Dalisay: UP students are allowed to join protests as long as...

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 03 2018 05:37 AM

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Students of the University of the Philippines are allowed to join protest actions as long as they comply with their academic requirements, a high-ranking official of the country's state university said Friday.

"Lahat tayo ay may karapatang magpahayag ng kanya-kanyang mga palagay, maging estudyante ka man o professor o pangulo," said Dr. Jose "Butch" Dalisay, Jr., UP vice president for public affairs.

The award-winning author, who also teaches at the College of Arts and Letters, said demonstrations have long been part of the school's tradition.

"Madalas ay kasama rito ang pagprotesta sa kung sino man ang nakaupo sa Malacañang. Kaya hindi na po nakakagulat itong mga ganitong pangyayari," he said over DZMM's Dos Por Dos.

President Rodrigo Duterte On Thursday, warned students from UP that he will give their slots to indigenous people if they keep on skipping class to protest against his administration's policies.

During the interview, Dalisay said the university doesn't impose sanctions on student demonstrators, but acknowledged there is a limit to their actions.

"Kung masyado ng maraming absences sa estudyante para sa kung ano mang dahilan maliban sa pagkasakit...pwede siyang mabigyan ng failing grade doon sa kanyang subject," he said.

Asked if UP students should not sacrifice school by skipping class to attend protests, considering they are supported by taxpayers' money, Dalisay agreed.

"Pero ang sasabihin naman po ng iba ay hindi lang sa classroom nakakakuha ng kaalaman. Sa paglabas din sa classroom, sa mismong karanasan sa lipunan, may matutunan din 'yan," he said.

Dalisay added, "Kung makaka-miss man sila sa kanilang klase ay problema na nila 'yung bumawi sa kanilang classroom work. Kasi hindi naman pwede masakripisyo 'yung kanilang talagang pananagutan sa pamantasan."

The university also doesn't expel students just based on their political views.

"Wala po tayong political na pamantayan para sa pag-e-expel ng estudyante. Sapagkat, kung pag ginamit sa UP 'yan ay baka...ilang henerasyon ng estudyante ang na-expel na dapat noon," he said.

Having been an educator for more than 30 years at UP, Dalisay have some observations on student demonstrators.

Most youth leaders and student activists are honor students, he said.

"Madalas din po mangyari ay aktibista ka kung nandito ka, pero kapag gumraduate, nakakahanap ka naman ng regular na trabaho sa pribadong sector o sa gobyerno. Pero ang tendency nag-e-excel sila sa kanilang mga gawain," he said.