Manila, Philippines – In a two-page letter received by UP President Danilo Concepcion, National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana announced the unilateral termination of the 1989 UP-DND accord effective January 15, 2021, citing alleged in-campus recruitment activities of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA). The decision was made public on Monday night, January 18. The agreement has so far prevented state forces from entering any UP campus.
Through our proprietary digital political sentiment analytics software called Pathos, WR Numero Research identified the sentiments of online Filipinos on DND’s decision to unilaterally terminate this accord. Almost a million engagements were gathered between January 19 to 20, 2021 from 137 Facebook posts of local mainstream news outlets on the issue.
Almost a third (30%) express support towards the termination of UP-DND accord and agree with Secretary Lorenzana’s statement about UP becoming a “breeding ground” of communist rebels.
23% criticize the Duterte administration for what others believe another tactic to silence dissent and go after critics, calling out the administration for deflecting from more important issues such as the dubious deal with Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac and the 15B PhilHealth corruption scandal.
On the other hand, 21% criticize UP students and those supporting them, while 3% mention VP Leni Robredo and the opposition, criticizing them for speaking out against the unilateral termination of UP-DND accord.
Lastly, 17% of online sentiments demand the government to protect West Philippine Sea from China/Chinese Communist Party instead of allowing state forces to enter the campuses. Some 3% also expressed criticism towards Spokesperson Harry Roque for being dishonorable, branding him as the government’s clown.