Duterte not consulted on decision to end UP-DND accord, says Palace
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte was not consulted regarding the decision of the Department of National Defense (DND) to unilaterally terminate its pact with the University of the Philippines which prevented state forces from entering its campuses without prior notice.
“As far as I know, he did not,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Wednesday in an interview with CNN Philippines when asked if DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana had consulted the President on the matter.
“It was a decision of the DND as privy or a party to that contract between UP and DND,” added Roque, himself a UP alumnus and former professor at the university.
Despite this, Roque said Duterte supports the termination of the UP-DND accord.
In a letter to UP President Danilo Concepcion, DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the 1989 agreement had been a hindrance to counterinsurgency operations against communist rebels.
On the other hand, Concepcion, describing the termination as “unnecessary and unwarranted,” asked Lorenzana to reconsider the decision.
The DND’s move to end the accord was fiercely criticized by the UP community, with some saying this is another way of the Duterte administration to silence dissent and curtail free speech.
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