By Ali G. Macabalang
GENERAL SANTOS CITY
The Mindanao State University (MSU) system, particularly its satellite campus here has declared as “persona non-grata” all groups and individuals associated with communist and extremist ideologies in a show of bold support to the national government s anti-terrorism campaign.
MSU-General Santos City (GSC) Chancellor Dr. Anshari P. Ali issued the declaration on Thursday as he berated his campus’ inclusion in a list derived from alleged documents from or revelation of surrendered or captured members of the CPP/NPA/NDF tagging 39 public and private universities as breeding grounds for leftist movement.
The list includes University of the Philippines-Diliman, UP-Manila, UP-Visayas, UP-Cebu, UP-Baguio, UP-Tacloban, University of Sto. Tomas, Far Eastern University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, University of the East, Ateneo de Manila, University of Makati, University of Caloocan City, Bulacan State University, Arellano University, Holy Trinity University, West Visayas State University, Central Philippine University, Emilio Aguinaldo College,
MSU-Iligan, MSU-GenSan, Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology, Cavite State University, Batangas State University, Holy Angel University, Tarlac State University, Bukidnon State University, Benguet State University, Ifugao State University, University of Eastern Phil., University of Southeaster Phil., Ateneo de Davao, Ateneo de Naga, Xavier University, Aklan State University, Bicol University, and St. Thomas Aquinas University.
The list was earlier released by Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTFELCAC), with a statement from Task Force Spokesperson Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy.
The release of the list preceded assessment visits by security forces in some of the identified campuses, sparking a barrage of indignations rallies by mostly UP students.
While berating as “baseless” the inclusion of his campus in the list, Chancellor Ali said they discouraged indignation rallies especially in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our declaration of violent ideology-prone people as ‘persona non-grata’ should suffice as our show of support to the national government campaign,” Dr. Ali, an Alim (Islamic scholar), said in a virtual interview Thursday.
In a statement, Ali said: “MSU was established for the tri-people of Mindanao, Sulu, and Palawan (MinSuPala) as a social laboratory for peace. It is the brain child of the late Sen. Ahmad Domocao Alonto as one of the government’s responses to the so-called ‘Mindanao Problem’. It is the country’s lone state university with exceptional mandate of integrating the cultural communities in Mindanao into the nation’s socio-cultural, economic and political mainstream.”
“Besides, MSU has been tasked to provide opportunities for quality relevant education and training manpower with skills and technical know-how for the economic development of the MinSuPala (Mindanao-Sulu-Palawan) region, not for our students to become social liabilities,” he said.
He added: “While its (MSU-CSC) doors are wide open to children of Muslim, Christian and Lumad parents possibly exposed to contrasting ideologies, we see to it that we detach our students as well mentors from violent inclination and persuade them towards peaceful and productive cohesion for the better.”
Ali cited some events disproving possibility of MSU-GSC campus becoming a breeding ground for communism or terrorism – the classification of the campus as a “National Peace Center” with packages of national appropriations worth some P2-billion through Senators Manny Pacquiao and Sonny Angara, and as Region XII’s “health training center” rallied by Rep. Shirlyn Bañas-Nograles and local elected officials with over P1-billion budget so far.
Dr. Ali’s administration has been continuously receiving citations in the field of academe and peace networking from foreign and local institutions, including so far the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and universities in Southeast Asia.
“Surely, our partner foreign, national and local institutions would have not made any huge investments and prominent acknowledgments into and of our campus if it has seven a slight sign of becoming a front for violence,” he stressed.
Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., Senator Pacquiao, Mindanao Development Authority Chairman Manny Pinol and other national dignitaries had visited MSU-GSC campus in the cohesive strides for harnessing the campus as “national peace university” and a partner in varied researches, university staff workers said in corroboration.
“Since 2019, we have been gradually achieving initial successes in promoting quality education and producing top notch alumni in national board exams. We cannot afford to allow contrasting ideologies to erode the gains we have painstakingly achieved,” Dr. Ali said.As part of preventing entry of unwelcomed individuals into the campus, Ali said his office is on the verge of acquiring
Giant drones to serve 24/7 for surveillance of all movements in their academic compound here.
Meanwhile, MSU system President Dr. Habib Macaayong and MSU-Iligan Chancellor Dr. Sukarno Tanggol issued separate statements denouncing in “strongest terms” the “baseless and erroneous” inclusion of the university or any of its parts in the list academic campus deemed breeding grounds for leftist terrorism.
Macaayong and Tanggol cited the risky survival of their respective campuses in Marawi and Ilican Cities from the fierce attack of combined ISIS-inspired Dawlah Islamiyah (Maute) and Abu Sayyaf guerillas for five months in 2017.
The MSU system has 11 campuses across Mindanao, including seven major autonomous units such as MSU-GSC and MSU-Iligan. AGM