Groups to remember Martial Law atrocities with protest on Sept. 20
MANILA, Philippines – Several groups will commemorate the atrocities committed during Martial Law under the administration of former President Ferdinand Marcos with a protest at the Luneta Park on September 20, Friday.
According to a message from Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), the organizers’ goal is to make the Filipino youth remember what had happened before, and eventually be vigilant with the current situation, under President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Our message is clear. The Duterte regime’s Marcosian tactics are unacceptable to the Filipino people. Remember that Marcos was ousted for his authoritarian rule marked by corruption and gross human rights violations. The widespread human rights violations and abuse of power we see today are reminiscent of Marcos’ rule,” the organizers said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The moment we forget, we become vulnerable and susceptible to repeating the past. It is therefore such an important development that the youth of today are at the forefront of efforts to fight historical revisionism and the now looming dictatorship under this administration,” they added.
The organizers, composed of cause-oriented groups Bayan, Movement Against Tyranny, Bawat Isa Mahalaga, different youth and student groups and councils, UP Rise Against Tyranny, One Voice One Faith One Nation, Laban ng Masa, and others, were also behind the State of the Nation Address (Sona) protests in July.
The groups insist that the same problems experienced during the Marcos era —abuse of power and lack of freedom and democracy — are now hindering inclusive development and economic progress.
“We should fight the criminalization of dissent, the red-tagging and terrorist-labelling of critics and opposition groups. We should decry the double-standards of the justice system that frees criminals but jails dissenters,” they said.
“We should oppose the idea that activism is a crime. Were it not for activism, the Marcos dictatorship would not have been dismantled,” they added.
Duterte and the Marcoses have been known to have close ties, with the President consistently expressing his admiration for the late strongman. He also credits then Ilocos Norte governor and now Senator Imee Marcos for helping him during his campaign for the presidency in the 2016 polls.
Duterte then allowed the burial of the late former president Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, stirring public uproar. Duterte argued that as Marcos was a soldier and a former President, he was qualified for burial at the cemetery.
The President also openly supported former Senator Bongbong Marcos after the latter lost to Vice President Leni Robredo. /muf
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