By JOAHNA LEI E. CASILAO
SEVERAL SOCIETIES from the Faculty of Arts and Letters (AB) denounced the inclusion of the University (UST) in the military’s list of 18 schools allegedly involved in a rumored ouster plot against President Rodrigo Duterte.
Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., assistant deputy chief of staff for operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), alleged that students from certain Metro Manila universities have been enjoined by the Communist Party of the Philippines to take part in a destabilization plot dubbed “Red October.”
In separate statements released Thursday, the Sociological Society (USTSS), Literary Society (LitSoc), and The Political Science Forum (TPSF) decried the AFP’s accusation.
“The AFP’s list is not a mere attack on the University; it is an attack on the student body and their rights to organize and free expression,” LitSoc’s statement read.
LitSoc called the inclusion of UST in the list “a brazen act of red-tagging,” adding that the list has put the lives of Thomasians in danger.
Red-tagging or red-baiting is the act of classifying critics of the government as state enemies, communists, or terrorists in order to justify their arrest, torture, or killing.
TPSF condemned the AFP for releasing the list without “clear and convincing evidence.”
“[T]he military should refrain from tagging universities, colleges, and other institutions of learning as a hotbed of communist recruitment […] lest it wants to reduce the Filipino students to docile and dull individuals,” their statement read.
Meanwhile, USTSS said the administration has failed to uphold and defend human rights because of its inability to address the “continuous rise of the inflation rate, thousands [of deaths] because of extrajudicial killings, and the continuous attacks on both human and people’s rights.”
They also urged Thomsians to “be vigilant and [to] continue the fight for democratic rights.”
On Thursday, the AFP admitted that their list of schools allegedly involved in the ouster plot is not yet verified. F