Press Release
January 20, 2021


Senator Ronald 'Bato' Dela Rosa said the abrogation of the decades-long agreement between the government and the University of the Philippines (UP) barring state forces from entering the campuses sans coordination with the university officials is long overdue considering the deceit and undesirable activities of the leftist groups within the university throughout its implementation.

Dela Rosa issued the statement following the unilateral termination of the Department of National Defense (DND) on Tuesday, January 18, of its 1989 accord with U on the access of the military and police in the state university's campuses.

The senator pointed out that in the past years, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New Peoples Army (NPA) and the National Democratic Front (NDF) have been fooling the government forces using the said agreement.

"It is long overdue. The government was fooled by the CPP-NPA-NDF in the last 31 years thru that agreement," Dela Rosa, who also once headed the Philippine National Police, said.

In an interview, Dela Rosa was asked if he will be pushing for the installation of police and military stations inside the UP campuses now that the accord has been cancelled. The senator vehemently refuted the idea, saying that a fair opportunity for the government and the leftist groups is what should be observed instead.

"No. Hindi. I am not pushing for that. Baka sabihin na naman nila na the mere sight of a police or soldier inside the campus is a curtailment of their academic freedom. No, hindi yan! Hindi yan ang ibig kong sabihin. Ang ibig sabihin natin is that sana kung ang CPP-NPA ay libreng libre na mag-recruit ng mga estudyante ng UP para sumali doon sa NPA sa bundok, sana ang Armed Forces at ang pulis pwede rin mag-recruit ng mga taga doon sa UP na sumali sa kasundaluhan o sa kapulisan. Para equal opportunity, di ba? Pagbigyan natin," Dela Rosa explained.

The Minadanaoan Senator also questioned why the state university had such an agreement with the government.

"Sa akin naman, nakita ko doon sa agreement na 'yun, what is so special with UP? Bakit yung ibang academic campuses like MSU Marawi... walang ganoong agreement? What is so special with UP, bakit sa UP lang bawal pumasok yung sundalo at pulis? Anong ibig sabihin niyan?" Dela Rosa asked.

"Hindi naman lahat ng estudyante ng UP ay maka-kaliwa. Hindi naman lahat ng estudyante ng UP ay aktibista. Baka pwede rin naman kami mapag-bigyan na makapag-recruit din para sa gobyerno natin, dahil nga UP is a government institution. Bakit pagbawalan mo yung government na pumasok diyan?" Dela Rosa further noted.

Dela Rosa, who chairs the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, led several public hearings in 2019 on the alleged recruitment of minors by leftist groups. In the said hearings, both parents and communist rebel returnees testified that leftist organizations recruited minors as their manpower for their armed struggle against the government.

In its report, the committee underscored the need for police visibility around and within the UP premises.

"Amidst threats of terrorism, prevalence of recruitment of students as armed combatants, increased criminality rates and reported incidence of drug-related problems within the campus, there is a justified need for the school authorities to occasionally allow the presence of a reasonable number of police forces in the campus at an acceptable designated time," the report read.

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