Sunday, September 21, 2008

remebering martial law

Martial Law Memorial Wall - Manila, Philippines

On September 21, 1972, President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial lawall over the Philippines by virtue of Proclamation 1081.  His basis for issuing the order: rising lawlessness and violence by leftist elements made it necessary so he can "save the Republic" and build a new society.  By abolishing Congress and assuming legislative powers, Presiden Marcos was able to rule by decree, in the next 14 years, in a government that he described as a form of "constitutional authoritarianism."

Under martial law President Marcos curtailed press freedom, limited civil liberties and ordered arrest of militants and his political oponents.  Those who were suspected of subversion were arrested and detained; many were tortured; thousands were picked up in the dead of the night and never heard from again, becoming "deseparacidos" (the disappeared)

President Marcos lifted martial law on January 17, 1981, shortly before a visit by Pope John Paul II.  However, he still retained most of his powers as dictator until February 25, 1986, when he was deposed in a bloodless civilian-military uprising known as People Power Revolution.

This marker is erected to remind the nation always of the searing memory of one act, one document, that transformed it in a crucible of fire and pain.  This marker is especially dedicated to young martyrs, among them hundred of Manileños. who resisted martial law.

It honors as well those who lived to see its end, after fighting it.  It is erected in the hope of inspiring people. especially the youth, to lead worthy lives, pursuing always the public good over self-interest, emboldened in their quest by the example of those who championed truth, liberty, and justice in one of the Republic's darkest hours.

5 comments:

babooshka said...

That was scary but fascinating to read.

Anonymous said...

my mom and i were a casualty of martial law. we both got detained at ft. bonifacio after violating the curfew. the reason was we have to take my uncle from chinese general hospital to his house in balintawak (we call it bario at that time) but on our way home we took the chance going back home in Dimasalang (pagbaba ng tulay)but we were stopped at by the Metrocom officer who smelled alcohol. My mom never asked a favor or abused the chance to asked her friend (wife of Rebustiano Javier - the Metrocom Commander at that time) to let us out. We waited till 6:00 AM before we were let go. I don't recall her telling the event to her friend. My mom has lots of women friends (wife of officials) in the military and government but never asked a single favor.

Abraham Lincoln said...

It was a time a lot of us also remember. His face and that of his wife and her mountains of shoes were in our newspapers and on the evening news all the time. I am glad his regime ended when it did.

Senor Enrique said...

Definitely worth keeping in mind.

lasiate said...

Et la femme de Marcos et ses enfants profitent encore de la fortune volée aux Philippins et se font même élire. Tant de morts et de courage pour rien!!!!!

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