‘Regret’ fails to quell criticisms vs UP president

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — University of the Philippines (UP) president Danilo Concepcion continue to face criticisms even after he expressed regret for attending the reunion of Marcos-era Kabataang Barangay (KB) last week.

The UP Department of History said Concepcion’s explanation that he overlooked the impact of his attendance because of his desire to meet his old-time friends was unacceptable.

“UP as a democratic space should have not been used to give way for reckless works and actions, especially at a time when threats to democracy are escalating,” read the statement originally written in Filipino.

“Allowing the event to happen inside the campus, as well as the attendance of the university president, is an affront to the memory of those from UP who sacrificed their lives and stood up against the Marcos dictatorship from the First Quarter Storm in 1970 up to the fall of the regime in 1986,” it added.

The history department called on university officials to “take the responsibility in fighting the collective forgetting of the dark experiences caused by the dictatorship.”

Concepcion, a former head of the Metro Manila chapter of KB, expressed regret but did not apologize for his attendance to the event.

“I deeply regret the pain my appearance at the Kabataang Barangay reunion in UP Diliman last Aug. 25 caused the UP community. I intended no offense, most especially to the UP community that I serve… Tao lang po!” he said.

He has yet to respond to calls for his resignation from some members of the UP community.

Faculty members and students have also launched a group – called “No Erasures, No Revisions” – to counter the supposed rehabilitation of the Marcoses.

“Now more than ever, we hold fast to the lessons of our peoples’ resistance to the Marcos dictatorship because the same atrocities are being repeated by the Duterte administration,” the statement read.

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