Robredo on martial law: ‘Not in this lifetime, never again’
Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo on Wednesday called on government officials and workers to be “safeguards of freedoms of life, liberty, speech, and due process,” as the nation commemorates the 44th anniversary of the declaration of martial law, which was marred by human rights abuses.
“We call upon those of us who serve in the government to continue to be instruments of truth and justice and to maintain an unwavering commitment to the rule of law… We must all remain vigilant against the return of Martial Law or any of its elements,” Robredo said in a statement.
“Not in this lifetime, never again,” she added.
Robredo said it is every Filipino’s “collective responsibility” to ensure that the stories of martial law victims are “neither forgotten nor twisted for political purposes and ambitions.”
“We urge everyone to remember the 70,000 who were imprisoned, the 34,000 who were tortured, the 3,240 who were killed, and the 390 who disappeared during one of the darkest periods of our history. They were fathers and mothers. They were brothers and sisters,” the Vice President said.
Through Proclamation No. 1081, former President Ferdinand Marcos placed the country under martial law on Sept. 21, 1972, an era marked by curtailed press freedom, corruption, forced disappearances, arrest and killings of opposition forces, among other abuses.
In the May elections, Robredo ran and won against the late dictator’s son and namesake, former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
President Rodrigo Duterte, himself a Marcos ally, has directed a hero’s burial for the late strongman at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, the preparations for which were ordered halted by the Supreme Court. IDL
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