Today is the 33rd death anniversary of the late Senator and Martial law-era opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr. In previous years, various activities were held to commemorate his fight for the restoration of Philippine democracy. This time, the public seems to be more preoccupied with the debate about whether his political nemesis, former President Ferdinand Marcos deserves a burial at the National Heroes Cemetery.
In a survey published by the Social Weather Station last March, 59% of 1800 respondents agreed that Marcos deserved to be buried with official honors. This survey, viewed in the context of the fact that the dictator’s son and namesake Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. won the vice presidency last May seems to suggest that the days when the Marcos family used to be universally reviled are long gone.
Hence, there are those who claim that many Filipinos particularly the youth are miseducated about the horrors of the 1970s and 1980s. Here are my thoughts:
First, most of the present generation were told over and over again that Marcos and the Martial Law are two things that were particularly horrible for the Philippines. Based on many evidences, that is true (e.g. corruption of billions of pesos, human rights violations, economic mismanagement, etc.).
However, there’s a notable lack of discussion on the few good things that happened during that time. So therefore, when millenials were eventually told about Marcos‘ accomplishments, they feel as if they’ve experienced an epiphany of sorts (they’re like, “Sh*t! Everything I was told about Marcos is wrong!”).
A better approach to teaching about the Marcos years is to mention his achievements like the infrastructure projects, etc. and then emphasize the damage he really did to the country. That will help the youth have a more complete perspective on what really happened at that time.
Many claim that the youth are miseducated about the horrors of Martial Law and Marcos years. Here are my thoughts: pic.twitter.com/K9Hi9MCBb8
— Mark Madrona #DefendPressFreedom (@FilipinoScribe) May 14, 2016