Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) president Emmanuel Leyco hit a military official after he claimed that the university is among several ones in Metro Manila that are used as recruitment grounds by the New People’s Army (NPA). 

Leyco denied the accusations of National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesman Antonio Parlade, Jr., noting that classes are now being held online amid the pandemic. He also called for an end to red-tagging.

“This allegation is a serious disservice to the men and women of the PLM and comes at a very bad time when its faculty, students and staff are struggling with the challenges of online education. Such distraction in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is indeed reprehensible,” he said in a statement released late Sunday night. 

“This latest attempt to red-tag the university is an insult to PLM’s distinguished faculty, hardworking staff and dedicated students who will later join the country’s future leaders in business and government,” he added. 

The PLM president said this was the second time that Parlade red-tagged the entire institution. 

Despite this, Leyco said PLM will continue to respect its students’ rights to academic freedom. 

“As an institute of learning, the PLM is expected and will uphold the rights of faculty and students to pursue knowledge with the full protection of their inalienable rights to academic freedom,” he said.

In a DZBB interview on Saturday, Parlade named the following schools as communist recruitment sites: University of the Philippines (UP), Polytechnic University of the Philippines, University of Makati, Far Eastern University (FEU), University of Santo Tomas (UST), De La Salle University (DLSU), Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), PLM, among others. 

Earlier on Sunday, FEU, UST, DLSU, and ADMU also released a joint statement denouncing the NTF-ELCAC spokesman’s accusations.

However, they said that they neither condone nor promote the actions of the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of Philippines (CPP), and said they will maintain an independent and autonomous stand from the government and other social institutions.

The other mentioned universities have yet to release statements to address the matter. 

Source: Manila Bulletin (