By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – The arrest of professor Dr. Melania Flores in her house inside the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City is in violation of the UP-Department of Interior and Local Government Accord.
This is the statement of UP Faculty Regent Carl Marc Ramota as he condemned the arrest of Flores this morning, Feb. 6.
The 1992 UP-DILG Accord prohibits uniformed personnel from entering the UP campus without coordination or notice to the administration of UP Diliman.
In a statement, Ramota said there was no prior coordination with the Diliman authorities on the planned arrest of Flores. The four arresting officers were not in uniform and reportedly introduced themselves as employees of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) said that when the purported DSWD employees were inside Flores’s house, an arrest warrant was shown to her without explaining the case and immediately arrested her. Flores was being accused of alleged violation of Social Security System remittance. She was brought to Camp Karingal in Quezon City.
Flores is the immediate past president of the All U.P. Academic Employees Union (AUPAEU) and a faculty member of UP Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas.
She was released after posting P72,000 ($1,314) bail this afternoon.
Melania Abad-Flores released after posting bail at 5:20 p.m., according to All UP Academic Workers Union. pic.twitter.com/pbFEdSDWHz
— Bulatlat (@bulatlat) February 6, 2023
Ramota asserted that the arrest violated both the UP-DILG accord and Flores’s Miranda rights.
He added that the arrest comes in the wake of a series of documented cases of harassment and intimidation against UP constituents, the latest being the abduction of UP Cebu lecturer Armand Dayoha and UP alumna Dyan Gumanao last January 10.
Ramota pointed out that this incident and the Cebu abduction highlight the need for the institutionalization of a mechanism for monitoring and quick response against rights violations.
He urged the University “to use its full administrative and legal machinery to uphold and protect its constituency from intrusion, and keep its campuses a safe haven for political thought and action.”
The AUPAEU vehemently condemned the arrest of its former officer.
The union said that Flores did not receive any complaint or subpoena against her.
They also assailed the CIDG for pretending to be employees of the DSWD to arrest Flores.
“It is a clear violation of the UP-DILG Accord of 1992. This dirty tactic by the CIDG is a method to intimidate and harass unionists and patriotic academic workers,” the union said in a statement. (RTS, RVO)