CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — A group of victims of human rights violations have called the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s martial law regime as “one of the bloodiest periods in Philippine history” and attested it can never be the ‘golden age.’
“It is, in fact, soaked in the blood of thousands killed, disappeared, raped, tortured and violated,” said the Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresta (Selda) in a statement.
Last September 21, the country commemorated the 50th year of martial law. Selda remembered the State forces loyal to Marcos Sr. perpetrated atrocities against the civilians and “his family and cohorts looted the nation’s coffers and blatantly committed various violations of people’s fundamental rights under his authoritarian regime.”
The physical scars may have healed but the survivors’ trauma and pain brought by martial law remain, Selda said.
The group lamented the absence of justice for the victims, even until now that the Marcoses have returned to Malacañang. Pres. Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. is now sitting as the country’s highest official.
“As expected, the dictator’s son is shamelessly flaunting his family’s ill-gotten wealth and misuse of public funds through extravagant parties, as well as his family’s lack of accountability by evading their tax liabilities. He had key government posts with allies and cronies, in line with his father’s deep-rooted ideals of nepotism and cronyism,” Selda said.
Selda said human rights violations are still committed by State forces every single day. It noted the continuing witch-hunt against activists and dissenters as the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict drags its red-tagging campaign and other programs affecting communities.
Under Bongbong, the group noted the deteriorating socio-economic conditions of the country, with the increasing prices of oil and basic commodities while wages remain at very low levels.
“The government’s biggest budgetary allocation remains for debt payments, for loans accumulated for build-build-build projects that had minimal effect on the domestic economy,” it said.
The group also criticized Bongbong for continuously bannering the neoliberal policies and minimal support for the large majority of poor peasants, even when he appointed himself as the agriculture secretary and promised to bring down the rice prices during the presidential campaign.
“We have all seen this before, as these follow the pattern of Marcos Sr.’s martial law: poor economy, lack of justice and accountability, together with the fundamental issues of landlessness and social injustice, subservience to foreign powers, and rampant corruption in the government,” Selda said.
The fight continues
“All hope is not lost. Tyrants and fascists may try to twist and mangle history but the people’s narratives on collective action and resistance can never be extinguished,” Selda said.
As survivors of the “bloody martial rule of Ferdinand Marcos, Sr.”, Selda said they will never tire of pursuing genuine justice for the crimes committed by the Marcoses and their cohorts.
“We appeal to the Filipino youth to carry forward our people’s legacy of upholding our rights and democracy. We are one with the Filipino nation in upholding truth, freedom, and justice,” the group said. (davaotoday.com)