By Leslie Ann Aquino
The former head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Youth said there is a need to educate the new generation about martial law so they can understand what happened in the country during that period.
Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon’s statement was made in response to the decision of the University of the Philippines Diliman to offer a subject on martial law next semester.
“I’m in favor… Many of the new generation indeed do not have the correct knowledge or understanding of martial law and what it did to our country,” he said in an interview.
But, Baylon said there should be a “balanced” presentation of martial law.
“Not only its negative impact but also the positive ones, if at all. Needless to say, it must be a balanced presentation,” he said.
On the other hand, CBCP ECY Executive Secretary Father Conegundo Garganta said he would rather that academic institutions educate the youth about government stewardship.
“While our dark past can be a reference on the atrocities of martial law, I am more on educating the youth in an integral way about government stewardship,” he said.
“I believe all our academic institutions need to help students to understand different models of government stewardship and different constitutional approaches in addressing complicated/problematic political situations of the country,” added Garganta said.
The nation will mark the 47th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos back in 1972 on Saturday, September 21.
On the eve of its anniversary, faith-based groups and civil society organizations will gather at the Rizal Park in Manila to make a stand against any abuse of power in the country.
“We want the nation to remember that it is the abuse of power that has led the worst form of criminality and that it is usually the young who suffer,” read the statement of Youth Act Now Against Tyranny.
“Our future as a country can only be sustained if the young generation is taught to fight for, and not to compromise the values that make for a great nation,” it further read.