UCAN Philippines Catholic Church News
UCAN Spirituality | A service of UCA News

Justice at last for 70s freedom fighters

March 7, 2013
Justice at last for 70s freedom fighters thumbnail

On February 25, I joined thousands of people on Edsa, site of the 1986 people power “revolution,” to mark the 27th anniversary of the restoration of democracy in the country.

I was with about 150 people, so-called survivors of martial law. We were each given a yellow visor, a yellow pin, a yellow VIP card to wear around our neck, and a white shirt with the words “Martial Law Survivor” printed on the back.

The group I was with once belonged to a different “revolution,” one that was clearly not identified with the color yellow. The revolution we belonged to was a red revolution, one that believed in ending the US-backed dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos and the crony institutions with a military solution. With a red army of 37,000 guerrillas and an underground network of cadres in all sectors of society, we sought to do just that.

Our red revolution fought long and hard, and lost. And the dear price we had to pay was measured by the tens of thousands arrested, tortured, raped, killed or disappeared.

It would be hard to reconcile the old black and white newspaper pictures from the 1970s of youthful activists storming the gates of the presidential palace with the group of middle-aged and senior citizens wearing “martial law survivor” shirts. A respected writer and one-time student leader/activist who walked with me to the commemoration site sighed with relief saying, “Thank God there’s a porta toilet!”

We came like war veterans on parade, some hobbling on sticks, others ribbing the other about wearing yellow, recalling that in our youth we said we’d rather be dead than yellow.

We came because, finally, 40 years after the onset of Marcos’ martial rule, the Compensation Bill remunerating human rights violation victims was to be signed into law. We came because, finally, the Philippine government acknowledged that the state under Marcos violated the human rights of its own citizens. We came because, finally, despite the onslaught of revisionist versions of martial law history, the truth has prevailed.

President Benigno Aquino was bold, some may argue, even foolhardy, to support and sign a bill that squarely states that government is accountable for its actions and is required to compensate the citizenry it had wronged.

One recalls that during the first year of the administration of Aquino’s mother, Corazon Aquino, she was overwhelmed by willful armed forces.  A manic witch-hunt of suspected communists ensued, and international human rights groups alleged that the number of arrests, torture, extrajudicial killings and disappearances of activists in 1987 alone surpassed the violations during the first three years of martial law.

But still Aquino signed the Compensation Bill into law. [More]

SOURCE:

UCA News

stay in touch
Subscribe to UCAN Philippines
Free newsletter here
Invite a Friend
top stories
  1. about us - 15 emails
  2. Who is a Roman Catholic? - 10 emails
  3. Creation not man’s property, pope says as Advent begins - 7 emails
  4. Pacquiao plans ‘preaching session’ after fight - 7 emails
  5. Bishop accused of diverting millions - 7 emails
  6. Priest backs Filipina’s bid in ‘American Idol’ - 6 emails
  7. Tagle says Church needs to be rescued from self-interest - 6 emails
  8. ‘Weeping’ Mary draws hundreds to Windsor residence - 5 emails
  9. Porn documentary to show at World Youth Day - 5 emails
  10. Exorcism is God’s gift ‘to help us believe’ - 5 emails
  1. The Philippines RH Law: a victory for whom?
  2. Is the Internet killing religion?
  3. Pope to wash feet of disabled people on Holy Thursday
  4. Pakistan Christian couple appeal over death sentence
  5. Philippines typhoon survivors 'criminally neglected'
  6. 'Farmers Barred from Promised Land'
  7. Abu Sayyaf clashes in Mindanao leave 18 soldiers injured
  8. A funny thing about being a priest
  9. Outcry over Myanmar journalist's imprisonment
  10. A call for compassion on marriage and the Eucharist
  1. Examining the holiness of Holy Week
  2. Philippine bishop calls for Holy Week ceasefire
  3. Philippine tribe gets ancestral land back
  4. Philippine troops in new clashes with Abu Sayyaf
  5. ‘Farmers Barred from Promised Land’
  6. Film and the politics of faith: “Son of God,” Pope Francis and the conservative Catholic Church
  7. A call for compassion on marriage and the Eucharist
  8. A funny thing about being a priest
  9. Outcry over Myanmar journalist’s imprisonment
  10. Abu Sayyaf clashes in Mindanao leave 18 soldiers injured
  1. On September 20, speaking to a gathering of gynecologists, Pope Francis said: "E...
    Said FrSeanCoyle on 2013-10-09 16:05:00
  2. Here is what Pope Benedict said to the bishops of Switzerland on November 9, 200...
    Said FrSeanCoyle on 2013-10-09 16:02:00
  3. stop RHbill for Gods sake!!!...
    Said joy on 2013-07-17 20:03:00
  4. a woman who agree this RH bill has no heart. God forgive her she do'nt know what...
    Said joy on 2013-07-17 20:02:00
  5. It is very hard to trust a muslim. They worship a false god and will break the ...
    Said on 2013-07-17 12:23:00
  6. Assuredly, thus said the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY YISRAEL to Roman Christian Catholic B...
    Said Angel Santie on 2013-06-28 19:39:00
  7. God let man or as we say permit man to create this way of comunication, why we w...
    Said joy on 2013-06-26 20:46:00
  8. Pray for the victims of clergy sexual abuse....
    Said on 2013-06-06 08:01:00
  9. 'Activist priest Robert Reyes is in the minority among the clergy when it comes ...
    Said on 2013-04-24 15:04:00
  10. 90-year-old Fr Emmanuel Non SJ had a letter in last Monday's Philippine Daily In...
    Said on 2013-04-18 10:41:00
UCAN India Books Online
;