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Controversial UP Security Act dies in legislative grind’

The controversial House Bill (HB) 10171 or the University of the Philippines (UP) Security Act seeking to prohibit the inherent right of the state to exercise police power in its campuses, will no longer push through the Bicameral Committee.

During the virtual presser of the National Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) Monday, Cavite 7th District Rep. Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla, currently the Senior Deputy Majority Leader of the Committee on Rules said, HB 10171 is dead as the House of Representatives on September 30, unanimously approved in plenary the motion to reconsider the bill.

“Tapos na. wala na. Kasi nireconsider na yan ng plenary. This goes back to the rules committee for our disposition. Kami na ang magsasabi kung iyan ay mabubuhay pa o papalusutin pa rin namin,” Remulla declared.

Remulla claimed, members of the Makabayan Bloc “smuggled” the bill by pushing it during the budgetary process in Congress.

“During the budgetary process, everyone (House members) is busy over their congressional district’s concern,” Remulla said, adding that it was during that time that the Makabayan Bloc moved to tackle the bill for the third and final reading.

He said the Motion for Reconsideration which he filed in two ways, one by himself and the other on behalf of the majority, was carried without any objections, thereby the 179 congressmen whom the Makabayan Bloc claimed to have voted in favor of the proposed bill will also be considered to have voted for the approval of his motion. This would mean that the bill will then be turned back to the committee level particularly the Committee on Rules which he co-chair.

“Kalokohan ang bill na yan. It violates the equal protection law,” Remulla said, noting that his motion is a “corrective action” as the UP-DND Accord of 1989, was abrogated by the Duterte Administration through Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and was not even made into law.

“Hindi dapat pinakikialaman yan (UP-DND Accord) ng lawmakers. It is an Executive agreement and must be left to the discretion of the Executive (branch),” Remulla further explained, pointing out that it was the Makabayan Bloc who always introduced legislation that would favor their ranks.

“Matagal na namin silang kasama, nasasayang lang ang oras namin,” Remulla said. According to him, during his 12 years experience as a congressman, members of the left-leaning Makabayan Bloc will always push for legislation that will not be beneficial to the Filipinos and will always question bills that will not benefit their movement.

“The picture it (UP Security Bill) paints is that kaaway ang Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP),” Remulla added, vowing that “House Bill 10171 is not going to be passed into law.”

He asked the Filipino people that if they wanted these kinds of lawmakers to be out of Congress, they should work with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for their removal or not vote for them at all.

“Tulungan niyo kaming dalhin ang kaso sa Comelec. Nasasayang lang talaga ang oras namin,” the lawmaker urged.

National Security Adviser and NTF-ELCAC Vice-Chairman Hermogenes Esperon Jr. on the other end lauded Remulla in blocking the proposed UP-Security Bill and promised to “take the line of action” of the congressman in ousting the Makabayan Bloc from the House of Representatives, as disqualification cases were already filed at the Comelec.

Retired General Antonio Parlade who also attended the virtual press briefing said it is good to note that the whole-of-nation approach of the Duterte Administration has borne fruit as the legislative branch of the government is also doing its part to counter-terrorism carried by Communist Terrorist Groups and its allied forces and front organizations that penetrated the House of the Representative. “Kung lumusot (UP-Security Bill), grabe na naman ang propaganda calls ng CPP-NPA-NDF,” Parlade commented.

HB 10171 is considered by many legal experts as a dangerous precedent if enacted into law because this would give criminals and terrorists a safe haven from the police.

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