Frankie Pangilinan, Enchong Dee, Atom Araullo, more celebs slam scrapping of 1989 UP-DND Accord
Several celebrities have joined the protest against the scrapping of the 1989 University of the Philippines – Department of National Defense (UP-DND) Accord, which barred police and military from entering campus grounds without prior notice.
Actress Agot Isidro, a UP Diliman interior design graduate, was among the stars who slammed the DND’s decision and joined the call to “Keep off UP” and “Defend UP.”
“These days, all Filipinos are guilty unless proven innocent. And what a long and crooked road that is. I hope people realize that we should defend our freedoms now, before it’s too late. Act now. Resist now,” Isidro tweeted yesterday, Jan. 19.
The actress also retweeted UP President Danilo Concepcion’s call to “protect academic freedom” and “maintain UP as a safe haven for all beliefs and forms of democratic expression.”
"Protect academic freedom" and "maintain UP as a safe haven for all beliefs and forms of democratic expression": UP President Danilo Concepcion responds to DND Secretary Lorenzana's unilateral abrogation of the UP-DND Accord.
— University of the Philippines (@upsystem) January 19, 2021
Isidro, who has been known to be a staunch critic of the current administration, has also previously spoken out against the government’s red-tagging of celebrities and other individuals.
Through a letter on Jan. 15, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told the UP president that the DND has decided to abrogate the 1989 UP-DND agreement, which he said had been a “hindrance in providing effective security, safety, and welfare of the students, faculty, and employees of UP.”
Frankie Pangilinan, daughter of Megastar Sharon Cuneta and Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, also slammed DND’s move and stressed that “red-tagging students just proves how insecure and threatened this administration has become.”
“Protect our students. defend our rights. [Be] brave,” she said in a tweet on Jan. 18.
“[This] sort of unprovoked desperation from the establishment only proves that change IS possible, and likely very close — continue to speak out and fight for what’s right. [We] stand with you. #DefendUP,” Pangilinan said in the following tweet.
this sort of unprovoked desperation from the establishment only proves that change IS possible, and likely very close — continue to speak out and fight for what’s right. we stand with you. #DefendUP
— kakie (@kakiep83) January 18, 2021
Actor Enchong Dee, also known for being vocal on the country’s issues, meanwhile gave his take on why the government is “afraid of UP” after the question was posed by UP professor Eloi Hernandez.
“Because they are afraid of people starting a revolution [Philippine flag emoji] They’re in dire need to hold on to power and money as much as they can,” he tweeted yesterday.
Because they are afraid of people starting a revolution 🇵🇭 They’re in dire need to hold on to power and money as much as they can. https://t.co/ke5CGS9dFL
— Enchong Dee (@enchongdee777) January 19, 2021
Television host Kim Atienza meanwhile expressed his support too for the “Defend UP” banner by sharing his own experience inside the UP Diliman campus as a student.
“I was NPA when I was in UP from 1984-1991. If Jean Valjean was prisoner 24601, I was 84-46067. Over 7 fun years [I] was able to board in Kalayaan dorm, UP alumni hotel, the prestigious UP Executive House, being an ‘adopted’ brother and best buddy of UP presidential son Jonas,” he recalled on Instagram yesterday, citing the character of Valjean in the musical “Les Miserables.”
“Pinalayas kami ni Jonas ng tatay niya (We were kicked out by his father) over reasons I cannot disclose. I was indeed NPA/ No Permanent Address and I will forever cherish those bohemian UP years,” he quipped.
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Broadcast journalist Atom Araullo, who is also a graduate of the university, stated yesterday in his Twitter post: “The DND should ask: why is the UP community troubled by the unilateral abrogation of the accord? Surely they don’t think all of the people there are communists.”
Araullo has also been a victim of red-tagging by authorities last year, after making a documentary on Lumad students. He was defended by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines which called out the government for reportedly misquoting Indigenous People leaders and making it appear that the documentary “is somehow supporting ‘the enemy.'”
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Pia Magalona meanwhile labeled the scrapping of the agreement as “intimidation” in response to Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo’s explanation that the military is seeking cooperation, not militarization via a briefing held earlier today, Jan. 20.
In a tweet made yesterday, Magalona answered Lorenzana’s tweet where he questioned “What makes UP so special” that the military cannot enter without coordination.
“It’s a UP thing you wouldn’t understand. But to clown around as such is unbecoming of a supposed bemedalled military man. I’m not from UP either, but surrounded by family members from there, so I get their spirit,” Magalona stressed.
It’s a UP thing you wouldn’t understand. But to clown around as such is unbecoming of a supposed bemedalled military man.
— Pia Magalona ⁷ #DefendOurFreedom (@piamagalona) January 19, 2021
Joined by celebrities, various netizens have made the hashtag “#DefendUP” trend on social media people claim that the abrogation of the accord is the government’s way of threatening activists opposing President Rodrigo Duterte’s policies.
In a televised briefing yesterday, Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque has since disclosed that the president supports Lorenzana’s decision to terminate the 1989 UP-DND Accord. JB
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