MANILA, Philippines — Learners are provided an opportunity to have an “objective perspective” of what happened during martial law under former president Ferdinand Marcos.
Education Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio said this Monday as the country observes the 48th anniversary of the martial law declaration—a moment many consider as a dark chapter in Philippine history.
In an online briefing, DepEd officials were asked for an update on the teaching of the topic now that the K-12 curriculum has been reduced into the most essential competencies under the distance learning education system amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“As to the issue of the way martial law is being covered in the curriculum, I know that the ongoing curriculum review has been able to address this and as it is, we make sure that the learners are provided an opportunity to have an objective perspective of what happened during that time,” San Antonio said.
In January, The Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law (Carmma), a group of martial law survivors, asked DepEd to review history books to ensure that the atrocities under the Marcos regime are accurately depicted.
This call came after the former president’s son, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., called for the revision history textbooks as charges against his family were being dismissed by the courts.
Bongbong said that textbooks should not be handled by political appointees but rather history professors and experts in the field of political science.
“Pinapalitan daw namin ang kwento ng kasaysayan. Who is doing revisionism? Nilagay nila sa libro ng textbook ng mga bata na ganito, ‘ang mga Marcos ganito ang ninakaw, ganito ang ginawa’,” he said in a forum hosted by the National Press Club.
(We were accused of revising history. Who is doing revisionism? They put in children’s textbooks that, ‘the Marcoses stole this, they did that’.)
“Ngayon lumalabas sa Korte hindi totoo lahat ng sinabi ninyo dahil hindi niyo naipakita,” he added.
(Now, the Court says the things being said were not true because you were not able to prove it.)
On September 21, 1972, the late president Marcos signed Proclamation No. 1081 that placed the entire country under martial law, following a series of bombings in Metro Manila.
In a report by Amnesty International, over 100,000 people were recorded to have been victims of martial law from 1972 to 1981 –70,000 were arrested, 34,000 were tortured, and 3,240 were killed by the military and the police.