UP ❤ Marcos at Iba Pang Kahunghangan: Isang Malayang Talakayan sa Ika-51 Taon Matapos Ipataw ang Diktadurang Marcos

Atty. Datu Angelo Jimenez, now the president of the University of the Philippines (UP), was bold enough on April 27, 2017, at the 1327th Meeting of the UP Board of Regents, to put into written record why he supported then UP Pres. Danilo Concepcion’s motion to confer an honorary Doctor of Laws degree to Pres. Rodrigo Duterte. Concepcion argued that in inviting Duterte to be a commencement speaker and conferring on him an honorary degree, UP was just honoring “a long standing tradition.” 

Jimenez, appointed by Duterte to the BOR, argued that the list of recipients of honorary degrees from the university already included “a man who ordered the killing of a national hero [Emilio Aguinaldo]. It also includes an outstanding UP honor student responsible for massive human rights violations and some of the most colossal acts of human cupidity [Ferdinand E. Marcos]. And while we are at it, even Imelda Marcos got a UP honorary doctoral degree!’” 

If UP had honored them, what’s the harm of having Duterte in the mix? Proving his knack for melodramatic statements, Jimenez declared in his lonesome, “I refuse to turn the University into a sanctuary of purist affectations.”

In observance of the 51st anniversary of the declaration of martial law by that great UP-ian, Apo Lakay Ferdinand E. Marcos, this forum by the Third World Studies Center, will do a Jimenez—point at all the Marcoses and their dregs that UP carries in its bosom and what it says about UP as a public institution and a keeper of the nation’s memory.

If remembrance is introspection, UP must revisit its complicity in legitimizing the Marcos regime, in abetting and whitewashing its crime and corruption while maintaining that it was/is the bastion of opposition to Marcos rule. The obeisance of UP’s leaders and bureaucrats to the conjugal dictatorship as well as to the academic pretensions of their children must be made public again. The acceptance of funding from those who propped up or personally benefited from the greed and corruption of the conjugal dictatorship, and the fact that they rarely occasion widespread protests within the UP community, must both be interrogated. 

The places and objects of memory that mark the Marcoses’ and their ilks’ supposed benevolence towards the university must be critically examined and stripped of its propaganda value. “UP 💗 Marcos” is a lecture-forum that will also introduce the preliminary findings of the Third World Studies Center’s current OICA-funded project, “Have We Honored the Marcoses Enough?: An Inventory of the Memorials to the Marcoses and the Places Named After Them.” The forum will feature four speakers. Prof. Ramon Guillermo, director of the Center for International Studies, University of the Philippines Diliman, a known and respected scholar will deliver the keynote lecture. The three other speakers are Joel Ariate Jr., Miguel Paolo Reyes, and Larah Del Mundo, researchers of the Third World Studies Center and authors of Marcos Lies, which was launched last year as part of UP’s “ML@50: Tugon at Tindig ng Sining.”

[1] He said so himself: https://up.edu.ph/a-datu-in-diliman/

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