‘Pati ba naman gobierno?’: Historian Ambeth Ocampo calls out red-tagging of NHCP

August 17, 2022 - 2:50 PM
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Photo of Ambeth Ocampo when he delivered his keynote address at the 9th General Assembly of the Local Historical Committees Network in Bayfront Hotel Capitol Site, Cebu City on August 4, 2022 (Facebook/NHCP)

A historian called out an individual who accused the National Historical Commission of the Philippines of being a communist organization.

This individual made the accusation in a comment placed under a post of the NHCP that showed a photo of public historian-academic Ambeth Ocampo.

The photo was taken during the 9th General Assembly of the Local Historical Committees Network at the Bayfront Hotel Capitol Site in Cebu City on August 4.

The photo showed Ocampo’s delivery of his keynote address at the venue.

The comments section of the post had since been filtered.

However, Ocampo managed to get a screenshot of the comment. It reads: “Communism indoctrination po yan. Ingat lang.”

The historian posted this screenshot on his page on August 12. He also schooled the person who made the comment.

“Pati ba naman gobierno, NHCP, i-red-tag niyo?” Ocampo asked.

“The National Historical Commission of the Philippines is the government agency responsible for history, it is neither a communist nor a terrorist organization,” he added.

Ocampo’s post has since garnered 11,000 reactions, 632 comments and 3,300 shares on the platform.

The NHCP’s purpose and history also do not involve communism or any teachings of it.

It was formerly known as the National Historical Institute. The NHI was initially created in 1972.

By virtue of Republic Act 10086 or “Strengthening Peoples’ Nationalism Through Philippine History Act,” the NHI was renamed to NHCP, thus “strengthening its powers and functions, and for other purposes.”

The commission is mainly “responsible for the conservation and preservation of the country’s historical legacies.”

The NHCP’s major thrusts cover cultural programs on the following:

  • Historical studies
  • Curatorial works
  • Architectural conservation
  • Philippine heraldry
  • Historical information dissemination activities
  • Restoration and preservation of relics and memorabilia of heroes and other renowned Filipinos

The NHCP also “undertakes the commemoration of significant events and personages in Philippine history and safeguards the blazoning of the national government and its political divisions and instrumentalities.”

The commission comprises five divisions. These are:

  • Finance and Administrative
  • Historic Preservation
  • Historic Sites and Education
  • Research, Publications and Heraldry
  • Materials Research Conservation

Ocampo, meanwhile, previously became a victim of online attacks after he disagreed with the view of actress Ella Cruz on history.

Ella likened history to gossip or “tsismis” when asked about her role as Irene Marcos-Araneta in Viva Film’s “Maid in Malacañang” in a video interview.

“History is like tsismis. It is filtered and dagdag na rin, so, hindi natin alam what is the real history. Andoon na iyong idea, pero may mga bias talaga. As long as we’re here, alive at may kanya-kanyang opinion, I respect everyone’s opinion,” she said in the interview.

Ocampo was among the historians who disagreed with her.

In a viral Facebook post, the professor said: “History may have bias but it is based on fact, not opinion. Real History is about Truth, not lies, not fiction.”

READ: Not ‘chismis’: How historians define history after Ella Cruz likened it to gossip 

Ocampo received online attacks for this reaction.

This escalated, prompting Ateneo de Manila University to join other Filipinos in defending Ocampo from online harassment.

READ: ‘He deserves respect’: Educators back Ambeth Ocampo amid online attacks