AFP apologizes for sending military personnel in UPD

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University of the Philippines Diliman (File photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Tuesday (October 27) apologized for sending military personnel inside the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) last week.

The AFP reasoned that it was doing a legitimate national security operation. No further details was provided by the Armed Forces' public affairs chief Col. Noel Detoyato regarding the nature of the operation, but he clarified that it was not intended against students and faculty of the university.

Related: UPD chancellor expresses concern over alleged military surveillance in campus

UPD's student publication, The Philippine Collegian, reported that the six men intercepted by the campus' Special Services Brigade (SSB) and the UPD Police last October 21 were military agents doing surveillance work on campus.

During the questioning, one of the men introduced himself as an AFP officer. The identities of the five others, however, remained unknown.

The operation was to locate a target allegedly inside the campus, the student publication added citing a phone interview with SPO2 Pedro Walawala of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD).

Violation of 1989 agreement

UPD Chancellor Michael Tan issued a statement against the unauthorized entry of the military inside the campus a day after the incident.

The military operation, he said, was a violation of a June 30, 1989 agreement made by the university and the Department of National Defense "requiring prior notification of the university of any military operations" in any of the UP campuses.

"No such request was received by UP Diliman," Tan said.

The campus' student publication also called on the students, faculty, and other members of the UP community to report similar incidents "to help secure the safety of those who will participate in the #Manilakbayan Kampuhan sa Diliman."

On Monday (October 26), 700 lumads from militarized communities in Mindanao arrived in the campus, where the week-long Manilakbayan solidarity camp-out is being hosted.

They called for an end to lumad killlings, allegedly perpetrated by the military and paramilitary groups.

Related: AFP chief appeals to netizens to see whole picture on lumad killings

CNN Philippines' Gerg Cahiles contributed to this report.