SAN PEDRO CITY, Laguna — Professors at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) assailed the family of vice presidential candidate and Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for what they called “an organized and wilful distortion” of history.
The UPLB professors’ statement, dated March 31, is being circulated in various departments, and has been signed by more than 100 people as of Wednesday, according to Prof. Dwight Diestro of the Department of Social Sciences.
In a telephone interview, Diestro said the statement was written by History professors and was in line with a similar initiative from the UP Diliman campus.
Professors from the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Manila University earlier came up with a statement that scored the Marcoses for refusing to acknowledge that human rights abuses were committed during martial law.
In the statement, the UPLB professors said “historical revisionism” was nothing new in the family of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
They cited, in particular, the dictator’s biography, authored by Hartzell Spence, which “fabricated” stories about the elder Marcos’ heroism during World War II.
“Nakakahon sa katulad na motibo at nasa duplikadong dulog ang panibagong rebisyunismong historikal na inilunsad ng kanyang anak sa kasalukuyan (The new historical revisionism that the son of dictator Ferdinand Marcos launched has been framed in a similar motive),” they said.
“Masigasig si Sen. Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. at kanyang kampo sa sanitisasyon at distorsyon ng mga datos, pagpapalabnaw sa konteksto, at omisyon o pagbura ng mga negatibong detalye hinggil sa diktadura ng kanyang ama upang magamit ang mga niretokeng salaysay para sa kanyang kandidatura ngayong taon (Sen. Bongbong Marcos and his camp are determined to sanitize and distort data, dilute context, and omit or erase negative details of his father’s dictatorship so he can use a retouched version of history for his candidacy this year),” the statement read.
The professors also slammed claims that the Marcos dictatorship marked the Philippines’ “golden age.”
They said 48 major industries were cornered by Marcos’ cronies during martial law. Foreign debt ballooned to $ 28.3 billion but loan proceeds were spent on “non-priority” projects, for instance the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.
On rights abuses, the UPLB professors said more than 70,000 critics of Marcos were detained, 1,000 arrested, 34,000 tortured, and 3,240 killed.
The succeeding administrations should also be held accountable for failing to persecute the Marcoses for these atrocities, they said.
“Ang bansa ay hindi dapat makalimot sa tunay at wastong bersyon ng kasaysayan. Higit sa lahat, nararapat para sa Pilipinas ang mga lider ng bansa na hindi sinungaling (The country should not forget the real and correct version of history. Most of all, the Philippines deserves leaders who are not liars),” the statement said. SFM