Home History books VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Article on ‘revised history books’ against Marcoses makes...

VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Article on ‘revised history books’ against Marcoses makes FALSE claims


Several Facebook (FB) pages and groups shared a post containing several false claims that the history books have been rewritten since 1986 to demonize the Marcos family and praise their nemesis, the Aquino clan.

Part of the article uploaded by the FB page Batang Marcos on September 21, read: “1986 simulating everyday action. Kaya hanggang ngayon yung maling akala and pabor sa mga Aquino lang nababasa ng ma kabataan (It was in 1986 when the books were [revised]. So until now young people have only read wrong perceptions [against the Marcoses] and those that favor Aquinos).

Historians say the opposite, as the Marcos are used to ordering books with their own version of their story about former dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and his 21-year-old martial law rule.

VERA Files Fact Check demystifies and contextualizes five of the 52 claims of the FB publication:

On peso-dollar exchange rates during Marcos’ tenure



The Philippine Peso exchange rate during Marcos’ tenure from 1965 to 1985 was US $ P2.00 to US $ 1.00.


Not true. Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) shows that the country never reached this exchange rate when Marcos ruled the country. According to BSP records, the Philippine peso was valued at P 2.00 against the dollar from 1945 to 1959, for a total of 14 years, before Marcos came to power.

When Marcos was first elected president in 1965, one U.S. dollar averaged 3.90 Philippine pesos. In 1982, the peso was 8.54 pesos to the dollar.

In 1984, the government developed an economic stimulus program with the International Monetary Fund that paved the way for a $ 650 million support credit. This led to the devaluation of the peso against the US dollar.

BSP data shows the peso was 16.70 pesos to the dollar in 1984, falling to 18.60 pesos the following year.

On the economic performance of the Cory Aquino era



The Philippine economy fell during Corazon Aquino’s tenure

Context of needs

While the economy fell during the Aquino administration, the economic fall during the Marcos administration was three times worse, according to World Bank data on gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, which measures average income. of a country divided by its population.

When Aquino was still president in 1991, the country’s average per capita GDP fell to -3.02%. But World Bank data also shows that in the last years of the Marcos presidency, GDP per capita fell to -9.84% and -9.81% in 1984 and 1985, respectively.

The country had a growing GDP per capita from 1965 to 1983, but the economic decline soon after led economists to claim that the country lost two decades of development during the Marcos regime.

On the KADIWA Retail Store System



The KADIWA group that distributed food during the Marcos administration eradicated hunger among the poor

Context of needs

Established in 1981, the Kadiwa program was a network of government-run retail stores deployed in urban and disadvantaged areas to combat high commodity prices due to inflation. But university studies show it hasn’t been well received or helped the poor. [See Marcos propaganda in a time of plague]

Kadiwa, which was run by Food Terminal Inc. under the leadership of the National Food Authority headed by former First Lady Imelda Marcos, offered products such as rice, sugar, cooking oil, meat and vegetables. at prices below the market price.

But a 1984 Filipino planning journal The article revealed that people were put off by the long lines, the distance to Kadiwa centers and the irritable service staff. Limited finances have also prevented poor families from purchasing items from government-subsidized stores.

In a 1986 Asian Journal of Public Administration In this article, researcher Jürgen Rüland argued that given the allocations for the Kadiwa program, as well as an earlier ‘rolling stores’ project in 1979,’ the effect on the living conditions of the poor was virtually nil. “.

Supporting his statement, Ruland said the Marcos government spent 18 million pesos on the two projects to reach 247,000 families in 542 deprived areas. This means that the government has allocated 24,658 pesos per day or 0.10 pesos per family per day.

On the closure of the Bataan nuclear power plant



Former president Corazon Aquino shut down BNPP due to health risks

Context of needs

Nuclear power plants can cause accidents that pose significant health risks, such as cancer and radiation sickness. But that was not the official reason why the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) was put on hold by Aquino. [See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Gadon’s claim on reason of Cory Aquino for stopping BNPP operation FALSE]

In 1986, Aquino’s Executive Order 55 declared that the Philippine government had decided not to operate BNPP “for reasons of security and economy”.

A 1979 commission report by former justice minister Ricardo Puno concluded that the BNPP was plagued by “unresolved security concerns” which could be “a potential danger to the health and safety of the public” .

When Marcos was ousted, the BNPP cost $ 2.1 billion, of which $ 1.2 billion was yet to be paid by the national government. Full payment of this debt was completed in 2007.

On Marcos’ war medals from WWII in the United States



Ferdinand Marcos was awarded by the Americans for fighting the Japanese in WWII


While Marcos served as a major in the 14th Infantry Regiment during World War II, the US government and the Philippine National Historical Commission refuted his claims that the Americans were awarded three medals.

Marcos, in his authoritative biographies, claimed that he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, and Order of the Purple Heart in 1945, and was recommended for the Medal of Honor. But his name could not be found on any of the official sites of these military distinctions.

Filipino war historian Ricardo Jose argued that Marcos could not have received the DSC from General Douglas McArthur, nor for allegedly delaying the Japanese invasion of Bataan by three months, according to a 2016 NHCP study.

A 1983 Washington Post article reported that the Department of the Army’s liaison office had confirmed that Marcos had never received a Silver Star. There was also no independent corroboration to confirm that he had been recommended for the Medal of Honor.

The page post by FB Batang Marcos, which emerged on the 49th anniversary of martial law, got 4,200 reactions, 331 comments and 2,200 shares. Other pages that reloaded the post include The unbeatable loyalists, Sa Ngalan ng Gobyerno, and Lipadmarcos.

FB page Blessed be the Philippines first uploaded the post on September 15, 2019.

Batang Marcos was founded in October 2016, The unbeatable loyalists in April 2016, Sa Ngalan ng Gobyerno in June 2011, and Lipadmarcos in August 2019.

(Editor’s note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Read more about it Partnership and our methodology.)

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