Pimentel: Martial law victims best proof vs Enrile lies
Filipinos who lived through martial law should debunk claims there were no arrests, torture and killings during the 21-year rule of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III also reminded educators that they were required by law to teach about the atrocities committed during martial law.
Pimentel made the appeal as he disputed the claim of former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile that no one was arrested for criticizing Marcos and that people were merely “inconvenienced.”
“That is very wrong because I have personal knowledge given what happened to my family,” Pimentel said over radio station dwIZ.
Arrested 4 times
He said his father, former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr., was arrested and detained four times.
“Those who have personal knowledge should speak up,” said the younger Pimentel.
“And if they will tell us to move on, we should tell them, how can we move on when you’re even trying to change the basic story?” he said.
Pimentel also stressed the importance of teaching the country’s real martial law history and recently urged University of the Philippines officials with whom he met to act on the matter.
Religious and labor groups also stressed the importance of remembering the lessons of martial law as they commemorated the lives of those who were killed under the Marcos dictatorship on Friday.
The Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP) said the country could not simply move on from the abuses of martial law.
“We must not move on and simply forget on the basis of lies and historical revision,” the AMRSP said.
The coalition group Manggagawa Ayaw sa Diktadura (MAD) also said it would “never forget” what martial law did to the country.
MAD said it owed current freedoms to “fallen comrades in the labor movement who were killed, tortured and detained fighting for workers’ rights” under Marcos.
“We are inspired by the courage of labor leaders and workers before us who did not think twice about fighting for our freedom at the expense of their own lives and safety against a dictator who used the military and the police to silence dissent,” said Elmer Labog, chair of Kilusang Mayo Uno.
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