Irene Marcos was invited to Ateneo, and students are up in arms

Janella Paris
Ateneo students are demanding an apology, saying, ‘The role of Ateneo is not to condone the fabrication of lies, but to be a pillar of human rights in a society that celebrates the mockery of the truth’

Irene Marcos at the Ateneo Areté Amphitheater, Thursday, April 4. / Photo from Panday Sining Katipunan

MANILA, Philippines – Students of the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) condemned the attendance of Irene Marcos, daughter of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, at the opening of the Ateneo Areté’s Amphitheater on Thursday, April 4.

In a statement, the Sanggunian ng mga Paaralang Loyola ng Ateneo de Manila or Sanggu said it spoke on Monday, April 8, with the university administration and Areté’s director, who confirmed that Marcos was at the event.

The statement read: “The Loyola Schools student body condemns the invitation and participation of Irene Marcos in Areté’s Amphitheater launch. It is nothing but ironic that a Marcos participated in the event of the institution.”

Dekada ’70 and Desaparecidos, plays depicting abuses committed under Ferdinand Marcos’ Martial Law, were staged at Areté in 2018. “[Irene Marcos’ presence] is a grave insult and vehement mockery to Martial Law survivors and martyrs,” the Sanggu statement read.

Read Ateneo Sanggu’s full statement here:

separate petition signed by various students of the university also demanded the university to issue a formal apology for the incident. The petition read, “Are we not aware by now how the Marcoses systematically use art as a tool to blind the people from their violence and corruption?”

Rappler, in a text message, asked Ateneo president Father Jett Villarin, SJ, for the school administration’s statement on the matter. Villarin has yet to respond and ADMU has yet to release a formal statement as of posting.

In 2014, Ateneo also drew flak when Imelda Marcos was invited as a guest of honor at a scholarship fund event. –