Duterte threatens to withdraw UP’s funding

On Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to withdraw the funding of the University of the Philippines (UP) amid Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) students’ call for an academic strike.

Duterte also accused UP of recruiting communist rebels inside their campus.

“‘Yung mga eskwelahan, UP, fine. Maghinto kayo ng aral, I will stop the funding. Wala nang ginawa itong ano kundi mag-recruit ng mga komunista diyan,” he said in his weekly address.

However, it was ADMU students and not UP students who launched calls for an academic strike to protest the government’s “criminally neglectful” typhoon and COVID-19 response.

Over 500 Ateneans have called for a mass  to protest the government’s alleged “criminally neglectful response” to typhoon Rolly and Ulysses.

ADMU’s official student newspaper, The Guidon, the students’ call to university to “concentrate all efforts into helping the most vulnerable citizens of the Philippines.”

“We believe that things cannot continue business as usual. We can no longer stomach the ever-rising number of deaths due to the state’s blatant incompetence. We cannot prioritize our schoolwork when our countrymen are suffering unnecessarily at the hands of those in power,” said the students’ statement.

“We strike in solidarity with the students who are victims of calamities and of COVID-19, who cannot be expected to catch up with their studies within three to five working days,” it also said.

Also read: UP Diliman faculty want to end semester ‘immediately’

Duterte threatens to withdraw UP’s funding

“You are taking the cudgels of the poor ahead of your time. That is not your worry, that is the worry of government,” Duterte said.

Earlier, Presidential spokesperson Harry told the ADMU students that they would fail and would not graduate.
“Babagsak po kayo,” said in an interview. “Bilang isang dating propesor, kahit anong dahilan ng sinasabi niyong strike, ‘pag hindi kayo sumunod sa academic requirements, mawawalan kayo ng kinabukasan.”
“Hindi kayo makaka-graduate sa Ateneo,” he warned.