Bill institutionalizing UP-DND accord a ‘reasonable proposal’ — Roque
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque sees the proposed measure that will institutionalize the agreement between the Department of National Defense and the University of the Philippines (UP) that bars the presence of military and police personnel in its campuses as a “reasonable proposal.”
“We’ve always respected the prerogative of our legislators to legislate national policies. Sa akin po, that seems to be a reasonable proposal but that has to be enacted po into law,” Roque, a UP alumnus, and a former professor said in a televised press briefing Thursday.
Senate Bill No. 2002, filed by Senators Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay, Grace Poe, and Joel Villanueva, seeks to amend Republic Act No. 9500 or the University of the Philippines Charter to require prior notification on the entry of police and military units in all UP campuses.
The bill was filed following the move of the DND to unilaterally terminate the 1989 agreement which is branded as a hindrance to operations against communist rebels, especially the recruitment of cadres in UP.
The move was fiercely criticized by the UP community. Even Vice President Leni Robredo said the abrogation of the deal was meant to “sow fear” and “silence criticism.”
On Wednesday, Roque offered to mediate between Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and UP president Danilo Concepcion to discuss the issue.
But he said that only Lorenzana has so far accepted his proposal for a sit-down.
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