A senior military official identified Saturday top universities and colleges as among 18 learning institutions which are breeding grounds for anti-government communist recruitment.
Immediately, the state-run University of the Philippines administration said it was open to a dialogue with the Department of National Defense to discuss the latter’s termination of a 31-year-old agreement with the institution.
It said it wanted more information about allegations that students were recruited for the communist insurgency.
In an interview on GMA News’ Super Radyo dzBB heard nationwide, Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., spokesman for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), said the military had listed at least 18 colleges and universities, mostly in the National Capital Region, where communist recruitment activities were taking place.
Parlade said the institutions included UP, the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Far Eastern University (FEU), Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), University of Santo Tomas (UST), Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM), De La Salle University (DLSU), and University of Makati.
Parlade said that because of the DND-UP accord, the military had faced hurdles in confirming communist recruitment, adding that the abrogation of the accord is just right.
In a separate interview on Super Radyo dzBB, Dr. Elena Pernia, Vice President for Public Affairs of UP, said the school’s administration open to a dialogue with the DND to discuss DND’s termination accord.
Earlier, UP president Danilo Concepcion, in a letter to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, urged the DND to reconsider the revocation of the 1989 pact with the university and suggested that school officials and the Defense chief could meet to discuss the latter’s concerns in the shared spirit of peace, justice, and the pursuit of excellence.
Lorenzana said he was open to sit with the UP management if they could explain student deaths during armed clashes between the military and the New People’s Army (NPA).
Also, Lorenzana presented a list of UP students who allegedly became members of the NPA, but Pernia said the UP administration had not yet seen the list from the DND.
Pernia said it would be better if the DND could give them a copy of the list of students who allegedly became members of the NPA for better dialogue.
“It will lead to better dialogue, better discussion... That’s what communication is all about. We’ll come together with some clarity,” Pernia said.
The unilateral termination of the agreement came to light last Monday after the Philippine Collegian posted on Facebook a letter from Lorenzana dated January 15 informing UP’s Concepcion of the DND’s decision, citing information that communists are supposedly recruiting students inside UP campuses. With Frankie Tuyay