UNIVERSITY of Negros Occidental-Recoletos external affairs director Carlos Legaspi Jr. apologized for the “Justice for Marcos” videos that were shown at the university lobby on Friday, September 28.
But he clarified the school is not espousing the atrocities of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Student Daniel Pollentes posted on his Facebook account that their school is showing “Justice for Marcos” videos.
The post has sparked reactions in the social media.
But Legaspi clarified that he took responsibility for compiling those videos and UNO-R is not responsible for it.
He said that in the first place, there is no issue about it because the video was shown for the internal consumption of the UNO-R students.
“There were, in fact, 30 different videos compiled by his office which were shown yesterday. The university has just presented both sides of the coin about the martial law that includes the positive and negative side of the martial law. The video told about what happened during martial law,” he said.
He also said they downloaded the videos from YouTube and did not produce it.
“Anybody can have access to those videos because it was uploaded on a public domain. We never posted that outside [the school]. It just so happened that the student fondly recorded the video about martial law and posted it on his Facebook account. I don’t know what were his reasons but it was his choice to do it. But next time he does it, he should take responsibility because he is our student. If he posted that one, it might be that he is even the agent of Marcos. Personally, I am against martial law. The video was only meant for the information of our students and nothing else,” Legaspi stressed.
He added it is the role of the university to educate the students about the social happenings around.
Meanwhile, the National Union of Journalist of the Philippines-Bacolod chapter issued a statement on the matter, highlighting about the commitment to truth.
“It is a common misconception that the work of journalists is limited only to documenting or recording newsworthy events or people. It is just as important, if not more so, for journalists to call out lies. After all, theirs is supposed to be the profession of the truth,” it said.
This is why the NUJP-Bacolod chapter is appalled by the showing of videos on the Marcos dictatorship at the UNO-R.
“The justification given by the school’s external affairs office for showing what it has confirmed were 15 pro- and 15 anti-Marcos videos, all downloaded from YouTube - to ‘educate’ people with a balanced presentation of the ‘pros and cons’ of the dictatorship - is already, on its face, an attempt at historical revisionism,” the statement said.
“After all, ample historical, scholarly, legal and even personal accounts exist of the plunder and gross human rights violations under Marcos’ brutal regime. We are sure UNO-R itself has ample material about that dark chapter in our history without resorting to showing, without context, ‘as is’ videos from sources that have not been vetted for accuracy and credibility,” it added.
The group also pointed out that Negros Occidental, alone, has its fair share of stories about life under Marcos: the Escalante Massacre, the Langoni Nine Massacre, the persecution of the Negros Nine, the rape of the sugar industry, Joel Abong and the Batang Negros.
“Far from educating, this disgraceful exercise is more likely to sow confusion and disinformation,” the group said, adding “it would be a grievous insult to the memory of UNO-R alumni and students who suffered under Marcos or who joined the struggle against tyranny at great sacrifice, including their very lives.”
Legaspi, on the other hand, said NUJP should direct its statement to YouTube because those videos can be accessed anytime.
"Ours was internal to us and was not meant to show it to the public aside from the purpose of educating our own students," he said.