Text by Cristina Chi
Students across the UP System will hold a protest on August 20 to oppose police intrusion and intensified militarization in schools.
“The proposed entry and intervention of the police and military in state universities, including UP, is expected to result in massive surveillance and monitoring on our students, faculty, and officials, especially those who are vocally critical,” Student Regent Isaac Punzalan said in his August 14 memorandum declaring a “UP Day of Walkout and Action.”
The memo came after Sen. Bato dela Rosa proposed to enact a law allowing the entry of police and military personnel in schools to deter communists from recruiting students.
Dela Rosa’s plan supersedes the Soto-Enrile Accord enacted in 1989 which forbids police and military forces from entering all UP campuses, to protect the university from interference of state security forces, except “in cases of emergency” or if expressly allowed by the university.
In a unity statement co-authored by multi-sectoral alliance UP Rises Against Tyranny and Dictatorship and the League of College Councils, different UP Diliman student formations pledged to defend the university from threats on academic freedom by joining the walkout.
Chancellor Michael Tan and CMC Dean Arminda Santiago, along with other faculty and staff, have signed the unity statement to endorse the mobilization.
Tan earlier discussed plans of action to keep police and military out of UP, starting with “declaring UP as a zone of peace and academic freedom.”