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Teachers, elders urged to tell the truth about martial law to young people


 

The following were present at the open forum after the showing of documentary, The Kingmaker, from L to R Ronald Holmes, Marian Pastor-Roces, May Rodriguez, and panel discussion moderator Atom Araullo. PHOTO BY ANGELICA Y. YANG
The following were present at the open forum after the showing of documentary, The Kingmaker, from L to R Ronald Holmes, Marian Pastor-Roces, May Rodriguez, and panel discussion moderator Atom Araullo. PHOTO BY ANGELICA Y. YANG

Teachers and elders should recount what transpired during the Martial Law regime to the younger generation, according to an activist and a professor who spoke at a panel discussion after the showing of a documentary on Wednesday afternoon.

"The Kingmaker", a documentary produced by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Lauren Greenfield, presented disturbing versions of the truth about the Marcos family's rise to power while focusing on the narrative of clan matriarch Imelda Marcos.

The documentary was screened at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

"We must look at our teachers. Kasi 'yung teachers natin ngayon, tinuruan iyan ng mga teachers ng nauna. Those teachers learned that to survive in the system, [they] had to be able to accept censorship," said activist and Martial Law survivor May Rodriguez.

"Kinailangan nilang lamunin, kahit alam nila kasinungalingan, they had to say, "This was a good administration, that the violence was needed against the people," she added.

Rodriguez, who was featured in the documentary, explained that if teachers still thought that way, their sentiments would be integrated into their students.

Without bold teachers, children would forget about that part of history, she said.

In one part of the documentary, Greenfield and Rodriguez visited a school where the teacher asked her students what they knew about Martial Law.

Many of them believed that Martial Law greatly benefited the country, as everyone was disciplined and things were orderly, among other reasons.

Political science professor Ronald Holmes agreed with Rodriguez, but he said that those from the older generation who witnessed the Martial Law days should pass on their stories to their children.

Holmes cited a survey showing that people from the older age groups support Vice Presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos during the 2016 elections.

He said that he was surprised because the people from those age groups lived through the Marcos era, and yet they decided to support the late dictator's son.

"I'm pointing to other people who might, from the histor[ical] perspective, pass along information- oral history- to the younger generation. They would say, "Buti sa panahon ni Marcos, hindi ganitong traffic. Buti pa panahon ni Marcos, ang ganda ng kalsada," Holmes said.

"And those things get embedded in the minds of the young, not from their teachers, but from us," he added.

Holmes, who watched the documentary earlier, noted that this "authoritarian nostalgia" was not only happening in the Philippines, but also in other parts of Southeast Asia. — BAP, GMA News

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