House panel OKs bill renaming Mariano Marcos State U after Marcos Sr. | Inquirer News

House panel OKs bill renaming Mariano Marcos State U after Marcos Sr.

/ 09:34 PM August 16, 2022
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. arrived at the Batasan Pambansa in Quezon City on Monday afternoon for his first State of the Nation Address

The Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City where the country’s President usually delivers the annual State of the Nation Address. (Photo from the Facebook account of the House of Representatives)

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives committee on higher and technical education has approved a proposal seeking to change the name of Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) in Ilocos Norte and rename it after former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

During the hearing on Tuesday morning, committee chairperson and Baguio Rep. Mark Go was forced to divide the house after Makabayan bloc member and Kabataan party-list Rep. Raoul Manuel objected to the approval of the said proposal.

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In the end, lawmakers voted 7-1 in favor of the bill.

The committee was tackling House Bill No. 2407 authored by Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Angelo Marcos Barba, which will rename the state university after the former president and father of incumbent President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

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Manuel said that while he respects the community’s views, including those from the MMSU, which agreed to rename the school, there must be more discussions regarding the proposal, given that it would be renamed after a national figure and not just someone from the said locale.

MMSU is located in Batac, Ilocos Norte, the hometown of the Marcoses.

“I believe na ‘yong ganitong (that this) bill, it runs contrary to the essence of some of legal actions and executive orders that recognize that Ferdinand E. Marcos or Ferdinand Marcos Sr. has done some abuses on our Filipino people,” Manuel said during the hearing.

“For instance we have Republic Act No. 10368 or the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013, at nabanggit po dito na kinikilala ng ating pamahalaan ‘yong mga biktima ng summary execution, torture, enforced or involuntary disappearance and gross human rights violations under the martial law of former president Marcos Sr.,” he added.

(Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 asserts the deaths, torture, and abductions of people during Marcos Sr.’s administration.)

Aside from the abuses experienced by people during the martial law regime of the older Marcos, Manuel also mentioned Supreme Court rulings which found the Marcoses’ declared wealth to be very far from what they could have earned as government officials.

“Ibig sabihin, ‘yong ating pamahalaan mismo ay kinikilala na maraming nangyaring abuso no’ng siya ay nanungkulan bilang pangulo,” Manuel said.

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(It means that our government recognizes that several abuses were done during the time when he (Marcos) was serving as president.)

“Meron ding Supreme Court ruling na nagsasabi na ‘yong assets and properties ng mga Marcos ay hindi kapantay — sobrang laki, disproportionate to their aggregate salaries as public officials.  This simply means, or implies, na nagnakaw sa kaban ng bayan ang pamilya nila,” he added.

(There are also Supreme Court rulings that state that the assets and properties of the Marcoses do not align — it’s so big, disproportionate to their aggregate salaries as public officials. This simply means, or implies, that their family stole from the government’s coffers.)

During the hearing, MMSU president Dr. Shirley Agrupis was also allowed to give the university’s position on the bill. According to her, they will continue to support the bill, just like they supported the said measure during the 18th Congress.

The 18th Congress adopted the law on the third reading, but time restrictions prevented the president from signing it.

According to Agrupis, Marcos deserves to have a school named after him as he is the father of state universities and colleges — adding that it would be best to name MMSU after him as it is located in his family’s hometown.

“To date, there are already 114 state colleges and universities, but not one of these SUCs is named after the one who established or initiated for their establishment,” the MMSU president told the lawmakers.

“So I strongly mentioned before that if there is one SUC that should carry the name of the man who was most instrumental in realizing their existence, it should be MMSU, one that is located in Ilocos Norte and the President’s hometown in Batac,” she added.

However, Agrupis also suggested that instead of naming the school FEMSU — or Ferdinand Edralin Marcos State University — the middle name of the former president should be dropped to make it easier for the institution to adjust to paperwork and other matters.

“So Mr. Chair, in our special meeting yesterday attended by the admin members of the administrative council and representatives from our local members of the board of regents — from the student, the faculty, and alumni, we again maintained majority of the participants during our special AdCom meeting supports the bill but with a prayer that we want to present some proposals for this bill,” she said.

“Instead of Ferdinand Edralin Marcos State University, the group proposed that it would be Ferdinand Marcos State University for so many reasons. Because Mariano will just be renamed by Ferdinand, so all changes in the name and everything in the hymn would be easier to us,” she added.

MMSU was named after Mariano Marcos, the Marcos family patriarch, a well-known lawyer and legislator from Ilocos Norte. The university was a mixture of three schools in Batac and was instituted by the former president in January 1978.

In his explanatory note, Barba said that it would be fitting to name the school after the former president.

RELATED STORIES:

Bill renaming Mariano Marcos State University after ex-president Marcos refiled 

 Ilocos Norte state university to be renamed 

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TAGS: Ferdinand Marcos Sr, House bill, Mariano Marcos, University
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