A University of the Philippines-Diliman official denounced the entry of soldiers from the 7th Civil Relations Group of the Civil Relations Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to inspect their urban gardening project inside the campus.
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.
“For us talaga, it was, para sa kanila ipakita na puwede na sila na pumasok sa campus and they did that and not just in Arboretum, I think, they also went in Village B,” UP Diliman vice chancellor for community affairs Prof. Aleli Bawagan, PhD said in Chino Gaston’s report on “24 Oras.”
“Wala nga silang, hindi nila programa whatever garden is in Village B dahil ang paalam lang ng barangay ay Arboretum. The other garden ay hindi sinabi ng barangay na kasama nila ang AFP,” Bawagan added.
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.
UP official denounces military’s ‘show of force’ inside Diliman
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.
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 the 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.