Stories of martial law victims

Four faces, four heroes 1
Four faces,
four heroes
Jonathan Cellona,
text and photos for
Four faces, four heroes 2

A student, a social worker, a church worker, an activist. They are just four faces of human rights violations in the Philippines in the last four decades.

They may have been against some government's policies, they could have been rebels, but every individual is entitled to due process.

Their cases have not been fully resolved, and their families have not had closure.

In memory of these four victims, their names have been etched on the Bantayog ng mga Bayani and are now part of a memorial for Philippine heroes.

NAME: Cristina F. Catalla
AGE: 26
BIRTHDATE: December 25, 1950
STATUS: Disappeared

Cristina, sister of Yolly Catalla, was abducted in broad daylight along with her friends in Makati City on July 31, 1977. Despite numerous appeals by her family asking authorities on her whereabouts, she was never surfaced, even after the end of martial law.

Four faces, four heroes 3

NAME: Purificacion A. Pedro
AGE: 28
BIRTHDATE: September 22, 1948
STATUS: Killed

"Puri," sister of Aurora Pedro, was performing her duties as a social worker when she was caught in a crossfire while visiting Bataan on January 23, 1977. She was taken by the military to the hospital for her shoulder wounds but came out of the hospital a cadaver a day later. The military claimed she committed suicide inside the bathroom of her hospital room.

Four faces, four heroes 4

NAME: Liliosa R. Hilao
AGE: 23
BIRTHDATE: March 14, 1950
STATUS: Killed (or murdered?)

Liliosa, sister of Alice Hilao Gualberto, was a model student and member of the campus publication of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. Her work involved helping the depressed community in Intramuros, Manila near her school. She was arrested on April 5, 1973 and taken to Camp Crame by the Philippine Constabulary. She died a day later

Four faces, four heroes 5

NAME: Angie Ipong
AGE: 60
BIRTHDATE: December 3, 1944
STATUS: Arrested without charges

Angie Ipong’s husband and brother were both abducted, imprisoned and tortured in the 1970s. Ipong herself was abducted and imprisoned in 2005. She spent six years in prison under the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and was released in 2011.
Angie Ipong now works with SELDA, an organization that helps political detainees.

Four faces, four heroes 6
Four faces, four heroes 7