Ateneo faculty takes stand vs historical revisionism of martial law

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 02 2016 06:11 PM | Updated as of Mar 10 2016 10:07 AM

Members of the Ateneo de Manila University faculty, (from left to right) Melai Abao, Dr. Marita Guevarra, Dr. Bobby Guevarra, Dr. Lou Melegrito, Dr. Benjamin Tolosa, Atty. Jimmy Hofileña, Percy Chavez, Dr. James Simpas and Rene San Andres, express opposition to the historical revisionism of the martial law era. Photo from the website of Ateneo de Manila University

MANILA - Over 400 faculty members and formators of the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) have taken a stand against the historical revisionism of the martial law era, saying they will continue to share the stories of human rights atrocities committed during that period.

"We vow as teachers and formators to continue to tell the stories of the brutality and corruption of the Marcos family, regime, and closest allies," their statement read.

"For as long as we remember and share these stories, we believe that future generations of Filipinos will learn the lessons of the years of struggle leading to the overthrow of the dictatorship during those historic days of the People Power Revolution in 1986," they added.

Life under Marcos: A fact-check

The faculty members and formators issued the statement after the late dictator's son and namesake, vice presidential aspirant Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., said that it would be better if historians will be the ones to tell the people what really happened during the martial law period.

"Let historians tell us. You are asking his son. Whatever I'll say is biased. Hayaan natin ang mga propesor na magsabi," the younger Marcos had said.

READ: Bongbong admits bias on martial law: Let historians speak

The Ateneo faculty called on all politicians, especially those running for office in the May 9 elections, to take a firm stand on the abuses committed by the Marcos regime.

They said individuals who defied the regime were "intimidated, imprisoned, kidnapped, tortured, or summarily executed."

They added that the government should continue its fight in repossessing the ill-gotten wealth amassed by the Marcos family and their cronies.

"The fullness of democratization, especially the creation of a social order which respects the dignity of all Filipinos, has yet to be achieved. It is our responsibility now as a people to continue and complete this unfinished struggle," they said.

READ: EDSA veteran tells Bongbong: Stop justifying Martial Law

LIFE UNDER MARCOS

The Marcos family has long been dogged by accusations the dictator oversaw massive human rights abuses and plundered billions of dollars from state coffers until a famous "people power" revolt toppled him from power in 1986.

Human rights groups say tens of thousands endured torture and imprisonment during the elder Marcos's 20-year rule, and the government estimates the family plundered $10 billion from state coffers.

'Marcos rule not the golden age'

The government estimates Marcos and his family stole $10 billion from the already desperately-poor country during his rule.

But after the Marcos patriarch died in exile in Hawaii in 1989, the family returned to the country in 1991 and began a successful political comeback, culminating in Bongbong Marcos getting elected to the Senate in 2010.

The younger Marcos has been criticized for refusing to apologize for the injustices committed during his father's dictatorship.

READ: Bongbong on Marcos era: What am I to say sorry for?

The 58-year-old, an incumbent senator, denies his family stole from government coffers and insists his father's rule was one of peace and progress.

Victory in the elections will cement a remarkable political comeback for the Marcos family, who held mostly local positions in their home provinces until Bongbong won a seat in the Senate in 2010.

The family's flamboyant matriarch, former first lady Imelda Marcos -- who was famously found to have amassed hundreds of pairs of shoes while her husband was in power -- has made no secret of her desire for her son to become president.

Marcos Jnr is trumpeting his father's infrastructure achievements to a young electorate that has no first-hand experience of the brutality of martial law. With Agence France-Presse

PANOORIN: Paano ang pamumuhay noong Martial Law?