Soldiers from the 7th Civil Relations Group of the Civil Relations Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday went to the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman to check their gardening project.
The visit came days after the Department of National Defense (DND) decided to unilaterally terminate the UP-DND accord. The agreement restricts the entry of military and police forces inside the UP campus.
In a photo posted by GMA News reporter Chino Gaston on Twitter on Wednesday morning, military trucks and soldiers could be seen entering the UP Arboretum.
According to group commander Major Frank Sayson, they visited UP to disprove speculations that the military is not allowed inside UP Diliman.
“Nandito po tayo ngayon dahil gusto po nating ipakita na mali ‘yung mga sinasabi at sa mga speculation na bawal talaga ‘yung military dito sa Barangay UP Campus,” Sayson said.
“Ang sabi nga namin, itong ginagawa natin sa nation building, nagre-reach out ang AFP sa iba’t ibang sector especially sa pamunuan ng UP,” he added.
According to Sayson, UP chancellor Fidel Nemenzo approved the urban gardening project which was implemented from July to December 2020. It could be extended after evaluation.
Military troops visit UP Diliman garden project after UP-DND accord termination
In a statement on Wednesday, the 7th Civil Relations Group said the “Raise to One Million Gardens in NCR” was being implemented in six community gardens within Barangay UP Campus.
“Amid the controversies surrounding the abrogation of the 1989 DND-UP accord, the 7th Civil Relations Group of the Civil Relations Service of the AFP has been constantly entering Barangay UP Campus and the UP Diliman campus itself,” the group said.
“During the GCQ and new normal where almost everyone lost their income and sources of livelihood, the 7CRG introduced the ‘Raise to One Million Gardens in NCR,’” it added.
The troop said the local communities in Barangay UP Campus accepted its “Hardin Hero Challenge” for a sustainable supply of vegetables, herbs, fruits, and medicinal plants.
On Monday night, the UP Office of the Student Regent unveiled a letter from Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana for UP President Danilo Concepcion, requesting the termination of the UP-DND accord.