Martial law victims to Enrile: ‘You are a liar’

Published September 22, 2018, 12:02 AM

by Roel Tibay

By Ria Fernandez

Martial law victims called former senator Juan Ponce Enrile a liar after he claimed that there were neither arrests nor killings during the Marcos-era martial rule.

“Siya yung (He was the) main adminsitrator ng (of) Martial Law…tumanda na siya at mamamatay siyang sinungaling. Dokumentado ang mga bilang ng mga nakulong, natorture, at pinaslang (he got old and would die as a liar. The numbers of detained, tortured, and killed were documented),” said Satur Ocampo, president of Makabayan coalition and former Bayan Muna representative, in reaction to Enrile’s statements during in a one-on-one interview with defeated Vice Presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos.

Former senator Juan Ponce Enrile (Credits: Wikimedia Commons | Manila Bulletin)
Former senator Juan Ponce Enrile (Wikimedia Commons | Manila Bulletin)

Ocampo vividly recalled the one week of torture he endured at the hands of the military and police four years later after former president Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law on September 21, 1972.

“Tinalian ako ng isang (I was wrapped with an) electric cord…kahit nakapiring ako parang may nakikitang (even if I was blindfolded, I saw a) spark na nararamdaman ko talaga (which I really felt) down the line hanggang sa bayag ko (up to my scrotum),” he narrated.

“Noong unang araw talagang (On the first day it was really) from early evening to dawn namaga, sinunog nipples ko, sex organs, at toe nails (my nipples, sex organs, and toe nails were swollen and burned),” he added.

Vergel Santos, chairman of Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, also lost two cousins after they were killed for fighting for their small piece of farm land.

“This piece of land had been grabbed from them. These two boys didn’t have any second thoughts. They went and joined the movement and in time both of them were killed two weeks apart in an ambush in Isabela,” he said.

Even Santos himself was not spared. He was taken into police custody overnight for a story he wrote for the foreign newspaper about the press freedom under Marcos’ administration.

“I didn’t suffer much except humiliation and a little slap with paper plates,” he said.

Ka Nitz Gonzaga, vice president for women of Kilusang Mayo Uno, also had a fair share of the horror of martial law.

She was then an office secretary when she was arrested on September 23 and threatened to be raped if she would not turn her back from her affiliates.

She added that Enrile, who was Marcos’ defense minister, ordered the capture of Atty. Rolando Olalia, chairperson of National Federation of Labor Unions (NAFLU), who was later killed.

“Nakakakulo ng dugo ang pagsisinungaling niya (His lie is infuriating),” she bursted.

Historical revisionism

For former Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, the tete-a-tete of Marcos with Enrile was part of the “ongoing historical revision”.

“Sinabi ni President Duterte na (President Duterte said) he is ready to step down so long as Bongbong Marcos takes over or military junta in the setup. Is this part of preparation for another martial law that will either retain President Duterte as president for life or to put another Marcos?,” she said.

On the part of ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, the Supreme Court had long ago condemned the “wrong, sinful” Martial Law of Marcos.

“Hindi pwedeng i-revise ang (We cannot revise the) history. Masama ang Martial Law ni Marcos. Nagnakaw, pumatay, nan-rape, nag-torture. (Marcos’ Martial Law was bad. They plundered, killed, raped, and tortured.) Yung mga biktima nakita ko ang affidavit na naging (I saw the affidavit of victims which became a) court testimony,” she said.

Martial law victims, some members of the opposition, and sectoral groups joined a protest rally at Rizal Park in Manila Friday in commemoration of the declaration of martial law 46 years ago.