April 22, 2024

As we approach Sept. 21, we see the usual tirades of groups that resurrect claims that human rights violations were committed during Martial Law.

In the Cordillera, groups have posted invitations to join actions to remember the declaration of Martial Law 50 years ago. They never fail to come up with activities to highlight their allegations of abuses during the said period in their annual commemoration of what they claim was a horrific period in our history.

These groups whose members claim have suffered abuses during the martial law era can howl all they want. Nothing is wrong with that and no one is stopping them from doing such.

However, they have exaggerated their narratives and have been maliciously imbibed by young activists. They even claim that they were victims of human rights abuses during a period where they were not born yet. This is absurd and it makes our youth unable to distinguish the truth from false narratives.

Let me reiterate what many people who have experienced Martial Law have repeatedly explained – Martial Law was declared by then President Ferdinand Marcos on Sept. 21, 1972 to address the growing communist insurgency during that period.

Had he not declare Martial Law, we will not be enjoying democracy now.

For 50 years, the statements “Never forget” and “Never again to Martial Law” have painted this period in our history negatively.

This time, may we all be able to throw that impression and highlight the truth about the declaration of Martial Law, which was to protect Filipinos from the atrocities committed by armed groups, and this is what we ought not to forget. — MA. LOUISA FOLIGAN, spokesperson, Samahan ng Mamayang Nagkakaisa Kontra Terorismo