Dear President Danilo Concepcion, faculty and students:
On behalf of the UP Alumni Association in America, Inc. (UPAAA, Inc.), we express our strong support for your stand in preserving the integrity and independence of the University as the bastion of academic freedom in the country. Our vision clearly articulates the values of UPAAA, Inc. as “ a strong broad-based organization of alumni of the University of the Philippines in the service and support of the Alma mater, the UP alumni, the UP system and the community in pursuit of common goals.”
Recent developments have prompted us to highlight once more what the University stands for and its role as the nation’s premier educational institution of learning. UP is a microcosm of the larger community but has a significant role in nation-building. It is, and has been, the breeding ground for progressive and creative ideas and free expression represented by the iconic statue of the Oblation. The university has produced leaders in the community and country who have contributed in a large part to the progress of our native land. Stifling academic freedom denigrates the immense promise of the youth to contribute to the future of the country.
As a foreign-based nation-wide organization of UP alumni striving to unify UP alumni in the United States and other countries, we provide the anchor upon which alumni living in foreign lands from the diaspora of the past, can look for unity and collaboration. It is therefore with alarm that we see the insidious threat to the independence and leadership of the University in promoting academic freedom in other institutions of learning all over the country. We need the UP youth to go boldly into the future to shape our nation as leaders that the country needs them to be. We need the faculty to continue molding these young minds in the tradition of our heroes of the past and become leaders of tomorrow.
We recognize that unlawful behavior is never tolerated by the university and has adhered to the observance of the laws. But it also has the obligation to protect the rights of the students, faculty and everyone within the jurisdiction of the university. When these rights are violated without due process, democracy in the country is gradually eroded. Holding the threat of punishment or fear over the heads of students and the university as a whole becomes a cloud that suppresses growth of academic vibrancy.
In pursuit of honor and excellence, UPAAA, Inc. remains truly yours,
Daisy M. Rodriguez, RN,BSN,MN,MPA
National President, UPAAA,Inc.
Dr. Jovenia Celo, MD
Executive Vice President