Vice President Leni Robredo issued Monday a statement on the 48th anniversary of the Martial Law declaration in the Philippines, saying the atrocities committed during the Marcos regime could not be denied.
“Maraming pinahirapan, naglaho, at pinatay noong Martial Law; lumobo ang utang ng bayan na binabayaran natin hanggang sa ngayon; lumalim at lumawak ang kahirapan. Dinurog ang mga institusyong haligi ng lipunan. Naging bahagi ng diwa ng pamamahala ang korupsyon at pang-aabuso. These truths know no political color. Walang debate dito; nangyari ito,” said Robredo, who defeated a Ferdinand Marcos’ son Bongbong in the 2016 vice presidential race.
“Those who attempt to tell us otherwise are not only merely telling a supposed version of the story: They are lying to our faces, stealing our truths from us, stealing our stories,” Robredo said on the alleged attempts to rewrite history.
“Because without these truths and stories, we will be further divided, at mas madaling magtatagumpay ang mga pagtatangkang abusuhin muli tayo,” she added.
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48th anniversary of Martial Law declaration
The government records said at least 3,000 people were killed, and more than 70,000 others were put to jail for fighting against Martial Law.
For Robredo, such human rights violations and injustice during Martial Law should be told to the generations to prevent such a brutal regime from happening again.
“Our task is to push back against these lies at every instant. To tell the stories of Martial Law and dictatorship over and over so that this generation, and the ones that come after, may be bound tighter through remembering. To hold firm to the truth of this painful chapter of our history, and through this, forge the determination to never again let our people fall into such despair,” Robredo said.
“We must do this because, ultimately, our national aspirations can only be as strong as our national memory. Ngayong araw, manindigan muli tayong hindi tayo makakalimot,” the Vice President added.
Martial Law would officially end on January 17, 1981, with Proclamation No. 2045. Marcos, however, would reserve decree-making powers for himself. Today, the 1987 Constitution safeguards our institutions from a repeat of Marcos’ Martial Law regime.