Akbayan wants mandatory teaching of 'atrocities' during Martial Law era
The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - The Akbayan partylist has filed a resolution at the House of Representatives that seeks the mandatory teaching in all education levels of the "atrocities" committed during the Martial Law era.
A month before the 40th year commemoration of Martial Law declared by President Ferdinand Marcos on September 21, 1972, Akbayan representatives Walden Bello and Arlene "Kaka" Bag-ao filed House Resolution 2608.
H.R. 2608 urges the National Historical Institute, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Education, Commission on Human Rights, and the National Youth Commission to form a task force that would draft the guidelines for teaching the atrocities committed during President Ferdinand Marcos' dictatorial rule.
"The resolution aims to educate the youth of the democratic values and practices the nation adheres to and experiences today in contrast to the oppressive social order installed by Marcos 40 years ago," Akbayan vice chairperson Marie Chris Cabreros said in a recent statement.
“While it is the task of the older generation especially those who experienced martial law to always remember what happened during the Marcos years, the new generation has the important responsibility to know and learn from it. The important task of safeguarding and deepening democracy should have the benefit of hindsight deeply rooted in truth and justice,” Cabreros added.
Akbayan's proposed mandatory teaching resembles the compulsory teaching of the Holocaust in Germany, Austria, Israel and Switzerland where six million Jews were reportedly killed under the Nazi regime led by Adolf Hitler.
Cabreros said the country can't conclude it's "dark past" because of the state's failure to remind the youth of the facts and events that happened during the Martial Law years.
“As a result of our lack of collective and institutionalized memory, victims of great injustices committed during the Marcos years are to this day still crying for justice," she said.
"The Marcos Compensation bill is still pending before Congress. The government is still locked in a battle to completely recover the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth. Worse, the unrepentant Marcos family are back in power inching their way back to its highest echelon,” Cabreros added.
Akbayan said the mandatory teaching of the atrocities under the dictatorship would prevent the Marcoses’ from attempting to revise the country's history.
“The Marcoses are engaged in an aggressive campaign to revise history to their favor. They are exploiting the young generation’s lack of knowledge of the Marcos years to paint a rosy historical account of the dictatorship. For the sake of those who were killed, abused and incarcerated for standing up against tyranny, we must not let them succeed,” Cabreros said.
“No amount of historical revisionism will completely sever them from their despotic past until they made themselves fully accountable. Forgive, yes, if genuine justice is dispensed and accountability has been exacted; but to forget, never. Until then, those who refuse to forget will find ways to surface the truth. The compulsory teaching of the Marcos dictatorship’s atrocities is one of these," she added.
Akbayan said the Marcoses should completely and unconditionally return all their ill-gotten wealth and compensate the human rights victims during the dictatorship.
"History will only be kind to the Marcos family if they acknowledge and made themselves accountable for the atrocities committed during the Marcos dictatorship," Cabreros said.
There were 3,257 cases of murder, 35,000 cases of torture, and 70,000 incarcerations during the Martial Law era, according to Akbayan.
Last year, Akbayan also filed House Resolution 1756 that sought to declare the late President Marcos as an "enemy of democracy". The resolution also called on Congress to "strongly oppose" any proposal portraying Marcos as a hero.