Martial Law survivors: Reject Marcoses' return to Palace, Duterte's bid to retain power

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Martial Law survivors: Reject Marcoses' return to Palace, Duterte's bid to retain power
A child walks past a mural depicting former Philippine presidents during aprotest to commemorate the 46th anniversary of the declaration of martial law by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in Manila on September 21, 2018.
AFP / Noel Celis

MANILA, Philippines — Martial law survivors on the 49th anniversary of the declaration of the martial rule urged Filipinos to reject the return of the Marcoses to Malacañang and to prevent the Dutertes from staying in power.

In a statement on Tuesday, Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto cautioned the public against the “monstrous” Duterte-Marcos tandem being floated in the run-up to the 2022 elections.

Bongbong Marcos, son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr., earlier said he was eyeing a national post next year, after losing by a slim margin to Vice President Leni Robredo in 2016.

This led to speculations that he might run in tandem with the president or with his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

“We refuse to let out country plummet to a deeper abyss of terror, deceit and incompetence. We cannot allow the monstrous troika of a despicable son of an ousted dictator and the cold-blooded fascist Dutertes to rule the nation,” SELDA said.

Rights group Karapatan called on Filipinos to “rise against forgetting and simply remembering.”

“In the same way that the struggle of the people did not end with the downfall of the Marcos dictatorship, the campaign to stop Marcos and Duterte from returning to and staying in Malacañang continues, as a way to do justice for the Filipino people of the martial law generation and all other generations after Duterte,” Karapatan said.

The faction of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipinas-Lakas ng Bayan supported by the chief executive said there have been no negotiations for an alliance with Marcos, who belongs to Nacionalista Party.

The Duterte-backed PDP-Laban faction nominated Duterte’s long-time aide, Sen. Bong Go, as its presidential candidate and Duterte as vice presidential candidate.

‘Darker’ under Duterte

For SELDA, “the nation is again living in such dark times, even darker to what we endured during the Marcos’ rule” under the leadership of Duterte.

“Innocent blood is continuously spilled due to Duterte’s war on drugs and extrajudicial killings of critics and activists. Just like Marcos, Duterte made sure to implement draconian laws such as the Anti Terror Law and ensured to gain control of the legislature,” it said.

The organization of former political prisoners listed more similarities of the two regimes: curtailment of press freedom, militaristic governance and human rights abuses.  

The Commission on Human Rights told Filipinos not to waste the opportunity to vote freely and change the future of the country for the next generation

“Let's continue our fight for inclusive and humane Philippines. Never again. Say no to martial law,” it said. 

Rewriting history

In a separate statement, the Families of Victims of Involuntary Disapperance said that Duterte's move to give the dictator's a hero's burial, declare martial law in Mindanao and constantly threaten to put the country under martial law should “spur the people to be vigilant and vigorously defend their rights and freedoms.”

The two-decade rule of Marcos saw thousands imprisoned, tortured, abducted and killed—a fact recognized by a Hawaii court in 1992 and affirmed by the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in 1995 and the Supreme Court in 2003.

The Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act also recognizes there “were victims of summary execution, torture, enforced or involuntary disappearance and other gross human rights violations” under the Marcos regime.

For SELDA, while others may try to rewrite history, truth and the people's collective resolve will prevail. 

“We will never, EVER, forget the innumerable atrocities of Ferdinand Marcos, his family, and their cronies. We would also like to remind Duterte and the Marcoses that we have once toppled a despot, and we are determined to end another one.” — with reports from Xave Gregorio

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