Vice President Leni Robredo highlighted the high cost of silence among Filipinos on the 49th anniversary of the declaration of martial law by the late strongman President Ferdinand Marcos.
For those who lived through it, Marcos’s declaration of military rule on Sept. 21, 1972 was a dark phase in Philippine history. This is a truth that is worth repeating, according to Robredo.
“Kailangan nating ulit-ulitin, sa bawat pagkakataon, ang katotohanan: Sa ilalim ng rehimeng Marcos, nagdusa ang Pilipino—ninakawan, tinorture, at pinaslang; ginamit ang ngalan para ibaon ang bansa sa utang, at pagbabayaran ang utang na ito hanggang sa mga susunod pang henerasyon (We must keep repeating the truth in every opportunity that we get: Under the Marcos regime, the Filipino suffered–they were stolen from, tortured, killed; their name used in order to bury the country under debt, a debt that would a burden for generations to come),” she said in a message Tuesday, Sept. 21.
“Kapag nanahimik tayo— kapag hindi natin pinadaloy ang naratibo sa sari-sarili nating mga espasyo, pera at kapangyarihan ang magdidikta ng kasaysayan (If we keep silent–if we don’t let this narrative flow in our own personal spaces, then money and power will dictate history),” Robredo said.
These remarks echoed the Vice President’s worries over the weekend wherein she noted how social media “troll” armies have been able to greatly influenced the narrative with their propaganda these past six years.
Those with the means to maintain these social media armies have been able to stifle the flow of communication in the online space, she said. That’s why the lies created by these groups must be countered with the truth, the opposition leader added.
“Ipinapaalala sa atin ng kasalukuyang situwasyon, kung kailan malinaw ang pagsisikap na baluktutin ang katotohanan ng malagim na kabanatang iyon: Kumukupas ang alaala; kung minsan, nabibili ang plataporma; ang kuwento, nabubura (The current situation reminds us when there is a clear effort to twist the truth of that dark chapter: Memories fade; at times, platforms can be bought and stories get deleted),” Robredo said.
Robredo reminded Filipinos that the remnants of the poltical system that reigned during Marcos’s martial law remain in power. “Idinidiin pa rin nito ang maraming Pilipino hanggang sa ngayon (It continues to persecute many Filipinos up to this day),” she said.
The Liberal Party (LP) chairman further stressed: “Diktador si Marcos, at hindi niya napagbayaran nang husto ang krimen niya; katunayan, patuloy ang pagpapakasasa ng kanyang angkan sa kayamanang ninakaw niya mula sa atin (Marcos is a dictator, and he didn’t pay for his crimes in full; in fact, his kin continues to enjoy the wealth that they stole from us).”
Robredo concluded her martial law anniversary message by saying, “Kasama ninyo ako sa pagpalag, sa pagbantay, at sa paggiit: Pilipino ang susulat ng kuwento ng Pilipino (I am one with you in the resistance, in observing vigilance, and in reiterating that it’s the Filipino who will write the story of the Filipino.”
Robredo is mulling a presidential run in the May 2022 national elections.
She beat ex-President Marcos’s son, Bongbong Marcos, for the vice presidency in the 2016 polls.