Officials of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine National Police (PNP), and the University of the Philippines on Friday met to tackle the 1992 agreement that bars police presence in UP campuses.
“During the meeting, the DILG and the PNP affirmed their recognition of the value of academic freedom, as well as peace and security in the University of the Philippines. The DILG then presented their list of concerns pertaining to provisions in the 1992 agreement, which included the need to review and update the agreement to present conditions,” the DILG, PNP, and UP said in a joint statement released on Saturday.
It said the DILG assured UP that the review of the pact “will not in any way diminish the basic rights and the freedom of speech and assembly” in the university, which are protected and enshrined in the Constitution.
“For its part, UP agreed that a review is in order and they will present its own observations regarding the points raised by the DILG and PNP in subsequent meetings,” the statement added.
All parties agreed to abide by the rule of law.
The DILG, PNP, and UP are also willing to form a technical working group (TWG) to study the 28-year-old agreement and to mutually determine amendments to some provisions of the agreement or to draft a new accord, it said.
Under the 1992 agreement, prior notification shall be given by a commander of a PNP unit intending to conduct any military or police operation in any of the UP campuses.
Police are also not allowed to enter the premises of the campuses without coordination with the UP administration “except in hot pursuit cases and similar occasions of emergency, or in ordinary transit through UP premises.”
Representing UP in the meeting held in Camp Crame were President Danilo L. Concepcion, Vice President for Public Affairs Elena E. Pernia, UP Diliman (UPD) Chancellor Fidel R. Nemenzo, UPD Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs Aleli B. Bawagan, and Director of the UPD Public Safety and Security Office John S. Baroña.
From the DILG, attendees were Undersecretary for Peace and Order and officer in charge Bernardo C. Florece Jr., Undersecretary for Plans, Public Affairs and Communications Jonathan E. Malaya, and Assistant Secretary for Peace and Order Manuel B. Felix.
Meanwhile, PNP Chief of Directorial Staff, Lt. Gen. Joselito Vera Cruz, and Quezon City Police District director, Brig. Gen. Danilo Macerin, represented the police force.
In a meeting on Thursday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Concepcion both agreed to continue dialogues on cooperation in promoting academic freedom and the recent termination of the 1989 accord between the Department of National Defense and UP that prohibits military presence in UP campuses. (PNA)