MANILA, Sept. 22, 2016– The head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said Filipinos should not forget the lessons of martial law.
As the country marked the 44th anniversary of the martial law declaration on Sept. 21, Archbishop Socrates Villegas said its lessons will always be applicable to the country’s situation.
“We should not forget. We should always remember the lessons of history,” said Archbishop Villegas, a protégé of the late Cardinal Jaime Sin, who helped oust the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
‘Never be repeated’
“These are vigilance, self-sacrifice, forgetting oneself, and standing up for what is right,” explained the prelate.
For his part, Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP Committee on Public Affairs, said there is no room for a repeat of military rule in the country.
“Martial Law should never be repeated,” said Secillano, adding the government is duty-bound to protect human rights and human dignity at all cost.
“Its instrumentalities shouldn’t be used to repress or oppress its citizens. It should rather ensure the effective functioning of our democratic processes,” said the priest.
It was back on Sept. 21, 1972 that Marcos placed the entire Philippines under martial law.
During the full implementation of the said law, several institutions and media outlets were closed down, officials and citizens were arrested and many activists were arrested, tortured, and killed. (CBCPNews)