We, CONTEND members, express our disgust and rage over UP’s hosting of the Kabataang Barangay (KB) reunion at the Bahay ng Alumni on August 25, 2018. The event celebrated the infamous Kabataang Barangay’s founding in 1975 by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. His daughter, Imee Marcos, and scores of Marcos loyalists dared to hold their revelry in UP, one of the bastions of the anti-Marcos resistance. We, faculty and workers of the national University, condemn this treacherous move of the Marcoses and their allies.
We will never forget the heroism of our students and faculty who struggled against the Marcos dictatorship, especially during the First Quarter Storm and Diliman Commune. Our University had always stood against all tyrannies and oppressive regimes that terrorize our people.
The KB was used by the Marcoses to create a semblance of democracy under martial rule, co-opting the youth to provide legitimacy to the Marcos reign of terror. The reunion of the KB and Marcoses is antithetical to the radical and militant tradition of the University, and an affront to Marcos’s victims, many of whom have ties to UP.
This encroachment into UP is part of the strategy of the Marcoses to erase the memory of the Marcos dictatorship and atrocities, and pave the way for the return of the Marcoses to power. The Marcoses impudently chose UP as the venue for drumbeating their historical revisionism, synchronized with the ongoing formation of political alliances between the Marcoses, Sara Duterte’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago, and other opportunistic political parties run by the plutocrats. Staging KB’s reunion in UP is an audacious act that attempts to nullify UP’s unwavering militant opposition to the Marcoses.
As faculty and workers of the University, we should never tolerate such a disgusting act on our academic grounds. We should never allow our University to be a conduit, wittingly or unwittingly, for promoting historical amnesia and advancing political treachery. The Marcoses’ return to power will be UP’s greatest tragedy if the UP community does not unite to resist it with all our might.
Thus, we urge our fellow teachers and educational workers to be vigilant and oppose all the attempts of the Marcoses to dupe our people, especially our students and youth, inside and outside the University. We must uphold our academic freedom to the highest degree by refusing to be bribed or bought by promises of political gain from the Marcoses and their ilk—the same method the Marcos regime used to corrupt government and society. At a time when Imee Marcos exhorts the people to “move on” from the Marcoses’ unpunished crimes, we must amplify our voices to expose the deceit that is setting into motion the establishment of new chapters of tyranny.
Our academic freedom is exercised collectively when we refuse to honor dictators and when we denounce categorically all tyrannical regimes and rulers. Academic freedom does not mean anything-goes relativism that tolerates all ideas and practices, and treats anti-freedom perspectives as acceptable. We must use our experience and insights as scholars to expose ideas that threaten to terrorize our people. We must continue the fight waged by our historical martyrs to realize the just society our people deserves.
NEVER AGAIN TO DICTATORS!
NEVER AGAIN TO MARTIAL LAW!
MARCOS IS NO HERO!
OPPOSE HISTORICAL REVISIONISM!
JUSTICE TO ALL THE VICTIMS OF MARTIAL LAW!
DOWN WITH STATE FASCISM!