Senator Bato Dela Rosa assured University of the Philippines (UP) officials of his support for the immediate passage of the premier state university’s budget amid reports that some left-leaning groups have been recruiting students whose studies at the university are funded by the Filipino people.
Dela Rosa, who is known for his anti-communism advocacy, issued his statement of support to UP and the “iskolars ng bayan” during the hearing for the budget of the Commission on Higher Education recently.
The legislator said he is not against the state university and its students, but he has a stern opposition to the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) and its alleged recruitment in universities.
“Klaruhin ko lang I am not against sa inyo at sa eskwelahan, I am against sa mga estudyante na naging NPA, kayo naman din siguro ayaw ninyo maging NPA mga estudyante nyo di ba?” the lawmaker asked UP president Atty. Danilo Concepcion as he called on him to be part of the government’s efforts to pursue nation-building.
“I will never exercise my power of the purse. I am just going to use my power of the conscience.”
“Rest assured, Atty. Danilo Concepcion, that I am not going to use my anti-communism advocacy to hinder the passage of your budget. I will never exercise my power of the purse, I am just going to use my power of the conscience… kokonsensyahin ko kayo ngayon lalo na sa nation-building. Sana tayong lahat magkakaisa for nation-building, at sana hindi magagamit itong mga eskwelahan natin for nation destruction particularly by the CPP-NPA na nagpe-penetrate sa ating mga eskwelahan,” the senator said.
He also urged the UP official to take the cudgels to ensure the safety of the students as well as to encourage them to be part of the efforts to achieve national development.
“You are the administrator, pag administration ka dapat bantayan mo rin na yung mga estudyante mo di mapariwara at di mapunta sa bundok. Moral na responsibilidad mo yan being the second parent of these children,” Dela Rosa noted.
“Hindi ka ba nakonsensya? Yung mga bata ay entrusted to you, sa inyo… sa eskwelahan tapos bigla na lang mawawala… nandun na sa bundok, nakipag giyera na sa mga sundalo, napatay. Sana meron kayong pagmo-monitor nito na hindi magiging kawawa lalo na yung mga bata na menor de edad,” he added when Concepcion stated that UP cannot impose any beliefs on their students, in fact, they encourage them to express what they believe in.
“Draw the line between freedom and insurgence.”
Dela Rosa strongly stated that he is not against the observance of academic freedom, for it will let the youth achieve their full potentials, but he also asked to draw the line between freedom and insurgence.
“Alam nyo sa academic freedom wala akong problema dyan, ang akin lang hanggang saan yung academic freedom ninyo na hindi kayo pupunta sa pakikipaglaban sa ating gobyerno,” he explained.
The discussion between Dela Rosa and Concepcion ended on a positive note when the senator asked the state universities if they will allow law enforcement agencies to conduct career orientation seminars which may entice students to become part of the government through its law enforcement sector. Dela Rosa got a resounding yes from the representatives of the state universities, including Concepcion.