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DND on dialogue with UP: A positive development

The  Department of National Defense on Friday viewed its dialogue with the University of the Philippines as a "positive development" in "seeking ways to move forward and strengthening collaboration with academic institutions in the country."

On Thursday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and UP President Danilo Concepcion met to discuss the Defense Department's unilateral decision to abrogate its 1989 accord with the university.

The dialogue was initiated by Commission on Higher Education chairman Prospero De Vera III in Quezon City.

"During the dialogue, the DND expressed its openness to listen to the position of the UP administration. We are also hopeful that the members of the UP community will be open to working with us to ensure that our youth do not become victims of those who would lead them down the path of lawlessness and destruction," DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said in a statement.

An earlier joint statement quoted DND and UP as saying that "The dialogue afforded the key leaders the opportunity to discuss the way forward and possible areas of cooperation on how both institutions can promote their mutual aspirations to ensure a safe and secure environment conducive to learning." 

Last month, the DND abrogated a decades-old pact with UP that prevented state forces from freely entering the campus without prior coordination, claiming that UP campuses were recruitment spots for communist and rebel groups.

The termination of the agreement was denounced as "totally unnecessary and unwarranted" by Concepcion. — RSJ, GMA News