UP history profs slam Bongbong’s call to revise Martial Law in textbooks

Ratziel San Juan - Philstar.com
UP history profs slam Bongbongâs call to revise Martial Law in textbooks
An undated photo of the Marcos family during the presidency of dictator Ferdinand Marcos from government archives.

MANILA, Philippines — The University of the Philippines Diliman Department of History faculty denounced defeated vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for his attempt to downplay Martial Law atrocities by calling to revise school textbooks.

“Who is doing revisionism? Nilagay nila sa libro, sa textbook ng mga bata na ang mga Marcos ganito ang ninakaw, ganito ang ginawa,” Marcos claimed in a press briefing last week.

(The textbooks of students say that the Marcoses stole this and did that.)

NEWSLAB: 31 Years of Amnesia

The UP History Department said Marcos' statement is a brazen effort to further his family’s political dynasty while shirking accountability for their crimes.

“Isa itong malinaw na pagkutya at pagbabaluktot sa katotohanan. Wala itong ibang layunin kundi ang tuluy-tuloy na pagtakpan ang 'di mabilang na mga paglabag sa karapatang pantao at katiwalian sa ilalim ng diktadurang Marcos mula 1972 hanggang 1986,” the department’s statement Friday read.

(Marcos' statement is a clear deviation and manipulation of the truth. It has no intent other than to conceal the countless human rights violations and corruption under the Marcos dictatorship from 1972 until 1986.)

Revising history

The late ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. placed the entire country under Martial Law on Sep. 21, 1972. 

The period is considered one of the darkest in Philippine history due to an abysmal human rights record that saw 7,000 imprisoned, 34,000 tortured and 3,240 killed, based on the estimates of Amnesty International.

Notwithstanding, the former senator said that school textbooks painted his family in a bad light and that criticisms against them are unfounded.

“What we are trying to teach is understanding and an involvement in politics in our young people…Tinuturuan sila to hate people (Instead they are being taught to hate people).”

He called on history professors and political scientists to fix what he says are lies spun against the Marcoses through politicking.

UP history teachers, on the other hand, said it is the Marcoses who are revising history for their own convenience.

“Malaon nang agenda ng mga Marcos ang pabanguhin ang pangalan ng kanilang pamilya, lalo na ang pagpipilit na itanghal ang diktador na si Ferdinand E. Marcos bilang isang bayani. Kakasangkapanin ni G. Marcos ang pagnanais na ito sa ninanais niyang pagtakbo sa 2022 upang makabalik ang kanyang pamilya sa Malacañang.”

(It’s been a longtime agenda of the Marcoses to change the reputation of their family’s name, especially with their insisting that Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. be recognized as a hero. Marcos Jr. plans to fulfill this desire by running in 2022 so his family can return to Malacañang.)

Bid for power

Marcos already announced his 2022 election bid but said he has not decided what post he will run for.

In the 2016 presidential elections, he lost to Liberal Party bet and now Vice President Leni Robredo by a narrow 263,473 votes.

The gap only widened by 15,093 votes upon the recount, revision and re-appreciation of ballots from Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental sought by Marcos, according to the report of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal promulgated in October 2019.

Marcos has not conceded, however, and even asked the Supreme Court to “reconsider, review and re-examine” the results of the recount.

Textbook revision

Meanwhile, history professors in the national university said that if any textbook revision would take place, it’s to expound on the tragedy and long-term consequences of Martial Law under the Marcoses.

“Makailang-ulit na ring nanawagan ang mga historyador para sa malawakang pagsusuri at pagsasaayos ng nilalaman ng mga textbook, para ipakita ang katotohanan sa kasaysayan ng bansa, isa na rito ang kritikal na pagtatasa ng kabataan sa Batas Militar ni Marcos,” the history faculty said.

(Historians have repeatedly called for a wide-scope analysis and revision of textbook content in order to detail the reality of our country’s history, including the critical assessment of youth under Marcos’ military rule.)

“Kabilang rito ang malubhang krisis pang-ekonomiya at laganap na kahirapan, panunupil sa mga kalayaang sibil lalo sa malayang pamamahayag, lumaki pang kriminalidad sa kabila ng paghahari ng kamay na bakal, talamak na pangugurakot ng mga kamag-anak at kaibigan sa kabangyaman ng bansa, at ang 'di maipaliwanag na pagkakamal ng pamilyang Marcos ng bilyon-bilyong dolyar sa mga Swiss banks, bukod sa katakot-takot na mga painting na itinuring ng Sandiganbayan na yamang 'unlawfully acquired' at kailangang isauli sa bansa!”

(This accounts for the severe economic crisis and widespread poverty, suppression of civil rights namely press freedom, worsening crime under an iron rule, grave malversation of public funds by the relatives and cronies of the Marcoses, unexplained billions of dollars amassed by the Marcos family in Swiss banks, aside from scores of painting deemed by the Sandiganbayan as "unlawfully required” and ordered to be returned to the country!)

The UP History Department also previously issued statements on Martial Law, respectively addressing the mythical “golden era” and criticizing the authorized Kabaatang Barangay meeting held inside the campus in 2018.








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