A leader of the House of Representatives on Thursday urged the Philippine National Police to reconsider proposals to increase police visibility in university and college campuses around the country, saying that such a move is unwarranted and inconsistent with the purpose of higher learning institutions.
Rep. Fidel Nograles of Davao City, vice chairman of the House committee on justice, made the statement after Interior Secretary Eduardo Año issued a statement saying that Executive Order 70, which creates the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict, justifies the PNP’s presence in schools and universities as part of their plan to counter insurgency.
“The main mandate of the PNP is to combat and prevent crime. As far as I know, no crimes are committed when students join left-leaning organizations in universities and colleges, so long as they do not take arms against the government,” Nograles said.
Nograles said he agrees with his former law professor, Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra, who said this week that even membership in the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) was not a crime unless the member committed a crime.