September 21 marks the anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law and the atrocities that resulted from this course of action. In order to commemorate this event, Senator Risa Hontiveros filed a resolution last Monday, September 19, asking the government to annually declare the month of September as the national “truth-telling” month.
The Joint Resolution No. 4 aims to encourage schools and other educational institutions to commence educational activities for the whole month in order to remember and reflect upon the events that occurred during the Martial Law. Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin will file the counterpart resolution in the House of Representatives.
“Given its significance to the country’s history, there is a need to not only acknowledge, honor, and commemorate the victims of martial law, but to pause, as well, for reflection upon the social, economic, and political conditions that allowed a dictatorship to take root and flourish in the Philippines,” Hontiveros had stated.
Furthermore, the senator hopes that this act will help in actual reconciliation of the divisions among society that had been a result of Martial Law.
This resolution shall serve as the stepping stone for the enactment of the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act which gives the government the authority to mandatorily teach the history of Martial Law in all levels of education.
A joint briefing regarding the means and methods of teaching the era of Martial Law in schools and colleges nationwide was set last Tuesday by the Senate Committees on Education, Arts and Culture, and Youth.
As more and more people tend to forget the wrongdoings and injustices acted upon our countrymen during the Martial Law, this resolution seems to be a step towards the right direction in order to prevent numerous posts and articles trying to revise our history. One such mistake was committed by the Official Gazette as of late which they later edited due to criticisms. Luckily, we found an article by CNN Philippines which gives us the summary on what happened.