CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 15 December 2018

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There are the Rape of Nanking deniers and Bongbong Marcos

MANILA (SE): There are those who deny that the world is round and they are usually laughed out of town, but on a more serious level there are those who deny that the Rape of Nanking, which saw the mass extinction of hundreds and thousands of Chinese people, ever happened and their denial is regarded as willfully pernicious.

But maybe the greater tragedy is that there are also those who take them seriously.

Now there is Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the son of the late dictator who was responsible for the extinction of thousands of Filipinos, as well as the torture and incarceration of many others, who in the run up to the May 9 election is touting the period of his father’s chilling bloodthirsty reign as a Golden Era in The Philippines—which the Catholic Educational Association of The Philippines is calling a willful distortion of history.

The association, which represents 1,425 universities and colleges around the country, called this distortion a shameless denial of the abuses committed during the Marcos years in power.

On March 8, the association joined its voice with those of other groups in The Philippines shouting, “Never Again to the Harrowing Horrors of his dictatorship.”

CBCP News reported that hundreds of professors and incumbent presidents of Ateneo schools criticised young Marcos, a frontrunner in the vice presidential race, for remaining unapologetic about his father’s dictatorship.

“We refuse to forget the atrocities committed by the Marcos regime and we renew our demand that the perpetrators of these crimes be brought to justice,” they said.

On behalf of Catholic educators, the association affirmed the commitment of its members to teach the truth of history and demand the same level of introspection from the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education.

“We encourage our various institutions of learning to assess the quality and the content of our instruction relative to the atrocities of the Marcos regime,” the association said.

“It seems that we have been remiss in instilling in the youth’s consciousness about the regime’s brutal savagery. Instead, they have been drowned by the Marcosian snares and the Imeldific (Imelda Marcos) lies,” it stressed.

The association may indeed have been gravely remiss, as a survivor of the Marcos brutalities, Conrado de Quiros, says in Not on Our Watch that while classrooms have been built across the country, they have failed to teach history, allowing the propaganda machine of the old guard to wash from the collective memory the stories of those who lived in fear, spent long nights in filthy prison cells, screamed in torture chambers, were exiled or paid with their lives to expose the truth of the hollow years of the Marcos regime.

Now young Marcos, who travels under the name of Bongbong, is making capital on the contribution a hollow education system has made to the great tragedy that is those who take the young Marcos seriously.

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