker from Duterte Youth Partylist called on Department of National Defense (DND) to end its agreement with Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) banning unannounced entry of uniformed personnel inside the campus.

Duterte Youth Representative Ducielle Cardema said the accord should also be abrogated, similar with the recent move on the University of the Philippines. She also questioned why the two premier universities are being given a “special treatment” while other institutions are not given a same agreement.

"Itong UP-DND Accord & PUP-DND Accord ay klarong klaro na special treatment na inabuso na, sa tagal ng panahon. Kung sa 400 plus campuses ng iba’t ibang SUCs ng bansa wala namang ganyang accord pero peaceful naman, tama lamang tanggalin na ang special treatment na 'yan na naaabuso rin naman," Cardema said in a statement.

Cardema claimed the academic freedom was abused by leftist groups to promote youth recruitment to be part of communist rebels inside the campus premises.

"The UP-DND Accord was used to uphold academic freedom but these leftist groups have abused it to shield them, so that the government and our government troops cannot arrest them for their seditious acts," she added.

However, the lawmaker said that her support to end the accord of two universities do not represent any forms of red-tagging to its students.

She previously sought the revival of Anti-Subversion Law that will declare the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People's Army, and the National Democratic Front as illegal. Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Ferdinand Gaite called it "another lame and desperate effort to legitimize and institutionalize the Duterte administration's practice of red-tagging the opposition."

After DND terminated the accord last January 15, Lorenzana said they are looking for other agreements to be terminated as well.

Vice President Leni Robredo, several lawmakers, and progressive groups have condemned the decision of Lorenzana. UP President Danilo Concepcion urged the defense chief to reconsider his decision, saying it may have a chilling effect on academic freedom.