Palace cites need to impart martial law lessons to youth
Today, the 43rd anniversary of the day Ferdinand Marcos signed his martial law decree, Malacañang joins Filipinos in honoring the sacrifices of the victims of martial rule, calling it “one of the darkest chapters in the country’s history.”
In a statement on state-run Radyo ng Bayan, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma recalled that “(Filipinos) defied harassment, cruel punishment and fear as they … fought for human rights at a time when the dictatorship demolished the house of democracy in our land.”
“From their blood, sweat and tears, our people rebuilt their will power and strength to mount wave upon wave of protests that culminated in the triumph of the Edsa People Power Revolution in 1986,” he said.
Coloma emphasized that “the people’s struggle against martial rule served as the foundation for rebuilding democracy in the Philippines.” That, he said, “served as a beacon of hope and inspiration for other freedom-loving people, who overcame dictatorship and rebuilt democracy in their land.”
Citing the Aquino administration’s efforts to “ensure sustainable long-term growth and stability that would include the participation of all Filipinos,” Coloma stressed the need to “impart to the youth the lessons learned from martial rule and the struggle to restore democracy as our legacy to future generations.”
Earlier, the Palace disputed Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s claim that life was better when his father was in power.
Coloma urged the senator to look at the names on Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City to know what it was like during his father’s dictatorial regime.
He was referring to the Wall of Remembrance at the shrine. The names of the first 65 martyrs of martial law, led by Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., the father of President Aquino, are inscribed on the wall.
Coloma said it would be better for the younger Marcos to ask the families of those killed during the martial law about the dictatorship, adding the senator was probably misinformed.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda earlier said there was no truth to statements that life was better during the martial law years.
“That is an illusion,” Lacierda said. “Filipinos not only suffered human rights abuses but also economic abuses.”
He added: “There were human rights abuses. People were tortured.”
He said the President would not allow a hero’s burial for Marcos and that “the position of President Aquino remains the same.”