UP IHR releases photo album of human rights atrocities during martial law.
Remembering the 48th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law in the country by the Dictator Ferdinand Marcos, the UP Institute of Human Rights published on 21 September 2020 a photo album showing the various human rights atrocities committed during the period. With the theme, “Martial Law Revisionism and the Fight for History,” the album displayed photos and stories from the Human Rights Victims’ Memorial Claims Board, Bantayog ng mga Bayani, and the Martial Law Chronicles Project.
21 September 1972, the Dictator Ferdinand Marcos signed Proclamation No. 1081 placing the Philippines under a state of Martial Law. In what has come to be one of the nation’s darkest chapters, the Marcos regime exercised civilian control through grave violations of human rights, such as through the torture, enforced disappearance, and extra-judicial killing of tens of thousands of Filipinos. The UP IHR joins the nation in remembering the 48th anniversary of the declaration of martial law, and the sacrifices of the Filipino people in the struggle against tyranny. We present the struggles of countless Filipinos in a time when the light of accountability was dimmed and the rule of law perverted. We urge the Filipino nation to resist the forces of revisionism, to remember this tragic history, and in so doing reject its unwelcomed repeat
The Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (HRVCB), created pursuant to Republic Act No. 10368, was tasked to receive, evaluate, process, and investigate reparation claims made by victims of human rights violations under the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos during Martial Law period. After judicious deliberation, the Claims Board determined 11,103 claimants that are eligible for monetary reparations. Seen in this infographic is the final tally of approved claims per human rights violation. It is imperative to note that this tally only represents the number of human rights victims who were recognized and awarded reparation by the HRVCB. Thousands of others remain unaccounted for.
A brilliant student, gifted writer, and charismatic leader, Lorena Barros was one of the leaders of the anti-dictatorship movement. Lorena, a University of the Philippines graduate, became a political prisoner due to her constant criticisms of Marcos’ authoritarian rule. In 1976, at the age of 28, Lorena was seriously wounded in an armed encounter with the Philippine constabulary in Quezon. Her captors promised her medical treatment if she cooperated with them. She did not and was shot in the nape. Pictured is Lorena Barros. Source: Bantayog ng mga Bayani
Macli-ing Dulag was a respected elder of the Butbut tribe in the mountain village of Bugnay in the Cordilleras. He was a staunch oppositor to the Marcos regime’s planned installation of a massive dam along the Chico River, though it would displace over 100,000 people from their homes.Recognizing the critical role that he played, government soldiers murdered Dulag in his own house, showering it with bullets. News of Dulag’s death spread all over the country leading the World Bank to withdraw its funding for the Chico River dam.This spelled the end of the plan. Pictured is a protest mounted calling for justice for the death of Dulag. Source: Bantayog ng mga Bayani
Police officers beat a newspaper journalist as his colleagues come to the rescue during a media protest in July 1980. Source: Source: Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission
Civilians are forced to abandon their homes and sources of livelihood, following an anti-guerrilla military operation in Davao Province in 1980. Source: Source: Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission
In a blind search for the whereabouts of a “Kumander Racel,” supposedly an NPA commander, members of the Special Forces-Integrated Civilian Home Defense Forces (SF-ICHDF) team raided the town of Bo. Sag-od, Las Navas, Northern Samar on 15 September 1981. Not knowing anything about “Kumander Racel”, the peasant-residents, men, women, and children alike were slaughtered. Among them was a four-month-old baby still sucking at her mother’s breast. Pictured is massacre survivor Reynalda Durian Source: Bantayog ng mga Bayani
Danilo Aguirre, Edwin Borlongan, Teresita Llorente, Renato Manimbo, and Constantino Medina are all volunteers for the Bulacan chapter of the Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luson (AMGL), a militant farmers’ alliance based in Central Luzon. The group’s primary demand was for the government to implement an agrarian reform program. A meeting of the group on the eve of 21 June 1982 was raided by the 175th Philippine Constabulary. Five of the six were later found dead, their bodies riddled with bullets. The PC insisted they were “casualties from an encounter.” Pictured is a memorial set up for the five Bulacan martyrs. Source: Bantayog ng mga Bayani
Langoni Massacre Pictured are the bodies of nine young men in Langoni village, Cauayan, Negros Occidental, whose death was the result of an alleged “encounter,” according to military accounts. Source: Source: Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission
During a three-day protest in September 1985, on the occasion of the 13th anniversary of the declaration of martial law, the rights to life, expression, and public assembly of peasant farmers in the town of New Escalante, Negros Occidental were grossly violated. Fully-armed soldiers, policemen, and paramilitary forces first tried to disperse the crowd using water cannons from fire trucks, followed by tear gases, and finally, by a hail of bullets from machine guns. Twenty people were found dead in the aftermath, including several farmworkers and one student-leader, most of them shot in the back and side. Pictured are the protestors at the Day Two of the “Welgang Bayan.” Source: Bantayog ng mga Bayani
Albert Enriquez was an activist and human rights worker in Quezon who was abducted in 1985, only 200 meters away from home. He was on his way home when two armed men dragged him from the tricycle he was riding into a car. He shouted: “I am Abet Enriquez. My parents are Mario Enriquez and Clarita Rivera. Tell my parents I’ve been picked up by the military!” Despite all his family’s efforts to find him, he disappeared without a trace. Pictured is Albert Enriquez Source: Bantayog ng mga Bayani
Born in the Bicol region to an American father and a Filipino mother, William Begg renounced his American citizenship when he turned 21. Begg graduated as salutatorian of his high school and wanting to become a priest, went to Ateneo for College. There, he began engaging in social action work among poor communities in Barangka, Marikina. As he became more vocal and militant, he was made to leave the university. Begg was first arrested in 1971 for putting up posters in Marikina and again in 1972, and was detained in Fort Bonifacio. After his release in April 1973, Begg enrolled at the UP Diliman, where he tried to “live a normal student’s life, joining a fraternity and helping organizing a history majors’ society.” However. In September 1974, Begg left for the countryside to join the underground. Records show that “In March 1975, Begg was with a team of guerrillas that had gone to meet a doctor in Villarey, Echague, Isabela, when they were attacked by a battalion of AFP troops. In the exchange of fire that followed, four of his comrades were killed, while Begg himself was hit in the leg. Assessing his situation, he urged the others to leave him behind so he could cover their escape. He was apparently captured alive; when his body was eventually recovered, it bore the marks of severe torture.” Pictured is William Begg Source: Bantayog ng mga Bayani
The forests of Zamboanga del Norte became a mass graveyard for victims of armed conflict. Pictured are armed people from the Moro National Liberation Front, covering their faces with cloth against the bad smell of the human remains littered across the Zamboanga del Norte forest. Source: Source: Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission
Protestors stand in front of the parliament building, calling to attention the dubious mass firing of media workers, and calling for the boycott of “controlled media.” Source: Source: Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission
Trinidad Herrera, a martial law rape victim, related that her captors ordered her to remove her blouse, and they applied electric shock on her breast. Another victim, Fe Mangahas, shared that her captors terrified her by touching her and breathing down her neck. She then felt like she had to pee, but it was blood running down her thighs. She did not know at the time that she was two months pregnant. Other women who told their harrowing stories were Maria Christina Rodriguez, who was tortured by burning her skin with cigarettes and pressing her fingers with bullets; Maria Christina Bawagan who was sexually abused, with her captors inserting objects into her vagina and touching her breasts while she was blindfolded, and Hilda Narciso, who was repeatedly raped by her captors. Each of these women remembered the exact dates of their capture and when they went through these life-scarring experiences. Pictured are martial law rape victims attending the oral arguments on the hero’s burial for the late President Ferdinand Marcos. On 8 August 2017, the Supreme Court upheld its earlier decision granting Marcos a hero’s burial. Source: Martial Law Chronicles Project
During the UP IHR martial law forum in 2019, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers Chair Colmenares narrated his experiences during Martial Law, tracing the development of his activism through his leadership in the UP Student Catholic Action(UPSCA). He discussed how censorship during Martial Law was imposed in three ways: direct government takeover, the establishment of media advisory bodies, and the prohibition on printers. He made the observation that fascists and dictators have what he termed as “edifice complex,” or the tendency to prioritize the building of structures that would immortalize their legacy, resulting in a misappropriation of funds and erecting structures at the cost of worsening poverty. Pictured is NUPL Chair Colmenares during the 2019 UP IHR martial law forum.
During the 2018 Martial Law Forum of the UP IHR, Atty. Byron D. Bocar, a former Human Rights Violations Claims Board Member, described the silence and the atmosphere of fear during the Martial Law period. As a lawyer working on workers’ and labor unions’ cases, he, along with his fellow lawyers Atty. Hermon Lagman and Atty. Ernesto Arellano were targeted by the government, which considered their work to be subversive. He narrated how he was able to avoid arrests, avoiding the fates suffered by Atty. Lagman and Atty. Arellano, who were detained and underwent torture. Atty. Lagman was disappeared. Atty Bocar said that he had gone full circle when he was able to sit on the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board and read the accounts of the Martial Law victims. Pictured is Atty. Bocar during the 2018 UP IHR martial law forum.
During the 2018 Martial Law Forum of the UP IHR, Former Commission of Human Rights Chairperson Hon. Loretta Ann P. Rosales shared the story of her two arrests. She narrated how she was physically and mentally tortured by soldiers. She was repeatedly molested and electrocuted by the soldiers. Despite the torture she had to endure, she said that she was able to survive the attempts to dehumanize her. She said that students and teachers fighting for what is right, true, and just gave meaning to her and other activists’ lives. To conclude her talk, she stated that “we shall survive as long as we are united in the pursuit of truth, justice, and democracy.” During the oral arguments in the case to stop the burial of Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, Chairperson Rosales recounted the rape and torture she experienced including electric shock and Russian roulette. Pictured is Hon. Rosales at the 2018 UP IHR martial law forum.
On the 48th anniversary of the declaration of martial law, UP IHR joins the call: MARCOS IS NOT A HERO! NO TO HISTORICAL REVISIONISM!
Click here to download the IHR’s Martial Law Album