The group Liga Independencia Pilipinas Inc. on Tuesday blasted officials and faculty of the University of the Philippines who were opposed to the banning of communist propaganda in the state school’s libraries and denounced the bullying of the chancellor of UP Iloilo by professors who it said were “pro-CTG” (communist terrorist groups).
In a statement, Jose Antonio Goitia, Secretary General of LIPI, said: “The acts of numerous UP officials and academic members astonish us. It is upsetting that we are entrusting our children's education to people who openly embrace the CPP-NPA-NDF’s deadly agendas.”
“What they are doing is treasonous. The government has designated the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front) as terrorists and a threat to national security,” he added.
Goitia also said that LIPI heard that “a few left-leaning faculty members” of UP Iloilo had been bullying Chancellor Dr. Rommel A, Espinosa as an “example of the intimidation to silence people in order for the elements of the CPP-NPA-NDF to operate in the campuses.”
“This is an alarming trend of cancelling people. The United States is dealing with the same issues in their campuses. Communism is not dying. It is gaining ground among our youth,” he said.
LIPI urged law enforcement agencies “to investigate the motives of these individuals running our state universities whether they are in violation of the law or not.”
“It is imperative that we protect the lives of our children which are being exploited by elements of the communist terrorist group,” the group said.
“We have no intention of limiting our students’ liberties. Indeed, we urge them to engage in a free flow of ideas. No one's right to freedom of expression, speech, petition, or peaceful assembly should be restricted in any way,” LIPI added.
However, Goitia said: “It is our obligation as parents and educators to create inspiration and a sense of responsibility in our children in order to assure their success in their chosen fields of study.”
“It is our responsibility to guide and lead them down the path of righteousness and to mold them into excellent citizens and leaders of our nation. However, it is also our responsibility to safeguard our children's safety and well-being. That no harm will come to them,” he added.
LIPI noted that on October 21, the director of CHED Cordillera, Demetrio Anduyan Jr., issued Regional Memorandum No. 113, requesting that colleges and universities participate in the "region-wide elimination of subversive materials in libraries and online platforms.”
Goitia said Anduyan supports the Duterte administration's "whole-of-nation" approach in establishing the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
However, he said the dean of the UP School of Library and Information Studies, Mary Grace Golfo-Barcelona, “vehemently objected” to the removal of subversive literature from the libraries.
According to LIPI, she announced: “Removing materials from the libraries which are deemed 'subversive' is an assault [on] our students’ right to read and right to information which are all components of intellectual freedom and are essential components of a democratic citizenry.”
Allowing censorship of a library collection, she claims, would be harmful to students, librarians, and the libraries themselves. Students "are denied of their right to read, right to knowledge, basically their freedom to information" when materials are removed because of their ideological nature.”
But Goitia said: “These are not books that positively form the individual character as she claims. These are propaganda designed to immerse the students to raise up arms against a nation. In essence, Dean Golfo-Barcelona is fomenting subversion.”
The first step in radicalizing kids is to read subversive literature, Goitia added. “Following this, militants who have freely infiltrated their campuses are recruited.”
“Again, ex-NPA youth members have testified to the communists' tactics in state universities. These illicit actions are ignored by UP authorities and faculty members.”
He warned that Golfo-Barcelona and other faculty members might be violating several sections of the Anti-Terrorism Law.
He cited Section 6 on Planning, Training, Preparing, and Facilitating the Commission of Terrorism.
It says: “It shall be unlawful for any person to participate in the planning, training, preparation and facilitation in the commission of terrorism, possessing objects connected with the preparation for the commission of terrorism, or collecting or making documents connected with the preparation of terrorism. Any person found guilty of the provisions of this Act shall suffer the penalty of life imprisonment without the benefit of parole and the benefits of Republic Act No. 10592.”
Goitia also cited Section 9, Inciting to Commit Terrorism. “Any person who, without taking any direct part in the commission of terrorism, shall incite others to the execution of any of the acts specified in Section 4 hereof by means of speeches, proclamations, writings, emblems, banners, or other representations tending to the same end, shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of twelve (12) years.”
“Long live the true Filipino patriots! Long live the Liga Independencia Pilipinas!” he ended.