Youth, various groups hold indignation rally after DND scraps agreement

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 19, 2021   •   419

MANILA, Philippines — Members of youth and other various group organizations held a rally on Tuesday (January 19) at the University of the Philippines after the Department of National Defense (DND) scrapped the agreement barring military and police presence inside the campus.

Members of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines, students, and members of Anakbayan protested against the termination of the UP-DND accord. 

DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the agreement was terminated in order to protect the students from getting recruited by leftist groups.

In a statement, Anakbayan said the police and the military were never the youth’s protectors, adding that the scrapping of the agreement will only introduce silence and paranoia, instead of critical thinking.

“State forces have been known to clandestinely spy on student-leaders, which unfortunately lead to the collection of their personal information and even abduction, torture, and death for some,” says Vinz Simon Anakbayan Secretary-General.

The agreement was signed in June 1989 to prevent the police and military to interfere with u-p activities and to protect the community. AAC

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

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)

DND orders review of safety measures after gov’t arsenal blast in Bataan

Robie de Guzman   •   May 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has ordered a review of the safety measures being implemented at the Government Arsenal (GA) in Limay, Bataan following an explosion that killed two personnel and injured two others.

“The SND (Secretary of National Defense) has directed the GA conduct a thorough review of the safety and protective measures implemented in the manufacturing facilities to ensure that a similar incident will be avoided in the future,” DND Spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said in a statement on Thursday.

The blast at the facility on Wednesday morning was said to have occurred during the preparation of the priming composition for caliber .45 bullets at the mixing facility of the GA’s Explosive Division.

The incident resulted in the deaths of two GA personnel who were on duty, with two others sustaining minor injuries.

Investigation into the incident is underway, according to the GA management.

Andolong said Lorenzana also conveyed his condolences to the affected families of the victims of the explosion.

“The GA shall also ensure that appropriate assistance and attention are extended to the families of the personnel who died in the line of duty,” Andolong said.

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