Why Sionil Jose walked out of the CCP during King's necrology.
Why would National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose walk out of the CCP during its tribute to the late National Artist for Music Lucrecia Kasilag whom he dearly loved and respected?
This letter written by Jose last Aug. 22 and send to Emely Abrera,
chairperson of the CCP (cc: Nestor Jardin, President and Chris Millado, Performing Arts Department Head)
Permit me to tell you my regret and anger the day when I was at the CCP for King Kasilag's necrology. Before the start of the service, I was ushered to the backstage- a departure from the usual manner by which we honored our departed National Artist. After I offered my bouquet to King, I walked to my assigned seat and was surprised to see Imelda Marcos before me. Had I known that she would be there, I would not have attended the necrology anymore. But in deference to King, who I loved dearly, I decided to suffer my presence. Then she mounted the podium and started bragging about herself, how Chairman Mao welcomed her in China. That was too much, so I decided to leave.
I have known King since 1948, when she was the piano teacher of the girl I married. I regret that I had to leave her last presence with us.
Enclosed is the article I wrote years ago on Imelda (for Philippine Star). I hope that you will remember. May I beg of you this one I favor. In the future, please do not honor Imelda in any of the CCP activities. In ostracizing her and denying her honor, you honor the memory of Ninoy Aquino and the thousands upon thousands who were unjustly jailed, tortured, killed or salvaged by the Marcos dictatorship.
In honoring the plunderers of this nation and letting them easy without any punishment (like Erap) we not only condone their infamy; other rapist of this nation will also feel redeemed, convinced, that they did no wrong. Then, they pave the way for future criminals to do the same, sure that, like Imelda and her gang, they will no be punished and that after their foul deeds, they can even preen in the limelight before a people without memory.The Marcoses were in power for more than 20 years... they gave patronage with the people's money to many. There recipients, of their patronage are grateful. I can very well understand that, but keep in mind that the evil that they did far outweighs the miniscule good that they achieved, the CCP is one and the appointment of King is another.
The CCP and King helped deodorize a little a murderous dictatorship. And don't you ever forget, it was your money, my money, OUR money that built the CCP - not Imelda's.
F. Sionil Jose
The Philippine Star
August 31, 2008 edition
Sunday Lifestyle, Page H-1