FROM UNDER THIS HAT | Martial law, a history of corruption and widespread repression

By KATHLEEN OKUBO
www.nordis.net

(On this issue we give this space to CARMMA statement on Martial Law)

Our collective history as a nation during the time of martial law is that of corruption and widespread repression.

Millenials are being given an example of the shamelessness that characterized the dictatorship of the late Ferdinand Marcos with the recent statements from Juan Ponce Enrile and Imee Marcos justifying human rights violations committed during the Marcos dictatorship as necessary to uphold martial rule, and denying any atrocities and excesses were committed.

Imee Marcos is defending “her side of the story” while Juan Ponce Enrile is doing the same, stating that he has his own story while others have their own. We remind these criminals that just because they bathed in the people’s money during the time of Marcos’s martial law doesn’t mean that the lives of the ordinary Filipino people are rendered irrelevant. Their “side of the story” is one that we have heard repeatedly, but history also echoes the voices of those abused and violated.

According to documentation by Amnesty International, there were at least 3,200 victims of extrajudicial killings, 3,500 torture victims, and around 77,000 political detainees from 1975 to 1985. The Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG) also puts the number of Marcos’s ill-gotten wealth to $10 billion. Our collective history as a nation during the time of martial law is that of corruption, ballooning debt, widespread repression, and unbridled human rights violations.

This quasi-objectification of prevailing conditions during the Marcos dictatorship is another effort to distort and revise history. No matter how much they try to cover-up the thousands of arrests, summary executions, enforced disappearances, and torture during the Martial Law years and up until Marcos was toppled from power in 1986, the truth always comes out. They cannot deny the numerous documentations of their crimes – the massacre of whole villages, hundreds of enforced disappearances, thousands of torture victims and politcal detainees.

In the face of these efforts at distorting history, the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law (CARMMA) urgently calls on all freedom-loving Filipinos to raise their voices in unity to demand that justice be served, and to hold the Marcoses accountable for their crimes against the people. We remind the Marcoses and their minions that we, the Filipino people, fought against their tyrannical regime even in the face of widespread repression and violence, and toppled the dictatorship. We shall never forget.

Gregoria de Jesus, the Katipunan Lakambini, reminds Imee Marcos and Enrile : “Fear history for it respects no secrets.”# nordis.net

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