WATCH: What students, faculty, alumni think about AFP’s red-tagging of schools
MANILA, Philippines – When your school is accused of being a base for communist recruitment, how would you respond?
Rappler interviewed students, faculty, and alumni from the University of the Philippines (UP) and Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) to get their thoughts on the matter. The two universities were among those linked by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to an alleged communist-led recruitment for an ouster plot against President Rodrigo Duterte.
The AFP had alleged that at least 18 universities were being used as recruitment areas for the supposed Red October plot. They cited as proof of such recruitment screenings of films tackling Martial Law under the Marcos regime. The list, AFP admitted, has yet to be verified.
In response, schools called the allegation "baseless and dangerous." Artists, directors, cultural workers, and academics frowned on it and said it "impinges on our right to freedom of expression, speech and assembly, and endangers us and our audience."
UP and PUP students shared the same sentiments.
“Just because they were to speak out against the government and against the different injustices that they see in society, one should not immediately be tagged in such a negative connotation,” said Sugar Del Castillo, a 4th year BS Clothing Technology student of UP Diliman.
Others mentioned the absurdity of allegations that the Communist Party of the Philippines used Martial Law-themed films for recruitment purposes.
“Ito 'yung films kasi na tina-target nila is 'yung mga films na nakakalawak ng isipan (These films are being targeted because these films broaden the mind),” said Rose Roque, an assistant professor from U.P Manila.
Check out what students, faculty, and alumni have to say about the issue through this video. – Rappler.com
Read other stories about the government’s red-tagging of schools:
- CPP taps students of 10 Manila universities for Red October plot – Galvez
- AFP admits list of schools linked to Red October not yet fully verified
- CHR: Linking schools to Red October plot endangers students
- Schools slam military for linking them to Red October plot
- Albayalde asks: Why do state university students ‘go against’ government?
- AFP’s red-tagging a threat to freedom of expression – artists, directors