UP research body opens ‘Diktadura’ website | Inquirer News

UP research body opens ‘Diktadura’ website

/ 05:20 AM September 26, 2022
Stock photo of hands typing on laptop. STORY: UP research body opens ‘Diktadura’ website


MANILA, Philippines — Following the 50th commemoration of the declaration of martial law last week, the University of the Philippines’ Third World Studies Center (UP-TWSC) launched a website as part of efforts to help enlighten Filipinos about the most controversial period in the country’s modern history.

On Sept. 23 — when Ferdinand Marcos Sr. went on national television to declare martial law, thereby establishing what critics called his dictatorship — UP-TWSC researchers Joel Ariate Jr., Miguel Paolo delos Reyes and Larah Vinah del Mundo launched their Diktadura website which contains their research on martial law and other primary sources about that era.


The website is intended to complement their upcoming book, “Marcos Lies,” a compilation of essays on the falsehoods created or promoted by the Marcoses to help secure their place in power.

Delos Reyes said the book seeks to correct Marcos’ propaganda found in several government-funded documents and biographies by referencing them against independent news articles, diplomatic cables, transcripts of congressional investigations, and other related documents.


The book has yet to be published in full, but its first five chapters are now available on the Diktadura website.

‘Persistent lies’

Delos Reyes said they hoped the Filipino people would check out the website, “not just for information, but [to see] what’s contained in them, [so these can] be transformed into something that can be better distributed, more accessible.”

Ariate said “the lies are really so persistent and the questions about martial law so repetitive, which is the point we wish to drive home with this project.”

The website and the book are part of the center’s Marcos Regime Research (MRR), refocusing its research efforts on democracy and social movements to the Marcos regime and its influence in Philippine politics.

UP-TWSC Director Soledad Dalisay said her colleagues were already working on the MRR back in 2013, “to counter the lies and historical distortions” about the period.

‘Source’ of Marcos wealth

The website highlights material that had been online for years but remained underutilized by the public, including 27 transcripts of interviews with technocrats from the Marcos regime.

The transcripts were part of a Japan-funded project called “Economic Policymaking and the Philippine Development Experience,” later entrusted by academic Yutaka Katayama to the UP-TWSC in 2014.


Also part of the website is a section curating all known fact-checked claims about martial law from the media. Based on their analysis of at least 573 claims, the most repeatedly fact-checked false claim relating to the Marcoses was that their wealth was not ill-gotten, as it came from such sources as the national hero Jose Rizal and the Tallano gold.

There are also links to ongoing projects by the UP-TWSC such as its “Did A Marcos Lie Today?” initiative, which seeks to counter false claims made by Marcos followers through the mass media or the internet.

Journalist and Asian Center for Journalism director Luz Rimban, who coordinated with UP-TWSC researchers on fact-checking efforts, said information in the website and the book “provide… a deeper context to the stories that happened, and this is a very good complimentary dynamic between the academe and the news media.”

Historian Ricardo Jose said these materials “strip… the myths about what really happened and are especially important [to] the public, particularly the youth, [who should be made] aware of what really happened and how they were fed and taught lies.”


Can martial law museum be built in the time of Marcos?

‘Move on’: The shallowness of calls to bury martial law memories

Students ‘wake up’ to martial law through exploration tours

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TAGS: Diktadura website, Marcos Regime Research, Marcos' martial law, UP Third World Studies Center
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