MARIA Serena Diokno has resigned her chairmanship of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines effective Dec. 1, in protest of President Rodrigo Duterte’s fostering of a history that denies the people’s History by allowing the burial of the late former strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
“The burial of Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani is wrong; it denies our History; it erases the memory of the lives lost and destroyed, mocks the collective action we took to oust the dictator, and denigrates the value of our struggle for freedom,” Diokno, in an open letter to the public, said after she submitted her resignation letter to Malacanang.
Diokno, who served as NHCP chair for five years, stressed that Pres. Duterte could have taken the “higher ground” despite the decision of the nine members of the Supreme Court to allow the burial of Marcos “but he chose not to.”
Furthermore, Diokno said Duterte justified his action by falsely claiming that “there’s no study, no movie about it [Marcos’s record as leader], just the challenges and allegations of the other side,” as stated by Duterte last November 18 in a televised interview.
“For a moment, I thought I could remain at the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and protect our history from those in and out of the government who attempt to deface it,” Diokno added.
She mentioned, however, that the Filipino youth who came forward “in defense of History” only point to the realization that the Filipinos will guard history.
Diokno is the daughter of late human-rights lawyer, nationalist, Senator Jose “Ka Pepe” Diokno, who was imprisoned during the Martial Law years.
“Ka Pepe” was also the founding chair of the Commission on Human Rights.