MANILA - Never again.
This was the battle cry at demonstrations on Thursday as the country marked the 45th anniversary of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos' declaration of martial law.
However, 2 Marcos-era activists warned that Filipinos may be seeing a return of a Marcos-style governance.
Former Sen. Rene Saguisag lamented how disrespect for basic values and rights seemed to have defined the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
"So today, it seems that what we voted for in 1972, is again back. The total disrespect for human life, dignity, human rights. And that was how we started," he said.
"In some ways, it may be worse. In a span of a little over a year, more than 10,000 have been killed, EJK has crept into the language," he added.
For Bonifacio Ilagan, convener of the Movement Against Tyranny, the Duterte administration seemed to have taken cues from the Marcos playbook.
"Whatever it is, 'yung frame of mind kasi ni Duterte, ay pareho ni Marcos. Marcos did say when he was there, he had the best intentions for the country. And therefore, hindi siya dapat iquestion sa kanyang mga ginagawa. Si Duterte, ganun ngayon," he said.
Ilagan added that Duterte's recent actions and pronouncements such as the burial of the late dictator in the Libingan ng Mga Bayani and the possible return of the Marcos family's ill-gotten wealth may have strongly rehabilitated the Marcoses in the eyes of some.
Duterte has repeatedly denied being inspired by a Marcos-style leadership.
Palace also said Duterte had no plans to declare martial rule nationwide.
-ANC Dateline Philippines, September 21, 2107