MANILA – Universities challenged to declare Marcoses ‘personae non gratae,’ barred from ‘all events’

UNIVERSITIES and cultural offices are challenged to “declare the Marcoses personae non gratae and bar them from all events,” an artist group said on Sunday.

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“Banish them from all spaces, bar them from all events. The Marcoses and the values they personify should have no place in the progressive Filipino culture we are collectively forging,” the Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP) said in a statement.

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CAP said that the mere presence of the Marcoses in any art event was a manifestation of the culture of impunity and forgetfulness as they continued to “move in cultural circles without the benefit of any recognition of or remorse for their crimes against the Filipino people.”

“It is every Filipino artist’s duty to wage a cultural boycott on a family that advocates disinformation, historical revisionism, patronage and cronyism, dynastic politics, and outright suppression,” the CAP said.

The challenge came as Ateneo President Jose Ramon “Jett” Villarin issued a public apology for the “hurt” that the presence of Irene Marcos-Araneta in the Areté creative hub event on campus last week has brought to the victims of Martial Law. He also reaffirmed Ateneo’s commitment to the call for justice to the victims and the university’s stance against historical revisionism.

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The CAP lauded Villarin’s statement and encouraged other universities to take the same position. It also commended the accountability of Areté Head Yael Buencamino, the host of the event of Ateneo’s creative hub, who resigned voluntarily over the incident.

“Buencamino’s resignation as executive director of the Areté is a lesson for her and for all those who helm cultural institutions: The Marcoses should not be allowed to enjoy the democratic spaces which they suppressed. We should not tolerate the presence of a dictator’s family while no justice has been served,” the CAP said.

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CAP, however, acknowledged Buencamino’s contribution to the projects launched at the Arete during her term, which included stage plays critical of a fascist rule such as “Dekada ‘70,” “Desaparesidos” and “Tao Po,” and exhibits such as “Games and Politics” and “What We Talk About When We Talk About the War on Drugs.” DIVINA NOVA JOY DELA CRUZ

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