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Group Opposes DepEd Proposal To Remove ‘Diktadurang Marcos’ Term

Group Opposes DepEd Proposal To Remove ‘Diktadurang Marcos’ Term
Multi-sectoral groups hold a rally at Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila on June 30, 2022 during the inauguration of President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., namesake and son of the late dictator who imposed martial law during his time. Photo by Michael Varcas, The Philippine STAR

An ecumenical student group recently expressed its opposition to the proposal of the Department of Education (DepEd) to remove the term “Diktadurang Marcos,” referring to former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr., from the Grade 6 curriculum.

In an interview with Radio Veritas last Sept. 15, the Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP) said that disassociating the term “diktadura” (dictator) from the name of the former president would be distorting the impact of his regime in the country’s history.

“Christian youth are deeply disturbed by this curriculum change proposal to distort the grim reality of the Marcos dictatorship,” said SCMP national chairperson Kej Andres.

Altering textbook materials would be downplaying the events and effects of martial law, particularly on the thousands of lives that were lost and the number of people who suffered, the group continued.

Based on documents from Amnesty International, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, Karapatan and similar human rights monitoring entities, historians believe that the Marcos dictatorship was marked by 3,257 known extrajudicial killings, 35,000 documented tortures, 759 “desaparecidos” (disappeared) and 70,000 incarcerations.

“DepEd is spitting on the graves of numerous martyrs and heroes who fought the dictatorship, including church people who have been inspired by faith, seeking justice from the horrors of martial law,” Andres said.

He added that the next generation of Filipinos should remember and know the facts of the country’s history and that it is the job of everyone present today to make sure that real historical accounts are preserved.

“It is the duty of everyone – teachers, students, parents, and church people – to teach about the horrors of the Marcos dictatorship and to inspire the next generation to stand up against wan-nabe dictators, especially under a Marcos-Duterte rule,” the SCMP official said.

The current leaders of the country are President Marcos, the son and namesake of the late strongman, while Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte is the daughter of former president Rodrigo Duterte.

“The truth sets us free, and teaching that the Marcos dictatorship caused massive human rights violations and economic exploitation urges us to stand up and say never again to fascist dictatorship,” he added.