After hearing from parents of missing Polytechnic University of the Philippines, students on Wednesday, PUP president Emanuel de Guzman assured that professors who require their students to attend protest activities will face charges.
“If proven, administrative cases will be filed against them. They will no longer be qualified to teach in PUP,” de Guzman said in an interview with Philippine News Agency (PNA) on the sidelines of Senate hearing on missing minors who have been allegedly recruited by organizations with links to the communist movement.
De Guzman expressed support to the government in stopping communist-front groups like Anakbayan and Kabataan in recruiting students into their organizations that cause students to abandon their studies and join the insurgents.
Mothers of five missing students who were senior high school students of PUP, Far Eastern University and the University of the East Manila told the Senate hearing that their children joined the League of Filipino Students, Anakbayan, and Kabataan party-list groups.
Of the five, only Gemma Labsan’s daughter has remained with her parents while the rest did not contact their families.
Labsan showed copies of photos where her child went with a teacher and other students during street rallies while President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22.
The Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs chairperson, Senator Ronald dela Rosa, said he got a text complaint that a professor of the University of the Philippines in Cebu wants his students to attend a protest against the government so they can pass his subject.
“Teachers leading their students astray, communists allowed to recruit inside the school grounds, we should not tolerate that,” the senator said.
De Guzman, meanwhile, apologized to the parents of the missing PUP students.
“Ako po ay nag-a-apologize sa kanila dahil ‘yung mga anak nila na nasa PUP ay na-recruit kahit na ito ay labag sa aming kalooban (I apologize to them because their children were recruited while in PUP despite that this is against our will). But we cannot commit that 100 percent, this would not happen. We are hoping this will not happen again,” he said, adding that the recruiters operate without their knowledge.
“Ang PUP, kahit noon pang panahon ng martial law ay lugar na ng mga aktibista, pero maliit na minorya lamang sila sa aming malaking populasyon. Unti-unti nang lumiliit ang bilang dahil naglagay na kami ng reporma (PUP, even during the martial law years, has been a place for activists but they are just a minority compared to the big population [of students]. Little by little their [activists] numbers are decreasing because of the reforms we put in place),” he said. (PNA)