Joint Statement on the arrest of two PUP Sociology Students by the Military in Caluag, Quezon
The PUP students who were captured by the troops of the 4th Infantry Battalion on the allegation that they are NPA recruits are legitimately enrolled in our university.
They are in fact doing their summer course in community organizing, a course requirement for their curriculum in Bachelor of Science in Sociology, traditionally being done every summer between April and May of each school year.
There is no way they could be there in Quezon province to participate in rebellious or subversive activities as alleged by their captors.
The undersigned groups in PUP strongly condemn such arbitrary arrests of civilians, most particularly our students. We are also urging the concerned authorities to immediately release Jihan Manampad and Rina Togonon and stop pursuing their eight other classmates who are also doing community organizing work in the same area.
Any actions from the military that violate the human rights of such students under their custody will be legally pursued by the academic community and organizations in PUP.
We are also seeking the support of the PUP administration, the faculty, employees and students for the two students now being falsely charged of rebellion by the military.
Currently, the teacher of the students, Prof. Justine Nicolas, is negotiating for the release of his students and is himself in the same risk of possible arrest. The PUP administration should act decisively on this matter as it involves not only the basic rights of students and teachers but also and more importantly the core principles of academic freedom, which every university must uphold.
Release our BSS 3-1 students, Jihan Manampad and Rina Togonon! Stop pursuing legitimate students in the course of fieldwork for their academic work!
Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy–PUP (CONTEND-PUP)
Unyon ng mga Kawani—PUP (UNAKA)
Unyon ng mga Guro sa PUP (UGPUP)
University Center for Human Rights Research and Education (UCHURRE)
Prof. Elizabeth Morillo
Henry Enaje, PUP Student Regent