UP Visayas slams renewed red-tagging, death threats vs teachers, students | Inquirer News
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UP Visayas slams renewed red-tagging, death threats vs teachers, students

/ 11:39 AM July 28, 2020

ILOILO CITY –– The University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) has condemned the renewed red-tagging and death threats against its faculty members and students after the death of a former student in a clash between government troops and rebels.

In a statement, UPV Chancellor Ricardo Babaran said the school administration is using all means to investigate the allegations and hold those responsible accountable.

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“This unfounded labeling places the lives of our constituents in danger. This is also an attack against the University as an institution,” he said.

UPV Employees and student groups earlier also condemned the reg-tagging and death threats, including against two faculty members, the head of the employees union and students.

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The Iloilo chapter of the All UP Academic Employees Union (AUPAEU), Office of the Faculty Regent, and Sandigan ng Mag-aaral para sa Sambayanan (Samasa) decried social media posts maligning and threatening social sciences teachers Tomasito Talledo and Ruchie Mark Pototanon, union president Early Sol Gadong, and current and alumni students of UPV in Iloilo.

“The Office of the Faculty Regent (OFR) strongly condemns the red-tagging of professors Talledo and (Potatanon) and the blatant threats against UP students, faculty, and alumni. In light of recent developments, these threats against the life and safety of our faculty, students, and alumni cannot be taken lightly. We cannot compromise academic freedom and UP’s critical mission in this brewing atmosphere of intimidation and fear,” the OFR said in its statement.

The AUPEAEU-Iloilo noted that last year, the police station of Miag-ao town in Iloilo, where the UPV main campus is located, had asked the university administration to furnish it with profiles of union members.

“We see these, and similar tactics, as underhanded attempts to ‘chill’ the rights to organize and to express dissent in this country,” the union said in its statement.

The threats, which started days before the Anti-Terror Act took effect, accused Talledo and Pototanon as “recruiters” or “supporters” of the New People’s Army (NPA) and Communist Party of the Philippines.

The threats were posted by fake accounts, including one using Pototanon’s name and profile picture.

One post contained a death threat on Talledo.

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“Huwag kang mag-alala, malapit na lang matapos ang buhay mo (Don’t worry. You life will soon end),” it said.

Another post accused Talledo of being the “recruiter” of Malvin Cruz, a former UPV Statistics student, who died last month in a clash between NPA rebels and government troops in a hinterland village in Miag-ao, Iloilo.

At least 13 former and current UPV students were also threatened in a comment posted at the Samasa Facebook page.

“Hindi kayo makakatakas, uubusin namon kayo bago maging epektibo ang Anti-Terror Law (You cannot escape, we will get rid of all of you before the Anti-Terror Law takes effect),” according to the post.

Samasa called on students to continue pushing for the junking of the law.

“Even without the existence of said law, the tyranny of the state continues to demonize the legitimate demands of the Filipino people, further making activists and critics a target of harassment, disappearances, and extrajudicial killings,” it said in its statement./###

LZB

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TAGS: Death threats, faculty members, Philippine news updates, red-tagging, Regions, Students, University of the Philippines Visayas, UPV
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