Martial Law

LOOK: Street protests on 50th year of Marcos’ Martial Law

Dwight de Leon

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LOOK: Street protests on 50th year of Marcos’ Martial Law

NO FORGETTING. Protesters hold a demonstration outside Quiapo Church in Manila on Wednesday, September 21, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines

Jairo Bolledo/Rappler

Half a century since late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos imposed martial rule, many Filipinos still choose to remember

MANILA, Philippines – Demonstrators trooped to the streets of Manila on Wednesday, September 21, to commemorate the 50th year since late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos declared Martial Law, a monumental event in Philippine history that extended his grip on power.

Outside Quiapo Church, progressive groups performed a cultural number depicting Martial Law atrocities, while raising placards on various modern-day issues.

‘RESIST HISTORICAL REVISIONISM.’ The Marcos family, which has returned to Malacañang 36 years since their exile following the 1986 EDSA revolt, has been accused of revising history. Jairo Bolledo/Rappler.

One presentation also depicted the Marcos family as crocodiles, in reference to the massive corruption they enabled during the Martial Law era.

CROCODILE FACES. In this number by activists, crocodile masks are used to symbolize the billions of pesos in ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos family. Jairo Bolledo/Rappler.
LOOK: Street protests on 50th year of Marcos’ Martial Law

Another group of protesters also held their rally in the historic Mendiola thoroughfare.

Under Marcos’ martial rule, 70,000 people were detained, 34,000 were tortured, and 3,240 were killed, based on numbers from Amnesty International.

‘TATAK MARCOS.’ Activists from Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino and Partido Lakas ng Masa call on the public to push back against the Marcos brand of politics, and fight for Filipinos’ rights and freedoms. Jairo Bolledo/Rappler.

In 2022, Marcos’ son Ferdinand Jr. won by a landslide in the presidential elections, ending a decades-long project by the family to rehabilitate the Marcos’ brand of politics through what critics believe are networked propaganda, disinformation, and historical distortion. – with reports from Jairo Bolledo/

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers the House of Representatives and the Commission on Elections for Rappler. Previously, he wrote stories on local government units.