Adopted at the 99th Meeting of the University Council of the University of the Philippines Diliman held at the Benitez Theater, College of Education on April 18, 2007
The University Council condemns measures by the Arroyo administration to curtail civil liberties.
Armed Forces of the Philippines soldiers are in 27 barangays in Metro Manila in spite of the statement of the Chair of the Commission on Human Rights that “military presence in urban poor communities is tantamount to violation of certain civil and political rights of the residents.”
The passage of and soon-to-be implemented Human Security Law (Anti-Terrorism Law) further threatens to constrict the remaining democratic space. The law is characterized by loose and excessively broad definitions of terrorism, terrorist acts and terrorist individuals and organizations. Measures such as wire-tapping, warrantless arrest, expanded detention and interrogation periods are built-into the law. These could readily be subject to misuse and abuse, given the state of rising militarism in the country. Provisions of the law violate the Bill of Rights of the 1987 Constitution.
Closer to home, retired faculty and former chair of the Journalism Department Bobbie Malay experienced state brutality first-hand as her home was ransacked by the police, bearing a photocopy of a search warrant with the wrong address. She remained at the side of her husband Representative Satur Ocampo during his arrest and detention on charges obviously meant to harass him and hamper the campaign of his party. Former UP President Francisco “Dodong” Nemenzo still has a pending rebellion case hanging over his head. Students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan have been missing for 10 months.
The University Council remains steadfast in its commitment to civil liberties and the pursuit of justice for all. It calls for the permanent withdrawal of military troops in the urban communities in Metro Manila, and an end to political killings, abductions and political repression.