Xavier University slams red-tagging of its faculty, immersion program

University president Fr. Roberto C. Yap, SJ, denounces the red-tagging incident as an orchestrated effort to intimidate faculty members and undermine its programs.

MANILA, Philippines– Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan (XU) denounced the black propaganda that linked a number of its faculty and its immersion program to communist rebels and terrorists.

In a statement released on Friday, March 1, university president Fr. Roberto C. Yap, SJ, slammed the red-tagging incident as an orchestrated effort to intimidate faculty members and undermine its programs.

“We vehemently condemn this malicious, slanderous, and groundless red-tagging against some XU personalities and one of our well-established immersion programs,” he said.

Two boxes containing the black propaganda, printed on a long bond paper, were reported to have been found during an opening program of a photo exhibit by XU development communication students in a mall in Cagayan de Oro City on February 20.

Local mall security seized the boxes to prohibit its distribution.

“This propaganda is devoid of any semblance of truth and substance. We must be critical and discerning in our news and information consumption, especially with those which were propagated and distributed through disreputable modes and channels,” Yap added.

He further clarified that XU’s programs are in line with their “ethos of forming leaders who will be instrumental in promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue, nation-building, and sustainable development.”

“We would like to assure the Xavier Ateneo community… that we continue to look out for our safety and security at all times… No evidence exists that our university, programs, and activities are currently exposed to any grave threat,” Yap said.

Just recently, there was a similar case of red-tagging in Cagayan de Oro City.  An anonymous handout containing a list tagging several groups and individuals as members of the Communist Party of the Philippines was distributed to journalists on February 22.

In light of recent incidents, Yap encouraged all people to be vigilant and to think critically of the state of the nation.

“This calls us to unite as one Xavier Ateneo to exercise our academic freedom in pursuit of truth and speaking truth to power to build a healthier and more effective democratic society,” he said. – Rappler.com