Ateneo de Manila University vows to keep martial law memory alive


Posted at Sep 21 2021 01:56 PM


MANILA — The Ateneo de Manila University vowed Tuesday to "keep the memory" of martial law under President Ferdinand Marcos alive, saying the country has apparently experienced "historical amnesia."

In a statement issued during the 49th anniversary of the martial law declaration, the Jesuit-run private university said the "main actors" of the military rule "are now back in the spotlight, working hard to blatantly revise history."

"A large segment of our population... are too young to truly understand the impact of that period. And we, as a nation, have apparently been experiencing historical amnesia," it said.

Ateneo vowed to "always strive to keep our collective memory, however painful, alive."

"Together, we need to keep the memory of Martial Law so that we won't make those same mistakes again," it said.

The university said its Ateneo Martial Law Museum, an online museum aimed at reminding Filipinos of the events during Marcos' dictatorial rule, has been "at the heart" of "efforts of educating our fellow Filipinos about this crucial part of our nation's story."

Ateneo added that the role of its online museum is "more important in the coming months" as Filipinos prepare for the 2022 elections.

Data from the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) showed that at least 9,000 victims of human rights violations were monitored during the Marcos administration.

During the martial law era, at least 5,040 individuals were detained, 1,217 were "salvaged" or victims of summary executions, 892 were massacred and 352 disappeared, according to the TFDP.

The Marcos family also amassed an estimated $5 to $10 billion or more than P500 billion in ill-gotten wealth, based on a study of the World Bank-United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s Stolen Asset Recovery report.

Last year, a whistleblower of Cambridge Analytica — a defunct British political consulting firm — said the late strongman's son, former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., asked the firm to rebrand his family's image on social media. The Marcos camp denied the claim.