“The united students of PUP will always be against any form of attacks and oppression and we will never falter against Duterte administration’s move to criminalize us–the students and the whole university.”
By JOHN AARON MARK MACARAEG
JMANILA-Students of Polytechnic University of the Philippines- Sta. Mesa successfully drove a van of Philippine National Police (PNP) away from main campus, August 16.
The incident happened while student organizations were holding a protest action against the continuous presence of PNP inside the university and the mandatory random drug testing that happened Aug. 15. They also commemorated the death anniversary of Kian Delos Santos, the 17-year old student killed by police officers during an anti-drug operation in Caloocan two years ago.
Students expressed alarm over the presence of policemen.
Part of Rule IV Section 8 of the CHED Memorandum No. 18 stated that “Pursuant to Section 36 (c) of RA 9165, all HEIs (higher educational institutions) are mandated to implement a mandatory random drug testing of their students, consistent with these implementing guidelines and other relevant rules and regulations, after observance of consultation and other similar requirements. . . .”
The presence of PNP inside PUP Main Campus reportedly started on August 7, where two police mobile entered the university’s premises.
A day before, former PNP Chief and now Senator Ronaldo ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa led a Senate hearing on the cases of alleged missing student members of the progressive group Anakbayan.
Student organizations said that the PNP clearly violated the Ramos-Prudente Accord, which mandates that there shall be no military presence inside and within 50 meters outside of PUP campus.
The Ramos-Prudente Accord, according to Caryl Jane Bequillo, member of Sandigan ng Mag-aaral para sa Sambayanan or SAMASA-PUP, “was a victory for students and in time when student repression surges, they would not let it to be easily scrapped.”
“If the state military forces could easily kill people around the country just to implement the tyrannical rule of President Duterte, we will ensure that here inside the university, students will always stand by and for our democratic rights,” Bequillo said.
“The united students of PUP will always be against any form of attacks and oppression and we will never falter against Duterte admin’s move to criminalize us–the students and the whole university,” she added.
Bequillo added that the presence of PNP inside PUP “is surely meant to silence them.’ “But what they could not understand is that until the rotten educational system is made better, Filipino iskos will never be intimidated,” Bequillo said.
PUP students victoriously blocked the dress code policy in the revised student handbook last August 5 when over a thousand of students held a protest in the main building and threw shirts and dresses.
Students also condemned other revisions in the student handbook such as higher grades for latin honors, designating advisers to all organizations, councils, and publications, declaring that only one publication can be led by students, among others.