Students of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City hold a lightning rally at the Wilfredo Ma. Guerrero Theater in UP Palma Hall as Irene Marcos, daughter of the ousted dictator president Ferdinand Marcos set foot in UP today. Student protesters said that it is such a shame to allow another Marcos to step in UP amid the continuing attacks against the democratic rights of the students and the people. / Katrina Yamzon

Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law (CARMMA) strongly decries the presence of Irene Marcos, daughter of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, at Palma Hall in UP Diliman, who attended the opening of Dulaang UP’s production of La Casa De Bernarda Alba, directed by Alexander Cortez, a former member of Irene Marcos’s Kabataang Barangay who also directed the Cultural Center of the Philippines’s tribute to Imelda Marcos back in 2009.

In the very same month of commemoration of Marcos’s declaration of martial law, the daughter of the late dictator attends a play which explores and critiques the themes of repression and keeping the family reputation clean. The irony could not be clearer: both themes mirror the Marcoses’ bloody hands in repressing the people’s resistance in more than two decades of brutal fascist rule, and their present efforts to rehabilitate their family’s image and return to power through schemes of historical revisionism supported by none other than the neaw dictator in Malacañang. 

To let a Marcos in UP alone is a grave insult to the ranks of student activists and martyrs who have been victimized, illegally abducted, tortured, and killed by the fascist Marcos regime in their struggle for national democracy—most whom are still demanding justice and accountability long after the dark years of martial law have ended. The Marcoses continue to live in denial, refusing to acknowledge the violations, the debt, and the plunder that they have perpetrated. The University of the Philippines refuses to forget; it continuously and consciously makes the decision to side with the students, the alumni, and the brave fighters among its ranks who struggled to end the Marcos dictatorship. The struggle for truth, justice, and accountability is far from over—especially under another creeping dictatorship.

CARMMA lauds the students who quickly mobilized against the presence of Irene Marcos in UP. Contrary to Cortez’s plea to let UP be a “democratic space” in accommodating the presence of a Marcos inside its halls, the assertion of student groups to hold protests marks a continued defiance to the normalization of the rehabilitation of the Marcoses. The awoke sector in UP will never sit idly as fascists, historical revisionists, butchers, friends and family of tyrants, and plunderers roam its halls. It is a sign that the tradition of anti-dictatorship struggle inside UP is alive, thriving and growing stronger amid the country’s tumultuous political climate.

Let us unite our calls on September 20 as we march again to the streets not only to mark the brutal years of martial rule under Marcos and recognize those who valiantly fought it, but also to resist Rodrigo Duterte’s tyranny and fascist rule. Let  us remember that Duterte rehabilitated the Marcoses by burying the dictator in the Libingan ng mga Bayani and failing to order the imprisonment of Imelda after her graft conviction. He is definitely following the path of dictatorship. ###