Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Sunday he will meet with University of the Philippines President Danilo Concepcion "sometime next week" over the abrogation of a law enforcement accord between the state university and the Defense department.
Lorenzana said he was convinced to have a dialogue with the UP president by "a lot of people whom I respect."
"I have asked a friend to facilitate my meeting with Attorney Concepcion sometime next week," he told reporters.
Meanwhile, the Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, Far Eastern University, and the University of Santo Tomas objected to an anti-insurgency official’s claims that the universities were recruiting grounds for communist rebels.
In a joint statement on Sunday, the schools said the accusations made by National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict spokesman Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr. was not supported by proof.
Lorenzana on Sunday said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines will apologize to a lawyer whom they included in a list of supposed members of an armed rebel group from the University of the Philippines.
In an interview, Lorenzana was asked if the AFP would apologize to lawyer Rafael Aquino.
“Yes, the AFP will apologize. What reason will they give? I do not know. It’s an unpardonable gaffe,” Lorenzana said.
Labelling prominent personalities as the communists that the University of the Philippines produced undermines the military’s professionalism and gives the Armed Forces of the Philippines a bad name, Senator Francis Pangilinan said Sunday.
“It is sad that some in the AFP are giving the institution a bad name and tainting its professionalism,” he said.
Manila Rep. Joselito Atienza, a deputy speaker, on Sunday backed the proposal for the House of Representatives to investigate the unilateral abrogation of the 1989 pact.
Interviewed over Dobol B sa News TV, he said the UP-DND agreement "has done good" in the past 30 years as observed in the behavior of the university students.
Concepcion earlier urged the Department of National Defense to "reconsider and revoke" its unilateral abrogation of the 1989 accord that prohibits the entry of state forces into campus grounds unless with prior coordination.