UPLB Chancellor hits gov’t ‘malicious propaganda’
SAN PEDRO CITY –– The University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) called out a national government task force for including a clip of a student protest in its propaganda video against communist groups.
UPLB Chancellor Fernando Sanchez Jr. said the video “maliciously depicts UPLB students and organizations as belonging to communist groups” and thus, “put them at risk of persecution.”
Sanchez, in a statement released Wednesday evening, said the clip, included in a video by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTFELCAC), was taken during an old “peaceful protest” held in the campus.
“UPLB students in the video were in the legitimate exercise of their rights guaranteed by our Constitution—the freedom of speech and of expression and the right to petition for redress of grievances,” Sanchez said.
Mother’s day video
The five-minute video was released on May 10, coinciding with Mother’s Day.
In the video, posted on the NTFELCAC Facebook page, a certain Luisa Espina talked about how her 16-year-old daughter was supposedly recruited by a youth activist group at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa, Manila.
Notwithstanding a different university, the video showed photos and clips of student protests at the UPLB.
Nevertheless, Sanchez said students “should not be vilified in any venue for taking a stand on issues affecting society. The exercise of these rights is a cornerstone of democracy that lives in the hearts of every citizen, which the State must uphold and protect.”
UPLB said it is committed to protecting these rights and its students’ safety, “regardless of labels and colors.”
“We may be on the opposite ends of the political spectrum and differ in ideology, but we have a common goal, a common aspiration—a just and humane society for our people,” he said.
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