Filtered By: Topstories

DepEd exec confirms memo on removal of 'Diktadurang Marcos'

The Department of Education (DepEd) has confirmed the existence of a circulating memo in social media which directed the change of “Diktadurang Marcos” to just “diktadura” found in the Grade 6 Araling Panlipunan curriculum.

"I confirm that indeed there was a letter that was sent to the Office of Undersecretary for Curriculum and Teaching. This was made by our Bureau of Curriculum Development (BCD) specialist. This was submitted to my office and forwarded to the Office of Undersecretary for Curriculum and Teaching," DepEd Bureau of Curriculum and Teaching director Joyce Andaya said in a news conference.

"That's part of our internal processes. Our BCD specialist can really express themselves, and we respect their stand on curricular issues," she added.

Andaya, however, clarified that the memo will still undergo the vetting process during the pilot implementation of the revised K-10 curriculum this year.

She explained that the curriculum review process is "iterative." DepEd has yet to come up with a consensus on what should appear in the final curriculum document which will be uploaded in its official website.

“Meron pa rin tayong pagkakataon na tingnan ulit ang curriculum ng ating mga nag-aaral, ng ating mga guro, at ng iba nating kasamahan sa education sector at kung merong mga changes or mga comments tungkol dito, susuriin po ulit natin,” she said.

(We still have the opportunity to review the curriculum by our students, our teachers, and our other stakeholders in the education sector and if there are changes or comments about it, we will review it again.)

Andaya said the BCD merely wanted to organize the curriculum guide, and it would still touch topics regarding the martial law period, particularly the dictatorship of former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

She also refuted claims that there was an intention for historical revisionism or whitewashing the truth that happened during martial law era.

“Ang pagu-usapan dito ay deklarasyon ng batas militar, pagpapatupad ng diktadura, epekto ng diktadura, pagkawala ng mga institusyong demokratiko, malayang lehislatura, paghina ng ekonomiya, paglabag sa karapatang pantao, ill gotten wealth, paglaban sa diktadura, mga kilos laban sa diktadura, at pagpaslang kay Ninoy Aquino,” she said.

(What will be discussed here are declaration of martial law, implementation of dictatorship, effects of dictatorship, loss of democratic institutions, free legislature, decline of the economy, violation of human rights, ill gotten wealth, resistance to dictatorship, actions against dictatorship, and the assassination of Ninoy Aquino.)

“Hindi maaring hindi banggaitin ang pangalang Ferdinand Marcos Sr. sa pagtalakay ng paksa ukol sa diktadura,” she added.

(The name Ferdinand Marcos Sr. cannot be ignored in the discussion of dictatorship.)

No political pressure

There is no political pressure from the current administration to recommend the removal of the name “Marcos” from the “diktadurang Marcos” in the Araling Panlipunan subject under the revised K-10 curriculum, the Education executive said.

Andaya stressed that the move to change such nomenclature was “purely an academic discussion.”

“Wala pong pressure na kahit na ano na binigay sa amin para tignang muli ang curriculum. Ito ay isang proseso na aming pinapatupad dito sa Curriculum and Teaching strand. It is an academic discourse that we always observe and follow as we review and revise the curriculum,” she said.

(There was no pressure whatsoever given to us to revise the curriculum. This is a process we are implementing here in the Curriculum and Teaching strand.)

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and  Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND) over the weekend denounced such a move to remove Marcos’ name from the term “Diktadurang Marcos.”

Vice President Sara Duterte, who sits as the current Education secretary, was the running mate of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. during the 2022 elections.

Duterte earlier refuted rebranding claims of Martial Law historical records in schools, stressing she knows the importance of Martial Law and the EDSA Revolution in the country’s history.

She said that the terms New Society or Bagong Lipunan and Martial Law are both historical facts, and have been used in DepEd textbooks since 2000 “within their proper context.”

Andaya said that while the “Matatag” K-10 curriculum of the K-12 program was already launched last month, Duterte did not anymore check its nitty-gritty.

“Hindi na po tinitingnan ng ating Secretary, o kahit ng mga nagdaang Secretary ‘yung ano bang nakalagay diyan na isa isahin pa niya. Nakalagay ‘yan sa Curriculum and Teaching strand. Ang tinitignan niya, ano ba ang framework dito, pero other minor details, hindi niya tinitignan,” she explained.

(Our Secretary, or even the previous Secretary, no longer looked at what was written there one by one. That is the job of the Curriculum and Teaching strand. What she checked was the framework, but not the other minor details.)

The DepEd specialists who signed the letter proposing to change the term “Diktadurang Marcos” were Rosalie Masilang, Michael Cabrera, Rowel Padernal and Cherry Gil Mendoza.

This was addressed to DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Teaching Gina Gonong.

Violation of law?

In a separate statement, veteran lawmaker Edcel Lagman of Albay called out DepEd for the memo which he said violates Republic Act 10368 or the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act.

The law grants monetary and non-monetary compensation in recognition of the heroism of the victims of human rights violations during Ferdinand Marcos Sr.'s regime from September 21, 1972 to February 25, 1986.

“This contradicts Republic Act 10368 which mandates the DepEd and CHED (Commission on Higher Education) to include in the curriculum from primary to tertiary education the atrocities of Martial Law under the dictator Marcos, Sr. and the heroism of the Martial Law victims of human rights violations,” Lagman said.

Last month, CHED told the House appropriations panel that human rights violations during Martial Law has yet to be included in the curricula 10 years after the enactment of the law. —With Llanesca Panti/LDF, GMA Integrated News