K-12 book: Martial Law implemented to ‘uplift lives’

Mar. 02, 2016

TAGUM CITY — Historical amnesia.

This was how a youth group on Wednesday, March 2 described a textbook that contains “misinformation” about the Martial Law period under the regime of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, urging authorities to probe and recall the erroneous academic material.

Vencer Crisostomo, national chair of Anakbayan, called on President Benigno Aquino II to investigate and recall the book “Lakbay ng Lahing Pilipino 5” authored by Ailene Julian-Baisa, Nestor Lontoc, Emily Marasigan, Heiden Anorico, and Maria Mignon Artuz.

In a statement, Crisostomo enumerated items from the book which they said “propagate lies and half truths about the Marcos dictatorship and Martial Law in general.”

‘Martial Law implemented to uplift lives’

A lesson from the book about Martial Law stated that Marcos’ programs were implemented in order to uplift the lives of the people.

“It is undeniable that the programs of Marcos, like other programs of other presidents of the Third Republic are centered on achieving economic growth. The first term of Marcos is distinct. For the first time since 1870, the Philippines was able to harvest more than the country needed, so surplus were sold to other nations,” an excerpt of the book, written in Filipino, reads.

Anakbayan hit the Department of Education (DepEd) for allowing the erroneous textbook to be used in the Basic Education Curriculum (BEC) which, he said, contains historical untruths about Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship.

“BS Aquino, to gain political points, hypocritically assailed Marcos and Martial Law, but his own DepEd is to blame for the lies,” said Crisostomo.

Book used in schools since 2009

DavaoToday checked the textbook, and discovered that the book was first published in 2009, a year before Aquino took office.

The book is part of the learning materials under the BEC, it was learned.

“No wonder some easily believe the outright lies peddled by the Marcos camp to support Bongbong’s candidacy,” said Crisostomo.

He branded the book as “misleading” as it fails to include pressing issues such as the “trampling of human rights, civil liberties and systemic corruption” under Marcos’ fascist regime.

The book also claims that the series of floods and typhoons that affected agricultural harvests resulted to increasing hardships and chaos among the people which led to protest rallies and rebel movements as the reasons for the declaration of Martial Law.

“…in the following years, the yields decreased due to successive floods and typhoons that hit the country. As a result, Marcos’ second term was faced with many problems. Trouble was spreading throughout the country. Marcos believed that the country’s problems could not be solved, that’s why he needed to use absolute powers,” a portion of the book’s introductory lesson on the Martial Law reads.

Probe needed

Crisostomo called on the Aquino government to take a look into this issue, as they believe that it is not the only book that may contain “misinformation” regarding the dictatorship era from 1966 to 1986.

“The textbook’s narrative dress up dictatorial rule as a benevolent deed done to solve the nation’s ills, saying this completely negates the history of untold abuses caused by the concentration of economic and political power in one man,” he said. (davaotoday.com)

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