Fight efforts to rewrite history, Leni says on martial law anniversary

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 21 2021 11:14 AM

Former President Ferdinand Marcos (center) poses with members of his family on January 15, 1986, namely: his wife Imelda; eldest daughter Imee and her husband at the time, Tomas Manotoc (right); youngest daughter Irene and her husband Greggy Araneta (left); son Bongbong (behind Marcos); and Marcos' grandchildren Luis (on his lap), Alfonso (Irene's lap) and Borgy (left), carried by Ferdinand and Imelda's adopted daughter, Aimee. Malacañang handout/AFP
Former President Ferdinand Marcos (center) poses with members of his family on January 15, 1986, namely: his wife Imelda; eldest daughter Imee and her husband at the time, Tomas Manotoc (right); youngest daughter Irene and her husband Greggy Araneta (left); son Bongbong (behind Marcos); and Marcos' grandchildren Luis (on his lap), Alfonso (Irene's lap) and Borgy (left), carried by Ferdinand and Imelda's adopted daughter, Aimee. Malacañang handout/AFP

MANILA -- As the country marked 49 years since the declaration of martial law, Vice President Leni Robredo called on Filipinos to fight attempts to whitewash the atrocities committed during the bloody era.

Robredo said money and power might dictate history if Filipinos stay silent about what really happened.

"Kapag nanahimik tayo— kapag hindi natin pinadaloy ang naratibo sa sari-sarili nating mga espasyo, pera at kapangyarihan ang magdidikta ng kasaysayan."

(If we stay silent--if we don't tell our stories, money and power will dictate history.)

"Kailangan nating ulit-ulitin, sa bawat pagkakataon, ang katotohanan: Sa ilalim ng rehimeng Marcos, nagdusa ang Pilipino—ninakawan, tinorture, at pinaslang; ginamit ang ngalan para ibaon ang bansa sa utang, at pagbabayaran ang utang na ito hanggang sa mga susunod pang henerasyon."

(We need to reiterate the truth at every opportunity: under the Marcos regime, Filipinos suffered--they were stolen from, tortured, and killed. They were buried in debt--a debt that generations to come will stilll have to pay.)

Robredo also reminded Filipinos that ills perpetrated during the Marcos rule continue to hurt the country to this day.

"Nasa sistema pa rin ang latak ng uri ng pulitikang naghari noon, at idinidiin pa rin nito ang maraming Pilipino hanggang sa ngayon," she said.

(Government systems in place today still bear the ills caused by politicians who were in power at the time.)

Robredo also reiterated that the late dictator has never fully paid for his crimes, and that his family still benefits from the wealth they illegally acquired while in power.

"Diktador si Marcos, at hindi niya napagbayaran nang husto ang krimen niya; katunayan, patuloy ang pagpapakasasa ng kanyang angkan sa kayamanang ninakaw niya mula sa atin."

(Marcos is a dictator, and he has not yet fully paid for his crimes; in fact, his clan continues to benefit from ill-gotten wealth.)

Marcos's only son and namesake, Bongbong, lost to Robredo in the 2016 vice presidential race. 

He contested her win, but the Supreme Court has unanimously upheld her victory.

He is now eyeing a national post in the 2022 elections.

His sister Imee, meanwhile, is a sitting senator. 

Robredo said it's important that Filipinos continue to speak up on what happened during the dark days of martial law.

"Isa ito sa pinakaimportanteng trabaho natin bilang mamamayang Pilipino: Ang bantayan, igiit, at idiin ang pag-ukit sa kasaysayan ng tunay na kuwento ng sambayanang Pilipino."

(This is one of our most important tasks as Filipinos: to guard the truth and insist on the telling of the true story of the Filipino people.)

The Department of Education said students are learning about human rights abuses committed during martial law.

President Rodrigo Duterte, a self-confessed admirer of the strongman, allowed Marcos' burial at the Heroes Cemetery in 2016.