Everyone, from President Benigno Aquino III down to the most miserable of the victims of military rule, feels strongly that the teaching of the martial law period in the country’s history should be institutionalized.
But how to go about it is something that divides educators, historians, social activists, human rights advocates and lawmakers.
For Education Secretary Armin Luistro, students should not be told straight out that martial law was good or bad, they must make that decision for themselves.
In fact, he said this was the new direction that the Department of Education (DepEd) is adopting in teaching about that 14-year period when the dictator Ferdinand Marcos imposed martial rule, taking for himself all the powers of the state and arresting and jailing everyone who opposed him and even those who he only thought were opposing him. There was the dreaded Preventive Detention Authority.
Alyansa Tigil Mina Statement on the Remembrance of the 40th Anniversary of the Declaration of Martial Law
In remembering the 40th anniversary of the declaration of martial law, Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) is in solidarity with all the victims, their families and the activists who resisted, struggled and mobilized against the dictatorship. As we honor the heroes who fought martial law, we also remember and honor the environmental heroes and martyrs who fought against destructive largescale mining.
It was political repression then, and it is environmental and ecological genocide now.
With the growing list of extra judicial killings related to mining and the destructions it has caused to the environment, the mining industry is perhaps one of the main abusers of human rights, particularly of the rights of indigenous peoples. The destruction brought by mining also deny people their basic rights for food, safe and comfortable lives, water and the right to selfdetermination for IPs.
As the nation remembers today the declaration of Martial Law and the imposition of the Marcos fascist dictatorship 40 years ago—we recall not only the crimes and abuses , but the valiant struggles of our people to end the tyrannical regime.
Today is a day of remembering, so that we will not forget this dark chapter in our nation’s history and will not allow it to happen again.
Today is a day of reckoning, as we continue to pursue justice and redress for countless victims of Martial Law abuses, including crimes and legacies that continue to hound and harm our nation and people.
All the members of the movement rememberML@40 are grateful to the National Historical Commission (NHC) and to the people who worked for this recognition of just protests and determined struggles against the trampling of dignity and the ensuing gross violations of human rights during the dark years of martial law.
By this act may we also mark every single place where protest and struggle took place, where ever it may be – in Schools, Factories, Farms, Forests, in Streets and Mountains,
Asserting and demanding for the
rights to “food and freedom, jobs and justice”.
HIS EXCELLENCY BENIGNO SIMEON AQUINO, III.
Republic of the Philippines
September 20, 2012
September 21, 2012, the 40th year since the imposition of Martial Law by then President Ferdinand Marcos offers a kairos, a moment of grace and opportunity, to you and your administration. It is a momentous chance to show to the country and to the world that the matuwid na daan breaks through impunity and leads to justice.
All the undersigned request Your Excellency to give an explicit public support for the soonest passage of the proposed bill providing compensation to victims of human rights violations (HRVs) during the Marcos administration under Martial Law. A follow-up to your State of the Nation Address (SONA) on this matter would signal unequivocal determination in seeking justice.