DND says CPP-NPA conducting ‘clandestine recruitment’ in UP campuses, ends DND-UP agreement

National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana notified University of the Philippines (UP) President Danilo Concepcion, in a letter dated January 15, regarding the termination of 1989 DND-UP Agreement prohibiting the military and police from entering premises of any UP campus or its regional units without prior notice to the UP administration.

Secretary Lorenzana noted that a number of UP students were identified as members of Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army (CPP/NPA), which was declared by the Anti-Terrorism Council as terrorist organization. He added that “some of them were killed during military and police operations, while others were captured and surrendered to the authorities.”

The DND chief said they are aware that the CPP/NPA is conducting “clandestine recruitment” inside UP campuses nationwide and the said agreement is being used by CPP/NPA recruiters and supporters as shield and propaganda.

“By reason of national security and safety of UP students, this department intends to remedy this situation by terminating or abrogating the existing agreement in order for us to perform our legal mandate of protecting our youth against CPP/NPA recruitment activities whose design and purpose is to destroy the democracy we have all fought for,” he said.

“We do not intend to station military or police inside UP campuses nor do we wish to suppress activist groups, academic freedom and freedom of expression. The Department of National Defense has nothing to gain from suppressing their rights and freedoms but will only alienate it further from the people,” he added.

“In pursuit of true national peace and development, it is time to terminate or abrogate the existing agreement with the end view if protecting and securing the institution and youth against the enemies of the Filipino people without sacrificing the freedoms we have preserved for about 30 years since the agreement was executed,” Secretary Lorenzana said.