Time’s Up Ateneo’s Statement on the 49th Anniversary of the Declaration of Marcos’ Martial Law
It has been 49 years since the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines, and Time’s Up Ateneo stands with the Filipino people in remembering all forms of violence inflicted on Filipinos during Ferdinand Marcos’ bloody dictatorship.
As a community that advocates for survivors of gender-based violence, Time’s Up Ateneo strongly sympathizes with victims not of only sexual violence during the Marcos’ regime, but also of all forms of violence committed by Marcos and his cronies. We not only sympathize with and acknowledge their experience, but we fight for a community free from the persisting shackles of systemic injustice, the root of all violence we continue to suffer up to this day.
During Marcos’ regime, Filipinos, especially those who dissented and those related to them, were tortured and killed. Among the rampant methods of abuse during the capture and detention of those targeted by the State is sexual violence, perpetrated by Marcos’ military personnel. Marcos enabled, encouraged, and ordered these violations of human rights. Marcos and his government also committed warrantless arrests, murders, and massacres, and were enriched by corruption. Amid supposed advancements in infrastructure, his policies and projects caused immense destruction, including the displacement of vulnerable communities, the degradation of the environment, the massive accumulation of debt, and more.
Persons all over the country, especially the most vulnerable, were abused, tortured, and killed. While some claim that they were spared, not affected, or even benefitted from the regime, this does not take away from that grim reality. In fact, all Filipinos are victims of Marcosian violence, an expression of which is the graft and corruption committed by the Marcoses, for which Imelda Marcos was convicted and sentenced to imprisonment by the government. Among others, this corruption has placed onerous debts on our country that we are still paying for up to this day.
Thousands of testimonies, documentation, news reports, and other accounts of this dark period in Philippine history have been recorded and verified, yet the Marcoses and their supporters are rewriting the narrative to suit themselves. Bongbong Marcos, the son of the late dictator, is one of the principal historical revisionists who violate and invalidate the experience of the victims of Martial Law. In recent news, celebrities with significant following, such asToni Gonzaga, have participated in the historical revisionism of the Marcoses. Some other influential people like politicians, business persons, and journalists have also served as accessories of historical revisionism and injustice.
We must resist and fight the historical revisionism that tramples on the memory and struggles of our people. The Marcoses also persist in their efforts to bring back their power and control of the Philippine government. Bongbong Marcos and Imee Marcos are not their father, and the same is true for the Marcos loyalists and supporters, but, in defending the legacy of Martial Law and in seeking to benefit politically from historical revisionism, they distort history and continue to violate the Filipino people’s right to truth and freedom. Their threat to society must be confronted, along with the abuse of present-day rulers of the same mold, such as President Duterte.
Time’s Up Ateneo is one with the Filipino people in advocating against all forms of violence. Let us all take part in the Filipino people’s struggle for freedom. This includes opposing the return of the Marcoses to power, and of all those who emulate their example. Never again, never forget.