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Never forget

IT IS heartening to see that many of those who joined yesterday’s Black Friday protests across the country against the burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani were young people — the youth and students. They called for an end to the continuing historical revisionism and state fascism.

The youth must partake in the struggle of exposing the atrocities caused by the dictator and his unrepentant family and allies. They may never had a firsthand experience of martial law but the stories of the victims of human rights abuses and the historical records that lay proof on how the Marcoses amassed huge amounts of public funds are enough reasons for them to mobilize and show dissent.

Around 33 percent of the country’s total borrowings went to the pockets of Marcos and his cronies instead of serving as funds to the infrastructure projects and other social programs. A study of IBON Foundation revealed that the outstanding balance of Marcos’ foreign borrowings stood at around P48 billion as of 2005, which leaves the taxpayers pay for his debt until 2025. Cheap labor export was institutionalized during his term through various efforts of having Filipino seamen and workers employed in the Middle East.

On top of massive corruption, Marcos was also a purveyor of human rights violations that caused a massive bloodbath under his regime. The Supreme Court’s decision of allowing Marcos’ burial at the Libingan vandalizes our concept of hero — the martyrs of martial law so as the others who advocated the advancement of the public’s welfare deserve more recognition than what he claims to have.

The Marcos regime was responsible for massive rights violations: 3,240 were killed, 34,000 were tortured and 70,000 people were imprisoned, according to Amnesty International. Decades have passed and yet the Marcoses and their cronies remain unpunished for the crimes recorded in the 1970s, and continuous to live on the corrupted public funds pocketed by the dictator.

More than ever, the youth should remain vigilant and well-informed now that the Marcoses are close to completing their decades-long project of revising history in their favor. Never forget the horrors of martial law, and continue to condemn any form of injustices that reign in our country.



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