Youth group to conduct national truth campaign to remind people of Marcos atrocities

September 21, 2011

Coinciding with this year’s anniversary of the declaration of martial law, which ushered the Marcos dictatorship, Akbayan youth today, announced that it would launch a one-year national education and truth campaign in the run-up to the 40th anniversary of martial law in September of next year.
The youth group said the campaign aims to contest major attempts to grossly distort historical truths in order to paint the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in a good light.

Akbayan Youth Chairperson Leloy Claudio said his group would not allow any attempt to revise history to paint the dictator in a good light. “We owe it to the past generations who suffered under martial law. We will not let Marcos’ crimes be whitewashed with spins and outright lies.”

Claudio said starting this month, Akbayan youth would conduct nationwide lectures and forums about the dictatorship.

“We will focus on local histories of martial law and show that the dictator oppressed Filipinos across the Philippines,” Claudio said, who is also a History PhD candidate and a political science instructor at the Ateneo de Manila University.

Some of the target schools are University of the Philippines, Ateneo De Manila University, Philippine Normal University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Central Luzon State University, Cebu Technological University, Bicol University, Mindanao State University, Ateneo De Davao University and West Mindanao State University.

Claudio also called on the government to make mandatory the teaching of martial law history in schools and universities.

“Even as we do our own contribution in defending the truth, we urge the government to make mandatory the accurate teaching of the history of the Marcos dictatorship in schools all over the country. We must never forget,” Claudio added.

Akbayan youth also supported a resolution filed today by Representatives Walden Bello and Kaka Bag-ao calling on Congress to declare the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos as an “enemy of democracy.”

The youth group described the resolution as a concrete way to end any attempt to exonerate Marcos’ brutal legacy and serve as the first step towards correcting historical errors perpetuated by Marcos supporters and cronies.

“Loyalists of the Marcos family have continually fed the youth with lies about President Marcos. We are in the middle of a struggle for collective memory. Representatives Bello and Bag-ao’s proposed resolution represents the voice of truth,” declared Claudio.

Claudio also urged other congressional representatives to show a resolute stand against tyranny and sign the resolution. He said instead of acting as if they are suffering from selective amnesia, lawmakers should be circumspect of history considering that many of them were relatives if not victims of Martial Law.

“Our legislators owe the youth an honest assessment of the past. There were 3,257 victims of extra-judicial killings, 35,000 tortured, and 70,000 incarcerated during the Marcos regime, in fact, many of them were relatives of those victims. This was a brutal military dictatorship by any standard,” Claudio said.

House Resolution No. 1756 authored by Akbayan Representatives Walden Bello and Kaka Bag-ao called on Congress to condemn the atrocities committed by the late strongman. It also called on Congress to “strongly oppose” the revival of any proposal that would portray Marcos as a hero. ###

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