WATCH: Clueless millennials meet martial law victims | Inquirer News
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WATCH: Clueless millennials meet martial law victims

/ 04:03 PM May 04, 2016

What happens when millennials clueless about the ills of martial law meet human rights victims imprisoned and tortured under the regime of Ferdinand Marcos?

Shock, sympathy, and embarrassment. These were the emotions expressed by young voters featured in a now viral video posted on Facebook.


In the four-minute video posted by the group Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang (Carmma), voters aged 19 to 22 were shown being interviewed by older people.


Asked what they knew about martial law, the millennials gave generic answers. One young woman said people were disciplined and followed the law, as well as curfews.

“It was good for our country,” another young woman said.

One young man said that while authorities were strict, it was “like how your parents are strict because they love you.”

All of them said they were in favor of the martial law imposed by the late strongman.

At that point, the interviewer introduced himself or herself as a victim of martial law.



Danilo dela Fuente, one of the plaintiffs in a 1986 class suit filed against the Marcoses, recounted how he was tortured while in jail. He was electrocuted and was subjected to a lethal game of Russian roulette.

The young woman Dela Fuente was talking to fought back tears as he continued to share his story. Overwhelmed by her interviewer’s experience, the young woman asked if she could embrace Dela Fuente.

Another millennial’s face fell upon hearing that his female interviewer was detained and raped.

The young voters later admitted that they weren’t educated about what really happened during the administration of Marcos.

“Sorry. Please understand. I had no idea that happened during martial law,” another young woman said as she cried.

“To this day, the true story of Martial Law is not being taught in schools,” the video said in the end. “It’s time to rewrite our history books.”

The video has received more than a million views, 45,000 shares and more than 3,000 comments within 18 hours of being uploaded.

A Carmma staff, who was present during the shoot, told that the young participants were really unaware of what will happen. They signed a waiver for the interview but did not know that they will face martial law victims.

“Some of them became emotional because they didn’t expect it. They were shocked because they didn’t know that what happened during martial law was that grave,” the staff said.


Film director Boni Ilagan, spokesperson of Carmma, told that the video’s purpose was to connect with millennials and explain to them why martial law is bad and why the Marcos family should be prevented from returning to Malacañang.

Ilagan revealed that the video was made by young volunteers who did not want to be identified. The group, which has never been connected to anti-martial law organizations, approached them with the idea.

“They came to us and we told them we welcome all support,” he said.

Ilagan, most known for directing “The Flor Contemplacion Story,” said it was obvious that the video was made by young filmmaker.

“It is really minimalist. Makikita mo mga bata ang gumawa n’yan (You’ll see that younger people made that),” he said, adding that his style is quite different.

Ilagan said its “sincere presentation” was one of the reasons why it became viral. He said they didn’t even bother with narration.

“’Yung mga batang umiyak, hindi nga namin alam na iiyak. Kasi kung rehearsed ‘yan, I’m sure mape-perceive mo (We didn’t know some of the kids would cry. If it were rehearsed, I’m sure you can perceive it),” he said.

Responding to those who claim that the video was scripted, he said they were even wary at the start because they were afraid that it would have a different outcome.

The filmmaker said they were surprised when the volunteers were able to deliver the video a week after they brainstormed.

He said they could have done more if many of the volunteers approached them months before the elections. With less than a week to go, Ilagan said they are getting a lot of volunteers who are convinced that they need to do something about the situation.

Campaign against Marcoses

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., son of the late dictator, is one of the leading vice presidential candidates, according to electoral polls.

“Marcos Jr. is the embodiment of what transpired in the 21 years of his father’s rule,” Ilagan said.

He said that even if the younger Marcos had nothing to do with martial law, the fact that his electoral campaign features “whitewashing of the sins of his father” is one reason to campaign against him.

READ: ‘Carmma’ to hound Bongbong campaign

Ilagan said that the senator was in fact not guiltless since he was a government appointee of his father.

“S’ya ang executor ng Marcos estate at s’ya ang may hawak ng susi. Nasan ang hidden wealth?” he said.

(He’s the executor of the Marcos estate and he holds the key. Where is the hidden wealth?)

The Marcos family has been accused of amassing ill-gotten wealth, which was said to have reached $10 billion.

READ: ‘I’m a pauper compared to other pols’

Ilagan said there was even a photo of the younger Marcos wearing a camouflage uniform as his father was being sworn into office.

“He was upholding electoral fraud and he was ready to defend the dictatorship. He is not guiltless,” the director said, explaining that under the law, those who benefited from stolen money are also considered criminals.

1 million views

Asked if they will try to air the advertisement on television, Ilagan said their group will meet again to explore other plans for the video, as it already reached the 1 million mark.

He said they hope there will be more to come.

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“Whatever the result of the elections there really is a need to pursue the teaching of history. Our campaign will not stop on May 9,” he said. “There is a crying need to enlighten our people, to rewrite history books and to institutionalize the teaching of martial law.”

The group’s online petition ( to rewrite history books now has 4,600 supporters. JE

TAGS: Boni Ilagan, Carmma, Ferdinand Marcos, Human rights, Martial law, Petition, video, Viral, viral video

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