Historian slams red-tagging of children’s book publisher

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 18 2022 04:35 PM

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MANILA – A historian slammed the red-tagging of publishing company Adarna House after it offered a 20-percent discounts on children’s books about martial law. 

De La Salle University professor and historian Michael Charleston “Xiao” Chua denied that children’s books on martial law teach Filipinos to go against the government.

His comments come after National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) head Alex Monteagudo claimed on Facebook that Adarna House is publishing and selling books that "subtly radicalize the Filipino children against our government."

“These are things that you actually teach children when you go to Araling Panlipunan, to make people realize, to make the kids realize that, you know, the world is not fair, and your mission in the world is to make it a better place for other people who are abused, or you have a preferential option for the poor,” Chua told ANC’s “Rundown.”

“There’s nothing in the books, as I read them, that tells you to arm yourself, go to the mountains, and fight the government.”

“The only thing that it says is, as far as if the government is wrong, you say something about it,” he added.

Chua also disagreed with the comment of Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy on Monteagudo’s post, where she said that the books “are planting hate and lies in the tender hearts of our children.”

“I hope that she doesn’t think that I’m quarreling with her but, you know, these are things that happened in the past, this is history. The First Quarter Storm happened. There were actually abductions that happened even before martial law, there were desaperacidos and human rights violations even before martial law.”

“So, these things happened. The protests happened. If there were placards against Marcos in the story it was because it was set in the time of Marcos,” he explained.

“It doesn’t sow hatred; it’s just giving you a sense of the situation,” Chua added.

The spotlight on Martial Law books came amid the impending victory of Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. -- son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos -- in the 2022 presidential elections, based on partial and unofficial tallies.

It's been nearly 50 years since the elder Marcos declared Martial Law, which was marked by rampant corruption and human rights abuses.

--ANC, 18 May 2022