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UP theater house sorry for Irene Marcos’ presence

The University of the Philippines’ (UP) theater house Dulaang UP on Sunday apologized for allowing Irene Marcos-Araneta, daughter of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, to watch its play staged inside the campus on Friday.

About 30 students critical of the atrocities of Martial Law staged a protest rally at the university’s Palma Hall, where the play took place, to denounce Marcos-Araneta’s presence.

Marcos-Araneta, the third child of the late president, attended the gala performance of a play titled “The House of Bernarda Alba.”

In a statement, Dulaang UP apologized to the university community and to the public, as well as to the “members of the audience, the cast and staff for the disruptions during and after the performance.”

It said it would be “more discerning in its actions in the future.”

“We have not forgotten the atrocities of Martial Law and we are one with the community in its protest against human rights abuses,” the theater group added in the statement.

The UP Diliman University Student Council (UPD USC) also condemned Marcos-Araneta’s visit, noting that it took place on the month when Martial Law was declared. Palma Hall was also the venue of various massive protests against the Marcos regime. Marcos declared Martial Law on Sept. 21, 1972.

“Kilala ang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas bilang isang institusyong kritikal na tumututol sa hindi makataong polisiya, korapsyon, pagnanakaw mula sa kaban ng bayan at sa iba’t-iba pang kabulukan sa sistema ng gobyerno. Ang maluwag na pagpasok ni Irene Marcos-Araneta at ng kung sinomang berdugo ay lantarang pambabastos sa kasaysayan at identidad ng UP, at sa iba’t ibang Iskolar ng Bayan na nagbubog ng dugo upang depensahan ang identidad na ito (UP has been known as an institution critical to anti-people policies, corruption, plunder from people’s taxes and other corrupt practices in the government system. The easy entry of Irene Marcos-Araneta and whoever is a clear open disrespect of the history of the identity of UP and other Scholars of the People who have offered their lives to defend this identity),” the UPD USC said in a statement released on Saturday.

It, however, clarified that Dulaang UP and other artists groups must not be condemned because of their historical role of dedicating the arts to spread awareness on actual conditions in society.

Earlier this year, Marcos-Araneta’s presence in an event at the Ateneo De Manila University was also met with protests from students and artists groups. Marcos-Araneta attended the launch of Ateneo’s creative hub Arete’s Outdoor Art Installation program on April 7.

Ateneo President Jose Ramon Villarin issued a public apology, while Yael Buencamino resigned as Arete’s executive director because of the incident.

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