Students commemorate the horror of typhoon Yolanda which hit the country especially Central Visayas in 2013. Photo by UPV USC.
It has been three years since the typhoon Yolanda. And the University of the Philippines Visayas University Student Council (UPV USC) held a commemoration on Tuesday, November 8, at the New Administration Building, followed by an indignation rally against the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).
Student councils and organizations attended the event and gave solidarity messages for the Yolanda survivors, emphasizing the responsibility of the State to account for the delayed recovery. The event also reminded the UP community of its role in providing help for those struck by the tragedy.
Students who were gravely affected by the natural disaster three years ago gave testimonies of their experience that left a weeping crowd. A candle-lighting activity flowed shortly.
Coinciding with the 3-year mark of the Yolanda disaster was the release of the decision of the Supreme Court to bury former President Ferdinand Marcos in the LNMB inciting protests from various campuses in the UP System.
UPV USC Chairperson Elijah Estante said, “Every student council kailangan niyang mag make rough campaigns kagaya nang we had to include the condemning [of] Marcos Burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani [in the Yolanda commemoration event].”
(Every student council had to make rough campaigns which is why we had to include the condemning [of] Marcos Burial at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani)
Political organizations and student councils of the University gave their protest messages against the SC highlighting how the decision is an act of historical revisionism and an affront to the victims and survivors of Martial Law.
On early afternoon of Tuesday, November 8, the Supreme Court voted 9-5 in favor of the burial of the dictator in the LNMB. The decision caused uproar from the public especially from students.
In a statement, the USC said that allowing the contested burial of Marcos will “effectively discount the claim of all those who suffered under his watch and the suffering of all those who struggle from the economic failure his administration has made on the country today.”
UPV-USC strongly encourages that all students to take a critical stance against the decision of the Supreme Court and to unite against historical revisionism.
In Manila, students from various universities such as UP Diliman and Ateneo de Manila University took to the streets to express their condemnation after the SC’s decision was released. The decision also drew flak in social media with #MarcosNotAHero flocking timelines and feeds.
Story by Isza Zerrudo