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Why spy on our campus? UP Diliman chancellor asks military

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 09:20 PM October 22, 2015
University of the Philippines. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

University of the Philippines. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

THE University of the Philippines has expressed “deep concern” over the intrusion of military agents who reportedly  conducted surveillance inside the Diliman campus in Quezon City.

“The University of the Philippines Diliman administration expressed deep concern over an incident that violates an agreement between the university and the Department of National Defense (DND), date June 30, 1989 and signed by UP President Jose V. Abueva and the Department of National Defense Secretary Fidel Ramos,” UP Chancellor Michael Tan said in  statement on Thursday.

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Tan was referring to the incident on Wednesday where six men believed to be military agents onboard two motorcycles, a Toyota Innova and another vehicle were apprehended inside the campus by UP Diliman Police and the university’s Special Services Brigade for “suspicious activities.”

“Our SSB and UP Diliman police were able to question the men and one of them introduced himself as an AFP officer. He refused to divulge any more information and the other five men remain unidentified John Does,” Tan said.

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“The UP security personnel accompanied the six men to the Quezon City Police Department and the case is now considered to be under the QCPD,” he added.

The Philippine Collegian, UP Diliman’s official student publication, earlier reported that the agents were allegedly doing surveillance work inside the campus.

The Collegian said they got the information from three eyewitnesses who were members of a workers’ group involved in organizing a solidarity camp in the campus scheduled on October 26 that will host some 700 lumads.

The Collegian quoted Senior Police Officer 2 Pedro Walawala of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) who confirmed that “their station took custody of the agents and verified that they were on an authorized operation to locate a target who was allegedly on campus.”

But Tan said the university is concerned for a possible violation of a provision in the agreement between the university and the DND.

“Our concern is that there has been a violation of a provision in the agreement between the university and the DND requiring prior notification of the university of any military operations in any of our campuses. No such request was received by UP Diliman,” Tan said.

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