THE top three universities in the Philippines marked the 46th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law by emphasizing the role of the academe in keeping guard over historical truth.
In a joint statement released on Thursday, De la Salle University (DLSU) and Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) said “The members of our academic communities cannot abdicate their duty to educate the next generation on the truths of our history, even more so when people threaten to creatively destroy them.”
The statement, made by DLSU President Raymundo B. Suplido and ADMU President Jose Ramon I. Villarin, added that students should also make the effort to avoid misinformation on Martial Law, stressing “Do not gloss over the abuses of power, the horrors of state-sponsored violence and the assault against our fundamental freedoms. Do not be deceived by the false claims of those who want to revise our history.”
Meanwhile, the University of the Philippines (UP) said in a social media post on Friday that it will create a memorial at the Diliman, Quezon City campus in remembrance of the victims of Martial Law.
“UP and the Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission will sign a memorandum of understanding to be partners in the establishment of the Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial in UP Diliman,” UP said.
UP President Danilo Concepcion also declared that henceforth, Sept. 21 will be known as the UP Day of Remembrance.
Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, Sr. declared Martial Law on Sept. 23, 1972, then backdated this to Sept. 21 and the event was marked on that day ever since. Martial Law was officially lifted in 1981, but Marcos remained in power until he was ousted in the People Power revolt in 1986. Almost 4,000 people were killed and more than 100,000 were imprisoned and/or tortured from 1972 to 1986.
In a recent video discussion between President Marcos’ son, former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr., and former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, the later justified Martial Law and said many people are “misinformed” about it. His statements have been met with public outcry, with many stating that Mr. Enrile, who was the Martial Law administrator during the Marcos regime, is distorting history. — Gillian M. Cortez