LOOK: Photographer shares dramatic images from anti-Marcos protests
What really happened during the time of former president Ferdinand Marcos?
A veteran freelance photojournalist has decided to share his old photographs on Facebook to help educate the youth and those who insist that martial law was good.
“Kasi nakita ko nga sa social media, yung napansin ko na hindi alam ng iba yung kasaysayan. So through photos maipakita ko yung nangyari noon (I see on social media how some are unaware of our history. So now I want to show what happened through my photos),” Lito Ocampo told INQUIRER.net
Ocampo, the younger brother of former Bayan Muna representative Satur Ocampo, was a human rights worker and a political detainee during martial law.
He was detained from 1974 to 1979. He turned to photography after his release and started contributing photos to Malaya and We Forum.
One post that garnered a lot of interest had images of the violent dispersal of a Welcome Rotunda rally on September 27, 1984.
Ocampo said it was the worst rally that he attended as the police used tear gas and guns.
A couple of the photos showed Senator Lorenzo Tañada, who has been called the “grand old man of Philippine politics,” wincing in pain because of the tear gas.
“Some rallyists were injured, arrested. Student leader Fidel Nemenzo suffered gunshot wounds. It was one of the worst rall(ies) I attended,” Ocampo said in his post.
Other photos from the set showed protesters being hit by water cannons.
A number of martial law survivors responded to his post. One, who thanked Ocampo for sharing the images, said he could never forget that rally because it was on his birthday.
Another Facebook user said he remembered how the tear gas stung his skin and eyes and how they always brought wet towels to protect their faces from the chemicals. He said he even fell into a pit while trying to escape the police.
Ocampo said he wanted to share something to the youth after the unexpected burial of Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery).
And since he “didn’t have anything literary to share,” he posted his photos.
In another post, Ocampo shared photos of political prisoners at the Bicutan Detention Center.
“A reminder of the evils of Martial Law: 14-year dictatorship marked by massive human rights violations and plunder,” he posted. “They are some of the more than 70,000 arrested, detained, tortured during the Marcos dictatorship.”
Many protesters, media practitioners and political rivals of the Marcoses ended up in jail during martial law. A number of them reported being tortured. As of last year, 75,730 people filed claims for human rights violations during the martial law.
Ocampo called on people to join nationwide rallies on Friday afternoon to protest the Marcos burial./rga
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