Sept. 21 should remind the people of injustice, oppression during martial law – de Lima

Published September 21, 2019, 10:45 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Mario Casayuran

Opposition Senator Leila de Lima said Saturday any commemoration of the declaration of martial law by then President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on September 21, 1972 should be redolent of the images of injustice and oppression of the Filipino people under a brutal regime.

Senator Leila de Lima (REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Leila de Lima

‘’It evokes stories about the thousands of extrajudicial killings, disappearances and other gross violations of human rights of those who were critical or perceived to be critical of the tyrannical rule of Ferdinand Marcos and his cohorts,’’ she said.

‘’Kung mapait at madilim ang panahong iyon, bakit pa nga ba natin ito ginugunita? Hindi ba tamang ituring na lamang itong isang bangungot na dapat limutin?’’ she asked. (If the martial law administration was a bitter a experience, why should we still commemorate it? Should we just treat it as a sickness that we just simply forget?)

‘’We remember the atrocities during the martial law period not as act of self-flagellation or masochism. We recall them as part of our collective struggle for a more humane and just society for all of us, one that is founded on full respect for dignity and freedom of the Filipino,’’ she said.

The detained lawmaker said the current Duterte administration that idolizes Marcos was engaged in human rights violations and other acts that hurt citizens, particularly critics and the poor.

‘’Ang masahol pa: ipinamimigay ng Pangulo ang ating teritoryo, negosyo at trabaho sa mga Tsino,’’ she stressed. (It is even worse. It is giving away our territory, jobs and business opportunities to the Chinese.

‘’Today, as always, it is our shared obligation, our constant duty, to commemorate the declaration of martial law, to instill in the minds and hearts of our countrymen, especially the youth, the lessons from our sufferings under a dictatorial rule for us not to repeat the grievous mistakes of the past,’’ she said.

‘’Let us continue to resist any effort at historical revisionism, and remain steadfast in our struggle for a society that is grounded on truth, justice and freedom. Never forget! Never again to Martial Law!’’ she added.