PH military says UP-DND deal ‘voided by passage of time’
MANILA, Philippines — The 1989 agreement of the Department of National Defense (DND) and the University of the Philippines “has been voided by the passage of time” because of “substantial changes in the parties to the contract,” the military said Wednesday.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, who is also a lawyer, said DND’s unilateral termination of the agreement banning security forces inside UP campuses nationwide did not violate any provision of the contract because of “fundamental change” in circumstances.
The agreement was signed in 1989 by then UP President Jose Abueva and defense secretary Fidel Ramos on behalf of the AFP and the Philippine Constabulary (PC).
But in 1991, the PC was abolished and replaced by the Philippine National Police (PNP).
“It practically removed the PNP from the agreement, so, therefore, the agreement is void insofar the PNP is concerned and there has been a substantial change to the parties in the contract,” Arevalo said.
“Therefore since 1990, this agreement has been voided by the substantial differences in parties to the contract, that is under the doctrine of rebus sic stantibus,” he added.
Arevalo said the accord was “contrary to public policy” because it was “inimical to the public interest.”
“Under the agreement, it says the PNP and police can’t just enter UP even if they have with them a search or arrest warrant. This means we are depriving the public their right to be ensured to be safe,” he said.
“Paano kung may (what if there’s a) shabu lab inside the UP campus?” Arevalo said.
UP President Danilo Concepcion earlier said the termination of the accord was “totally unnecessary and unwarranted.”
The accord was meant to prevent government security forces from targeting student and teacher activists for their political beliefs.
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