Historian on new Marcos administration: ‘It’s historical distortion, not revisionism’

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 19) — As fears of historical revisionism of the martial law period loom after Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. emerged as presumptive president, historian Ambeth Ocampo has pointed out that revisionism is not the correct term to use.

It should be called “historical distortion,” he said.

In an interview with CNN Philippines’ The Final Word on Wednesday, Ocampo was asked if there was a reason to fear that there would be historical revisionism, especially of the martial law period, under the presidency of the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

“I think we should start calling things by their proper name...This is a losing battle to remind people that historical revisionism is not the correct term, simply because when we revise, we reflect—we correct. Revision is meant to go towards truth—to do something correctly. So if you do otherwise, it's actually distortion or denialism, so it should rightfully be called historical distortion,” he explained.

“Should we actually fear a historical distortion in the next six years? Well, one can say that. I mean, there is clear and present danger of the distortion of our history, simply because social media has been flooded in the last five, 10 years with things that are not in in sync with what we know as a historical truth—the golden age of Marcos, the Tallano gold...and then many, many other things,” he added.

Ocampo also said today's generation depends heavily on the internet and social media for information, so he would use these platforms to properly inform the younger generation in the next six years.

"So for me, in the next six years, I want to engage in that platform. I'm one of the few historians who actually engage on Facebook, on the internet, because I think this is the next frontier," he said.

Marcos and his running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte are set for landslide victory based on the partial, unofficial tally of the Commission on Elections. As of 2:47 pm of May 13, Marcos is leading the presidential race with 31,104,175 votes. Duterte has garnered 31,561,948 votes. These are based on 98.35% of election returns.