Activists hold mock dead bodies depicting human rights victims during a march toward Camp Aguinaldo on September 22, 2014 to mark the 42nd anniversary of the proclamation of martial law by the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos. (Photo: The STAR / Boy Santos)

Intensified education on Martial Law pushed in public, private schools (Philippines)

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Intensified education on Martial Law pushed in public, private schools (Philippines)

 

(Original article: PhilStar Global. November 22, 2016)

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – An intensified education on Martial Law and its threats to democracy is being pushed on public and private schools.

Ifugao lawmaker Teodoro Baguilat Jr. said this amid “growing attempts to revise history and clear the (former strongman) Ferdinand Marcos Sr. of culpability for the widespread violation of human rights during his reign of terror.”

Baguilat noted that there is a relentless campaign to convince the Filipino people to “move on” and close the chapter on the Marcoses.

The Ifugao solon admitted that he and his colleagues joined in signing a resolution of late Rep. Salvador Escudero in 2011 to let the dictator be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).

He however said that he later on gained personal insight about the issue and changed his position that the late dictator does not deserve a hero’s burial.

Baguilat noted that education is important in understanding important issues.

“It is also through education that the people can protect themselves from history repeating itself and the painful cost of allowing absolute rule by a dictator being exacted yet again,” he said.

“It is also through education that the people can protect themselves from history repeating itself and the painful cost of allowing absolute rule by a dictator being exacted yet again.”

Baguilat suggested that should be more discussions about Martial Law history in the school curriculum “so that the dictatorship of Marcos and the dark time under him can be studied and remembered in the proper context.”

Baguilat said that there was a dearth of information on the full extent of the horror brought by Martial Law because freedom of the press was suppressed.  

“Only pro-administration publications were allowed to flourish at the time, and many of those who dared to report on the grisly accounts of torture, rape and murder themselves became victims of Martial Law,” he said.

His own discernment on Martial Law, the lawmaker said, led him to his firm conclusion now that Marcos’ burial at the Libingan “has caused further injustice to the victims of Martial Law who are still waiting for the Marcoses to own up to their crimes and repair the damage done.”

“This is about making our corrupt officials accountable, about justice for the many victims of human rights. This is about us making sure that we do not forget the atrocities that occurred during that painful chapter in our history,” the lawmaker said.

“We should all work together to make sure that authoritarian rule and the blatant disregard for the law should not happen again,” he added. 

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