Forty-five years after it was declared by the late president Ferdinand Marcos, millennials have different perspectives on how martial law had impacted the country’s history and its people.
Yet Cebuano millenials Ivan Rey Tan, Ted Frances Servano and Delta Dyrecka Letigio all agreed that martial law should not be imposed throughout the country if only to avoid the atrocities committed by the Marcos regime.
“Martial Law showed us (how) the hunger for power (led to abuses). It should serve as a wake-up call for us not to put in position anyone who has an ulterior agenda,” said Tan, a student government legislator.
Servano, a 20-year-old communication arts student, said it was the stories of his grandparents have itemized the pros and cons of the military rule.
“On the positive note, it was to discipline the citizens. But martial law was also a grave abuse of power by the deputized authorities,” he said.
Servano said Marcos’ attempts to impose order only demoralized the people whose sentiments against martial law rule “should have been heard and acted on.”
Letigio, who grew up in a family of Marcos loyalists, said she had difficulty grasping what really happened in those days.
“What was taught in school was different from what my parents talk about at home,” she said.
Letigio, a school paper editor, said she researched on Martial Law based on historical accounts and stories of those who lived during those times.
She called on fellow millennials to seek the truth on Martial Law during the Marcos regime.
“Martial Law has made Philippines and Filipinos what it is as a country and a people today,” Letigio said.
But it’s a different story when it comes to the martial law imposed by the Duterte administration in Mindanao as far as 21-year-old supporter Marvin Cadungog is concerned.
“Martial law in Mindanao is essential to ensure safety of the people who live in the region. I believe the government’s action,” Cadungog said.
He said the martial law in Mindanao is “not as bloody” as the nine-year military rule of the Marcos regime.
Speculations that martial law will eventually be imposed throughout the country didn’t sit well with Servano.
“I strongly condemn the idea of repeating a gruesome part of the history. In that connection, I am in favor of another people power — should there be a need,” Servano said.
Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III called on millennials to dig deeper and understand how martial law rule had affected so many Filipinos.
“There are so many materials for you to learn. Read and listen to the stories of the victims of Martial Law for you to fully understand what really happened,” he said.