PUP student council belies Anakbayan’s claims over campus crackdown
MANILA, Philippines - Student leaders from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) are clashing over whether there is a crackdown on student institutions in the state university.
The PUP student council refuted claims of Left-leaning students organizations in PUP like Anakbayan that the rights of their constituents are under attack.
“Anakbayan is clearly lying through their teeth,” the student council said in a statement.
With the supposed goal of curtailing the student’s democratic rights, Anakbayan earlier claimed that the school administration removed the student regent and took over school publications, among other concerns. (READ: Are PUP students’ rights under attack?)
“We categorically deny the claim that the Central Student Council, with the blessing of the administration, removed former student regent Karl Paulie Anareta,” according to Elijah San Fernando, President of the ANAK-PUP Student Council Federation and the newly appointed student regent.
San Fernando explained that by virtue of one of the provisions of the RA 8292 or the Higher Education Modernization Act (HEMA), former student regent Anareta was disqualified from the post because he was not enrolled in the university.
The student council led by San Fernando organized the election of the 19th ANAK-PUP officers, including the new student regent, on September 23 to 24.
It was supposedly during this congress where 25 out of 35 of its members voted in favor of San Fernando, a member of the political party PUP SPEAK, to represent the PUP student body in the BOR, the university’s highest decision-making body.
The PUP student council also belied Anakbayan’s claim that the administration ordered “the takeover of campus student publications through an administration office called Student Publication Section.”
It suggested that funds of the The Catalyst, the official student publication of PUP, have been mismanaged.
“With regard to the issue of campus publications, there is a standing ‘no liquidation, no release’ policy of the University in line with the 2012 Commission on Audit Report,” the student council said.
It claimed that the policy was created because of the alleged “massive unliquidated funds incurred by The Catalyst and the past student council administrations led by the SAMASA Party Alliance which amounted to P3,494,984.00.” SAMASA Party Alliance, which previously ruled the student council, is the rival political party of PUP SPEAK.
The student council also noted that other campus publications like the Engineering Spectrum and Business Torch are still operating.
In an earlier interview, PUP President Emmanuel De Guzman, explained that the Student Publication Section will resolve the tendency of the student paper to turn into an echo chamber, ensuring quality output from the campus paper.
'No martial law in PUP'
The PUP student council also belied claims of activists that “truckloads of anti-riot policemen” were deployed to PUP during and after the nationwide anti-tyranny protest on September 21. (READ: Thousands join protest to remind Filipinos of Marcos' Martial Law)
“The PUP System is not in a state of anarchy. Contrary to the malicious claims, there is no martial rule in PUP,” San Fernando said.
Activists earlier said that the PUP students are protesting against the alleged “tyrannical” and “Marcosian” tendencies of their school officials, suggesting that they are being targeted by Malacanang through the PUP administration.
“We believe Malacanang and its agents are behind these attacks aimed at terrorizing Iskolars ng Bayan,” SAMASA PUP chairperson Rejohn Modesto said.
The state-run university is known as a bastion of student activism in the country. – With a report from Danielle Nakpil/Rappler.com