MANILA, Philippines – Survivors and victims of late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos’ tyrannical rule pledged to guard the country against tyranny on Thursday, June 30, the same day Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. took his oath as the new Philippine president.
Martial Law victims and survivors held a program at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City. The memorial park was dedicated to honor the heroes and survivors who fought the late dictator.
The “Panunumpa para sa Bayan” (oath for the country), was led by renowned playwright Bonifacio Ilagan and former Commission on Human Rights chairperson Etta Rosales. Both Ilagan and Rosales are Martial Law survivors.
In their vow, the Martial Law survivors reiterated that Marcos’ inauguration as president would not clear his family’s sins against the Filipino people.
“Nagpapahayag kami ngayon ng aming paninindigan na ang pag-upo bilang pangulo ay hindi magpapalaya sa pananagutan sa kasaysayan na dapat aminin ng pamilya Marcos ang pandarambong, at dapat ibalik sa mga kinauukulan ang mga ninakaw,” they said.
(We’re now declaring our stand that [Marcos’] inauguration as president is not freedom from accountability for the family’s plunder and their responsibility to history to return what they had stolen.)
The victims also stressed that unity is based on true justice: “…ang pagkakaisa ay batay sa katarungan na dapat kilanlin ng mauupong pangulo ang pait na idinulot ng batas militar sa mga biktima…Nanunumpa kami na gagawin namin ang lahat upang biguin ang anumang pagtatangka na baluktutin ang kasaysayan.”
(Unity is based on justice that involves acknowledgment by the incoming president of the pain of Martial Law victims. We promise to do everything to foil any attempt to revise history.)
In the course of his campaign, and even up to his inaugural speech, Marcos has used the word “unity” as his brand of politics. The new Philippine president has never apologized for the human rights abuses committed under his father’s tyrannical rule.
Martial law victims, meanwhile, ended their program through a passing of the torch ceremony. According to them, it symbolized the passing of hope and responsibility from Martial Law survivors down to the younger generation.
Symbolic Plaza Miranda
On the other side of the metro, in the country’s capital Manila, various progressive groups staged demonstrations to reject Marcos’ inauguration and his family’s return to Malacañang. Based on a Manila Police District’s report, at least 19 groups, including Bayan Muna and Kabataan Partylist, were present in the Manila demonstration.
During the dark years under the dictator, the writ of habeas corpus was suspended after the Plaza Miranda bombing in August 1971. At the very same venue, more than 50 years later, opposition groups stood their ground and strongly rejected Marcos Jr. as their president.
The groups were supposed to hold their program at Liwasang Bonifacio – near the National Museum, where Marcos Jr. took his oath. After a dialogue with the police, the groups decided to move to Plaza Miranda to avoid any tension with Marcos Jr. supporters.
The protests ended as the groups marched from Plaza Miranda to Recto Avenue and dispersed in the area.
While these events were happening in Manila and Quezon City, youth leaders were arrested by the police along Commonwealth Avenue during a lightning banner hanging activity near the Commission on Human Rights. Nabbed were Akbayan Partylist second nominee RJ Naguit, Benjamin Alvero and Jane Labongray of Sentro Youth.
At around 3 pm, Akbayan announced that Naguit, Alvero, and Labongray were eventually released by the police after a dialogue with the cops. – Rappler.com
There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.