Professors fear ‘militarization’ may invite abuse vs students, teachers
Marje Pelayo • August 22, 2019 • 499
MANILA, Philippines – Teachers and professors in Metro Manila are opposing the proposed police and military presence in campuses across the country.
According to University of the Philippines (UP) Chancellor Mike Tan, the alleged militarization of educational institutions in the country may impact the students’ freedom of speech and may induce fear among schools.
Tan said, however, that the military and police may still decide to do some lecturing or organize fora inside campuses even in UP.
“Hahanap lang sila ng co-sponsor sa isang organisasyon ng UP, (They just need a co-sponsor from UP organizations),” Tan said.
Still, this cannot be used as avenue for government troops and police to remain inside school premises, he said.
This may lead to abuse, according to Tan, not only against students but against teachers and professors.
He cited the case of Leonardo Co, a University of the Philippines botanist who was killed in a crossfire between government troops and communist rebels in 2010.
“Medyo nakaka-disturb na bakit laging kung may UP students sa labas, ilang accounts na ang nabanggit kanina. Si Leonard Co na pinatay nga na siya ay isang professor namin. Sa Palanan[town], mga botanists na nagreresearch, mga math professors na nasa math na tutulungan ang mga teachers, hinarass din sila,” Tan argued.
(It’s quite disturbing why UP students are usually being involved. There had been several accounts cited. One of our professors here, Leonard Co, was killed. Botanists in Palanan who were doing research, math professors who were assisting the teachers, were harassed.)
“Kung kaya nilang gawin ito what more kung nakapasok sila sa campuses namin. That is our fear. Yan ang tinatawag naming militarization, (If they can do this, what more if they enter our campuses. That is our fear. That’s militarization,)” he added.
Dr. Danilo Arao, meanwhile, argued that students become activists because of their critical thinking, awareness of the issues and because they want to exercise their freedom of speech.
“They are just using the label of communism as a convenient excuse to quell whatever critical thinking people may have here in this university as well as in other universities,” the professor said.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), for its part, said they are not against student activism.
DILG Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya argued that the government is just being serious in curbing the recruitment of students or minors to join the communist CPP-NPA-NDF’s armed wing.
Nevertheless, the UP Chancellor assured that they are monitoring movements and activities of school organizations in their respective universities and they are willing to cooperate with authorities whenever necessary. – MNP (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)
MANILA, Philippines – Operators of shopping malls in Metro Manila have agreed to adjust their operating hours during the holiday season to help in the bid to ease the country’s traffic woes, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said on Tuesday.
The MMDA said mall operators agreed to open shop an hour later than the usual time at 11 a.m. during weekdays starting November 11, 2019, until January 10, 2020.
Mall sales will also be prohibited from Monday to Friday in the same period, the MMDA said.
Deliveries of non-perishable goods will also be limited at night time, from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Shopping mall operators also agreed on deploying additional security personnel to direct the flow of vehicles going inside mall parking areas which cause traffic gridlock.
They also agreed to remove obstructions on loading and unloading bays in mall vicinities.
The MMDA said the agreement was made during their meeting on Tuesday which tackled traffic contingency measures to ease the anticipated traffic, particularly along EDSA, during the holiday season.
The agency estimates there are at least 100 shopping malls in Metro Manila.
“Traffic is already bad and we expect it to get worse as the number of vehicles increases daily,” said MMDA general manager Jojo Garcia.
Road reblocking along EDSA and C5 will also be temporarily suspended in the same period, except for government flagship projects and emergency cases, according to the MMDA.
MANILA, Philippines – The Manila Water on Tuesday warned its customers of a new round of water service interruptions which could start this week amid declining water level in Angat Dam.
In a series of advisories posted on Facebook, the concessionaire announced the schedule of rotating water supply interruptions that may possibly be implemented in the east zone of Metro Manila and nearby provinces beginning Thursday, Oct. 24.
“Ito ay posibleng kailanganing isagawa upang mapagkasya ang limitado pa ring supply ng tubig hanggang sa susunod na tag-araw, maging sa kabuuan ng susunod na taon, kung sakaling hindi na umabot pa sa inaasahang 212 meters na lebel ang Angat Dam sa pagtatapos ng 2019,” Manila Water said.
The utility firm said supply interruptions, which are scheduled between 10 p.m. until 7 a.m. the next day, may affect selected barangays in Quezon City, Mandaluyong, Manila, Makati, Marikina, Parañaque, Pasig, Pateros, San Juan, and Taguig.
The rotating service disruption may also affect Manila Water customers in Rizal Province, including in barangays Angono, Antipolo, Baras, Binangonan, Cainta, Jalajala, San Mateo, Taytay, Rodriguez, and Teresa.
As of 6 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, the Angat Dam’s water level is at 186.46 meters. The dam’s water elevation has consistently declined in the past few weeks due to a lack of heavy rainfall that could have raised its reserves.
The water concessionaire also urged its clients to conserve water and to store only enough supply for the impending service interruptions.
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