MANILA, Philippines — Top state historian Maria Serena Diokno said her resignation was due to the position taken by many young people following the sudden burial of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
In an interview on ANC’s “Headstart” on Wednesday, Diokno said she had been considering to step down from the helm of the National Historical Commission for weeks before making the decision.
“I just had to decide that I could no longer stay in the position. One factor that influenced me strongly was the position that many young Filipinos have taken. They’re the ones who inspired me,” Diokno said.
She said her agency did not get any positive response from President Rodrigo Duterte and his government after they have published and submitted a study on a string of lies Marcos claimed about his role in the military.
Asked if she thinks Duterte was open to reconsider his order to have Marcos buried among heroes, Diokno said the president was adamant.
“You can’t blame us for trying, we did, and we went through a study, well-documented, but it appears his mind has been made up early on,” she said.
Diokno said that while many of her colleagues and her staff wanted her to stay on and “watch over the fate” to make sure that history remains “factual and honest,” the job was not that of one man.
“When I saw the actions of the young people, I said, they’re guarding our history. This is a responsibility of not just one person, the chair, or a single agency but of all of us,” Diokno said.
Youth groups are set to hold protests around Metro Manila on Wednesday, a nationwide holiday commemorating the birth and heroism of 19th century Filipino revolutionary Andres Bonifacio. — Camille Diola
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