In a recently released joint statement, Metro Manila schools Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, Far Eastern University, and University of Santo Tomas denied claims that their campuses are being used as NPA recruitment sites.
The statement was released following a comment made by Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr., who is currently the spokesman for the National Task Force to End Local Communist and Armed Conflict, that claimed that around 18 Philippine colleges and universities were “recruitment havens” for the New People’s Army and the communist agenda.
In the joint statement, the schools’ officials lambasted Parlade Jr.’s most recent claim, saying the charge was “getting old”, referring to another public accusation made by the general in 2018.
The schools defended their institutions and said, “As universities with high aspirations for our country, we seek to direct our students to engage in acts that contribute to the strengthening of social cohesion, defend the country’s democratic institutions, and promote nation-building.”
They also directly objected to Parlade Jr.’s claim and asserted that their schools “neither promote nor condone recruitment activities of the New People’s Army and, indeed, of any movement that aims to violently overthrow the government.”
Signed by ADMU president Father Roberto Yap, SJ, DLSU president Brother Raymundo Suplido, FSC, FEU president Dr. Michael Alba, and UST vice rector Father Isaias Tiongco, OP, the rare joint statement was seen as the latest effort to denounce red-tagging by the government.
The issue follows after the termination of the 1989 UP-DND Accord, which required state forces to give prior notice before entering campuses of the University of the Philippines.