Jan 19, 2021 @ 18:09

Dito lang uso! Roque says state Us abroad don’t have own police force

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque found himself in a bind after the Department of National Defense – an executive agency – suddenly withdrew a long-standing security agreement with his alma mater, the University of the Philippines.

The decades-old UP-DND deal prohibits military and police forces from setting foot in its campuses except with prior notification and proof of a continuing crime. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana red-tagged the entire institution, saying government agents have to step in to stop the alleged New People’s Army recruitment.

“Si Secretary Lorenzana po is an alter ego of the President, of course, the President supports the decision of Secretary Lorenzana,” Roque admitted, but also disclosed how close UP is to his heart.

“Personally, ako po ay labinlimang taong nagturo, sampung taon nag-aral sa UP… eh iyong 25 years ko po sa UP, hindi ko po naranasan na nandoon ang pulis. Pero tingin ko naman noong pag-aaral ko sa abroad, wala naman pong special police sa mga campuses sa Amerika at sa Inglatera. Lahat po sila ay sakop din ng mga pulis,” he added.

While it puts him in an awkward position, Roque cited his experience studying abroad to say that other universities do not have its own police force like UP currently does. The UP-DND accord sought to prevent a repeat of illegal arrests of student activists and leaders during the ’80s.

“Lahat po niyong mga damdamin ng mga alumni gaya ko, I think it will be expressed by President Danilo Concepcion,” Roque said, tossing the issue to his fellow Iskos and Iskas.

“Nasa mga taga-UP rin po iyan. Tingin ko naman po dahil napakatagal kong nagtagal diyan sa UP, labinlimang taon, hindi po nila papayagan na mabalewala at malabag ang kanilang karapatan sa academic freedom,” he added.

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