Hontiveros: Declare Sept as ‘nat’l truth-telling month’ on Martial Law

KD Suarez
Hontiveros: Declare Sept as ‘nat’l truth-telling month’ on Martial Law
'Huwag natin hayaan na pagnakawan tayong muli ng mga Marcoses. Huwag natin payagan na nakawin nila ang ating kasaysayan at katotohanan' says the senator

MANILA, Philippines – Two days before the 44th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law, neophyte Senator Risa Hontiveros filed a joint resolution urging the government to declare September as a time for “national truth-telling” involving the dictatorship.

Senate Joint Resolution Number 4 urges all schools to conduct month-long educational activities to educate the youth on what transpired during Martial Law, which former President Ferdinand Marcos declared on September 21, 1972. (READ: Women victims tell SC of Martial Law torture)

The proposal, she said, is consistent with Republic Act Number 10368 or the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013, which authorizes the mandatory teaching of Martial Law history at all levels of education.

“Huwag natin hayaan na pagnakawan tayong muli ng mga Marcoses. Huwag natin payagan na nakawin nila ang ating kasaysayan at katotohanan,” Hontiveros said.

(We must not allow the Marcoses to steal from us again. We must not allow them to rob us of our history and the truth.)

Akbayan Representative Tom Villarin, Hontiveros’ party mate, authored the counterpart measure in the House of Representatives.

In filing the measure, Hontiveros said there is a need for the public to honor the victims and reflect on how and why the military rule flourished in the country. 

“Given its significance to the country’s history, there is a need to not only acknowledge, honor, and commemorate the victims of martial law, but to pause, as well, for reflection upon the social, economic, and political conditions that allowed a dictatorship to take root and flourish in the Philippines,” Hontiveros said.

“Lastly, [to] work towards genuine reconciliation as a means of repairing the lingering divisions caused by fourteen years of authoritarian rule on our society, institutions, and people,” the senator added.

Why only now?

Asked why she filed the resolution only now, Hontiveros enumerated 3 incidents that triggered the sense of urgency.

First, she said, was the realization that the government has yet to fully implement the teaching of Martial Law history in schools 3 years after the law was passed.

The other instances, she said, are the planned hero’s burial for the former president and the Official Gazette post, which supposedly espoused a revised and cleaner version of history.

“Of course siguradong marami nakapansin sa post ng Official Gazette noong kaarawan ng dating pangulo, na tila iba ang nagiging official history sa batas military at pati sa EDSA People Power,” she said.

(Of course I know there are many people who noticed the post of the Official Gazette during the birthday of the former president, wherein the official history of Martial Law and the EDSA People Power were changed.)

As for the mercy asked by Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos during the 99th birthday celebration of the Marcos patriarch, Hontiveros said forgiveness demands justice.

“Naniniwala ako sa pagpatawad sa kapwa tao, pero ‘yung totoong reconciliation ay kambal din ng hustistya. Bago ‘yung pagpapatawad, dapat makumpleto ‘yung 3 A’s: acknowledgment, apology, and amends,” she said.

(I believe in forgiving people but true reconciliation is the twin of justice. Before one forgives, there should be 3 A’s first: acknowledgment, apology, and amends.) – Rappler.com

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