Ateneo de Manila University remembers Martial Law, vows to keep memory alive

Published September 21, 2021, 2:34 PM

by Jaleen Ramos

The Ateneo de Manila University on Tuesday, Sept. 21 said it will strive to keep its collective memory of the Martial Law alive to ensure that Filipinos will never forget.

Ateneo de Manila University (Photo from AdMU)

“Martial Law is a period in the story of the Filipino nation that is too critical, too important to be forgotten. But for the past few decades the memories of that period have been slowly receding in our rear-view mirror,” the university said in a statement during the 49th anniversary of the martial law declaration.

“Many of those who experienced the atrocities first-hand—Filipinos who suffered in the hands of fellow Filipinos—are now gone,” it added.

The university said “the main actors are now back in the spotlight, working hard to blatantly revise history.”

“A large segment of our population have been born post-1986 and are too young to truly understand the impact of that period. And we, as a nation, have apparently been experiencing historical amnesia, and have failed to truly take stock and reckon with its lessons,” it said.

Ateneo said that its biggest challenge as an educational institution is to “make sure that we, as a nation, will never forget”.

The university said its digital museum — Ateneo Martial Law Museum — will continue to serve as a tool that will educate Filipinos of the events during Marcos’ regime.

“Since 2017 it has been an important learning resource about democracy, human rights, and freedom, as we aim to preserve our collective memory, fight historical revisionism, and promote engaged citizenship especially among the youth,” it said.

Ateneo also noted the online museum will be more crucial in the coming months as the country prepares for the next election.

“Together, we need to keep the memory of Martial Law so that we won’t make those same mistakes again,” it said.

“We owe it to those who sacrificed their lives, those who fought the darkness so that we may live freely. We owe it to the succeeding generations of Filipinos, so that they may never ever experience it.”

Sept. 21 is the 49th anniversary of President Ferdinand E. Marcos’ declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines.