Martial law survivors exhort youth: Guard vs abuse of power
Filipinos should be on their toes and guard against abuse of power with the imminent victory of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as the country’s next president, according to victims of martial law atrocities during his father’s dictatorship.
Writer Dr. Jose “Butch” Dalisay Jr., a professor emeritus of the University of the Philippines, reminded the youth of the importance of holding government officials liable for their actions.
He said the younger generation would play a vital role in the next several years as Marcos Jr. appeared to be on his way to succeeding President Duterte.
‘Your fight than ours’
“This is more your fight than ours,” Dalisay said in a recent online forum on the atrocities committed during the elder Marcos’ iron-fisted rule.
“[Our generation] will be gone in a few years. You better rise to that challenge,” he said.
Dalisay, who was jailed for seven months during martial law as a 19-year-old activist, remembered that only a few dared to challenge the dictatorial regime initially then.
“Some people say that streets got quieter as no protests were allowed,” he said. “The fact that many people were hunted, killed or imprisoned, never reached the front page of the broadsheets.”
Former Health Secretary Manuel Dayrit lamented that nearly half a century after martial law was imposed in 1972, the “forces of Marcos are still around.”
Dayrit said he saw firsthand the poverty in the rural areas and the sufferings that poor families had to endure when he decided to work as a community doctor in Davao City and other parts of Mindanao during the martial law years.
“Let me call on the next generation of health workers and health leaders to fight for and ensure health for all Filipinos,” he said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.