Press Release
September 19, 2018


"In the age of fake news and historical revisionism, one should be able to rely on our education system to equip our students with correct information and critical thinking skills."

This was the statement issued by Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros regarding history textbooks that gloss over and sanitize the dark years of Martial Law.

During the Senate's hearing of the Department of Education's (DepEd) proposed 2019 budget, Hontiveros asked Education Secretary Briones the status of the review of the said textbooks.

"Have these textbooks been pulled out from our schools and replaced? Is there an approved set of textbooks that factually, truthfully and completely narrate the Marcos dictatorship?" Hontiveros asked.

Hontiveros said that her office discovered two textbooks currently being used in schools that whitewash the atrocities committed during the Martial Law years. The Senator mentioned the book "Pilipinas: Bansang Papaunlad" that narrates Philippine history but ends in 1946. It says nothing about the Marcos dictatorship. It is currently being used in a public school in Bulacan.

Meanwhile, the book "MAKABAYAN: Kasaysayang Pilipino" provided a lengthy narrative on the merits of the Marcos dictatorship. The book is reportedly being used in Valenzuela City public schools.

Hontiveros also asked the DepEd the status of the implentation of the mandatory teaching of Martial Law atrocities in different levels of education as mandated by the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013.

She expressed her hope that the mandatory and truthful teaching of Martial Law will help educate the youth of the democratic values and practices the nation adheres to and experiences today in contrast to the oppressive social order installed by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

"The Department of Education plays a big role in developing our children to become critical thinkers and truthtellers. Miseducation is a mortal misstep, especially in matters concerning civic education because it has dire implications for our political and democratic life," Hontiveros concluded.

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