Bid to institutionalize DND accord with UP seemed rational — Roque

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RATIONAL is how a top Palace official described the proposal of several Senate members who are behind bids to institutionalize the accord between the University of the Philippines (UP) and Department of National Defense (DND) on the presence of state security forces on its campuses.

“Sa akin po, that seems to be a reasonable proposal but that has to be enacted po into law,” Roque, a UP alumnus and former member of its faculty, said during a press briefing, adding that Malacañang respects the prerogative of lawmakers to craft national policies.

Senate Bill 2002 seeks to amend the UP Charter of 2008 (Republic Act 9500) to require prior notification on the entry of police and military units in all UP campuses.

Under SB 2002, government troops would be restricted from interfering with peaceful protest actions within the university premises.

Among the senators behind the bill institutionalizing the accord include Joel Villanueva, Nancy Binay, Grace Poe, and Sonny Angara.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier claimed that UP has turned into a venue for “clandestine recruitment” into the communist movement, citing military records which hinted on 18 state university students who were allegedly recruited by the New People’s Army. All 18, whom Lorenzana referred to, died in what the Armed Forces of the Philippines claimed as legitimate encounters.

However, UP president Danilo Concepcion has opposed the termination which he aptly labeled as a “totally unnecessary and unwarranted” action that was done without consulting the university.

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