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CARMMA condemns DepEd’s whitewashing of Marcos dictatorship in Matatag curriculum

A press statement by the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law (CARMMA)
September 11, 2023

Allow us to reiterate a basic historical fact: the two-decade rule of President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. is a dictatorship. The culpability of the crimes against the Filipino people during that dark and bloody period in our history rests primarily on the Marcoses.

We at the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law flag and condemn in the strongest possible terms the Department of Education’s shameless scheme to whitewash and distort our history with its September 6, 2023 memo to change “Diktadurang Marcos” to “Diktadura” in the Grade 6 Araling Panlipunan curriculum of the newly-launched Matatag curriculum.

It is now undeniable that historical distortion and mass disinformation are being raised to the institutional level. The Marcos Jr. administration is no longer hiding behind its army of online trolls and spin doctors; education is now miseducation. Semantically divorcing the Marcoses from the term “dictatorship” – in a curriculum, no less – is obviously a calculated and sinister plot to absolve the Marcoses of their brutalities during their despotic rule, especially among our youth.

Who is ultimately responsible for the murders, torture, illegal incarceration, and disappearances of thousands of activists, among them youth leaders, during martial law? Who signed the orders to dissolve Congress and for the military to take over media outlets 50 years ago on September 21, 1972? Who ultimately benefitted from the plunder of our nation’s coffers, burdening Filipinos with debt that will be paid by generations to come? The answer to these questions are simple: the Marcoses.

Hence, the compound term “Marcos dictatorship” is different from merely calling the period a “dictatorship” alone. How would the people and particularly the children know who was responsible for the plunder and atrocities of martial law if Marcos is not named? He cannot be Voldemort, he who must not be named! The Marcos dictatorship is a truth that cannot be and should not be denied. It is a truth as well that the people rose in defiance against the Marcos dictatorship that eventually led to their overthrow in the 1986 People Power uprising.

This brazen assault on truth at the cultural level goes hand-in-hand and with the huge so-called confidential and intelligence funds being greedily gobbled up by Department of Education Secretary and Vice President Sara Duterte – the spending of which, cannot be scrutinized publicly, and will most likely be for surveilling, harassing, and threatening educators and students who will defy this directive to distort history.

We call on all freedom-loving Filipinos, especially our teachers and students to denounce this deplorable ploy by the Department of Education to distort history and miseducate the youth. We enjoin all to continue holding the Marcoses and their cronies and allies accountable for their crimes against the Filipino people. Remembering is resistance, and we will never forget.