Robredo on Martial Law anniversary: Silence lets money, power dictate history

Vice President Leni Robredo reminded Filipinos on Tuesday, September 21, the 49th anniversary of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ declaration of martial law, that silence will enable historical revisionism.

Kapag nanahimik tayo, kapag hindi natin pinadaloy ang naratibo sa sari-sarili nating mga espasyo, pera at kapangyarihan ang magdidikta ng kasaysayan (When we become silent, when we do not further the narrative in our own spaces, money and power will dictate history),” Robredo said in a statement. 

In a bid to reclaim power, Marcos' son Bongbong ran for vice president in the 2016 elections, where he lost to Robredo. 

Bongbong then contested Robredo's victory all the way up to the Supreme Court, only to lose his petition unanimously. Now that Marcos is floating the idea of running again for 2022, Robredo said one of the factors that would push her to run for presidency is if Bongbong will run.

On the Martial Law commemoration, Robredo added that the current situation shows that platforms could be bought and stories could fade. 

Ipinapaalala sa atin ng kasalukuyang situwasyon, kung kailan malinaw ang pagsisikap na baluktutin ang katotohanan ng malagim na kabanatang iyon: Kumukupas ang alaala; kung minsan, nabibili ang plataporma; ang kuwento, nabubura,” the vice president added. 

(The current situation, where it’s also clear that there is an eagerness to revise that dark chapter, reminds us that memories fade. Sometimes, platforms can be bought and stories can be erased.)

Recently, actress and television host Toni Gonzaga found herself in hot water after she posted a vlog episode interviewing Robredo’s bitter rival. The Ateneo Martial Law Museum criticized the interview and said it contributed to the whitewashing of atrocities committed by the Marcoses. 

Meanwhile, the vice president added that Filipinos should reiterate the truth about the killings and human rights abuses committed during the late dictator’s reign. 

Kailangan nating ulit-ulitin, sa bawat pagkakataon, ang katotohanan: Sa ilalim ng rehimeng Marcos, nagdusa ang Pilipino — ninakawan, tinorture, at pinaslang; ginamit ang ngalan para ibaon ang bansa sa utang, at pagbabayaran ang utang na ito hanggang sa mga susunod pang henerasyon,” Robredo said. 

(We need to reiterate the truth all the time. Under the Marcos regime, the Filipinos suffered: plundered, tortured, killed. The country’s name was used for debt. And succeeding generations will continue to pay for this debt.)

Since the start of Martial Law in 1972 up to 1981, rights group Amnesty International recorded a total of 3,340 people killed at the hands of the Marcoses. Around 70,000 people were imprisoned, while 34,000 were tortured in the span of nine years.

The claim that the country enjoyed its “golden age” under Ferdinand Marcos is also false. In a span of five years, the country’s debt ballooned from $8.2 billion in 1977 to $24.4 billion in 1982. – Rappler.com