Lihim ng kalihim

Ni Ibarra Banaag

Datapuwa’t sino man ang umaako,

sino man ang sumalo o sumagot,

sa mga tanong at usisa sa kalihim,

mabubunyag pa rin ang nililihim.

Kahit pa bastos at haragan ang litanya,

panduduro at paglulubid ng patutsada,

malalantad lamang ang kahungkagan,

at umaalingasaw ng mga sabwatan.

Hindi lamang pala sa mga nakapaskil,

sa silid aralan ang nais baklasin,

kundi ang kasaysayan ng diktadurya,

nilalabusaw ng walang patumangga.

Dahil kaya sa 125 na milyong pondo,

na sinasabing bawal ng Konstitusyon,

pagsapaw sa tungkulin ng Kongreso,

pero pinipilit ng ilan na ma-abswelto.

Bawal subalit nagbubulag-bulagan,

mali ngunit binibigyan ng katwiran,

nakapangyayari kahit pa iligal,

ipinagtatanggol ng walang kagutal-gutal.

Bukod tanging ahensya ng gobyerno,

na busog at bundat na bundat sa pondo,

ang bansag at tawag sa iskwela,

“sipsip” kasi kaya may medalya.

Aba aba bulaga yaong mga ulaga,

ilang araw parang naglahong bula,

kung lumustay ay walang humpay,

masaya’t mayabang ang garapal!

Ngunit ang higit na nakakabahala,

sa mga mambabatas ay okey lang,

at papatayan ka pa ng mikropono,

mga tonto’t balasubas sa Kongreso.

Walang kahihiyan silang nagsisilbi,

hayok at umasaang makakahati,

sa kulimbat at pork ng kalihim,

sumisingasing at nagngangalit,

sa tuwing nabubunyag kanyang lihim.

–Setyembre 12, 2023

Groups decry attempts to distort historical facts on martial law

By Nuel M. Bacarra

The Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) hit Senate Bill 452 authored by Sen. Robinhood Padilla to “distort” historical facts on Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s martial law by declaring September 21, its anniversary of declaration, as special non-working holiday to be known as “Unsung Heroes Day.”

Bonifacio Ilagan, SELDA spokesperson, said Padilla ”…willfully distorts history’s damning judgment of the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines and turn the infamous day of the martial law declaration into a national holiday honoring ‘unsung heroes,’ the ‘unsung heroes’ being the state security forces that actually had their hands bloodied in rampage of human rights violations.”

“We all know of course, that as Marcos Sr. was about to end his second and last constitutional term, he declared martial law to perpetuate himself in power, using the so-called communist threat as a convenient pretext,” Ilagan added.

Earlier, House Deputy Minority leader and ACT (Alliance of Concerned Teachers) Party-list Rep. France Castro also criticized the memorandum of Department of Education (DepEd) through its Bureau of Curriculum Development that mandated to change the “Dikatadurang Marcos” (Marcos Dictatorship) to just “Diktadura” (Dictatorship) in Grade 6 Araling Panlipunan (Social Studies) curriculum.

“The decision to remove ‘Marcos’ from the term ‘Diktadurang Marcos’ is a clear revision of history and an insult to the countless victims of human rights abuses and atrocities committed during the martial law period,” Castro said.

Castro also invoked Section 27 of Republic Act 10368 that mandates the Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission that coordination and collaboration should be properly exercised with DepED to ensure the teaching of martial law atrocities and the lives of the victims are part of the basic, secondary and tertiary education curricula.

Castro added, “The move to eliminate the name ‘Marcos’ from the ‘Diktadurang Marcos’ is a blatant attempt to whitewash the crimes and atrocities committed under his regime.”

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) criticized as well the Marcos Jr. government on its attempt at “rebranding” saying, “The current regime wants to make sure the Marcos name is not associated with negative images of human rights violations, tyranny, power-grab and military rule.”

BAYAN added that the effort to distort historical facts in the country “points to an apparent long term plan to entrench the Marcoses in the highest positions of governments, even after the term of Marcos Jr. has ended.”

“The steady drive to rewrite history serves a long term agenda for staying in power,” BAYAN said. #

Martial law survivors oppose DepEd’s whitewashing of Marcos dictatorship

Teachers also condemn new curriculum as ‘undermining truth’

A group of martial law survivors expressed opposition to a Department of Education (DepEd) memorandum ordering that the Marcos name be disassociated from the dictatorship of the 1970s to the 1980s.

The Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law (CARMMA) said the recently-launched Matatag curriculum is “historical distortion and mass disinformation.”

“We at the [CARMMA] flag and condemn in the strongest possible terms the [DepEd]’s shameless scheme to whitewash and distort our history with its September 6, 2023 memo to change ‘Diktadurang Marcos’ to ‘Diktadura’ in the Grade 6 Araling Panlipunan curriculum of the newly-launched Matatag curriculum,” the group said.

CARMMA said it is historical fact that the two-decade rule of President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. was a dictatorship.

“The culpability of the crimes against the Filipino people during that dark and bloody period in our history rests primarily on the Marcoses,” the group said.

Teachers condemn move

Earlier, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) told the DepEd to stick to the historical fact that Marcos Sr. was a dictator.

“The alteration of historical terminology is not only distortion but also undermines the truth about one of the darkest periods in Philippine history,” ACT said last Sunday.

The Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND) also said the revision is “a blatant example of disinformation, where the people are deliberately misled by manipulating historical facts.”

The DepEd, meanwhile, said in its controversial memorandum that the revision of the Araling Panlipunan curriculum was made after an “arduous process of review and revision.”

“[It] was done under the guidance and scrutiny of experts, the review of stakeholders, and the public and the launch of the MATATAG curriculum,” the memorandum said.

Who implemented the dictatorship?

CARMMA however asked who was ultimately responsible for dictatorship that resulted in the murder, torture, illegal incarceration, and disappearances of thousands of victims.

“Who signed the orders to dissolve Congress and for the military to take over media outlets 50 years ago on September 21, 1972? Who ultimately benefitted from the plunder of our nation’s coffers, burdening Filipinos with debt that will be paid by generations to come?”CARMMA further asked.

“The answer to these questions is simple: the Marcoses,” the group said.

“Hence, the compound term ‘Marcos dictatorship’ is different from merely calling the period a ‘dictatorship’ alone,” it explained.

Marcos Sr. declared martial law on September 21, 1972, 51 years ago.

The Marcoses were deposed in 1986. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

‘Kung hindi nagsilbi ang mga guro, hindi maitatawid ang pagbubukas ng klase’

“Napakabilis nilang maglabas ng mga memo o department order tuwing dagdag na trabaho, attendance sa mga webinar, gabundok na mga paperwork ang ipapagawa sa mga teacher pero itong benepisyo na karapat-dapat lamang na maibigay sa kanila ay ginigipit pa. Kung hindi nagsilbi ang mga guro noong panahon na June 1 to October 4, hindi maitatawid ang pagbubukas ng klase noong nakaraang taon.”ACT Rep. France Castro, Deputy Minority Floor Leader

Governor apologizes after accusing teachers of ‘doing nothing’

Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba was forced to issue an apology following his accusation that teachers are doing less work with the government’s blended learning scheme.

Mamba told radio station DZRH Saturday that “teachers are simply enjoying themselves at home and receiving salaries without working.”

Mamba added that he thinks that the government is being shortchanged and hinted that teachers’ salaries may be slashed soon.

Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) president Joselyn Fegalan said Mamba had no right to accuse teachers of doing less work as teachers are in fact burdened by greater workload due to the Department of Education’s blended learning scheme.

“Teachers deserve an apology. You go back to that radio station and say sorry,” Fegalan said.

Mamba is ignorant of the situation of teachers even in his home province, ACT secretary general Raymond Basilio added.

“It seems he does not know that many teachers spend their already inadequate salaries to buy paper, laptops, printers and ink because the government has yet to fully provide these,” he said.

“Gov, it’s World Teachers Day on Monday (today, October 5) and this is your message to them? Is this how you thank them?” Basilio asked.

The Student Council of the University of the Philippines College of Education also condemned Mamba’s remarks as “patently insensitive, infuriating and disrespectful of the teachers’ effort to educate amid the pandemic.”

‘Just being fatherly’

Mamba in a statement Sunday he is sorry and did not mean to hurt any teacher, adding he wanted to challenge everyone with his remarks.

In another DZRH interview Sunday, Mamba said he has high regard for teachers as shown by his administration’s involvement of teachers in provincial government projects.

Mamba added he was just being fatherly in lecturing just as he was in admitting mistakes.

A source from Mamba’s camp told Kodao that the interviewer did not give the governor a chance to fully explain what he meant as the interview was at its end. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

DepEd, hindi hinarap ang mga gurong nakikipag-dayalogo

Nagtungo sa punong tanggapan ng Department of Education ang mga lider-guro noong Hunyo 19 upang makipag-dayalogo sana kaugnay ng pagpapapasok sa kanila simula sa Lunes. Nakasarang tarangkahan ang sumalubong sa kanila.

Ayon sa mga lider ng Alliance of Concerned Teachers at ACT Teachers Union-National Capital Region, wala silang natatanggap na pasabi kung paano mag-iingat ang mga guro sa pagpapasok sa kanila. Wala rin daw silang natatanggap na pasabi kung mayroon ba at kailan ang mass testing, libreng pagpapagamot sa mga magkakasakit ng Covid-19, internet para sa “blended learning” ng kagawaran, at iba pang katanungan. (Bidyo ni Joseph Cuevas)

Teachers hold sit-down protests all over Metro Manila

Teachers from all over Metro Manila are holding a sit-down protest today to call for higher salaries and benefits in light of recent spikes in inflation.

Seeking relief from their dire economic conditions, public school teachers from more than 350 schools in the National Capital Region stopped regular lessons and instead staged sit-down protests to dramatize their call for urgent salary increases and higher budget for education.

“For public school teachers, it is our instrument to jolt the regime into heeding our cry that it should take care of its workers who toil everyday to deliver the mandate of the State,” Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) chairperson Joselyn Martinez said.

ACT members gathered thousands of students in school quadrangles and hallways to explain the economic crisis they say undermine the teachers’ economic wellbeing.

Support actions are also being held in several regions, ACT said.

NCR teachers are also holding simultaneous protest actions in front of the Quezon City Hall and in Mendiola.

“While in protest, we continue to fulfil our duties to our youth by educating them on the national situation and the people’s rights,” Martinez said.

The ACT leader said that the students’ social awareness and critical thinking are developed when public issues are explained to them.

Martinez blamed the Rodrigo Duterte government for its failure to fulfill its promise for a substantial salary increase at a time when their salaries have been drastically eroded by inflation.

Martinez also defended their sit-down protests against threats by Department of Education secretary Leonor Briones that their action may face legal implications.

“We have nothing to fear because our protest is well within our rights and in line with the performance of our duties. We are not abandoning our responsibilities. In fact we are doing this for the love of teaching,” Martinez said.

“We fight because we want to stay and continue teaching, especially our underprivileged students,” Martinez explained.

Martinez said the protest is being held in view of the plenary deliberations of the Senate on the 2019 national budget next week.

ACT Philippines lobbies that salaries of entry-level teachers be adjusted to the level of Police Officer I at Php30,000 monthly; that of Salary Grade 1 employees’ be increased to Php 16,000 a month; and an entry-level salary of Php31,000 for college instructors.

It also pushes for the adjustment of the Php2,000 Personnel Economic Relief Allowance to Php5,000 due to the steeply rising cost of living.

They assert for higher education budget to fill in the shortages in the education system and enable the granting of better benefits for the teaching and non-teaching personnel # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Teachers press for ‘delayed’ salary increase

Public school teachers trooped to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) central offices in Manila last June 16 to press for a ‘long-delayed’ salary increase.

Slamming DBM secretary Benjamin Diokno and Department of Education secretary Leonor Briones’ immediate rejection of their demand, the teachers said the two officials do not understand the hardships the teachers undergo with their “inadequate” wages.

The teachers were led by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers and ACT Teachers’ Party. *(Videography by Ivan Dexter Tolentino and Esther Anne Cabrillas / Featured image by ACT) Read more

Mentors celebrate World Teachers’ Day with huge gathering

Officials from the Department of Education-National Capital Region, along with public school teachers, gathered at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City on Friday, September 30, to mark World Teachers Day and National Peace Consciousness Month.

Through various speeches and performances, the teachers called for salary increases and recognition of teachers rights and welfare in the first-ever event jointly organized by the regional office of the agency and the teachers’ union.  Read more