Mutuality not required to terminate UP-DND accord, says Roque
MANILA, Philippines — Mutuality is not a requirement to terminate the accord between the University of the Philippines (UP) and the Department of National Defense which prevents state forces from entering UP campuses without prior notice, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Wednesday.
“This is an unusual contract, extraordinary contract. It is an act of beneficence of the state in the sense that it suspends the exercise of jurisdiction in a given territory. So I don’t think mutuality is required and I’m speaking as a lawyer,” Roque, a UP alumnus, said in an interview with CNN Philippines.
Roque said this as he offered his office as a venue for discussion between Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and UP President Danilo Concepcion.
“I’m asking the DND Secretary and the president of UP to sit down and I’ve offered my good office to facilitate this meeting,” said Roque.
“Let’s talk about this, I support the steps of the UP president, let’s see why a 30-year accord should not be continued when it has worked apparently perfectly well in the past 30 years,” he added.
Lorenzana unilaterally ended the DND’s 1989 agreement with UP citing its hindrance to operations against counterinsurgency operations.
Concepcion, on the other hand, asked Lorenzana to reconsider the decision saying it may worsen than improve relations between the two institutions.
The abrogation of the deal was met with fierce criticism from lawmakers and the UP community, with some saying it is only meant to silence dissent.
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