The House of Representatives on Wednesday, September 15, approved on second reading the bill which seeks to institutionalize the abrogated University of the Philippines (UP)-Department of National Defense (DND) Accord.
The House chamber approved House Bill No. 10171 via voice voting.
The bill specifically seeks to revise the Section 11 of the Republic Act No. 9500 or the UP Charter of 2008. If passed, the bill will allow the abrogated accord to be formally included in the laws governing the entire UP system.
Most of the provisions in the current House bill were part of the original accord signed in June 1989. Once the bill is passed into law, the following would be enforced:
- Prior notification of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), or any law enforcement agency to the UP administrators before conducting any operation inside UP campuses.
- Ban the entry of PNP, AFP, and other law enforcement agencies from entering the campus except in cases of emergency or as per request by the law enforcers.
- Shall prohibit subjecting any student, faculty member, or staff to custodial investigation without informing the UP administrators
- Law enforcers will be banned from interfering with any peaceful protest inside UP campuses
The UP-DND Accord bill is now up for third reading. On June 2, the House committee on higher and technical education approved the bill on the committee level.
In January, the accord, which protects UP students and faculty from possible abuses by the police and the military, was unilaterally scrapped by the Duterte government due to the alleged incidents of in-campus communist recruitment.
The government terminated the accord at the height of protests condemning President Rodrigo Duterte’s failed pandemic response and the implementation of the anti-terror law.
To salvage the accord, at least three bills were initially filed in the House. The Senate version of the bill, which was filed by Senator Joel Villanueva, remains pending at the committee level. – Rappler.com