Read in: Pilipino
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the UP community in denouncing Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana for unilaterally abrogating the 1989 UP-DND agreement. The move to abrogate the agreement clearly aims to impose fear and terror and place the university under the tyrannical power of Duterte’s military and police.
It is an attack against the UP community which has squarely opposed the authoritarianism of the Duterte regime. It wants to make the university bow before the tyrant.
The UP community and the Filipino people must unite to defend the 1989 UP-DND accord which allows the university to serve as a bastion for democratic expression. With this accord, the university recently has served as a safe venue for people who wanted to express their opinion without fear of being stifled or getting arrested.
The UP-DND accord has served as a shield for university students and other sectors who wanted to express their opposition to the Anti-Terror law, manifest their outrage over the relentless campaign of killings and campaign of suppression of the AFP and PNP, and denounce the regime’s corruption, militarist and failed response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
By tearing the UP-DND accord, Lorenzana and Duterte wants to strike fear into the hearts of Lumad students who have been staying in the university campus and enjoying its protection since fleeing their homes in 2017 because of non-stop harassment and intimidation by military forces occupying their communities.
The clear aim of this move is to further unrestrain the military and police by undermining academic freedom and freedom of expression enjoyed by university students and faculty. Tearing the UP-DND accord will make the university and its constituents vulnerable to the regime’s draconian Anti-Terror Law. Indeed, this will be the death of science and liberal thinking in the university. As did Marcos, Duterte wants the university to promote only the ideas that will favor the tyrant.
Lorenzana is hyping up the communist bogey to justify the abrogation of the accord and mount an attack to impose the military’s power on UP, as well as other universities and academic institutions. This shows how the Duterte regime has extended the scope of counterinsurgency to fight all democratic forces, expand the powers of the military and police and help further entrench himself in power.
Duterte’s brazen attacks against the university are a throwback to how UP and the rest of the country were placed under Marcos’ dictatorial rule. Fifty years ago this month, university students fiercely resisted and defended the university against military and police forces by putting up barricades in what is now commemorated as the Diliman Commune of 1970. Today, Duterte’s tyrannical attempts to take away the university’s freedoms are rousing the UP community to unite and resist.
The UP students, especially, must take the cudgels of defending the university by going beyond online solidarity and converging in campus in their numbers to manifest their determination to defend their freedoms which have been won through struggle by past generations of students. Together with university professors and personnel, they must show their unity, manifest their indignation, and demonstrate their power to frustrate the AFP’s fascist schemes.
Defending to preserve the UP-DND accord is a fight not only of the UP community, but all the democratic sectors who oppose the tyrant’s fascist rule. In the same way, the UP community must unite with the rest of the Filipino people by standing alongside the workers, peasants and other disenfranchised sectors in their fight to advance their rights and well-being amid the pandemic and economic crisis.
We call on all democratic organizations to fight back and strengthen the people’s unity and determination to end the Duterte regime’s reign of state terrorism.