Maanne Ilagan Lopez
A WORK IN PROGRESS

Anakbayan tags Tangonan civilian military agent

Blue and Silver June-July 2007

Anakbayan tags Tangonan civilian military agent

Admin, students oppose campus militarization

They started it and now she’s ready for it.

Prof. Emilie Tangonan, former Social Science Department head, aired her sentiment regarding the allegations of Anakbayan-NCR against her at the National Broadcasting Network (NBN) Channel 4 last summer.

Last Feb. 26, Anakbayan posted press releases along the University walls stating that Tangonan is a military agent, an anti-social and anti-worker.

“Yung paper ng Anakbayan, is the same paper na dinala ko sa media ) The paper released by the Anakbayan is the same paper that I brought to the media).”

In the meantime, an Anakbayan NCR member, who wished not to be named, deemed the presence of Col. Recardo Visaya, Civil-Military Operations Battalion commander, during the press conference of Tangonan proved that she is linked with the military.

“I just went there to air my grief. Malay ko kung sino pa ang dadalhin nila doon (I have no idea that they’ll invite other persons there).”

She added that is was her first time to meet Col. Visaya.

Moreover, Km Darriel Colis and Prof. Estrellita Bautista, former Social Science Department faculty, aired their agonies with Tangonan.

Tangonan said that the administration ordered a sudden dismissal to Bautista during the second semester.

Colis, however refused to make a statement without his lawyer’s consent.

Tangonan said that they (Colis and Bautista) also felt that they are harassed. “Ang gusto lang naming iparating na pwede ban a magbago na tayo, tama na ito (All we want is to voice out that we should change, enough already).”

Anakbayan also said in the press release last Feb. 26 that Colis has a pending libel case during the University Student Government (USG) campaign.

Prof. Perfecto Deoferio, Philosophy Department faculty, filed a libel case at Pasig Regional Trial Court last March 5, a week after the Anakbayan released the paper.

“Actually hindi ko pa alam na libel yung ifa-file ko. Paano nila (Anakbayan) nalaman na may kaso akong finile eh wala pa nga akong fina-file (Actually I didn’t know that I’ll file a libel case. How did Anakbayan know that I’ve filed a cese while I haven’t filed any)?”

Furthermore, the paper also stated that Tangonan meddled in the USG election, to the extent that she released Colis’ Good Moral Character Certificate (GMCC) that raised issues on his candidacy as USG president.

Tangonan said the case was dismissed last summer due to lack of probable cause.

Evidence and Testimonies

Last semester, Tangonan found communists; paraphernalia (books of Araling Aktibista and Rebolusyonaryong Pilipino) in a room that was supposedly used for conferences.

Tangonan acted upon reading the phrase, “Maaantig din natin ang puso ng Diyos at ang Diyos ay walang iba kung hindi ang mamamayang Pilipino.” “Di ko pwede itikom ang bibig ko sa bagay na iyon (I can’t keep silent about it).”

Anakbayan, when asked about the said paraphernalia, stated that Mao Ze Dong wrote the Araling Aktibista. “Sa bansa nila applicable iyo. Magkaiba kasi tayo ng Diyos (That’s applicable in their [Mao Ze Dong’s] country. We have a different God.”

Regarding the book of Rebolusyonaryong Pilipino, Anakbayan said he never heard of that book. “Di kami nagiiwan ng ganun (We don’t leave such paraphernalia).”

On the other hand, Anakbayan said that they are being monitored since last semester. Four Anakbayan members received a letter from Col. Visaya. “Pumunta kami, pero di kami ang hinarap, yung tatay ko (We had a meeting with them, however they talked to my father instead of me).”

A few days after the discussion with Col. Visaya, Anakbayan uttered that the military called his father again saying that they are monitoring hos actions. They knew that Anakbayan had a forum three days after the letters were given to them.

“Alam niya lahat ng galaw ko dito sa school at kanino pa ba maggagaling iyon kung ‘di dito rin sa loob (He knew all my actions inside the University and where else can that information come from aside from inside the school itself).”

Round-table

Tangonan questioned the allegations of Anakbayan and encouraged them to face her in a forum.

May basehan ba sila para tawagin akong ahente ng militar? Maglabas sila ng ebidensya, hindi lang basta allegations (Do they have basis that I am a military agent? Aakbayan should present pieces of evidence and not only allegations).”

Meanwhile Anakbayan said that the forum is a strategy of the military to let them come out. “Di namin itataya ang aming seguridad (We won’t risk our safety).”

“Hindi namin kailangan ng batayan, iiingay namin hanggang lumabas ang katotohanan (We don’t need basis. We’ll voice it out until the truth is revealed).”

Tangonan’s concerne is that “If they can do that to me while I’m in the position, what more sa iba (to others)?”

Admin’s reponse

Dr. Oscar Suarez, University president, that Tangonan’s publicity blotted the Christian Image of the University.

“Before sila pumunta dun (media), dapat pumunta muna sila sa amin (They should have approached the administration before they went to the media).”

Tangonan when asked about the President’s statement said she went to the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA).

Dr. Greg Melchor de Lara, acting VPAA, confirmed that Tangonan reported to his office.

De Lara conducted an informal investigation however no one testified  that the persons involved are the ones who posted the press release.

Mahirap kasi mag-insist sa isang bagay na di naman totally nakita (It’s hard to insist on something if there’s no witness).”

Although Tangonan said she knew who those (Anakbayan) people are, there was no formal complaint filed. “That (complaint) was just verbal. Until the complaint is written, that’s the time we’ll have a formal investigation.”

Meanwhile de Lara refused to comment on the publicity of Tangonan since he has not watched the news himself.

De Lara cleared that the issues faced by Tangonan is not the reason why a new Social Science Department head is appointed. “May policy ang administration na yung department head position ay rotation para sa lahat ng faculty magkaroon ng experience (The policy of the administration states that the department head position should be a rotation, so that other faculty members can experience it).”

Nagkataon lang na tapos na yung term niya as department head (It just so happened that she finished her term as department head).”

On Campus Militarization

Anakbayan said military elements were already spotted at the University of Santo Tomas (UST), Far Eastern University (FEU) and Adamson University (AdU).

Meron di sa ibang campuses na hindi naka-uniform… Pwedeng estudyante na tinrain at naka-enroll (There are civilian militaries in other campuses… They can be enrolled students).” These intelligence networks are the counter organizing tactics to neutralize progressive groups.

De Lara said that there is no military deployment in the University although there are military students enrolled in the graduate school.

“In MBA, we have more than 100 junior officers if AFP who study here.”

Meanwhile, Suarez pointed out that military deployment should not be implemented on campuses. “Wala silang karapatan. Hindi nila ito kampo (They have no right. This is not their camp).”

De Lara said that PCU is a university that abides with the laws of the country. “Wala akong nakikitang dahilan kung bakit kailangan magkaroon ng (I don’t see any reason why there should be) military deployment.”

Recently, concerned student from the University showed that they oppose the implementation of the Human Security Act of 2007 (HSA) and that military deployment is not necessary at PCU.

“Wala namang communist group ditto sa PCU. Napakatahimik nga natin hindi ba? (There is no existing communist group here in PCU. So why will it be necessary fort he military to deploy here?)” said Ms Carla Joy Mercado, former Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP-PCU).

Mercado added that the military has not power to enforce laws in student communities, unless there is rebellion or conflict that the school administration cannot handle.

The USG constitution also states that any military intervention should not be allowed inside the campus.

Sinusuportahan namin yung pagkondena sa HSA kasi violation ito sa human rights (We support the condemnation of HSA because it is a violation to human rights),” said Ms Glaiza Dimapilis, acting USG president.

Dimapilis furthered that HSA could create terror, especially when there are military personnel inside the campus.

Suarez said that with the records of the military since Martial Law until now the HSA is open to abuse. “Ang HSA parang Martial Law, may karapatan ang mga militar na arestuhin ang mga estudyante (HSA is like Martial Law which gives the military the right to arrest students).”

Sana man lang huwag nilang abusuhin ang espirito ng batas at ang mga estudyante (I hope they won’t abuse the law and the students).”

The President added that he will have a dialogue with the military before they can deploy in the University.

In the meantime, Anakbayan said that the HSA campus militarization is a repressing act of the administration to stop organizations opposing the Arroyo regime. “Ito (HSA) ay hindi makatao. Gagawin lamang nitong legal ang pagyurak sa karapatang pantao (HSA is inhumane, it will only legalize human right violations).”

On Progressive Youth Groups

The President said that students have the right to join progressive youth groups. “It’s their right, hindi natin (PCU) mapipigil (we can’t stop them). The school has no authority to say no to them.”

De Lara affirmed that the University has no right to prevent the students from joining such groups. “That’s freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly.”

Nonetheless, the acting VPAA stressed that, “we warn them not to forget their studies.”

Suarez said that PCU is open for military and progressive groups’ forums. “This is an academic institution and we practice democracy.”

The President also allows progressive youth groups to conduct meetings at PCU “for as long as they don’t violate rules.”

– Maanne Lopez

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