The University of the Philippines’ College of Social Work and Community Development (UP-CSWD) on Thursday denounced alleged harassment of three of their students in Pampanga by military personnel supposedly part of an intelligence unit operating in the town of Porac.
In a statement posted on the UP website, the CSWD said three of its students were going to an Aeta community in Brgy. Camias “when a van passed by the group; four men disembarked and started asking questions about their identity.”
“The questioning later turned into accusations that the three students were organizing for the New People’s Army. The interrogation turned violent as one of the interrogators started shoving one of the students, in an effort to agitate him into a fist fight. Before the three students were let go, the four men had also taken the students’ photos without consent,” the statement said further.
Military intelligence personnel
UP-CSWD said the detachment commander of the civilian militia in Brgy. Camias, Staff Sargeant Alfredo Fernandez, identified the “interrogators” as “elements of the Military Intelligence Batallion as having committed the harassment and branding of students as NPA sympathizers.”
The college said in its statement that the incident “threatens the viability of our programs and derails the practice of our legitimate profession.”
It also called on the military “to conduct a thorough, swift, and impartial investigation of the harassment incident, and deal accordingly with those at fault.”