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Movement Against Terror Act Press Statement

MATA Press Statement

19 January 2021

Contact: RJ Naguit (+63 916 582 7931)

The Movement Against the Anti-Terror Act (MATA) condemns in the strongest terms the termination of the UP-DND agreement which protects the campus and its community from intervention by state elements.

The sudden, one-sided termination of the agreement is suspicious as the state is wielding the dangerous Anti-Terror Act against its citizens. The harms of the act, including arbitrary arrests and unchecked surveillance, will be unleashed in the university which houses students, workers, urban poor communities, and indigenous peoples seeking refuge. The termination of the agreement will be an open season for abusive state elements to hunt down people with critical and alternative views in the campus.

The long list of abuses by the PNP and AFP betrays Secretary Lorenzana's aim to force a trustworthy relationship with the academic community. The extrajudicial killings, the mishandling of the Dacera case, the slay of the Gregorios, and the harassment of indigenous groups were real threats against the lives and welfare of ordinary citizens that these state forces need to take accountability.

We stand with the UP community in defending the welfare and academic freedom of our campuses against militarization. We demand for Secretary Lorenzana to revoke his unilateral abrogation of the agreement. ###


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