BLOG: Election and Martial Law

(PHOTO CAPTION: In the “Hall of Orphans,” a child holding a picture of a missing loved one in the Journey Toward Light museum in Manila, Philippines  on life under Martial Law. Photo by Eloisa Lopez)


While the success of Rodrigo Duterte to be president is evident as this point,  Ferdinand  Marcos Jr still hopes he will win the vice presidency over Leni Robredo who apparently leads the recent counting of votes.  Duterte, despite being  known to be a tough crime fighter made a promise in his campaign that he is far from implementing martial law.


In the midst of the cry of millions of the young Marcos’ supporters that he is a victim of  cheating, many have forgotten that his  name sake was synonymous to power and martial law. He is being looked at now  as an underdog.


In one of his campaigns,  Marcos said  he is  not  ready to say sorry  and  would say sorry  if  he  knew what  he  had  to  be sorry for — referring to the  more than two decades of military ruling under his late father’s  so called  dictatorship  regime. He believes he  does not need to apologize, on behalf of his late father,  to the  many people (or their families)  who were imprisoned, sexually assaulted, tortured  or just disappeared  during  martial law  years when freedom of  the press was also suppressed. It is agony up to this very moment for people, like a personal friend I know, whose sister, a  university student in the  mid 70s, disappeared  because she  openly criticized the government.


I grew up in a small-town  household that  knew only Marcos.  My parents were  both dedicated and law-abiding  government employees and public servants who spoke only  but praises of  the ex-president.   History books never mentioned anything about human rights violations because the government run the public school.


In this age of facebook and twitter, martial law for sure  has no room  in the Philippines, but  while many believe the  sin of the father is not the sin of the son, it seems that  people do not care anymore   about the hidden wealth.   And while many know about the  pains  inflicted during the martial law years, some  believe that a tough punisher like  Marcos was essential in cleaning the country off from criminal elements at those times.  For the victims, the lost lives and broken dreams, and for loved ones that never came back,  there is no healing. Only horror and pains.




Posted in Annoucer Blogs, Bhupinder Toor, Donna Natividad-Arenas

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