The Alliance of Concerned Teachers called attention on 20 October to a textbook in Philippine public schools, which describes the Martial Law period of 21 September 1972 until 1980 as the “Period of the New Society”. They said, “Martial Law is the right term. Corrections should be made to the modules.”
ACT Spokesperson, Rissa Bantillian, addressing Vice President and concurrent Department of Education Secretary Sara Duterte and the public, said, “We should keep watch of the revisions on the current educational curriculum and fight to ensure that teaching history will still be based on facts, nationalism, and putting culture at the forefront.”
The educators called on the DepEd to immediately correct the “inaccurate” textbook.
Commenting on the issue, Ma. Roja Banua, Spokesperson of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Bicol said, “The issue here is not simple semantics. Words are political! By changing the terminology, the history and context in which the word was originally used is lost.”
Banua stressed, “This is a part of the Marcoses’ attempts to manipulate and erase crucial parts of the Filipino nation’s collective memory… Rhetorics of the farcical ‘new society’ will overshadow all the pain, destruction, suffering and deaths that have had always gone with Martial Law.”
She added, “It is a challenge to the present generation to prevent the Marcoses from distorting history. They must be persistent in making people understand, especially those who did not live during the Martial Law era, that history tells a clear tale. It is not open for interpretation nor does it have versions. Either something happened or it did not. There were oppressors and there were the oppressed who fought back. There is no such thing as the people’s version and the Marcoses’ version. There is only the truth.
“The rampant massacres, thousands of desaparecidos, prevalent hunger and poverty, economic decline, the Marcoses’ unbridled corruption and squandering of the nation’s resources as well as all their other harrowing crimes against the Filipino people did happen,” she concluded.
Recently, a feature film glorifying the last hours of the Marcos family in Malacañang Palace did the rounds of local cinemas and Philippine embassies abroad. Filmmaker Paul Soriano, who also produced the election campaign ads and directed the first State of the Nation Address of President Marcos, Jr., now sits as Special Presidential Adviser for ‘Creative Communications’.