MANILA, Philippines – The University of the Philippines, the Ateneo de Manila University, and Miriam College are making a statement: “Marcos is not a hero.”
Thousands of students and faculty members from the 3 schools flooded Katipunan Avenue starting Friday afternoon, November 18, to protest the stealthy, unexpected burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Before meeting up with other schools, UP students held a small program in Palma Hall to express their rage against the secret burial.
University Student Councilor Ben Galil Te asked the crowd if they had already forgotten about all the injustices that happened during Martial Law.
“Ngayong nailibing na si Marcos, nakalimot na ba tayo?” (Now that Marcos has been buried, have we forgotten?)
Te pointed out that burying Marcos smacks of historical revisionism and forgets those people who suffered during Martial Law.
“Hindi lamang ito paglimot sa kasyasayan kundi pagtalikod sa mga nagbuwis ng kanilang buhay para sa ating kalayaan,” he added. (It is not only about forgetting our history but also turning our back to those who gave their lives for our freedom.)
The group initially wanted to proceed to the EDSA People Power Monument but decided to meet with the other schools instead. Around 500 protesters proceeded to Miriam College for the multisectoral protest.
As part of the mourning for the clandestine burial, the Carillon, UP’s iconic bell tower, played Bayan Ko – one of the theme songs of the Martial Law period – and it will play the tune until midnight.
Ateneo de Manila University’s student government, meanwhile, encouraged students to cut their classes to join the protests – with many faculty members agreeing to the call.
“The Sanggunian is calling for the entire ADMU community to walk out of classes and join our mobilization in protest of the Marcos burial…The Sanggunian is encouraging you to use your cuts for the country,” the Sanggunian said.
The Sanggunian is encouraging you to use your cuts for the country.— ADMU Sanggunian (@ADMUSanggu) November 18, 2016
The community held a noise barrage along Katipunan as early as 1 pm. The university also covered its fences in black cloth to show its dissent against the burial.
ADMU and UP converged in front of Miriam College to show solidarity in an indignation protest. During the short program, various sectoral representatives spoke against Marcos. The protesters chanted “Marcos is not a hero!” and “Hukayin si Marcos, ibalik sa Ilocos!” among others.
Prayers were also said as candles were lit to remember the victims of Martial Law.
The protests in the Katipunan schools were among the hundreds of other protests that sprung across the country because of the sudden burial. – With a report from Norai Sales / Rappler.com