Desaparecidos, an installation by artist Toym Imao, outside UP Diliman's Palma Hall in 2015. The installation represents those who have been left behind by victims of enforced disappearances, called desaparecidos. The 43 figures in the installation represent the number of years since martial law was declared.
File photo
UP president declares September 21 'Day of Remembrance'
(Philstar.com) - September 17, 2018 - 5:07pm

MANILA, Philippines — The University of the Philippines will mark September 21 each year as a Day of Remembrance of the the university's "participation and sacrifice" against martial law.

Proclamation 1, Series of 2018 signed by UP president Danilo Concepcion and posted on the university's social media accounts, authorizes and encourages "the holding of special lectures, meetings, and ceremonies" to remember the declaration of martial law on September 21, 1972 and the university's role in the resistance against it and the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. 

The proclamation noted that martial law, which some claim were a golden age for the Philippines, "resulted in severe political and economic repression, generating widespread discontent and resistance to martial law."

Concepcion, president of the Kabataang Barangay Federation of Metro Manila and later youth representative of the Interim Batasang Pambansa, also noted that UP "stood at the forefront of the resistance to martial law."

Concepcion said "UP has contributed many of its best and brightest to the struggle against dictatorship and despotism." He said UP's heroes of the resistance "deserve to be specially remembered, and their memory and legacy enshrined for younger Filipinos and UP students to emulate."

"Following the proclamation, UP will hold activities remembering its participation in the struggle against martial law, particularly its members who lived and died fighting against dictatorship and despotism; and encouraging UP’s continuous pursuit of academic freedom, civil liberties, and human rights in society," UP said on its website.

RELATED: UP president seeks PNP explanation for cops on campus

Kabataang Barangay reunion

The declaration of September 21 as a day of remembrance was one of the measures that Concepcion mentioned in his apology earlier this month after a Kabataang Barangay reunion with Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos drew flak from members of the UP community and from social media users.

Concepcion attended the reunion, which was held at the UP Bahay ng Alumni in August.

"UP faculty, students and alumni fought and died in the resistance against the facist Marcos dictatorship," the University Student Council of UP Diliman said in a statement on the reunion.

"The late UP president Salvador Lopez used the authority and prestige of his office to stand off the military from campus ground. Former UP president Emerlinda Roman honored the martyrs of martial law memorialized at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani," it added.  

The council said Concepcion's attendance at the event, where he was seen the the Marcos "V for Victory" sign, is dangerous and may be misconstrued as the university's official stand. 

"He ought to be reminded that his public actions and words reflect on the university. Thus, it is our duty to draw the line and assert our claim on academic freedom: UP is not a marketplace of politicians' interest, certainly not in these dark times," the council said.

RELATED: UP faculty, students, staff: Campus no place for early Marcos campaign

DANILO CONCEPCION MARTIAL LAW UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES
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