STUDENTS from the University of the Philippines on Tuesday staged a “Day of Walkout and Action” for the “right to academic freedom to organize, and to protest.”
The students gathered at about 11:30 a.m. in front of Palma Hall.
The UP Office of Student Regent declared August 20 as the “Day of Walkout and Action” amid a proposal to revive the Anti-Subversion Law which, according to Student Regent John Isaac Punzalan, will lead to extensive surveillance on students, professors, and organizations critical of the government.
UP student Aly Loveres said the claim that UP was a breeding ground for communism was an excuse for the military to enter the campus.
Loveres also criticized the government’s “red-tagging,” which started last year amid claims that students were being recruited by communist rebels for a “Red October” plot against President Rodrigo Duterte.
She emphasized that UP was teaching the students to be critical.
“The reason why we’re rallying is because we acknowledge and see that there’s something wrong going on,” she said.
Aside from UP, Gabriela Youth, Anakpawis Partylist and other universities and sectoral groups joined the rally that ended in Mendiola, a few meters from Malacañang.
Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, a former Philippine National Police chief, called on lawmakers to support the law’s revival, which seeks to criminalize membership in the Communist Party of the Philippines and its supporters. SAMANTHA TEBRIO