FIGHTING REVISIONISM: The Department of Education on Thursday vowed to educate the youth on the martial law period amid alleged moves to distort history.
In a statement, the DepEd said curriculum guides for Grades 5 and 6 Araling Panlipunan under the K to 12 program have been designed to allow for more in-depth and enriched discussion on Philippine history, which will include the Martial Law period.
The department noted that the so-called K to 12 Araling Panlipunan textbook, which was published in 2009, is not a DepEd-issued textbook and is being used by private schools.
"It must be noted that private schools have their own screening and selection processes in choosing which textbooks they will acquire and use," it said.
It added: "DepEd remains committed in highlighting the importance of learning the lessons of history and preserving the gains of democracy."
"We shall continue to enable our learners to remember and understand the country’s history and the impact of Martial Law to the lives of Filipinos today. The Department shall continue to deepen the discussion on this significant historical event. We remain faithful to our commitment to promote critical thinking among Filipino learners; we encourage them to examine and rediscover the importance of this historical marker in bringing Filipinos together to build a nation everyone deserves."
Life under Marcos: A fact-check
Last week, President Aquino lashed out against vice-presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. for denying the abuses committed during the dictatorship of his father, saying it indicated the willingness of the son to follow in the footsteps of his father.
(READ: PNoy campaigns against Bongbong in People Power speech)
Malacañang also criticized attempts of quarters loyal to the Marcoses of twisting the truth with regard to the two-decade rule of Ferdinand Marcos, saying facts and figures tell that the Philippines was in bad shape during the Martial Law era.
Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office said the 75,730 persons who have filed claims before the Human Rights Victims' Claims Board alone would show the extent of suffering many Filipinos had to go through under the Marcos regime.
Citing various sources, he said that during the Marcos era, about 70,000 people were detained for being enemies of the state, and that 398 disappeared between 1965 and 1986.
He added that between 1976 and 1978, about 34,000 people were tortured emotionally, physically and sexually.
READ: Palace cites Marcos era facts in fight vs historical 'revisionism'
Quezon said the Philippine economy also took a hit during the Marcos era, with the national government debt ballooning from P2.4 billion in 1965 to P192.2 billion by 1985.
He said with the national government debt standing at P395.51 billion at the end of 1986, 58.63 percent of the country's gross domestic product had to be set aside for debt servicing.
Quezon said so far, the Presidential Commission on Good Government has recovered P170.44 billion in ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses.
Over 400 faculty members and formators of Ateneo de Manila University also said they will continue to share the stories of human rights atrocities committed during the martial law period, particularly the "stories of brutality and corruption of the Marcos family, regime and closest allies."
"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 said.
READ: Ateneo faculty takes stand vs historical revisionism of martial law
The younger Marcos, meanwhile, said everything he has said about history during his father's time is the truth.
"When did we distort history? Wala naman kaming sinasabing hindi totoo," Marcos said in an ambush interview during his campaign sortie in Biñan, Laguna Thursday.
READ: Bongbong: When did we distort history?
He earlier said that during his father's time, the Philippine government was fighting a war on two fronts - the secessionist movement in the south and the communist uprising in the countryside.
Asked about the reported torture of activists and political enemies during martial law, he said: "Yung mga nangyayari sa gera, yun ang nangyari. Kung hindi tayo ginera, hindi sana nangyari yun."
Marcos was also asked if he is willing to apologize on behalf of his father and family.
He replied: ''Wala sa kamay ko na magbigay ng closure na sinasabi ko. It is not within my power, it is not within my means to do that.
Bongbong on Marcos era: What am I to say sorry for?