Lawmakers and teacher’s group decried the alleged attempt by the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to “rebrand” Martial Law through teaching modules. .
Senator Risa Hontiveros slammed the attempts to rebrand the dark period under Martial Law as the “New Society”, as she reminded the Education sector to avoid becoming an enabler in the distortion of history.
Distortion of history
Hontiveros called on the DepEd and the CHED to become beacons of truth.
“Let’s take it straight from the horse’s mouth. In issuing Presidential Decree 1081, then President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. placed ‘the country under a state of martial law.’ Not a ‘New Society.’ Not anything else. Martial law,” she said.
The opposition Senator commented publicly after some teachers criticized a DepEd teaching module, supposedly seeking to rebrand the years under martial law as the “period of the New Society.”
:”The module allegedly characterized 1972 to 1980 as a time when ‘economic progress and discipline dominated conversations and newspapers donned new forms’”, she said.
Trial Balloon in Marinduque; Re-branding New Society as “new, improved”
The textbook in question, titled “Geographic, Linguistic and Ethnic Dimensions of Philippine Literary History from Pre-Colonial to the Contemporary,” is the teaching material for senior high school students that was reportedly being circulated in Marinduque province.
It was supposedly written during the Duterte administration and produced by the DepEd regional office in Calabarzon.
“The continued existence of school material that one-sidedly framed the martial law period as a ‘new society’ is a blatant failure of our education authority to ensure the truthful, factual and complete historical narration of the Marcos dictatorship and instead enables its propaganda,” Hontiveros said.
Sara denies re-branding Martial Law
Meanwhile, DepEd secretary Sara Duterte denied the allegation that her Department is attempting to rebrand martial law as she claimed that terms Martial Law and New Society are ‘historically accurate’ and was only taken into a different context and is not ‘rebranding’ Martial law.
But, like Sen. Hontiveros, other lawmakers and a teacher’s group did not buy Duterte’s explanation.
Albay Representative Edcel Lagman aired the same sentiment over the alleged rebranding.
Also, another House member expressed her concern over the controversial module.
According to Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Party-list Rep. France Castor, “Martial law is the right term. Corrections should be made on the modules.”
For Vladimir Quetua, ACT national president, he said in the “Spirit of truth telling as is the mission of education, we should call the martial law period, martial law and not by any other name”
According to Amnesty International, during martial law, 70,000 people were arrested, 34,000 others were tortured, while 3,240 were killed by the military and police.