DepEd, Aquino’s K-12 further whitewashes martial law, to worsen historical amnesia

In response to the denials of the Department of Education (DepEd) of any hand in the publication of a textbook glorifying the Marcos dictatorship, youth group Anakbayan today said that DepEd and the Aquino administration’s K-12 program in fact further whitewashes martial law.

“DepEd emphasizes that the historical revisionist textbook was published before the K-12 program to avoid blame. Yet even a cursory look at the DepEd modules downloadable from the DepEd website would show the same glorification of the Marcos era at work,” said Anakbayan National Chair Vencer Crisostomo.

Anakbayan previously exposed the Lakbay ng Lahing Pilipino 5 textbook for misleadingly claiming that the programs of the late Dictator Marcos were done to uplift the lives of Filipinos while turning concealing human rights violations and systemic corruption during Martial Law.

DepEd’s module on Martial Law

He noted the stark contrast between the long enumeration of Marcos’ so-called accomplishments and the few paragraphs mentioning the abuses under martial law in the “Araling Panlipunan I Modyul 17: Ang Pilipinas sa Ilalim ng Batas Militar” (…/0B2gJpa-nml62SG1qcHlILUp1cEU/view) accessible via the DepEd Learning Portal website.

Crisostomo said the “achievements” mentioned in the module are brazen lies, as in the trumpeted success of land reform under Marcos: “Malaki ang nagawa ni Pangulong Marcos sa pagpapasulong ng Repormang Pansakahan na nakapaloob sa Atas ng Pangulo Blg. 27. Binigyan ng karapatang mag-mayari ng lupa ang maliliit na magsasaka.”

On the other hand, the celebrated “Education reforms” only paved the way for school fee deregulation and yearly tuition hikes under Marcos’ Education Act of 1982.

“The DepEd module upholds the claim that there was ‘development’ during Martial Law. Meanwhile, no examples and articulation of the acts of fascism and repression. Yung curfew implementation nakacategorize pa as pangkatahimikan na pagbabago,” he said.

As in the Lakbay ng Lahing Pilipino 5 textbook, the group noted that the DepEd module still explained the declaration of Martial Law as a consequence of Marcos’ good intention of safeguarding national security from chaotic protests and rebels rather than the late dictator’s lust for power.

The same DepEd module even casually mentions how the 1973 referendum legitimized authoritarian rule with 90% voting yes to the Marcos constitution without even mentioning how the polls were rigged and the choice was imposed on the Filipino people by force of arms.

DepEd’s module on the restoration of democracy

Anakbayan also pointed out how DepEd’s “Araling Panlipunan I Modyul 18: Ang Pilipinas sa Panunumbalik ng Demokrasya” (…/0B2gJpa-nml62N3A4dENaNlNiRlU/view
) airbrushed the role of the Filipino people in fighting the Marcos regime, as if the anti-dictatorship struggle was only about Ninoy and Cory Aquino.

“President Aquino always keeps on hitting the Marcoses to gain political mileage and yet his very own DepEd and its revisionist ‘miseducational’ materials are the biggest culprit for the perpetuation of historical amnesia among our younger generations,” he said.

The group questioned the absence even of just milestones in the resistance to Marcos like the La Tondeña Strike, the student movement for the revival of student councils and papers, and the sacrifice of martryrs like Lorena Barros, Edgar Jopson, Macli-ing Dulag, Doctor Bobby La Paz, among others.

“We are alarmed at how Philippine contemporary history is being refashioned to become the story of two landed families and a few powerful personalities. We will not allow both the Marcoses and the Aquinos to reshape our history as the narrative of the fall and resurrection of their dynasties’ political fortunes,” he said.

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