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

July 11, 2022 - 7:08 PM
Historian Ambeth Ocampo and the statements of Ateneo de Manila University and Network in Defense of Historical Truth and Academic Freedom (Ambeth Ocampo/Facebook; ADMU)

A university, group of educators, and scholars on Monday defended historian Ambeth Ocampo from online attacks he received after he replied to actress Ella Cruz’s remark, where she likened history to tsismis or gossip last week.

Ateneo de Manila University described Ocampo, one of its professors, as a “distinguished historian” whose track record speaks for himself.

“Despite, 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,” Ateneo’s president Roberto Yap S.J. said in a statement.

“Only with truthful history can we move forward as a nation, and only through recognition of the failures and successes of the past can we create solutions for the problems that beset our society,” he added.

In another statement, a group of academics called the Network in Defense of Historical Truth and Academic Freedom also joined the stand in defense of Ocampo.

“Professor Ocampo has been vilified, furiously trolled online, and both his life and reputation have been threatened. Is this how we treat and repay our teachers? Our historians?” the statement read.

“Historians like Ambeth Ocampo deserve 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?” they added.

Last week, Ocampo was among the historians who disagreed with Cruz’s comment on “history.”

“History may have bias but it is based on fact, not opinion. Real History is about Truth, not lies, not fiction,” he shared in a viral Facebook post.

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

Ocampo was then painted as a “yellow historian,” for his comments on history. “Yellow” is a label used to refer to individuals leaning toward supporting former President Corazon Aquino who replaced late Ferdinand Marcos Sr. in 1986.