Press Release
January 26, 2021

Senate welcomes DND move to dialogue with UP on 1989 Accord

The Senate on Tuesday, January 26, 2021, passed a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate to welcome the Department of National Defense's (DND) decision to answer the various calls for dialogue with the University of the Philippines (UP) on the termination of the 1989 UP-DND agreement.

Sponsored by Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, proposed Resolution No. 616 also urges "both parties to revisit the accord and to further urge DND to hold dialogues with other academic institutions to find a common ground that promotes the rule of law, peace and security, and protects academic freedom and the pursuit of excellence."

In his speech, Pangilinan said: "Academic freedom which includes the freedom to think, speak, move and even dissent critically, is a freedom that everyone is entitled to; a freedom that UP allowed its students, activists or not, and a freedom that everyone must enjoy."

"We hope this resolution will inspire an open and transparent, as well as participatory and inclusive dialogue among all parties," Pangilinan added.

All senators physically and virtually present during the plenary session voted for the adoption of the measure except for Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa who abstained because he said he supports the abrogation of the 1989 agreement between UP and DND. Dela Rosa said "such move is intended to protect the youth from the snares of communism and its empty promises."

The accord, which was signed after the arrest of Philippine Collegian staffer Donato Continente by the military and police at Vinzons Hall, prohibits the military or the police from entering the premises of any of the UP campuses except in cases of hot pursuit and similar occasions of emergency, upon the request of UP officials, or ordinary transit through UP premises.

In a letter dated January15, 2021, Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana infomed UP President Danilo Concepcion of the abrogation by DND of the agreement signed on June 30, 1989 by then DND Sec. Fidel V. Ramos and then UP President Jose V. Abueva.

Concepcion expressed grave concern over this abrogation and asked Lorenzana to reconsider and revoke the abrogation and requested further for a meeting to discuss his concerns "in the shared spirit of peace, justice, and the pursuit of excellence."

According to reports, Lorenzana has reached out to Concepcion for a dialogue on the termination of the 1989 accord.

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