Never too young to remember: Youths ‘like’ martial law heroesBy Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
To refresh the memory of younger Filipinos about the country’s experience under martial law during the Marcos regime, several youth groups are gunning for 40,000 “likes” or approving clicks on a Facebook page dedicated to the dark era’s unsung heroes.
In a press conference Tuesday, organizations from different colleges and universities launched an information campaign dubbed “#rememberML@40.”
They aim to get 40,000 likes on their #rememberML@40 Facebook which will feature stories about martial law victims, fact sheets and other related information which younger Filipinos may no longer be familiar with.
Nolivee Barrido, a student leader from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM), pointed out the importance of having the younger generation remember what happened during martial law.
He noted that students like him were not yet even born during that period, when the thousands of political activists and opposition leaders were jailed, tortured or killed, press freedom was suppressed and democratic institutions were made subservient to the iron-fisted rule of then President Ferdinand Marcos.
“It is hard to fight for something that you did not experience firsthand, so we want the youth to remember and never forget,” Barrido said.
“The 40,000 ‘likes’ stand for the 40th anniversary of martial law on Sept. 21. Kids today barely know anything about it, and yet they should because it’s an episode in our past which must never happen again,” said Egay Cabalitaan of Task Force Detainees of the Philippines.
The information campaign, he said, would also feature show biz personalities who have committed to making sure that martial law will be remembered four decades later. These include recording artists Jim Paredes, Sharon Cuneta, Noel Cabangon, TV personality Lourd de Veyra and comedian Tado Jimenez, among others.
They will be featured making the so-called “pinky pledges,” with a red ribbon tied to their pinkies. “It will be like the pinky swear of friends who promise to stand by each other. We also promise to inform and inspire others with the sacrifices of martial law’s unsung heroes,” Cabalitaan added.
The youth network will also conduct campus tours featuring photo exhibits, forums that serve as “storytelling sessions,” and related activities leading to Sept. 21, the day then President Ferdinand Marcos placed the country under martial rule in 1972.
Representing the campus groups were student leaders Barrido of PLM, Shaina Santiago, UP Diliman student council chair Heart Dino and vice chair Alex Castro, and Alvin Quintas of the Center for Youth Advancement Network.
The campaign network is made up of at least 31 student and youth groups from UP, PLM, De La Salle University, University of Makati, and local communities in Quezon City, Manila and nearby provinces.