As martial law babies’ victories fritter away, Pangilinan dares millennials to speak up
MANILA, Philippines — Now that the victories of “martial law babies” are frittering away, opposition Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan challenged millennials to speak up.
A day before the 47th anniversary of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ declaration of martial law, Pangilinan lamented how several triumphs of his generation are slowly disappearing.
“The victories martial law babies won are gradually being frittered away. Our farmers and fishermen are being impoverished, and food prices are still high despite our plentiful harvest and our rich fishing grounds,” Pangilinan said in a statement Friday.
“Preventable diseases — measles, dengue, and polio — are making a comeback. Crimes still plague the streets, including the massacre of our poor countrymen inside their own homes. The climate crisis will aggravate the over 20 typhoons a year that pound our country,” he continued.
Pangilinan then challenged millennials to speak up by quoting a line by the late Philippine Collegian editor Abraham “Ditto” Sarmiento who was arrested because of critical piece.
“So on this 47th year of martial law, this is the challenge of martial law babies like me for millennials,” Pangilinan said.
He added: “It was written by another martial law baby, Abraham “Ditto” Sarmiento, who was arrested for his critical editorial in the Philippine Collegian. His imprisonment at Fort Bonifacio and Camp Crame aggravated his asthmatic condition and caused his death. He said: ‘Who will speak up if we don’t? Who will act if we don’t? If not now, when?’”
Pangilinan also asked what could be millennials’ “defining point,” stating how his generation he monikered as “martial law babies” grew up knowing of no other president but Marcos.
“If there are baby boomers and millennials, I am a martial law baby. From two to 23 years old, I knew of no president but Marcos,” Pangilinan said.
“Fortunately, when I became ‘woke’ to his regime’s robbery of our nation’s coffers, to wounding our fellow human beings, to thrash our country, Marcos was being ousted.
“If ‘panahon ng Hapon’ was the defining moment for our parents, for my generation it was martial law. To millennials, what would it be?” he continued.
Marcos declared martial law on September 21, 1972. He was ousted in 1986 following a four-day uprising at Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (Edsa) now dubbed as EDSA People Power Revolution. /jpv
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