Youths stand with martial law victims at CDO rally
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – People who were not even born yet when martial law was declared joined those who have experienced the various forms of brutalities in the hands of the state forces as the country remembered this era in Philippine history.
Deemz Badilla had to skip class at the Tagoloan Community College (TCC) in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, just so she could participate in the march rally held here Wednesday.
Badilla, 18, is a second¬year Community Development major at TCC and Anakbayan coordinator for the eastern Misamis Oriental area.
She said she had classes but did not attend them so she could be with other like-minded youth in condemning the atrocities of martial law.
Badilla said she did not want a repeat of martial law as she had heard tales of repression during that time.
“I don’t want it (martial law) to happen again during my generation. I hope President Rodrigo Duterte will not declare it,” she said, referring to talks that the Chief Executive is considering on proclaiming a state of martial rule in the country.
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Renz Ybañez, 18, an out-of-school youth from Tagoloan, said her awareness of what happened at the height of martial law was made through watching a documentary and hearing recollections of the victims under the Marcos regime.
“I heard the atrocities being done to people during martial law, especially on the abuse of women. The crimes against women had an impact on me as a woman,” she said.
Ybañez is a former TCC student taking up Financial Management but had to stop when her scholarship with a cooperative was cut off due to an incomplete grade.
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For Datu Felix “Mangkayanaw” Bollozos, 54, the commemoration of the declaration of martial law brings back painful memories.
A tribal leader, Bollozos is a native of Gingoog City but had resided in Esperanza, Agusan del Sur for 25 years.
He said he was 10 years old when martial law was declared but he was in his 20s when he tasted the cruelties inflicted by state forces on hapless civilians.
Bollozos said he was working as a village worker in Esperanza in 1984 when two members of the Civilian Home Defense Force (CHDF), a militia group created during the Marcos years, picked him up and mauled him.
He said was brutalized by the militiamen when he failed to give the exact names of two leaders of the New People’s Army (NPA) who he personally knew.
Atrocities were still committed even if martial law was lifted in 1981.
“They (CHDF men) asked me to name the NPA commanders that I knew. I told them their names were Kumader Alex and Kumander Waway. But when it didn’t check out, they hogtied me and beat me all day long,” Bollozos told reportersWednesday.
He said he was taken against his will and brought to a CHDF detachment in Barangay Maasin, Esperanza where he was tortured.
In 1986, Bollozos said he again experienced the viciousness this time under the hands of soldiers belonging to the 29thInfantry Battalion.
He said a certain First Sergeant Edgar Marao from the 29th IB stabbed him with the muzzle of an M16 rifle several times before he passed out from the pain inflicted on him.
“I was accused of being an NPA supporter when they (soldiers) saw bags of rice inside my house,” Bollozos said.
The 10 sacks of rice which were left in his care every week was actually for the consumption of the workers of a rattan trader.
“The accusation was not true, but what really saddened me is that after all these years, I have yet to get justice for what were done to me,” he said.
He added he filed for reparation in 2009 for the martial law victims but until now, he has not received a single centavo from the government. JE