‘Schools, media to blame for revisionist history’
THE FAILURE of the education system—and the media—to educate the young on the horrors of martial law is partly to blame for the “revisionist history” that says the dark period was the country’s golden age, speakers said at a campaign against Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s vice presidential bid in the May elections.
Retired University of the Philippines professor Judy Taguiwalo lamented that textbooks today only offer a sanitized page on the declaration of martial law by President and dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos.
In the media, she noted, there were only two to three documentaries on the topic, a few movies, while news outfits do bring up the issue every now and then.
“There is a failure in the educational system, and even in the media, to make sure the memories stay fresh for the generations that did not live through it,” Taguiwalo said yesterday at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City.
Taguiwalo joined a wreath-laying ceremony at the wall of heroes organized by the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacanang (Carmma) and Gabriela. The activity was to honor the women who fought and gave up their lives against the Marcos dictatorship.
Yearning for ‘golden age’
The New York Times, in an article on the 30th anniversary of the Edsa People Power revolt last month, said Filipinos were yearning for the return of the “golden age” of Marcos, prompting President Aquino to warn against electing the son, Ferdinand Jr., to the vice presidency.
A member of Gabriela, Taguiwalo estimated that at least 1,500 women were imprisoned, tortured, killed or simply disappeared during martial law.
Some of the women activists whose names are etched on the walls of the Bantayog ng mga Bayani are Maria Lorena Barros, Liliosa Hilao, Rizalina Ilagan, Amada Alvarez, Evella Bontia, Mary Concepcion Lourdes Conti, Nimfa del Rosario, Rosalinda Galang-Reyes, Juvelyn Jaravello, Mary Bernard Virginia Jimenez, Maria Leticia Ladlad, Teresita Llorente, Maria Violeta Marcos and Maria Luz Mondejar, among many others.
The activity took place two days before International Women’s Day on March 8.
For the brave women
Gabriela Metro Manila spokesperson Maristella Garcia said the activity was held to remember the brave women who defied the martial law regime, calling them an inspiration to freedom-loving Filipinos, especially young women.
“We will prove that their sacrifice was not wasted by campaigning against the return of all forms of dictatorship to the country. In particular, we reject the vice presidential candidacy of Bongbong Marcos, the unrepentant son of the dictator. Bongbong’s victory will be an insult to all Filipinos who died fighting for the return of our liberties,” she said.
After the wreath-laying, the women held a brief program, holding up photographs of the women martyrs and purple placards reading: “No Vote Bongbong Marcos!” “Never Again to Martial Law! No to Bongbong Marcos!” and “Justice for all Women Martyrs of Martial Law!”
‘He never apologized’
Taguiwalo pointed out the young Marcos cannot claim innocence of the martial law abuses because he was a reserve colonel in the military.
“It’s not true that he had nothing to do with it. He cannot claim to be innocent. And he never apologized,” she said.
They were particularly concerned over the revisionism and the false beliefs of Filipinos, both young and old, on martial law and the Marcoses.
Taguiwalo said they were working with school teachers in formulating a module solely dedicated to martial law and its horrors, as well as the Marcos children’s participation in the crimes during that time.
That the late dictator’s son was able to win a seat in the Senate was proof that many Filipinos, apart from the Ilocano voters, had this kind of revisionist thinking, Taguiwalo said.
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