UP lauds dismissal of SSS case vs activist professor
MANILA, Philippines — University of the Philippines (UP) faculty and staff have welcomed a Quezon City Regional Trial Court decision to dismiss the charges filed by the Social Security System (SSS) against UP professor Melania Flores, who was arrested last month for supposedly failing to pay her house helper’s contributions.
This developed after Flores signed an affidavit attesting that she had paid her house helper’s SSS contributions from the time she was employed in November to December 2013 and that Flores had only failed to report the termination of her employment.
With the affidavit, the SSS decided to withdraw the case against Flores, leading the court to dismiss the charges against her. In a statement, Flores thanked the “vigilance and collective action of the UP community” for getting her out on bail when she was arrested on Feb. 6.
“This experience teaches us an important lesson: that in the face of repression and oppression, our only recourse is to collectively push back, not only for UP constituents but for every Filipino whose rights are violated,” she added.
On Monday, the All-UP Academic Employees Union — which Flores formerly headed — welcomed the decision but also lamented that Flores had to experience “such dirty harassment schemes of the state to attack UP activists, unionists, and academic freedom.”
It challenged the UP administration to hasten the creation of a university-wide committee that would protect its constituents from attacks by state forces.
Flores revealed that she was arrested by Quezon City policemen in plain clothes who pretended to be social workers at first before showing her the warrant for her arrest.