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Are Army, police now threats to UP students?

/ 07:49 PM April 16, 2012

There is an established trend of University of the Philippines students being accosted, harassed and attacked by law enforcers. Most recently, suspected military elements attempted to involve two UP Manila students in a criminal case filed against the father of one of the students. Eight young photographers from UP Los Baños and two community development students from UP Diliman were also threatened and harassed by military personnel during their separate community immersion.

UP had no choice but to place itself squarely on the side of the students. It has to protect all UP students who are required at some point of their study in UP to go out into the communities and serve. The systematic vilification and persecution of our students threaten our lives and liberties—we have two students missing and two in jail, all thanks to the military’s overzealous adherence to the counterinsurgency program. The two deaths may even have been the result of criminal collusion, corruption and ineffective police action.

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The UP student regent demands the reconvening of the joint monitoring group (JMG), created in 1989, which delineates the authority of the Department of National Defense and the UP administration over UP campuses and students. In several documents we have agreed to:

Disallow the establishment of military and police detachments inside campuses.

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Ban operations and deployment of military, police or Cafgu forces in

campuses.

Require proper notification in case of arrest, detention or custodial investigation of any UP student, faculty, or personnel.

It is hoped that with this JMG, UP can refocus on social and economic issues. UP students, past and present, have always been instrumental in exposing and, at most times, opposing, what is wrong with the system. Don’t persecute UP students when we do something we ought to do for the country.

—KRISSY CONTI,

UP student regent,

[email protected]

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