Diokno family blasts Enrile’s ‘false’ claims on martial law
Name one person arrested because of political beliefs during the martial law regime?
“We name one: our father,” the family of late Senator Jose W. Diokno said in a statement on Friday.
Diokno’s family was reacting to former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile’s claim that no critic of the former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. was arrested during the martial law years. The former senator made the claim during a tête-à-tête with former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos on Thursday.
“Name me one person that was arrested because of political or religious belief during that period. None. Name me one person that was arrested simply because he criticized President Marcos. None,” Enrile said.
The family branded Enrile’s claim as “distortion of history.”
“To deny that Marcos arrested persons who criticized him is, again, to peddle with falsehood,” they said.
In almost two years that Diokno was in prison, his family said he was never interrogated nor charged.
The family also debunked Enrile’s claim that “very few were arrested and released” though inconvenienced for a while.
“The thousands of claimants whose rights were violated by the martial law regime, and whose claims have and are being officially processed, belie Enrile’s assertion,” the family said.
The family asserted that “very few”, “inconvenience” and “for a while” are relative terms.
“Many detainees were not only imprisoned but tortured and some, forcibly disappeared. Are we now to take torture, forced disappearance, and loss of life as forms of ‘inconvenience?” they asked.
Diokno was the founding chair of the Commission of Human Rights. He also served as a justice secretary during the term of President Diosdado Macapagal.
Diokno is known for his tireless work to protect the rights of the many victims of the Marcos dictatorship. He was one of the first lawyers to provide legal assistance to political prisoners and victims of martial law, documenting the many cases of torture, disappearance, and death.
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