UP frat condemns red-tagging after denouncing abrogation of DND agreement
MANILA, Philippines — A fraternity founded at the University of the Philippines (UP) has condemned the red-tagging it received after it denounced the abrogation of the university’s agreement with the Department of National Defense (DND), calling it irresponsible.
In a statement on Sunday, the Pi Sigma Fraternity Alumni Association Inc. said it was allegedly linked to the communist armed movement during a government radio program after it called out the termination of the UP-DND deal.
While the fraternity has acknowledged that some of their members have joined the revolutionary movement, it maintained that it is a personal choice — which the fraternity should not be vilified for.
“As a nationalist brotherhood, the Fraternity has imbued in all its members that love for country demands their very best– in words and in deeds. Unfortunately, certain harebrained personalities are trying to vilify the Fraternity and its traditions by issuing irresponsible and unfounded remarks implicating us to Leftist armed groups,” Pi Sigma said. “This a big lie, a simplistic and very unpatriotic thinking.”
“Joining the revolutionary movement is their personal choice. Ours is to honor the commitment we made for the brotherhood to serve the Filipino people,” it added.
The organization also stressed that it preferred their members alive to be able to help people.
“While we take pride that a number of our brods have offered their lives in the past several years in serving the Filipino masses, the Fraternity wants all our members alive to actively help our fellowmen while respecting the rule of law,” it noted.
The fraternity also emphasized that its members, numbering to over 10,000 since its founding, are contributing members of society.
“Since its establishment in 1972 at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, our Fraternity has since grown into a brotherhood of more than 10,000 Sigmans who have excelled as student leaders and scholars, and eventually in their respective professions,” it explained.
“At the professional level, our members include doctors, nurses, teachers, soldiers in different branches of the military, policemen, law enforcers, lawyers, engineers, journalists, social workers, farmers, fishermen, scientists, entrepreneurs, government employees and technocrats, elected public officials and other honorable undertakings,” it added.
After Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana sent a letter to UP President Danilo Concepcion regarding the abrogation of the agreement that prevents unauthorized police and military presence inside the campuses, Pi Sigma issued a strong statement against it, even accusing officials of not adhering to legal standards.
The deal between UP and DND was revoked, Secretary Lorenzana said, due to recent events where UP students were supposedly recruited to the communist armed movement.
Lorenzana’s move garnered criticism as UP supporters including activist groups, students, faculty members, former students and even government officials maintained that UP should be allowed to maintain academic freedom.