Thirty-six years ago on September 21, 1972, then Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos signed the declaration of martial law. He then announced the deed on television on September 23, 1973.
The proclamation ensured Marcos’ grip on power, in defiance of the constitutional 2-term limit for Philippine presidents. The declaration also marked the darkest age in Philippine history. It was during this time that hundreds of Filipinos disappeared, presumably murdered (“salvaged” in local parlance). It was also then that the Marcoses stole the country’s wealth and indulged First Lady Imelda Marcos’ taste for fine jewelry, shoes and hobnobbing with the rich and famous.
A documentary of the events that marked this period has been released on YouTube to coincide with these anniversaries. “Batas Militar” (Martial Law) was made by the Foundation for Worldwide People Power (FWWPP), the same group that released Beyond Conspiracy: A Documentary on the Assassination of Ninoy Aquino.
For those who weren’t alive during the time of Marcos, these events may seem like ancient history. But they shaped the Philippines that we see today. This is why we should not forget the sacrifice made by Ninoy Aquino. Why we should be vigilant against graft and corruption. Why suppression of press freedom should be viewed with suspicion. This is an age of the Philippines that should never be replicated ever again.