Marcos burial in textbooks? We'll include 'critical side' – Briones

MANILA, Philippines – Education Secretary Leonor Briones assured the public that the new batch of textbooks for public schools will also include the opinions of Supreme Court (SC) justices who opposed the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes' Cemetery).

Briones on Wednesday, December 14, said she was criticized when she was quoted as saying that the Department of Education (DepEd) will include in textbooks the SC ruling allowing the burial of the late dictator.

The justices' 9-5 vote, she said, is "a historical fact" and will likely be included already in the senior high school curriculum.

"Kasi 'yung desisyon, hindi lang naman 'yung pro, 'yung majority decision. You have to bear in mind na very significant 'yung critical side. Kung 50 pages lang 'yung overall decision ng Supreme Court, eh 'yung kay Justice [Marvic] Leonen naman ay 92 pages 'yun. At saka 'yung kay Chief Justice [Maria Lourdes Sereno]. So kung ma-summarize 'yan, we encourage the child to think for himself," Briones told reporters.

(Because the decision, that's not only the pro, the majority decision. You have to bear in mind that the critical side is very significant. If the overall decision of the Supreme Court is 50 pages, Justice Marvic Leonen's dissenting opinion is 92 pages. There's also the dissenting opinion of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. So if we summarize that, we encourage the child to think for himself.)

The education secretary said students in basic education should not have to wait until college to learn about the decision.

The SC allowed Marcos' burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in a ruling released November 8. Ten days later on November 18, the late dictator was given a "simple and private" burial as requested by his family.

The burial, however, was announced just an hour before it took place. It took the country by surprise and triggered protests in parts of the country.

On Wednesday, Briones again reiterated the DepEd's commitment to review the human rights record not only of Marcos, but of other Philippine presidents as well.

"Kailangan talaga hindi lamang kay Mr Marcos. Although gusto talaga ng publiko, doon mag-umpisa kay Marcos, pero sa lahat ng presidente, kasi 'yung ating framework kasi, human rights and global citizenship. I'm sure marami kayong maaalala din na mga incidents before and after which would also resonate with issues of human rights," she explained.

(We need to review not only the record of Mr Marcos. Although the public really wants to start with Marcos, we should include all presidents, because our framework includes human rights and global citizenship. I'm sure you will also remember incidents before and after which would also resonate with issues of human rights.)

Asked if she has any disagreements with President Rodrigo Duterte regarding the Marcos burial issue, Briones said no.

"Kasi nung pinili ako ni President Duterte na hindi pa kami nagkikita, 'di pa kami magkakilala, alam naman niya ang paninindigan [ko] sa maraming bagay, para bang given na, parang as is, where is, so hindi naman pinapakialaman ang mga programs ng DepEd kasi largely naman iniimplement naman 'yung nakikita niyang gustong i-enhance."

(Because when President Duterte chose me, when we hadn't seen each other yet, we didn't know each other yet, he already knew my convictions on various issues, so it's already a given, it's as is, where is, so he does not meddle with the programs of the DepEd because largely, we implement programs which he sees should be enhanced.) – Rappler.com

Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.

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