Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Biggest Labor Coalition Abhors DND's Abrogation of DND-UP Accord, Calls for Withdrawal of Unilateral Decision

NAGKAISA abhors the unilateral decision of the Department of National Defense (DND) and calls on Secretary Delfin Lorenza to withdraw the decision. Otherwise, he better resign.

It seems Secretary Lorenzana has forgotten Joe Almonte's reminder that, "insurgencies are war of ideas just as they are killing competitions."

The incumbent Defense establishment, it seems, is losing ideas. Its act is a militaristic one with no Madisonian constitutional anchor. Like a thief in the night and without even a perfunctory consultation with a co-equal signatory institution,  the Secretary is hastily  abrogating a time-honored protocol with UP since the signing of the Sotto-Enrile accord in 1982 and renewed in DND-UP accord in 1989.

 Without offering an iota of evidence and ignoring respect to plurality of ideas in an academic institution,  the Secretary resorted to red-tagging, using indirect  threats and psychological  intimidation. 

Instead of creating sympathy to the cause of the Defense Department, it seems the Defense Secretary is shooting his own foot by creating confusion and hostility between UP and the Defense establishment. 

The unilateral act -- done without minimum reflection and which probably ignored solid intelligence work--creates unnecessary enemies. It induces, not only further public distrust as regards the defense establishment, but also agitates dissention among members of the academic community. Trust is not imposed. It is earned, not only through words, and definitely not through attacks on academic freedom, but through action  that illustrates respect for students', teachers' and people's rights.

Furthermore, it appears that the Duterte Administration is really bent on doing a Marcos all over again, even outdoing him in this regard. The Defense Chief is withdrawing from an agreement with UP that was reached during the time of Marcos.

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