Schools, military should talk to resolve issue on red-tagging: UP professor

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 25 2021 05:10 PM

Schools, military should talk to resolve issue on red-tagging: UP professor 1
Women's rights advocates picket in front of Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on October 28, 2020 calling against red-tagging of activists and human rights defenders. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — A political science professor from the University of the Philippines Diliman said Monday the military and school authorities should talk in order to resolve the issue on red-tagging.

“Let us dialogue. Mabuti bumaba na ang tono ni [Defense Secretary Delfin] Lorenzana and he’s willing to talk to our school authorities. That is how it should be. And to repeat siguro, please start with the definition of terms,” Clarita Carlos told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

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“Siguro, tulad ng MA thesis at assistant PhD dissertation, mag-umpisa sila sa definition of terms kasi kung doon pa lang ay nagbubungguan na ‘yung definition of terms nila, talagang wala silang kahihinatnan,” said Carlos, who once served as President of the National Defense College of the Philippines.

(Maybe, just like in the preparation of MA thesis and assistant PhD dissertation, they should start with the definition of terms because if their definition of terms is in conflict, they will go nowhere.)

“Who is a communist? What does it mean to red-tag somebody? Kasi kung sa definition of terms, wala na silang consensus ay hindi talaga maganda ‘yung patutunguhan niyan. ‘Yung trajectory talaga is burara,” she added.

(Who is a communist? What does it mean to red-tag somebody? Because if they don't have a consensus in the definition of terms, it will not lead to something good. The trajectory is going to be a mess.)

The professor added that schools should cooperate and not genaralize the military.

“Huwag na tayong magmayabang-mayabang, ‘yung mga nasa university, and talagang makipag-ugnayan tayo sa ating mga military. Some of them are UP graduates, mga estudyante ko ‘yan sa aking graduate courses. So, magkaliwanagan tayo, definition of terms para hindi na naman nagkakasamaan ng loob, naglalabas ng listahan. Sinira mo na ‘yung reputasyon ng tao, saka ka magsasabi ng “ay, mali,” she said.

(Let's not be boastful, we in the university. Let's engage with the military. Some of them are UP graduates, some were my students in graduate courses I handled. So, let's be clear on the definition of terms so as not to feel bad towards each other, and then lists are being released. You already destroyed people's reputation, and then you simply say "It's a mistake.”)

Carlos reiterated it is not the responsibility of UP teachers to track all their students, and denied that recruitment into communist groups is happening in the university. 

“Fifty-four years na akong nagtuturo. Palagay niyo ba, may oras ako na alamin [kung] anong nangyari sa mga estudyante ko? Nagpunta sa bundok, naging senador, naging magnanakaw? Siyempre, hindi. Kaniya-kaniyang responsibilidad ‘yan,” Carlos said.

(I have been teaching for 54 years already. Do you think I have time to find out [what] happened to my students? Those who went to the mountains, became a senator, became a thief? Of course, not. Each has his or her own responsibility.)

“Sa tagal ko rito sa unibersidad, lampas half a century, ang mga nagre-recruit lang sa’min dito ‘yung mga sa Born Again, tsaka mga satanic organization. Ako nga, hindi ako nare-recruit diyan,” she added.

(During my time here in the university, for more than half a century, the only ones doing recruitment were those from the Born Again Christians and satanic organizations. I was not even recruited there.)

She stressed teachers are not in control of the path their students take.

“Sa pamilya, nag-uumpisa. Huwag silang magturo-turo ng fingers nila sa university because by the time we get them, they will be in their late teens. Na-form na lahat ng kanilang values, orientation and beliefs,” she said of students.

(It begins in the family. Do not point fingers at the university because by the time we get the students, they will be in their late teens. All their values, orientation and beliefs have been formed.)

“So, when they make a decision to the mountains and hold the guns and change society through the power of the guns, that is their decision. If they die in the process, let them die in the process because that is their decision.”

Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman Prospero de Vera made the proposal to hold a dialogue after the Department of National Defense unilaterally abrogated its accord with the University of the Philippines on the conditional entry of state forces in the latter's campuses.

The premier state university, citing academic freedom, urged the DND to "reconsider and revoke" its decision.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Sunday said he has "asked a friend to facilitate" a meeting with UP President Danilo Concepcion "sometime next week."

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