A year after the unilateral accord termination between the Department of National Defense and the University of the Philippines, the latter’s faculty members under the Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND) on Wednesday urged national candidates in the 2022 elections to take a stand to defend academic freedom.
“Candidates in the 2022 election, especially UP alumni running for office, must stand against red-tagging, book purgings, and other attacks on academic freedom that ultimately aim to repress dissenting voices and critical thinking in the University,” UP history professor Francisco Jayme Paolo Guiang of Tanggol Kasaysayan said.
CONTEND lamented that UP had been subjected to increasingly virulent attacks on academic freedom by the military and police forces ever since the termination of the UP-DND accord on Jan. 18 last year prohibiting the entry of military and police forces in UP campuses without prior coordination with the school administration.
“Our next leaders must link arms with our call for the abolition of NTF-ELCAC, the number one purveyor of state-sponsored vilification and campus militarization,” Guiang said.
Professor Karlo Mongaya of the Defend UP Network cited UP students, faculty, academic employees, staff, and “progressive” administrators have fought against the attempts of the government to stifle free thinking and civil liberties.
“The UP community will surely stand with candidates—from the presidential and senatorial contests down to the local level—who will uphold the UP-DND accord and defend academic freedom. We expect nothing less from our leaders, especially UP alumni sharing our ideals of honor, excellence and genuine service to the people,” he said.