Historical Revisionism? Official Gazette on Marcos Dictatorship

Publication Date: 
September 27, 2016

Historical Revisionism? Official Gazette on Marcos Dictatorship

On the Anniversary of the Declaration of Martial Law, the official publication of the Executive Branch under the Duterte Administration released an infographic describing Marcos. Internet commenters have accused the Gazette of historical revisionism. This incident highlights that there are two competing views on the history of martial law, with the other painting the Marcos regime as the "golden age" of the Philippines (See source 3).

This eruption of outrage, and the subsequent online debate illustrates that Filipino history is in flux, and various sectors of society feel very passionately about their version of the country's narrative. Further compounding this is the fact that the portrayal of the Marcos' is a major political issue, and various groups stand to gain from either the vilification or the exoneration of this controversial regime.

The 20 year dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos is a major focal point in Philippine History. University of Wisconsin Professor Alfred McCoy described it as "exceptional for both the quantity and quality of its violence.” He cites "3,257 killed, 35,000 tortured, and 70,000 incarcerated" with "military murder [as] the apex of a pyramid of terror". (McCoy 1999). The World Bank estimates that between 5 and 10 billion dollars of public office rents was siphoned into the Marcos' private accounts through six separate channels. (star.worldbank.org).

1. Link to Article: http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2016/09/12/netizens-official-gazette-hist...

2. Link to the (now updated) Facebook post by the Official Gazette: https://www.facebook.com/govph/photos/a.157660287611576.31610.1406602959...

3. Also interesting: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/24/world/asia/30-years-after-revolution-s...

Paolo Roxas
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