- The University Council of UP Diliman has expressed dissent in President Duterte’s plans to bury former President and dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani
- UP Diliman says it betrays a lack of historical appreciation and insensitivity towards the millions of Filipinos who suffered under the Martial Law
- The Council says it was also alarmed by the blatant disregard of human rights under the Duterte administration
The flagship unit of the top and premier university in the country, the University of the Philippines, has slammed President Duterte’s plan of burying former president Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
In a statement issued by UP Diliman’s University Council on the occasion of Duterte’s first 60 days, they said burying Marcos at the LNMB “betrays a lack of historical appreciation and an insensitivity toward the millions of Filipinos who suffered under martial rule.“
Throughout history, UP Diliman has been an active critic of the Martial Law and any form of curtailment of freedom of speech. During the 70’s, the campus has been a bastion of activism against the late strongman and dictator.
The History Department of UP has also previously issued a statement condemning historical revisionism particularly on issues concerning the Martial Law era.
President Duterte has earlier said that he is in favor of burying Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, as all former presidents are qualified to be buried there. However, many Filipinos dissented, and some filed petitions against the historic burial. The Supreme Court has issued a status quo ante order; effectively ‘banning’ burial until it comes with a final decision.
Aside from the burial, UP Diliman also slammed the “professed disregard for human rights, and his tolerance, if not promotion of a climate of impunity in his approach to the war on drugs, which has already extrajudicially claimed more than 2,000 lives.“
“We strongly urge the Duterte administration to take cognizance of these concerns and to institute corrective measures that will set our ship of state aright as it ventures forward“, UP Diliman said in the statement.
However, UP praised some good acts of the Duterte administration, such as his pro-poor policies, the peace talks, prioritization of health and education, and his push for government officials to live simply, among others.
“In issuing this statement, the UP academic community affirms and maintains its traditional role as the public critic of any administration, voicing its support or opposition when necessary in pursuit of peace, justice, democracy, and prosperity for all Filipinos“, they added.