In 1972, the University Student Council was abolished by Ferdinand Marcos when he declared Martial Law. All student publications and student organizations were also banned in a pernicious attempt to obliterate all forms of dissent against his despotic rule.
But the spirit of the Iskolars ng Bayan cannot be silenced. And like a flicker in the darkness, the student movement resisted and fought the dictatorship even if it cost our lives. The university birthed different people’s movements, both legal and underground, which exposed the horrors of the Martial Law. The university gave a whole new meaning to the Oblation.
Marcos ushered in what is a consensus among historians and economists the darkest period in our post-colonial history. If anything positive came of it, our University affirmed its role as the hotbed of activism.
This year, his son is running to be the next Vice-President of the republic, despite being a direct benefactor of the 20-year rule that impoverished the country. We are facing the possibility of electing a person who embodies impunity, a person who maximized the family’s ill-gotten wealth, influence, and flaws in the electoral system to return to Malacanang: Bongbong Marcos.
Bongbong Marcos was appointed governor of Ilocos Norte at 23 years old. When he was 26, he was appointed chairman of the Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation. Through this, they siphoned public funds that went directly to their family and cronies’ pockets. Ten billion dollars worth of public funds that the Marcoses still refuse to return to the victims of Martial Law; money that they use to distort history and to deceive the masses.
We, the student leaders and formations in the University, believe that now is the time for us to unite against continuous impunity and the return of a dictatorship. Together we decry the atrocities committed by the Marcoses and seek justice for the victims. We demand that Marcos return his family’s massive plundered wealth to the people.
For all the failures of the succeeding administrations in ensuring that a family as abhorrent as the Marcoses cannot return to power, the student movement carry on with the fight for social change and social justice. We will not stop until they face justice for all the atrocities they have committed against the Filipino people.
We won against Marcos Sr. before. And on May 9, as we cast our ballots, we will win against Marcos Jr. as well.
This elections, as Iskolars ng Bayan, we say NO TO BONGBONG MARCOS! NEVER FORGET, NEVER AGAIN!
UP Diliman University Student Council (UPD USC)
UP Alyansa ng mga Mag-aaral para sa Panlipunang Katwiran at Kaunlaran (UP ALYANSA)
KAISA – Nagkakaisang Iskolar para sa Pamantasan at Sambayanan (KAISA UP)
Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP (STAND UP)