DILG wants review of own 1992 deal with UP

Robie de Guzman   •   January 25, 2021   •   654

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday said it will call for a meeting with officials of the University of the Philippines (UP) this week for a review of its own 1992 agreement, which limits police presence in UP campuses.

DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the meeting seeks to find out if the agreement is still relevant and serves to uphold public order and safety within UP campuses.

It is also in response to the UP officials’ request for a dialogue to address the concerns of the department “in the spirit of justice, mutual trust, and the pursuit of excellence,” he added.

“Upon the request of UP, we are open to a meeting. Kailangan na talaga nating umupo at mag-usap dahil sa dami ng mga pagbabago, pangyayari at problema sa UP. The bottom line is, and will always be, to ensure peace and security in the students and faculty of UP,” Malaya said in a statement.

He said the UP-DILG Joint Monitoring Team has not met for years now contrary to Section 7 of the UP-DILG agreement which tasks the team to meet at least twice a year or as often as necessary to determine compliance with the provisions of the agreement.

The DILG’s move comes after the Department of National Defense (DND) unilaterally terminated its 1989 pact with UP, citing information that the New People’s Army is recruiting students inside UP campuses.

The DND previously that the deal is ‘obsolete’ and that UP has become “a breeding ground” and “a safe haven for enemies of the state.”

Malaya said the meeting will assess the level of security in UP considering the proliferation of residential units, business establishments, and informal settler families within UP campuses, especially in UP Diliman. 

“The non-academic areas in UP have increased through the years and crime has been increasing, thus we need to discuss ways on how we can maintain peace and order in those areas,” he said in a statement.

Malaya said portions of the UP campuses that have been leased out to private developers such as UP Technohub and UP Town Center which are now open to the public as well the entry of thousands of informal settlers inside UP property pose a problem for law enforcement because of the influx of non-UP faculty, students, and residents.

“With the growth of the population within each campus, the current capability of the university’s police and firefighting forces must be assessed. Kaya pa ba nilang panindigan ang responsibilidad na pangalagaan ang seguridad at kaayusan sa loob ng campus?” he said.

Malaya said they also intend to raise the matter of alleged clandestine recruitment of UP students by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its front organizations as earlier raised by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

The 1992 UP-DILG agreement was signed by then UP President Jose Abueva and then DILG Secretary Rafael Alunan III after the enactment of Republic Act No. 6975 which effectively placed the country’s police force from the DND to the DILG. The Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police, now Philippine National Police (PNP), was formerly under DND.

Since the police was transferred from the DND to the DILG in 1991, both parties signed the UP-DILG Agreement in 1992 with essentially the same contents as the 1989 UP-DND agreement.

Under both agreements, prior notification shall be given by a commander of an Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) or PNP unit intending to conduct any military or police operations in any of the UP campuses.

They shall not also be allowed to enter the premises of the campuses without coordination with UP administration except in hot pursuit cases and similar occasions of emergency, or in ordinary transit through UP premises.

UP, UST place lower in QS world university rankings

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 10, 2021

The University of the Philippines (UP) and the University of Santo Tomas (UST) have landed in lower ranks of the 2022 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.

Based on the 2022 QS World University Rankings released on Wednesday (June 9), UP dropped to the 399th spot from ranking 396 while UST slid to 1,001-1,200 bracket from the 801-1,000 group. Meanwhile, Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University remained in the 601-650 and 801-1,000 brackets, respectively.

Ranking at the top spot are Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Standford University, and Harvard University. AAC

DILG calls on CPP-NPA to turn over members responsible for Masbate mine blast

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has called on the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) to turn over members involved in the Masbate mine blast.

After the CPP-NPA took responsibility for the incident, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the group should be held accountable for the death of football player Kieth Absalon and his cousin Novlen Absalon.

“Now that the CPP-NPA has accepted full responsibility for the senseless murder, it now becomes their duty to turn over the terrorists responsible for the deaths so that justice maybe served to their families and loved ones,” he said in a statement. Año also assured the safety of the suspects while undergoing trial.

“The ends of justice require that those responsible must be held accountable for their crimes against the people under the laws of the Republic of the Philippines,” he said.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are prepared to file criminal charges against the CPP-NPA members involved in the incident. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

12 stray dogs trained to help in search and rescue operations

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — To become the best doggos, 12 stray dogs are being trained by the University of the Philippines under its K9 program.

Meet several of the soon-to-be rescue dogs: Red Fox, Nano, and Kotton.

According to professor Khrysta Rara, project manager of Sagip K9, these dogs are trained to assist in search and rescue operations.

“Kapag may nangyari, in minutes pwede sila ma-deploy pwede sila kaagad pumunta doon sa lugar na mayroong nawawalang tao at maka-start na sila ng search while waiting for help from outside so iyon ang maganda na mayroon kaming sariling K9 unit dito sa UP campus,” she said.

(In case of emergency, these dogs can be deployed and they can immediately go to the area and begin the search while waiting for help from the outside. We have our own K9 unit here in the UP campus.)

Training usually lasts for four months before the dogs will have their graduation. Aside from the emergency response and rescue operations, the dogs are also trained to provide emergency response which is crucial during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Sila naman ang pinupuntahan ng mga estudyante mga guro at mga empleyado mga staff kapag stress sila sa trabaho. May alam ako sa isang building na kapag ang mga empleyado stressed na stressed sa trabaho lalabas sila ng 10-20 minutes sa opisina pupuntahan nila ito sila Kotton, or ang ibang aso para yakapin lang matanggal stress nila tapos babalik na ulit sa trabaho,” Rara said.

(Students, teachers, and staff visit these dogs when they are stressed. I know there are employees in one building who visit Kotton and the rest when they are really stressed at work. They would hug the dogs then return to work.) AAC (with reports from Marvin Calas)

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