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Palace on martial law: Never again

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino – only son of democracy icons Ninoy and Cory Aquino – yesterday vowed to never again allow the imposition of martial law in the country, on the eve of the 43rd anniversary of dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ declaration that began a dark chapter in Philippine history.

“We should be one in saying ‘never again’ and we should not allow that dark part of our history to repeat itself,” Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said over state-run dzRB station. 

But for Oliver Lozano, the martial law years simply meant the time crime was at its lowest rate and drug trafficking was practically halted. He claimed life was a lot better then.

Malvar Jose Villegas, president of the Pagkakaisa ng mga Pilipino para sa Pilipinas, said those years saw the country become first to build an elevated train system and a nuclear power plant in the region. The Philippines then, he added, was a rice-exporting country.

For Coloma, Sept. 21,1972 was the day when Marcos deprived Filipinos of their freedom of speech and right to assemble peaceably.

The day also marked the beginning of the arrests of senators Ninoy Aquino and Jose Diokno and many other opposition leaders or members for criticizing the Marcos government.

The regime came to a abrupt end when Marcos was ousted in February 1986 as millions of Filipinos trooped to the streets to demand the restoration of democracy in the country and to support then presidential candidate Cory Aquino, widow of Ninoy who was assassinated at the former Manila International Airport.

“The nation recalls the imposition of martial rule in 1972 or 43 years ago, which is probably one of the darkest chapters in the country’s history. We join our citizenry in remembering and honoring the sacrifices of the victims of martial rule,” Coloma said.

He added that many courageous Filipinos “defied harassment, cruel punishment and fear” by asserting and fighting for the recognition of basic human rights.

He also said that this resistance and struggle served as the foundation for rebuilding democracy in the country. – With Perseus Echeminada

ACIRC

CORY AQUINO

FERDINAND MARCOS

FOR COLOMA

MALVAR JOSE VILLEGAS

MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

NINOY AND CORY AQUINO

NINOY AQUINO AND JOSE DIOKNO

OLIVER LOZANO

PRESIDENT AQUINO

SECRETARY HERMINIO COLOMA JR.

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