ASIA/PHILIPPINES – Catholic universities commemorate 50 years of martial law and warn against post-truth

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ASIA/PHILIPPINES- Catholic universities remember 50 years of martial laws and warn against posttruth

Manila (Agenzia Fides – Remembering dark times of national history to illuminate the future: Today, many schools, Catholic universities, and communities in the Philippines celebrated the 50th anniversary General Ferdinando Marcos’ declaration of martial law. This law was declared on September 21, 1972, and lasted until 1981. In 1986, Marcos was defeated in peaceful revolution called “People Power” (or “Revolution of the Rosaries”)
Amnesty International reports that over 70,000 people were in prison at that time, 34,000 were tortured and 3,240 were killed. There are no records of the many political prisoners and “desaparecidos”.
Catholic institutions encourage students today to “not forget” those “painful experiences” that they have not experienced directly on their skin.
De La Salle University, an institution of Catholic faith based in Manila organized a meeting at which martial law survivors shared stories. Jose W. Diokno, one organizer, stated that they remain committed to protecting democracy and human dignity, as well as the value of life and human rights.
Christine Santiago Rodriguez, a secular leader said that today was the 50th anniversary for the declaration martial law in the Philippines. This was a dark period in history, but today’s events offer an opportunity to shine a light on the truth.
The Sociopolitical Apostolate of the Society of Jesus in the Philippines held a series of commemorative gatherings to mark the 50th anniversary of martial law. It also organized a photographic exhibition entitled “# NeverAgain, The stories of Martial law victims”.
Fides was sent a statement by the Sociopolitical Apostolate of Jesus stating that: “Recalling 13 Years of authoritarian government marked by serious abuses of authority, the commemoration of Martial Law becomes an invitation for me to remain steadfastly in my commitment to truth and justice. We have much to learn from our recent experiences to be able to honor the sacrifices of our freedom-loving neighbors.
The Jesuits declare their solidarity with those who have suffered the atrocities under martial law and have been victims of violence and unnecessary suffering. They also remember the Filipinos who bravely fought the authoritarian regime in search for democracy, justice, peace, and a better life for all. “Not to be deceived and not to let the truth be hidden under lies” is what the religious exhort. The note states that historical revisionism must not be accepted, impunity must not prevail, and deceit must not win.
The appeal ends in a prayer, “so that the Filipino people may push the Holy Spirit to find justice for those responsible for the atrocities and take concrete actions towards the healing of the country.”
Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos Jr. was elected President of The Republic of the Philippines in May 2018. He is the son and dictator Ferdinando Marcos. He took office officially on June 30, 2022. The manipulation of the past is currently the topic of lively debate. There is also a current historical revisionism that wants to reevaluate the period of martial law and the human rights violations that occurred during that time. (PA/SD) (Agenzia Fides, 21/9/2022)



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