Filipinos reminded: ‘Martial Law a product of Marcos Dictatorship’

September 21, 2023 - 4:46 PM
Portrait photo of President Ferdinand Marcos (Philippine Presidential Museum and Library)

The University of the Philippines College of Mass Communications (UP-CMC) wants Filipinos to remember that Martial Law, declared by the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., was a “product” of the Marcos dictatorship.

This is in time for the 51st anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law by Marcos, as well as amid present attempts to dissociate the Marcos family from Martial Law.

On Thursday, September 21, UP-CMC posted on its official Facebook page five points as to how Filipinos can remember Martial Law and the Marcos Dictatorship.

These reminders include studying how Martial Law “was a product and a producer of the Marcos Dictatorship.”

It also urged Filipinos to read about “the economic collapse, the graft and corruption, and… the many atrocities during this dark period in our history.”

UP-CMC also noted in its reminders that Filipinos should make noise in “correcting historical sanitation and revisionism.”

The five reminders from the UP-CMC are as follows:

  1. Study how the Martial Law was a product and a producer of the Marcos Dictatorship.
  2. Assert that it was not any other dictatorship. It was a Marcos Dictatorship.
  3. Read about the economic collapse, the graft and corruption, and, most especially, the many atrocities during this dark period in our history.
  4. Offer a moment of silence to honor those who fought for the return of our rights and freedoms.
  5. Make noise in correcting historical sanitation and revisionism.

This comes amid reports of the Department of Education’s (DepEd) directive to change the term “Marcos Dictatorship” or “Diktaduryang Marcos” to just “Dictatorship/Diktadurya” in the Grade 6 Araling Panlipunan syllabus under the new Matatag curriculum.

From ‘Marcos Dictatorship’ to just ‘Dictatorship’

According to reports, the directive came from the agency’s Bureau of Curriculum Development memo dated Sept. 6, 2023. The report adds that the directive was made after an “arduous” review and revision under the scrutiny of experts, a review of stakeholders and, allegedly, public consultations.”

Many criticized the DepED for this move, hitting the agency for having a role in rebranding the Marcos family by dissociating Marcos and his family with the dictatorship. 

Sen. Risa Hontiveros said education is important to ensure that the country’s dark past would not repeat itself.

“An accurate historical record is a guide to a better future. There are things that should have allowed rebranding to happening,” Hontiveros said.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) also condemned DepED for the directive, saying that the move is a distortion of the truth.

“Ferdinand Marcos Sr. ruled the Philippines with an iron fist, suspending civil liberties, suppressing dissent and committing numerous human rights violations during his regime,” ACT chairman Vladimer Quetua said in a statement.

DepEd Bureau of Curriculum and Development Director Jocelyn Andaya confirmed the authenticity of the reported memo directing the change from “Diktadurang Marcos” to just “Diktadura.”

Andaya said that there was “no pressure of any kind” over the change, adding that the directive was “purely an academic discussion.”

Martial Law

Marcos placed the country under martial rule from Sept. 21, 1972 to Jan. 17, 1981 to supposedly quell the communist insurgency and restore order. However, critics noted that this was his way to extend his term as his second term as President of the Philippines was about to end at the time.

The nine-year period saw curfews being imposed, public assemblies being forbidden and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, a legal remedy that protects citizens from unlawful arrests and indefinite detentions.

During Martial Law, “some 70,000 people were imprisoned and 34,000 were tortured; over 3,200 people were killed,” according to London-based human rights organization Amnesty Organization— Chuck Smith