Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) president Emmanuel Leyco on Sunday described as an “insult” the claims of an anti-insurgency official that the university was a recruiting ground for communist rebels.
“This latest attempt to red-tag the university is an insult to PLM’s distinguished faculty, hardworking staff and dedicated students who are being prepared to join the country’s future leaders in business, government and civil society,” Leyco said in a post on Facebook.
Leyco also pointed out that the accusation came as the PLM community is struggling with the challenges of online education.
“Such distraction in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is indeed reprehensible,” he said.
On Saturday, National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict spokesperson Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr. identified top Philippine universities and colleges that the military has tagged as among the 18 learning institutions that are hotbeds of communist recruitment. PLM was among the schools identified.
Leyco said the university is not aware of any recruitment for Communist Party of the Philippines - New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) inside the campus.
He said that the authorities did not even advise the school about such activities.
“This is the second time the same official attempted to put the PLM in a bad light by red-tagging,” Leyco said.
He underscored that the PLM community is known for their passion for public service, adding that among their recent graduates are medical doctors who are part of the medical fronliners in Manila amid the pandemic and also in government service as legislators, judiciary, and the executive branches of the Philippine government.
“Thus, as an institute of learning, the PLM is expected and shall continue to uphold the rights of faculty and students to pursue knowledge with the full protection of their inalienable rights to academic freedom,” Leyco said.
Aside from PLM, Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, Far Eastern University, and the University of Santo Tomas also denied Parlade’s claims.