On September 21, 1972, President Ferdinand Marcos signed Proclamation 1081, which placed the entire Philippines under Martial Law.
On the days leading up to Martial Law’s 49th anniversary, netizens shared their thoughts on that dark chapter in Philippine history.
Twitter user @callmejates listed down 13 reasons why Marcos is not a hero.
13 REASONS WHY MARCOS IS NOT A HERO:
In view of the 45th commemoration of the declaration of Martial Law in the PH, the University Student Council exposes common Marcos myths, misconceptions and their counterparts as recorded on real, true and documented historical accounts. pic.twitter.com/kHlqBCeiAy
— Jates (@callmejates) September 13, 2021
He also shared short clips from a Martial Law documentary by CARRMA PH where millennials learn about Martial Law.
TRIGGER WARNING Part 1
Millennials find out the truth from the Youth of Martial Law
Video from CARMMA PH
Petition to rewrite Philippine History #notohistoricalrevisionism #MarcosNOTaHero pic.twitter.com/7idgTYx3go
— Jates (@callmejates) September 16, 2021
Another Twitter user who goes by the name @gakiwon showed the stark contrast between Chel Diokno and Bongbong Marcos, both sons of politicians at the time, and both interviewed by Toni Gonzaga for her vlog.
Both are sons of politicians back in the time of Martial Law. Only, one is the son of a dictator and the other is the son of a human rights advocate senator, ilegally detained for 2 years by that dictator. Read both captions and think for yourself what Toni Gonzaga is enabling. https://t.co/YAL0PKKTBB
— milk (@gakiwon) September 14, 2021
Development worker Shigemi Muramatsu, @shigemimur on Twitter even challenged the actress to interview a Martial Law survivor.
Challenging Toni Gonzaga to interview a Martial Law survivor.
— Shigemi Muramatsu (成美) (@ShigemiMur) September 14, 2021
Lawyer Nico B. Valderrama pointed out the impact on social media if Martial Law were enforced today.
If Martial Law under Marcos dictatorship were still in effect until today, you cannot have a YouTube channel and interview whoever you like and discuss whatever you want. You won't even be able to read this tweet.
— Nico B. Valderrama (@nbvneverquits) September 18, 2021
Activist Lean Porquia called attention to the parallels between the Marcos and Duterte regimes.
We don’t actually need to live in the 70’s to feel what’s it like under Martial Law.
Under Duterte, activists are killed almost everyday. Human rights defenders are arrested with fake charges. Press freedom is curtailed. Abductions and salvaging are disguised as tokhang.
— Lean Porquia #ResistTheFascist (@IanMakabayan) September 20, 2021
Twitter user @SaltAndReality recalled the tragic death of Archimedes Trajano who asked Imee Marcos a question during an forum, was then dragged by her bodyguards and was later found dead and tortured on the street.
In 1977 Archimedes Trajano in an open forum asked Imee Marcos "Must the Kabataang Barangay be headed by the President's daughter?" who was already 21 & over aged for the KB. He was dragged out by Imee's bodyguards & 2 days later his tortured dead body found lying on the street. pic.twitter.com/WjWakJsFdY
— Your Daily Dose (@SaltAndReality) September 21, 2021
@SaltAndReality also listed down the unpaid damages that victims of Martial Law have yet to receive after filing charges and winning against the Marcoses.
After EDSA, The Marcoses lost their immunity after w/c Martial Law victims started suing the Marcoses & have won the following damages:
9,586 HR Victims - $2 Billion
Archimedes Trajano - $4.4 million
Rogelio Roxas - $24.6 million
Domingo & Viernes- $2 million
All waiting & unpaid pic.twitter.com/3XYeZurg95
— Your Daily Dose (@SaltAndReality) September 21, 2021
In a series of tweets, another Twitter user with the handle @narodski pointed out the faults in the so-called “S&T (science and technology legacy) of the Marcos era.
Whenever anyone brings up Marcos #MartialLaw and its S&T legacy, my first thoughts are always Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, Masagana99, and the EIA system. All with deep, lingering problems affecting us to this day.
— Národ Eco (@narodski) September 20, 2021
Critically-acclaimed author Lualhati Bautista, who wrote the novel Dekada ‘70, also shared a few from “an endless list of murder and desaparesidos committed by Marcos’ men during his time.”
UP Activist Lakan, @jacques_lakan on Twitter posted excerpts from a book detailing the tortures committed during Martial Law.
List of tortures committed during Martial Law pic.twitter.com/aLG3sEgSyr
— Lakan #OustDuterte (@jacques_lakan) September 13, 2021
Twitter user @OneDividesToTwo, who teaches Philippine Studies in the UP Diliman recommended some books to read about the Martial Law era.
Was asked to recommend #BooksToRead about Marcos' #MartialLaw as part of the commemoration of its declaration this September 21. I wanted to suggest more titles but chose to focus on these 5 because they are available online or can be ordered via Shoppee or Lazada #NeverForget pic.twitter.com/jgM417dhMz
— k. (@OneDividesToTwo) September 15, 2021
During the Martial Law era, the writ of habeas corpus was suspended. There were over 70,000 cases of enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention and torture. Roughly 3,000 killed, most of them tortured.
Marcos cracked down on press freedom. The military took over news organizations in the country and later, a crony press emerged in favor of the administration.
More than 30,000 opposition leaders, journalist critics, and student activists were arrested and detained.
A strict curfew was enforced from twelve midnight until four in the morning. There was close military surveillance on personal communication lines, including telephone calls.
Ferdinand Marcos assumed all state authority and decree-making powers. He also abolished Congress and instead, created a unicameral National Assembly, known as the Batasang Pambansa.
The Marcoses extended political favors, facilitation of business monopolies to family members and friends. Cronies received government commissions and projects, many of which were later investigated for corruption, misuse of funds and disregard for the Constitution.
Four decades after, the Marcoses are slowly regaining power.
The Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) has officially endorsed former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. as its presidential candidate in the 2022 elections.
Ana Catalina Paje is a development journalist passionate about grassroots communication geared towards genuine social change. She also writes about showbiz, lifestyle, and all things Pinoy pride. The views expressed are her own.
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