‘Feb. 25 shouldn’t be just a holiday to be enjoyed’

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

THE Martial Law regime should be discussed extensively in history textbooks so those born after 1986 will know what triggered the People Power Revolution, commonly known as the Edsa Revolution.

So is the suggestion of University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman political science professor Amado Mendoza Jr., who lamented that some students born after 1986 do not have comprehensive knowledge about the injustices committed during the administration of former president Ferdinand Marcos.

The non-violent uprising toppled the Marcos regime on Feb. 25, 1986.


“If we read our textbooks today, it’s as if Marcos wasn’t ousted from power,” said Mendoza.

Mendoza said that what he sees instead is “national political rehabilitation of the Marcoses” after the election of Marcos’ son, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. as senator.

Marcos held power for almost 21 years after declaring Martial Law on Sept. 21, 1972.

As a way of commemorating the 28th anniversary of the Edsa Revolution this Tuesday, the UP Cebu Political Science Society organized a forum yesterday.

Mendoza was the main speaker. UP Cebu’s professors Dr. Rhodora Bucoy and Phoebe Zoe Ma. Sanchez, and political science student James Michael Uaminal also shared their views.


Mendoza, Bucoy, and Sanchez, who were student activists during the Marcos years, shared their brutal experiences to the students.

For his part, Uaminal said he never read about extra-judicial killings and the student struggle in his history textbooks when he was still in elementary.

The book, he said, was shared with his seatmate.

He also said that the youth should reflect on the significance of People Power Revolution.

“It is not just a holiday to be cherished by students,” he said.

In 2012, a bill was filed in the House of Representatives that seeks to heighten students’ awareness of Philippine history, especially during the Martial Law period.

House Resolution 2608 urges the “National Historical Institute, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Education, Commission on Human Rights (CHR), and the National Youth Commission to immediately convene a task force that will draft the guidelines for teaching the atrocities committed during Martial Law.”

CHR, in a statement posted in its website, supports the bill for “it serves as a timely reminder to us all that there is a strong and urgent need to educate the people, especially our youth, about what actually happened during those dark years of our history.”

CHR Chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales said that during Martial Law, there was widespread and massive human rights violations, corruption and economic plunder and assault on the democratic institutions, economy and democracy.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 22, 2014.

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