The Facts: In a post published Monday, May 16, Mi Filipinas targets a selection of nonfiction books, children’s books, and textbooks that allegedly preaches a one-sided view of history. According to the Facebook page, these books deliberately omit the “great” contributions of dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr., such as his infrastructure projects, the Masagana 99 program, and other decrees that have allegedly alleviated the lives of Filipinos during his administration.
The post includes an image that shows a collage of book covers, among which are Raissa Robles’ Marcos Martial Law: Never Again (2016), Luz B. Maranan’s The Pangat, The Mountains, The River: Macliing Dulag: Hero of the Cordillera (2013), as well as Augie Rivera’s Si Jhun-Jhun, Noong Bago Ideklara ang Batas Militar (2001) and Isang Harding Papel (2014). Mi Filipinas argues that books on Martial Law are manipulated by “dilawans” as ideological propaganda to defame Marcos’ legacy and brainwash the younger generation. (https://www.facebook.com/…/a.1905379694…/469518258264033).
This is false.
Although some books do emphasize the narrative surrounding Ninoy Aquino and his family during the Martial Law period and post-EDSA, much of the literature cited also sheds light on the atrocities of the Marcos dictatorship, the majority of which were unseen and/or repressed during the height of Martial Law in the country. One of the books included, Robles’ Marcos Martial Law: Never Again (2016), contains official records, reports, eyewitness accounts, and interviews with survivors and military officers that give credence to the regime’s abuses.
The ‘non-profit, independent’ Facebook page claims that they intend to present a “balanced historical education,” as they say in their About section. Despite this, Mi Filipinas blatantly promotes pro-Marcos and Duterte propaganda.
Mi Filipinas also has a shop that sells Pro-Marcos literature, including Cecilio T. Arillo’s The Marcos Legacy (2018) (https://www.facebook.com/commerce/products/the-story-about-how-the-marcoses-were-unjustly-treated-since-edsa-revolution-read-the-marcos-legacy/4827772114000039/?ref=page_home_tab&referral_code=page_shop_card).
This literature denies the historical facts of graft, corruption, and human rights violations during the Martial Law enacted by the late dictator Marcos. It is worth noting that Arillo is a known Marcos aide, part of the network that produces sourcebooks in favor of the Marcoses. He has also plagiarized from Imelda Marcos’ own 1995 book, Circle of Life (https://news.abs-cbn.com/…/propaganda-web-pro-marcos…).
In the comment section of the post, several Marcos loyalists called for the removal and even the complete eradication of these books from schools and bookstores. Mi Filipinas’ post has garnered roughly 5.7K comments and 11.5K shares as of 10:30 AM of May 26, 2022.
Why we fact-checked this: Books serve as one of the most enduring sources of historical information, which can be instrumental in promoting factual or misleading narratives to serve specific gains and interests. Although there is no one work that is 100% unbiased, some are closer to the truth than others, relaying actual facts rather than revisionist rhetoric.
We must remain discerning and critical in the information we consume to combat disinformation and in the process, stand against deliberate affronts to historical truths.