UP community online fights DND red-tagging with humor, memes

Alois Isinika
UP community online fights DND red-tagging with humor, memes

The Oblation. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

Iskos on social media fight back using the language they know best – wit and memes

Once again, the University of the Philippines (UP) puts the “fight” in #UPFight.

The UP community on social media hurled jabs at the Department of National Defense’s (DND) unilateral termination of the UP-DND accord. The agreement barred the police and military from entering UP campuses. (READ: What you need to know about the 1989 UP-DND accord)

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s justification? The youth needed to be protected from reported in-campus recruitment of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA). This blanket red-tagging did not sit well with UP students, alumni, and supporters.

Iskos on social media fought back using the language they know best – wit and memes.

What’s more likely to happen than meeting an NPA recruiter?

To disprove the dangerous red-tagging by the state forces, a Twitter game went viral on Tuesday, January 19, thanks to Twitter user @ndrojibreel. The tweet has more than 4,400 quote retweets as of writing.

UP students and alumni had their own takes, highlighting a colorful (but tough) student life.

Through humor, netizens decried red-tagging. Let’s take a look at what really happens inside the university, according to the UP community.

Of course, who could forget the iconic crinkles UP students sell to generate funds for their organization’s projects. Have you ever sold a tub?

In case these got you so nostalgic about your student life, here’s a list you can use the next time you play “Never Have I Ever” game (versus red-tagging, of course). This Diliman edition was posted by Facebook user Amber Gonzales Quiban.

Netizens also pointed out that the military should instead consider looking at issues that concern our territory, such as the Chinese incursions in the West Philippine Sea.

There was even a suggestion to rename UP to West Philippine Sea to encourage the state forces “to stay away” from it.

Beyond memes: The consequences of trampling on dissent

UP has been on the receiving end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s threats. In November 2020, Duterte said he will cut the university’s funding after the community launched an academic strike versus government’s inaction during disasters and pandemic.

Twitter user @bro0mfknwalis hoped the internet response will not be reduced to memes as the abrogation of the UP-DND accord has harmful consequences on the UP community.

Filipinos on social media earlier condemned the abrogation of the accord, as soon as it was confirmed by the UP Office of the Student Regent on Tuesday, January 18. –

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Alois Isinika

Alois Isinika is a digital communications specialist at Rappler. As a Sociology graduate, he thinks and talks a lot about the world we live in, that's why he frequently writes for Rappler Blogs or tweets his sentiments at @aloisinika.