Youth groups denounce Parokya ni Edgar over controversial photo

Akbayan party list and Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP) blast Parokya ni Edgar vocalist Chito Miranda over a photo showing him in a pose similar to that of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the background.

The controversial photo was taken during a gig at the celebration of the former henchmen’s 97th birthday coined as “Marcos Fiesta” at the Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena this month.

Akbayan’s statement was released via their website urging Miranda to “be part of the crucial task of educating young people on the atrocities of the Marcos dictatorship.”

According to their Chairperson Rafaela “Paeng” David, it was a big concern for them that Miranda’s photo, as well as the band’s participation at the Marcos Fiesta, might be interpreted as a stamp of approval of the Marcos dictatorship.

“Marcos apologists are already busy using the band’s participation in the event to present the Marcoses as being benevolent to the youth.” he said.

The chairperson went on by saying Marcos is not someone to be lauded or emulated by today’s younger generation, and his dictatorial regime has yet to account for its “crimes against the Filipino youth.” “We should not forget that under Martial Law, many youth and students were tortured and killed, democratic institutions were abused and bastardized, the nations coffers were plundered and our debt skyrocketed – indeed, we witnessed the death of democracy under Marcos,” he added.

On the other hand, the group Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP) believed that Parokya ni Edgar should be part instead of spreading awareness to today’s generation about the truth of Martial Law “to deepen their appreciation of the values of democracy and human rights.”

SCAP Chairperson Francesca “Iska” Dalangin stated she is hoping Parokya uses its unique position as a ‘pop icon of this generation’ and being idolized by a lot of young people, to be the ambassador of truth.

“They should not let themselves be used to whitewash the Marcoses’ dark and corrupt past,” she said.

“We hope the band will joins us as we further educate the young generation about what really happened during the Martial Law and meaningfully contribute in this campaign for truth and democracy.”

Finally, the groups said they would want to meet Miranda and his band to talk about the issue and “clear the air” about what happened.

As of this writing, Parokya ni Edgar has yet to issue a statement on the controversy.