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Damage control: Pro-Marcos UP president to declare Sept. 21 a ‘Day of Remembrance’ for Martial Law heroes

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University of the Philippines president Danilo Concepcion will declare September 21 as a Day of Remembrance for young students who fought during Martial Law after he drew flak for attending a gathering of Marcos-era youth leaders.

In a statement Thursday (September 13), UP said the Day of Remembrance will be held “in memory of the University’s best and brightest who struggled against dictatorship and despotism during the martial law years.”

UP will hold activities to remember its role in the struggle against martial law and encourage the pursuit of academic freedom, civil liberties, and human rights.

Martial law was imposed by late dictator Ferdinand Marcos through a proclamation dated September 21, 1972.

Concepcion said that while UP has historically stood as champion of academic freedom, democracy, and human rights, “there is continuing need for awareness, vigilance, and militancy in the assertion and protection of our fundamental freedoms.”

A ceremony will be held on September 17 to formalize the proclamation of September 21 as the Day of Remembrance.

Concepcion was widely criticized by members of the UP community after he attended the reunion of Kabataang Barangay members on August 25.

The event, which was held at no less than the UP Bahay ng Alumni at its Diliman campus, was attended by Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos.

The governor was appointed by her father as KB national chairperson in 1975.

Concepcion served as the president of the KB chapter in Metro Manila from 1976 to 1978.

UP Diliman Student Council chair Yael Toribio called the reunion an “insult” to the memory of students and alumni who fought against the dictatorship.

Meanwhile, a group of UP faculty and alumni expressed concern over what it saw as Concepcion’s “accommodationist disposition” to the Marcoses’ “political rehabilitation.