MANILA— There must be historical clarification following the Marcoses' attempt to revise the past, a journalism professor said Tuesday, as the nation marked 49 years since the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos' declaration of martial law.
The Filipino people cannot just move on from atrocities committed under the Marcos dictatorship, said Danilo Arao, professor of journalism at the University of the Philippines.
"'Pag sinabi nating dapat mag-move on na, parang sinabi nating dapat kalimutan na ang nakaraan, kumbaga sa wikang Ingles, 'Let bygones be bygones.' 'Di ho uubra 'yun sa sitwasyon na maraming pinatay at tinorture, 'yung media pinasara," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(When we say just move on, it's like saying forget the past or in English, 'Let bygones be bygones.' It won't work in a situation where many were killed and the media was shut down.)
"No amount of fake news would dispel the fact na meron pong kinulong at pinatay na mga peryodista at aktibista nung panahong 'yun (that journalists and activists were detained and killed during that time)."
The Marcoses should return ill-gotten wealth they accumulated under martial rule instead of attempting to return to Malacañang, Arao said.
The dictator's namesake son, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, is eyeing to run in next year's elections. His daughter Imee Marcos, meanwhile, won a Senate seat in 2019.
"As far as he is concerned, sa halip na tumakbo para sa higher position at bumalik sa Malacañang, dapat ibalik nila ang mga ninakaw na yaman sa sambayanan at i-acknowledge ang kanilang kasalanan," he said.
(As far as he is concerned, instead of seeking a highter position and rteurn to Malacañang, they should return the wealth they stole from the public and acknowledge their sins.)
The Marcos siblings would have to own up to human rights violations and other issues under their father's military rule in order to move forward, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno said.
Diokno is the son of former senator Jose Diokno who was arrested without legal charges following the martial rule declaration in September 1972.
"I cannot speak for them and that’s really their choice but from my own perspective they would have to really say and admit there were human rights violations, there was plunder, all these issues we know happened during the Marcos dictatorship," he said.
Arao said education authorities must also be held accountable for historical revisionism on martial law.
"Some of them are even enablers of the current administration as well as the past dictatorship. Kaya dapat magkaroon ng (That's why we need) historical clarification," he said.