We, the undersigned faculty members of UP Visayas, loudly deplore the unfounded accusations or red-baiting of legitimate student organizations in the University, namely the League of Filipino Students (LFS), Anakbayan, and the Sandigan Para sa Mag-aaral at Sambayanan (SAMASA).
This despicable incident happened during the first assembly of the National Service and Training Program in Iloilo City last June 25, 2011. A certain Private First Class Mendoza associated with the Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) claimed without admissible proof that the above-mentioned student organizations are “armed rebels” and “threats to national security.”
Under the prevailing climate of impunity where those suspected as subversives are killed, accusations such as this by the ROTC and the military are not only irresponsible but perilous. Such accusations endanger the lives of innocent students and faculty members who are advisers of the aforementioned organizations. Such accusations violate the spirit of the Philippine Constitution, particularly on the important role of the youth (Article II Section 13) and the citizens’ right to association (article III Section 8). Such accusations do not have a place in our civilian democratic society.
The public release of this statement aims to correct the misinformed views of some unenlightened men and women in military uniform about the University. The ideals and practice of freedom to organize and freedom of expression is held sacrosanct in the University where constituents seriously pursue the “life of the mind” in service to the Filipino people. The Oblation of the University stands for Freedom, Truth, and Liberty.
We, therefore, call on those who are into red-baiting, malicious labeling and witch-hunting to stop from endangering the lives of innocent students and faculty advisers of the accused organizations. We call on them to abide by the letters and spirit of the Bill of Rights in the Philippine Constitution. We call on them to respect the integrity and ideals of the University.
(Signed by 36 UPV faculty members)