The long-awaited dialogue between University of the Philippines (UP) and the Department of National Defense (DND) on the abrogation of the 1989 DND-UP Accord was finally held today when the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) facilitated the meeting between UP President Danilo Concepcion and DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana in Quezon City.
“I thank Secretary Lorenzana and President Concepcion for their statesmanship and openness to talk to each other and to raise their concerns and observations on the DND-UP accord,” said CHED Chairman J. Prospero E. De Vera III.
“As I have said in my previous statement, both DND and UP have publicly stated their continuing commitment to protect academic freedom, promote the welfare of students, and enforce national laws – all embodied in no less than the Constitution itself,” he added.
“It is therefore crucial that both sides start discussing their concerns and this morning I am happy to bring together UP and DND so that both sides can have an open and frank exchange of views over a wide range of issues related to the accord,” De Vera said.
No less that the Senate adopted a Senate Resolution No. 616 urging the DND and UP to revisit the agreement on military presence in the state university’s campuses and called for a dialogue between both parties.
“I ask everyone to support the efforts of UP and DND so we can continue to build trust and a common direction for the future. The Joint Statement issued today is a good start in ensuring that the dialogue will continue,” De Vera added.
De Vera said that CHED will continue hosting dialogues not just between UP and DND but all public and private HEIs to find common ground on how to protect the interest of 3.1 million students while upholding academic freedom.
The dialogue was also attended by DND Undersecretary for Defense Operations Cesar Yano, AFP Spokesman Major General Edgard Arevalo, UP Vice President for Public Affairs (VPPA) Elena Pernia and CHED Executive Director Cinderella Filipina Benitez-Jaro.
J. PROSPERO E. DE VERA III, DPA
Commission on Higher Education