Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the
Supreme Court decision allowing the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand
Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani would be part of the department’s review
of the textbooks for a fair account of martial law history.
In an interview on Tuesday after the conferment of honoris causa doctoral degree in literature to visiting Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa at the De La Salle University, Briones was asked for her comment on the SC’s historic decision.
Briones said this latest development on Marcos would be included in the textbook review for an objective account of martial law history.
“Since the textbooks are revised, mention has to be made, of course, of the SC decision, because that would be part of the historical fact. But it will not in any way influence an objective assessment of the Marcos regime,” Briones said.
The former national treasurer said the textbook review would seek to strike a balance between the atrocities and achievements of the Marcos regime.
“There are also good things, which are considered like infrastructure, reorganization of the bureaucracy, but this has to be examined against the backdrop of the human rights aspect of the regime,” Briones said.
Briones said the decision would not deter the Department of Education (DepEd) in its review for a fair account of martial law, including Marcos’ achievements and the martial law atrocities.
“The DepEd has already
committed to review the accounts in our textbooks about the martial law period
and that review is already ongoing. So because there have been observations
that the accounts of the martial law period is not balanced at all. So that is
under review,” Briones said.
“And you have asked me if there is an implication in terms of the Supreme Court decision. What I’m saying is the review will continue … The Supreme Court is about burying him at the Libingan, and the decision of DepEd is a review of accounts of textbooks. So they do not contradict each other,” she added.
Briones said this would stimulate students’ critical thinking so that they could discern for themselves whether or not Marcos is a hero.
“It’s not like the book will tell you he’s a hero, or he’s not a hero… What we’re trying to develop is critical thinking. The student, the learner decides for himself. Bigyan siya ng facts, the positive things vis a vis the human rights (issue), so that the child, the learner can make a judgement for himself or herself,” Briones said.
“That’s what we’re trying to do. The textbook will not say Marcos is a hero, he’s an anti-hero, or he’s a villain. The learner make such a decision,” she added.