Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) along with the Network in Defense of Historical Truth and Academic Freedom expressed their solidarity with renowned historian Ambeth Ocampo, who has been on the receiving end of provocations from pro-Marcos pages since his statement of response to actress Ella Cruz’s “history is like tsismis (gossip)” remark.
"Ateneo stands with Dr Ambeth R Ocampo, as well as with all other historians and academics, in the face of a sustained campaign to malign their work and their reputation."
Read the memo from the Office of the President regarding Dr Ocampo. https://t.co/h3Rc31o8y6 pic.twitter.com/Ccvdas1Y7M
— Ateneo de Manila University (@ateneodemanilau) July 11, 2022
“Ateneo stands with Dr. Ambeth R Ocampo, as well as with all other historians and academics, in the face of a sustained campaign to malign their work and their reputation,” ADMU said in a memorandum published on their website.
“We condemn these ad hominem attacks on the character of a well-regarded and highly professional historian of the Philippines,” the Network said. “We remain vigilant in the defense for historical truth and integrity, and vow to do our best to preserve an open and respectful environment for historical dialogue and debate.”
The University mentioned that Ocampo’s record “speaks for itself”, given his experience as a “sought-after professor and lecturer, columnist, and author renowned the world over for his knowledge and insights into many aspects of Philippine history.”
“But despite this, he, like many others who fight to preserve facts in understanding our nation’s story, is now the subject of harassment, attacks, and intimidation just because he is standing up for the truth,” ADMU said.
They added, “We condemn these attacks, not just because it maligns Dr. Ocampo, but because it severely undermines our battle against historical distortion and disinformation.”
Meanwhile, the Network highlighted Ocampo’s over five decade devotion to the field of history, asking “Is this how we treat and repay our teachers? Our historians? Subject them to vile and discriminatory, unprincipled and unjust attacks?”
They added, “While it is reasonable to debate questions of historical value and interpretation, such debates should be pursued in an open, respectful dialogue. Historians like Ambeth Ocampo deserve this respect, and if a writer and scholar of Ocampo's stature is vilified like this, then what can others expect, when they stand up for truth and history?”
“History may have bias but it is based on fact, not opinion. Real History is about truth, not lies, not fiction,” he said on July 2 in a video that went viral.
Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.
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