Two days before the country commemorates the declaration of Martial Law, Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros filed a joint resolution calling on the government to declare the month of September of every year as a time for national truth-telling, reflection, and reconciliation.
Hontiveros, who was joined by student council leaders from Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), University of the Philippines (UP), De La Salle University (DLSU) and Adamson University, said that there is a strong need to tell the truth about Martial Law and protect the country's history from revisionists who want to paint a rosy picture of the dictatorship and absolve the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos of his crimes against the people.
"Don't let Marcoses steal again"
"Huwag natin hayaan na pagnakawan tayong muli ng mga Marcoses. Huwag natin payagan na nakawin nila ang ating kasaysayan at katotohanan," Hontiveros said.
("We must not allow the Marcoses to steal from us again. We must not allow them to rob us of our truth and sense of history.")
Hontiveros' resolution, whose counterpart in the House of Representatives is authored by Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin, urges all schools and other educational institutions to conduct month-long educational activities to commemorate the declaration of Martial Law and educate the youth of the democratic values and practices the nation adheres to and experiences today in contrast to the dictatorial regime installed by Marcos more than 40 years ago.
The first-term Senator explained that her proposal for a "truth-telling month" is consistent with the provision of Republic Act No. 10368 or the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013, which authorizes the government to implement the mandatory teaching of Martial Law history at all levels of education. She however lamented that three years have already passed since the passage of the law, the government's educational institutions have not yet included the teaching of Martial Law history in the basic, secondary, and tertiary education.
Hontiveros also renewed her opposition to the government's plan to bury the remains of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. She said the proposal is "the ultimate act of airbrushing history in favor of the Marcoses."
"I call on the Duterte administration to implement the mandatory teaching of Martial Law history to students as provided for by RA 10368 and abandon its plan to give Marcos a hero's burial," Hontiveros said.