Chilling effects of Martial Law ‘still felt right now’-A A +A
Thursday, September 20, 2012
ACTIVISTS have welcomed a bill that may soon require students of all educational levels to study the Martial Law years under President Ferdinand Marcos.
Lawyer Kit Enriquez told reporters yesterday that House Resolution 2608 was recently filed in the House of Representatives. The measure is authored by Akbayan Reps. Walden Bello and Kaka Bag-ao.
“The horrors of Martial Law will be taught already,” he said.
Enriquez was joined by fellow activists and lawyers Democrito Barcenas and Ronald Baquiano, Dr. Rhodora Bucoy, and Commission on Human Rights 7 Director Alejandro Alonso during a forum on the 40th anniversary of Martial Law, which was declared by Marcos on Sept. 21, 1972.
House Resolution 2608 urges the “National Historical Institute, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Education, Commission on Human Rights, and the National Youth Commission to immediately convene a task force that will draft the guidelines for teaching the atrocities committed during Martial Law.”
Barcenas said the bill is a good move.
“There is a great danger if we will forget the atrocities and horrors of Martial Law,” he said.
Educating the electorate
To prevent another dictator, the country’s political system must be improved by educating the electorate, Barcenas said.
“Our hope lies in the youth, especially the educated ones,” he said.
The “chilling effects” of Marcos’s dictatorship, according to Alonso, are still alive.
“Disappearances, extrajudicial killings and torture nagpadayon gihapon na ron (is
still going on at present),” he said.
He cited the disappearance of Jonas Burgos inside a mall in Manila in 2007 and the abduction of Fr. Rudy Romano in Cebu City in 1985 as among the unsolved cases of desaparecidos (missing persons) in the country.
Both were activists who championed the rights of the poor. Fr. Romano was one of the leading figures in the fight against the Marcos dictatorship, organizing rallies, mobilizing communities and attacking human rights abuses in his homilies and speeches.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 20, 2012.