The University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Executive Committee is one with our faculty, students, staff, residents and alumni in strongly denouncing baseless accusations and wild speculations that endanger lives and liberties. The continuing red-tagging of certain colleges, offices and student organizations of UP Diliman is a result of the decision to unilaterally abrogate the UP-DND Accord signed on June 30, 1989.
This decision is an utter disregard for mutuality and respect, two principles which the Accord embodies. DND Secretary Lorenzana’s claim that the Accord is obsolete is an assertion that academic freedom, on which the accord is based, has no more place in a higher institution of learning. How is this possible? Article XIV, Section 5.2 of the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines states that “academic freedom shall be enjoyed in all institutions of higher learning.”
Academic freedom allows the faculty, students, and staff to engage in intellectual debate, challenge ideas, and express one’s self without fear of being silenced. The philosophical, political, or even religious beliefs of any member of the community cannot be imposed on others. We need to uphold academic freedom to maintain academic excellence as our commitment and service to the nation. We appreciate the support and legislative moves of our alumni and friends in upholding the accord. We enjoin our students, faculty, staff, residents and alumni to lend their voices in opposing this latest attack on our university.
May we all be reminded that red-tagging has no place in a society that values education and respects civil liberties.
Let us defend academic freedom by upholding and institutionalizing the Accord!
[NOTE: The UP Diliman Executive Committee is chaired by the Chancellor and is composed of the Deans and heads of UPD units, the University Registrar and the Vice Chancellors. It serves as an advisory council of the Chancellor on academic and administrative matters.]