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The University of the Philippines President’s Advisory Council releases a statement on the recent efforts of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to red-tag members of the UP community.

We view, with grave concern, the most recent effort of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) to red-tag members of the UP community.

On May 11, 2022, the NTF ELCAC released a statement cautioning against disruptors and destabilizers of peace and order, after sectors reported irregularities during the May 9 National Elections.

On UNTV, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon cautioned against school walkouts as dangerous avenues for NPA recruitment.

Such statements maliciously misrepresent legitimate forms of protests as “breeding grounds for terrorist recruitment,” violate civil liberties and carelessly endanger our students in their democratic exercise of constitutionally protected freedoms.

These accusations are baseless and paranoid, and by themselves sow the discord that they purport to prevent.

We will not stand down when our students’ lives are at risk.

We will continue to defend our academic spaces. We will protect our students vigorously against red-tagging, harassment, and intimidation. We will safeguard the University from destabilizing forces.

Critical thinking and service to community and country are hallmarks of UP’s tradition as an institution of higher learning.

Hands off our students. Hands off our University. Defend academic freedom!

* The UP PAC is composed of the President, the Vice Presidents and the Secretary of the University, the Chancellors of the eight UP constituent units, the Director of the UP Philippine General Hospital, and the Executive Director of the UP Bonifacio Global City campus.

Originally posted on the UP System website