Ex-CHR chair: Marcos unlikely to declare martial law

John Gabriel Agcaoili, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 22 2022 12:36 AM

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MANILA—President Ferdinand Marcos Jr is unlikely to declare martial law like his father, a former Commission of Human Rights chairperson said Wednesday.

As the country commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Martial Law declaration by the late President Marcos Sr, former CHR chair Etta Rosales said the dictator's son is out to "prove" his family's critics wrong.

"I don't think he wants to declare martial law because, precisely, they're doing their darnedest best to prove that they are nice people, and they did not commit atrocities ... that the father is not the father you think he is, and so on," she told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo

"As best as possible, he would rather that they do not (declare) Martial Law). But if push turns to shove, at mapipilitan, it will always be that way," Rosales added, noting that the option of military control is always there.

A former lawmaker-activist and victim of human rights violations during the Martial Law era, Rosales recalled an instance when she had a conversation with the younger Marcos, who is also known as "Bongbong".

According to her, he called then President Rodrigo Duterte a "dictator."

The martial law declaration marked the start of a dark chapter in Philippine history, which led to the arrest of political opposition figures, corruption, human rights violations, and government control over all forms of media.

Rights watchdog Amnesty International said that some 70,000 people were imprisoned, 34,000 tortured and over 3,200 killed during this era.

The August 1983 assassination of former Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. sparked movements that culminated in the ouster of Marcos Sr in February 1986 through the People Power Revolution.