'Huwag bumalik sa dilim': Cardinal urges Filipinos to remember martial law lessons

Benise Balaoing and Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 21 2022 01:09 PM | Updated as of Sep 21 2022 01:36 PM

Members of Karapatan prepare banners at their headquarters in Quezon City on Tuesday, in preparation for the 50th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law on September 21, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Members of Karapatan prepare banners at their headquarters in Quezon City on Tuesday, in preparation for the 50th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law on September 21, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula on Wednesday called on Filipinos to remember lessons from the martial law period, which the late President Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. declared 50 years ago. 

Marcos imposed military rule on September 21, 1972 until January 1981, a period marred by human rights violations and massive corruption.

 

Advincula said the lessons from this era include placing value on human life, fighting for truth, and seeing the importance of democracy and the power of the people. 

"Ang mga mahahalagang aral na ito ay hindi natin matututunan kung pilit nating itatanggi o kakalimutan ang dilim ng kasaysayan," Advincula said.

"Huwag nawa nating kalimutan ang mga aral mula sa panahon ng Martial Law. Nakita na natin ang liwanag. Huwag na tayong bumalik sa dilim. 

(We cannot learn these important lessons if we deny or forget the darkness of history. Let us not forget the lessons from the martial law period. We have seen the light. Let us not go back to darkness.) 

 

Marcos Sr. was toppled from power by a bloodless "people power" revolt in 1986 and the family was chased into exile. 

After the patriarch's death in 1989, they returned to the Philippines and began a remarkable political comeback that culminated with Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s victory in the May 9 presidential election.

In the lead-up to the elections, some Filipino Catholic leaders spoke out against the online misinformation campaign that portrayed martial law in a positive light. Hundreds of priests, nuns, and lay leaders also backed Marcos Jr.'s rival, former Vice President Leni Robredo. 

Marcos Jr, who has repeatedly praised his father's rule, last week defended martial law as "necessary" to protect the country against insurgencies. 

 — With a report from Agence France-Presse