UP prof blasts Marcos exhumation call: Respect the dead

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 21 2016 11:38 PM

University of the Philippines (UP) Political Science Professor Clarita Carlos is dismayed by calls to exhume former President Ferdinand Marcos’ body from the heroes’ cemetery, noting that a wrong cannot be corrected by another wrong.

“Don’t we have any more respect for dead people? It’s so sad really,” she said on "[email protected]" on Monday. 

“If you’re going to put all the blame on one person when there were, in fact, you have a whole cavalry of persons who realized, who implemented martial law, then point your fingers on all these people and make them accountable, including the cronies for that matter.”

Carlos also advised millennials to research on martial law from different perspectives and not just “skewed” literature, following protests sparked by the burial of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the heroes' cemetery.

“The millennials, please read, do not be lazy. Scholarship and laziness do not come together. Read, and read a lot and then make your determination. You cannot be reading 'skewed' articles… I, as a scholar, I don’t want data to be skewed, I don’t want stories to be skewed, I want all array of data and (so I can) come up with my own predicate,” Carlos said. 

Hundreds of young people, including students from different universities and schools across the country, took to streets to show their dismay over the hurried burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani last Friday.

Asked on her opinion on the large number of millennials who joined anti-Marcos protests last Friday, Carlos said they are entitled to their own views but questioned the kind of research materials millennials used in reaching the conclusion to join protests.

‘What kind of research data were available to them? And because I am familiar with that literature, I am telling you they are skewed in a particular direction. And so, yes, history must be told from many, many perspectives.”

Carlos, however, clarified that she is not apologizing or justifying the acts of the late dictator but is simply speaking from a scholarly point of view.

“This is not to apologize or justify anything. Let as many stories be told.”

She explained that though military atrocities during the Marcos regime have been well documented, no non-partisan scholar has been able to “really assess” the 21-year regime of Marcos, given that the public allowed him to rule the country for two decades.

“We have to deal with this, I mean the full array of the 21 years and why? We were, I was living already at the time, I was teaching. We allowed him to govern us for 21 years so we were also in collusion with what was happening at the time so let’s not jump up and down and continue to demonize the person,” she said.

Carlos also expressed dismay over proposals to exhume Marcos’ body from the heroes’ cemetery, noting that a wrong cannot be corrected by another wrong.

“Don’t we have any more respect for dead people? It’s so sad really,” she said.

“If you’re going to put all the blame on one person when there were in fact you have a whole cavalry of persons who realized, who implemented martial law then point your fingers on all these people and make them accountable, including the cronies for that matter.”