A VETERAN journalist has urged Thomasians to revisit abuses committed during Martial Law and ensure these are not repeated.
Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism Executive Director Malou Mangahas said students should study Martial Law and be informed about people’s rights.
“Mag-isip-isip tayo kasi baka mayroong pag-uulit ng kasaysayan at mas mabuti pa na pag-aralan natin `yung dati para hindi natin ulitin `yung mga maling nangyari,” Mangahas said in a forum at the UST Seminary Gymnasium last March 11.
Former Commission on Human Rights Chairwoman Etta Rosales echoed Mangahas, saying schools should help students think critically.
“Ang papel ng paaralan ay tulungan ang estudyante na maging mapanuri. We should never dictate the student… Dapat turuan [silang] makapagsuri, to be analytical and to be critical,” Rosales said.
Martial Law under Duterte?
Zenaida Mique, executive director of Claimants 1081, an organization of human rights victims, said President Rodrigo Duterte’s threats to declare Martial Law were meant to sow fear among Filipinos.
“Palagay ko naman e hindi niya basta-basta maipapatupad ang pagdeclare ng Martial Law… pero pananakot lang sa tingin ko ‘yun,” Mique said in an interview with the Varsitarian.
Mangahas likened the suppression of rights during Martial Law with Duterte’s war on drugs.
“Karapatan ng isang tao na ikaw man ay inuusig para sa isang krimen, drug use or drug pushing, may due process pa rin,” Mangahas said.
Speaking to business leaders in Davao City last Jan. 14, Duterte threatened to declare Martial Law if the drug problem becomes “very virulent.”
The Philippines was plunged into military rule in 1972 under the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who was ousted by the “People Power” revolt in 1986.
According to Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, Martial Law committed more than 100,000 cases of human rights violations — 5,531 cases of torture, 2,537 cases of summary executions, 783 cases of involuntary disappearances, 238 incidents of massacre and 92,607 arrests.
The forum, titled “Diskursong Tomasino: Martial Law Chapter” was organized by the Thomasian Debaters Council.