There is an established trend of UP students being accosted, harassed, and attacked by traditional law enforcement. Most recently, two UP Manila students were tracked down by suspected military elements in an attempt to involve them in a criminal case, filed against one of the student’s father. Eight young photographers from UP Los Banos and two community development students from UP Diliman were also intimidated and terrorized by military personnel during their separate community immersion.
UP has had no choice but to place itself squarely on the other side of the fence. This is to protect all UP students, who at one time or another, are required to go out into the communities and serve. The systematic vilification and persecution of our students threatens our lives and liberties – we have two missing and two in jail, all thanks to misplaced and overzealous military adherence to counter-insurgency programs. Two deaths may even be attributed to criminal collusion, corruption, and ineffectiveness of the police.
The UP Student Regent demands the reconvening of the joint monitoring group, created in 1989, which delineates the authority of the Department of National Defense and the UP administration over UP campuses and students. In several documents we have agreed to:
- Disallow establishment of military and police detachments inside campuses
- Ban operations and deployment of military, police or CAFGU forces
- Require proper notification in case of arrest, detention or custodial investigation of any UP student, faculty, or personnel.
Hopefully with this JMG, UP can refocus the issues to the social and the economic. UP students, past and present, have always been instrumental in exposing and most times opposing, what is wrong with the system. Don’t persecute us improperly and unlawfully when we do something about it.