'The North Remembers': Baguio-based students, groups commemorate martial law declaration

Kennedy Caacbay, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 22 2023 06:28 AM

Baguio students commemorate 51st anniversary of martial law declaration in the Philippines. (Photo from university publication UP Baguio Outcrop)

BAGUIO—Hundreds of students from different universities and several progressive groups occupied the streets of Baguio City to commemorate the 51st anniversary of the declaration of martial law in the Philippines.

Led by students from the University of the Philippines Baguio, the march called for "justice, peace, and enabling of human rights" in the country, while raising concerns against the Anti-Terrorism Law and its implementation.

In a statement read by an official, UP Baguio chancellor Corazon Abansi encouraged students, faculty, and staff to prevent historical revisionism.

"We support efforts to ensure that history's mistakes are not repeated, that historical revisionism is prevented, that red-tagging to suppress dissent is thwarted and that the rights and freedoms of citizens are upheld and protected," the statement read.

"Let us look back on those challenging years, and honor the memory of those who fought for justice and freedom," it added.

The protest also called for the surfacing of activists Gene Roz Jamil “Bazoo” De Jesus and Dexter Capuyan, who were both alumni of UP Baguio.

According to Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, there were at least 9,000 victims of human rights abuses in the country from 1969 to 1986. 

Among the violations were arrests and detentions, forced disappearances, salvaging, among others.

Late president Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. declared martial law on September 21, 1972.

The Philippines is now led by his son, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who saw overwhelming support in the 2022 elections with 31 million votes.

Earlier this year, the Marcos Jr. administration said it would strengthen its campaign against disinformation and misinformation in the country.

--With reports from ABS-CBN Investigative & Research Group and Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News