Duterte: I don't care if PUP closes down

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 11) — Days after President Rodrigo Duterte vetoed a bill that would grant Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) a 'national polytechnic university' status, he said he wouldn't mind if the state university got shut down.

"Kayo diyan ‘yang pwede nating sarahan 'yang PUP. Wala akong pakialam sa kanila. Go ahead," he said in an interview with reporters on Tuesday.

[Translation: We can close down PUP. Go ahead, I don't care about them.]

He then threatened the students who join communist groups, blaming their parents for their negligence. He said he will order the thousands of police and military to gun them down.

"Then maghanap kayo ng armas. 'Pag makita kayo ng sundalo o pulis, ang order ko nga dead or alive, patayin mo... You want to go to the mountains, demand, extort food? Go ahead. Gusto ninyong may galitkayo sa mundo kasi ganyan kayo at 'yung iba meron, ikaw wala? Eh, hindi na kasalanan ng gobyerno. Kasalanan ng magulang ninyo 'yan," he said.

[Translation: Go and look for firearms. You want to go to the mountains, demand, extort food? Go ahead. If you have hatred, that is not the fault of the government, that's the fault of your parents. I ordered my police and military to go after you, dead or alive.]

There have been reports in August that police officers have been roving in the premises of the PUP Main Campus in Manila. This was amid the Senate hearing into the cases of student recruitment of leftist groups.

In a letter to the Senate and House dated September 4 where he explained his decision to veto the enrolled bills, Duterte said he has "serious reservations on the suitability" to grant PUP the "national polytechnic university" status and fiscal autonomy.

"Its proposed designation as national polytechnic university needs to be reassessed in light of its current performance ranking among SUCs in the country," he wrote.

Duterte added there must also be a comparative performance of PUP's satellite campuses and extension programs as granting the school the privileged status will have a "significant fiscal impact on the government."