UP Baguio students, faculty seek Magalong probe of Red-tagging | Inquirer News

UP Baguio students, faculty seek Magalong probe of Red-tagging

/ 08:18 PM July 20, 2020

BAGUIO CITY—The faculty union and student council of the University of the Philippines Baguio urged Mayor Benjamin Magalong on Monday (July 20) to investigate cases of harassment during the quarantine that put its 19 to 22 year-old students in danger.

Holding him to his word that activists are safe in the summer capital, UP asked the mayor to look into tarpaulin streamers and posters put up at pedestrian overpasses on June 15, and again on July 10, which featured the photographs of students who were labelled as communist rebel recruiters.


These are student leaders enrolled in UP Baguio and the Saint Louis University.

The UP letter addressed to the mayor, and to Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan and the city council, also detailed anonymous threats sent online to students and faculty members like biology instructor Deign Frolley Soriano.


Soriano was among the UP Baguio resource speakers of the city council when it discussed the impact of a proposed tree-cutting moratorium during its July 13 regular session.

Magalong, chair of the Cordillera Peace and Order Council, assured the city’s human rights advocates that they were not the subjects of a January 2020 city council resolution declaring all violent extremists unwelcome in Baguio, including jihadists and members of New Peoples Army.

“While Baguio was declared and considered safe for activists, Red-tagging still remains rampant and continues to pose a serious threat to groups and individuals,” said the letter. It was signed by Julie Tuguinay, chapter president of the All-UP Academic Employees Union, student council chair Leandro Enrico Ponce, Adrianne Paul Aniba who edits the campus newspaper Outcrop, and Council of Leaders chair Venice Nieva.

These cases of harassment have been reported to the police and the Commission on Human Rights.

But the UP community asked Magalong for an independent probe by City Hall, as well as a dialogue on a pending measure that bans political villification in Baguio.

They also pointed out that the harassments preceded the passage of the new Anti-Terrorism Act, which has been challenged before the Supreme Court. The law took effect on Saturday (July 18).

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TAGS: Anti-terrorism Act, Baguio, faculty, Harrassment, investigation, Magalong, red-tagging, Student Council, UP Baguio
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