Marcos Jr. administration

Educators slam DepEd’s plan to change ‘Diktadurang Marcos’ in new curriculum

Jairo Bolledo

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Educators slam DepEd’s plan to change ‘Diktadurang Marcos’ in new curriculum

SCHOOl. In this file photo, additional electric fans are placed inside classrooms at the Rafael Palma Elementary School in Manila, to ease extreme heat experienced by students during summer months, on April 24, 2023.


'This revision by the DepEd is a clear strategy of the current administration to rehabilitate the dark history of the Marcos family,' the Congress of Teachers/ Educators for Nationalism and Democracy says

MANILA, Philippines – A group of educators slammed the Department of Education’s (DepEd) move in the new curriculum that they said will “distort history.”

In a statement, the Congress of Teachers/ Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND), condemned the DepEd’s move to change the term “Diktadurang Marcos” to “Diktadura” in the grade 6 Araling Panlipunan curriculum of the new Matatag curriculum. Removing the name of the tyrant will “distort history by downplaying the image of Ferdinand E. Marcos as dictator,” the educators said.

The group said the plan was included in a memorandum dated September 6. The CONTEND explained the relevance of the phrase “Diktadurang Marcos,” saying the term is used in the curriculum [that] explicitly denotes that this period in contemporary Philippine history was an authoritarian rule by Marcos.”

“This revision by the DepEd is a clear strategy of the current administration to rehabilitate the dark history of the Marcos family. It is also a blatant example of disinformation, where the people are deliberately misled by manipulating historical facts,” the group said.

“We call on our fellow educators to reject this atrocious move by the DepEd and seek transparency in important matters such as curricular revisions. We also demand accountability from VP (Vice President) Sara Duterte who, on top of her relentless red-tagging spree, has been an instrument of the Marcoses in state-sponsored historical distortions,” it added.

On one hand, the educators group also noted that there is no empirical data that will support the DepEd’s latest move. On the other hand, the CONTEND said a “plethora of historical evidence” justify the categorization of the years 1972 to 1986 as the period of Marcos’ tyranny. This includes:

  • Reports produced by human rights group Amnesty International from its missions to the country between 1975 and 1981 documented cases of torture in several camps of the military. According to records, there were 3,257 victims of extrajudicial killings, 35,000 cases of torture, and 70,000 people arrested.
  • The dictator’s letter of instruction no. 1 ordered the closure of private media outlets.
  • The Marcoses also plundered the nation’s coffers. The Presidential Commission on Good Government, tasked to recover the family’s ill-gotten wealth, retrieved P172.2 billion, as of 2021.

The DepEd is currently headed by Vice President Duterte, the running mate of incumbent President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. during the 2022 national elections. The younger Duterte is the daughter of former president Rodrigo Duterte, while Marcos Jr. is the son of ousted dictator.

Under the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte, the late dictator was allowed to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, despite heavy criticisms from Martial Law survivors and human rights groups.

Meanwhile, under Vice President Duterte, the education agency faced several controversies. The younger Duterte traded barbs with progressive group the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, as she accused them of being a “lover of the useless ideologies” by insurgent groups.

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Concerns were also raised after a Commission on Audit report showed that the vice president’s office spent P125 million in confidential funds for 2022. Duterte spent the said amount even though there was no provision for a line item on confidential funds in the 2022 approved budget for the Office of the Vice President (OVP).

For 2024, Duterte is set to receive a total of P650 million in confidential and intelligence funds: P150 million for DepEd, and P500 million for the OVP. –

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  1. RS

    Why is the Vice President the head of Depart of Education as well? Instead of advisor, governing partner, and representative of the president? What happened to the Separation of Power by dividing the state government into separate, independent powers and responsiblites, so that they are NOT in conflict? The intense interest of a VP being head of DepEd and her revisionst actions points to an agenda, that is NOT in the interest of the people but by a select few intent on whitewashing their sullied name!

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Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering justice, police, and crime.