THE Philippine National Police (PNP) reiterated on Tuesday, August 20, that there is no militarization in the universities as claimed by militant groups.
“This is misunderstood by (militant groups) and medyo over reaction naman siguro ang mga militant groups. There is no such thing as militarization of a campus. Kami until now hindi kami pumapasok basta basta sa campus ng may campus at sa university kung walang coordination at kung wala kaming business doon,” he said in a press conference in Camp Crame.
(We do not enter a campus without coordination and if we don't have business there.)
“Remember we have a balik eskwela program, ‘yung presensya ng pulis sa campuses at in the vicinity of the campuses, the main purpose there is to provide security to the students, parents, teachers, and the community thereat especially kung yan ay papasok at lalabas (ng schools) it's very normal for us to be there for peace and order purposes dahil maraming studyante na nabibiktima ng petty crimes,” he added.
(Remember, we have a Balik Eskwela Program. The police are in the campuses or in the vicinity of campuses to provide security to the students, parents, teachers, and the community.)
Albayalde said the militant groups were “over reacting” in order to agitate and get the sympathy of the other students.
“Remember sino lang ba ang nag-o-over react dito, it's only them (militant groups) not even the school at ito ay minority, very few of them majority sa campuses sa mga studyante ano ba ang comment nila? Wala naman. Ito ‘yung mga militanteng grupo lang they are trying to interpret this things para ma-agitate ‘yung iba, this is for agitation purposes only,” he said.
(Only the militant groups are over-reacting and they are the minority. The majority of the students have no comment. These militant groups are just trying to agitate other students.)
The top PNP official said they are continuously coordinating with the leadership of different campuses and universities and that they may also engage the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education to “enlighten” the students over the matter.
He said policemen enter different campuses and universities only in coordination with the school administration. But he said they are not conducting surveillance on student activists.
“Over the years na ginawa yan, were there massive surveillance? ofcourse none. We, the PNP, will always respect the constitutional rights of every Filipino. We work within the ambit of the law alam natin ang karapatan ng bawat isa,” said Albayalde.
Hundreds of students from different campuses of the University of the Philippines (UP) joined the protest actions against what they called the “intrusion” of military and police forces in their campus.
“Any effort to uproot our academic freedom to critically engage our society can only benefit those in power who want to escape accountability,” UP Diliman Student Regent Isaac Punzalan said in a press release issued on Tuesday.
This came after Senator Ronald dela Rosa suggested that universities allow police and military personnel to enter their premises and conduct “indoctrination” among students to prevent their recruitment by the militant groups.
He made the statement in a Senate hearing on the recruitment of students into militant groups.
Punzalan slammed Dela Rosa’s suggestion saying that he was “sensationalizing family matter” to forward his agenda against the youth.
“No amount of these despicable and shallow theatrics will ever weaken the student movement and activism in our university,” he said. (SunStar Philippines)