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Roque cites own experience to defend abrogation of DND-UP pact

 By Elyjah Rosales

PHOTO: Rappler/PCOO-OPS

Reminiscing his past honor and excellence back in the University of the Philippines (UP), presidential spokesperson Harry Roque shared how he never felt violations in the academic freedom to back up the Department of National Defense-UP agreement termination.

“Personally po, ako po ay 15 taon nagturo, 10 taon nag-aral sa UP. ‘Yung 25 years ko po sa UP, di ko po naranasan na nandoon ang pulis,” Roque told in an online briefing.

“Nasa mga taga-UP rin po yan. Ang tingin ko naman po, dahil ang napakatagal kong nagtagal sa UP, 25 taon, hindi po nila papayagan na mabalewala ang kanilang karapatan sa academic freedom,” he added,

The spokesperson, although no one asked, also backed out that police has access to schools abroad given that there’s no “distinction between the city and the campus” but academic freedom is still upheld 

“Pero tingin ko naman nung pag-aaral ko sa abroad, wala naman pong special police sa mga campuses sa Amerika at Inglatera at lahat po sila ay sakop din ng mga pulis,” stated the former UP alumnus and professor.

Prior to this, DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana sent a letter to UP President Danilo Concepcion explaining how the accord between the two institutions became a “hindrance” in countering the recruitment of cadres there.

Concepcion, accordingly, asked for reconsideration as the decision seems “unnecessary” for him and the community.

Since it was publicized last January 18, Vice President Leni Robredo and some lawmakers lamented DND’s move that only aims to “sow fear,” “silence critics,” and “shrink democratic space.”


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