Remembering martial law in Cotabato City

 

Sept. 21, 2010

 

■   Bonus Tracks: Political Detainees in the Philippines, circa 1976

 

 

   
   
   
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Photos courtesy of KAWAGIB
           
           

 

Press Release
September 21, 2010

Ika-38 taon ng deklarasyon ng Martial Law, ginunita ng mga progresibong grupo sa Cotabato City

Cotabato City- Ginunita ng mga progresibong grupo sa lungsod ang ika-38 taong anibersaryo ng deklarasyon ng Martial Law noong 1972. Sa pamamagitan ng kilos protesta ipinarating ng mga grupo ang kanilang panawagan na Never Again to Martial Law! at Hustisya para sa mga biktima ng paglabag sa Karapatang-Pantao.

Taunang inilulunsad ang paggunita sa Martial Law bilang bahagi ng kampanya upang irespeto ang Karapatang-Pantao. Ayon kay Bai Ali Indayla ng KAWAGIB,”38 taon na ang nakakalipas ngunit hindi pa rin nabibigyan ng hustisya ang mga naging biktima ng warrantless arrest, arbitrary detention, torture at pagpaslang sa panahon ng pananaig ng Batas-militar sa bansa.”

Ang pagkapanalo ng mga Marcos sa nakaraang eleksyon ay patunay na nasa pampulitikang kapangyarihan pa rin ng gobyerno ang mga ito sa kabila ng pasismo at diktadurang pamamahala noon ni Ferdinand Marcos.

Layunin din ng nasabing aktibidad na ipaalala sa mamamayan ang pinakamadugong kasaysayan ng ating bansa mula ng bigyan tayo ng huwad na kalayaan ng mga dayuhang mananakop.

Nanawagan din ang KAWAGIB sa Administrasyong Aquino na kumilos upang matigil na ang mga pamamaslang at sapilitang pagdukot sa mga aktibista, mamamahayag, at mga Bangsamoro na pinagbibintangang terorista. Sinisisi ng grupo ang ipinatutupad na Oplan Bantay Laya at Anti-Terrorism Campaign ng pamahalaan na nagbunsod ng patuloy na paglabag sa karapatang-pantao.

Dapat umano ay litisin din si Gloria Macapagal Arroyo sa mga kasalanan nito sa taumbayan. Sa siyam na taong panunungkulan ni Gloria naitala ang pinakamaraming biktima ng pampulitikang pamamaslang kung saan 1, 205 ang mga biktima ayon sa KARAPATAN, 87 dito ang mga Bangsamoro.

“Nananawagan din kami na alisin na ang deklarasyon ng State of Lawlessness sa Basilan at State of Emergency sa Maguindanao dahil ito ang dahilan ng walang habas na panghuhuli sa mga sibilyan. Naniniwala kami na hindi ito ang solusyon sa problema bagkus lalo pang nalabag ang karapatang-pantao ng mga Bangsamoro”, dagdag pa ni Indayla. ###

     
           
     
     
     
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BONUS TRACKS

 

Political Detainees n the Philippines is a booklet of 127 pages published in 1976 by the Association of Major Religious Suepriors in the Philippines. Martial law censorship was in effect them but this publication somehow saw print and was distributed among human rights workers and concerned groups..

 

       

 

SELDA
September 20, 2010

Letter of Appeal for Support to International Human Rights Lawyers

We, the imprisoned community health workers, known as the Morong 43, are still being denied justice. For almost eight months in detention, our motion for the writ of habeas corpus filed at the Supreme Court of the Philippines submitted last April has not been acted upon.

Although we are currently under civilian detention, we feel that our rights are gradually curtailed unreasonably. Restrictions on our rights started when we exercised our right to protest on the inhuman ruling of the lower court which brought Judilyn Oliveros and baby back to jail. (Now, Judilyn and baby are on three-month hospital arrest)

Unreasonable policies imposed by the jail personnel in Camp Bagong Diwa violate our rights. Unexplained policies are immediately being imposed while our welfare is halfheartedly taken cared of. Cooking, receiving and entry of donated uncooked vegetables, meat and fish are disallowed, when the vegetables we receive are supplements to the meager meal budgets of P50/person/day. Strip search, the process of undressing our visitors of their pants and undergarments, is a very humiliating act. In effect, this deters some relatives to visit our male companions, whose authorities in their jail facilities require strip search.

Mercy Castro, soon-to-be mother, was twice denied of check-up despite a court order, while Judilyn and baby were almost bodily brought back to jail upon the jail officials’ receipt of the court order.
 

Problems on the clogged toilets and sewerage in our cell, which were unusable for four days, were not immediately addressed. Medical check-ups and dispense of medicines were done only during Mondays, denying us of our right to access medicines whenever we get sick on other days. Our pens and papers were confiscated and banned entry. These are a few of the examples of unwritten policies in jail that violate our rights twice over inside prison. The jail warden of the women’s detention facilities has disregarded us whenever we seek to raise these concerns through dialogue and written communication. These are additional restrictions on our rights, but the worst violations are what we have traumatically experienced at the hands of the military when we were illegally arrested, tortured and detained.

While we are languishing in jail, our loved ones are suffering. They cannot understand why the rule of law and respect for human rights do not apply on our case. Our children are always asking when will we go home. They and the communities we serve are deprived of our care.

We appeal for your support to remind President Benigno Aquino III to hear our plea for immediate and impartial action on our case and release us from detention, to restore the rule of law and, above all, the respect for human rights. We likewise enjoin you in airing out to the public the dire conditions of prisoners inside Camp Bagong Diwa.

Free the 43 community health workers!
Free all political prisoners!
Uphold the rule of law and respect for human rights!
 

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September 21, 2010

Manindigan Para sa Katarungan at Ganap na Kalayaan
Statement of the Morong 43 on the Commemoration of the Declaration of Martial Law

Peace will not just celebrate a silence,
While those in ned still suffer without end
Peace does not require losing hope and fruitful dreams
Peace is just, peace provides, peace is for all
- Live for Peace

Dalawampu’t apat na taon na ang nakalipas nang wakasan ng People Power I ang may dalawang dekadang diktadura ni Marcos. Apat na administrasyon na ang nagdaan simula nang ituring ng sambayanang Pilipino ang pag-alpas mula sa pangil ng Batas Militar at malalang paglabag sa karapatang pantao.

Dalawampu’t apat na taon at apat na administrasyon, kasing-edad na ng ilan sa aming mga itinuturing na terorista ay ngayo’y nananatiling nakapiit. Karamihan sa amin sa Morong 43 ay hindi na naabutan pa ang bagsik ng diktadurang naranasan ng sambayang Pilipino. Ngunit sa aming naranasang dahas mula sa military at iba pang ahente ng gobyernong Arroyo, may pagkakaiba nga ba ang mabuhay noong panahon ni Marcos sa ating ating panahon ngayon?

May pitong buwan na ang nakalipas mula nang iligal na inaresto ang Morong 43 ng mga sundalo sa aming ika-anim na araw para sa pagsasanay medical na aming inilunsad sa Morong, Rizal. Nananatiling nakamarka ang pait at hirap ng karanasang iyon noong Pebrero 6, 2010. Ang pisikal, mental at sikolihikal na tortyur ay bahagi ng aming naranasan, na ayon sa mga humuli sa amin ay SOP daw. Standard operating procedure pala ng militar at pulis ang tortyur! Kasabay ng pagpiring sa aming mga matang luhaan, narinig namin ang paglibak sa aming hangaring maglingkod sa bayansa sarkastikong pagtawa, paulit-ulit na tanong at pagsambit ng “Nars ka ba ng NPA?” o “Sayang ka, yan tuloy ang napala mo!” Inihahalintulad nila ang pagseserbisyo sa mahihirap sa isang bagay na hindi dapat tularan.

Ito nga ang napala ng 43 manggagawang pangkalusugan --- ang mapiit dahil sa pagkalinga sa mahihirap at kapos-palad. Ito rin ang sinapit ng daan-libong aktibista, mamamahayag at iba pang sektor ng lipunan dahil sa paniniwalang makatarungan ang lumaban para sa wasto at makatwiran. Kinukutya, tinotortyur at pinapatay ang mamamayang lumalaban dahil sa simpleng paniniwala sa katotohanan at paninindigan para sa inaapi at pinagsasamantalahan. Sa desperasyong ipangalandakan ang katapusan ng insurhensya sa bansa, ginagawang tropeo ang iligal na pagdakip, pagdukot, pagpatay at pagmasaker.

Sa ating paggunita ng deklarasyon ng Martial Law ngayong Setyembre 21, alalalahanin natin ang pananatili ng mga militarista at maka-hayop na pagturing sa karapatan ng mamamayan. Kasama nating alalahanin ang hindi mabilang na paglabag sa karapatang pantao. Kasama nating alalahanin ang mga buhay at pag-asang kinitil kapalit ng gantimpalang pilak at ginto ng mga salot sa lipunan. Kasabay ng ating pag-alala ay ang ating patuloy na paninindigan para sa kanilang ipinaglalaban.

Ang laban ng Morong 43 ay hindi natatapos sa aming pagkapiit. Sa aming pakikibaka para sa katarungan at paglaya, batid naming ang napakalaking papel ng suporta at pagkilos ng mamamayan. Bilang mga manggagawang pangkalusugan, hindi hiwalay an gating mga ipinaglalaban --- ang makamit ang katarungan at sapat na serbisyong panlipunan. Bilang mga ina, ama, o anak, hindi hiwalay an gating nais na magkaroon ng malayaat tunay na payapang pamumuhay.

Sa kabila n gaming pagkapiit, asahan niyo ang patuloy naming pakikibaka para sa paglaya, at ang patuloy na pag-asang muli’t muli, babalik kami sa mga komunidadupang magbigay ng serbisyong pangkalusugan. Nagpapasalamat kami at patuloy na nananawagan sa inyo para sa aming paglaya at paglaya ng lahat ng bilanggong pulitikal. Ang pagkilos ng sambayanan ang nagbibigay sa amin ng katatagan at lakas ng loob sa pagharap sa hamong ito sa aming buhay.

Palayain ang Morong 43 at lahat ng bilanggong pulitikal!

Ilantad, tutulan at labanan ang pasismo ng estado!

Katarungan at kalayaan sa lahat ng biktima ng paglabag sa karapatang pantao!
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The Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) - Philippines is an organization of former political detainees in the country. Founded in December 4, 1984, SELDA was initiated by former political prisoners during the Martial Law period. It works for the unconditional release of all political prisoners and humane treatment of those who are still in detention; for the advocacy on the conditions of political prisoners, the fundamental reasons for their arrest and detention, and their struggle for justice; mobilization of resources for political prisoners and their families; legislative actions on the indemnification and rehabilitation of political detainees; and promotion of partnerships and solidarity with organizations for the freedom and welfare of political prisoners and victims of tyranny.
 

KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   

 

NEWS RELEASE
September 21, 2010
For Reference: Fr. Dionito Cabillas, SELDA National Secretary General
(0917-5965859)

FORMER POLITICAL PRISONERS UNDER MARTIAL LAW CALL FOR JUSTICE AND INDEMNIFICATION OF ML VICTIMS; CALL FOR THE WITHDRAWAL OF OPLAN BANTAY LAYA

In commemoration of the declaration of Martial Law, former political prisoners and victims under the dark years under Pres. Ferdinand Marcos today joined the rally led by Bayan in Mendiola and trooped to the House of Representatives to witness and support the privilege speech of Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares which will call for justice and indemnification of Martial Law victims.

Fr. Dionito Cabillas, National Secretary General of the Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA), an organization of political prisoners established in 1984, challenged Pres. Benigno Aquino III to immediately put into motion the indemnification of all Martial Law victims. Immediately after People Power I, in its desire to show the world the systematic and gross human rights violations unleashed by the dictator on the Filipino people and their courageous struggle to fight it, SELDA filed a class action suit against the Marcoses at the US Federal Court System.

“Justice delayed is justice denied. It has been more than two decades already since SELDA filed the case against Marcos in the US Federal District Court System on April 7, 1986. In 1991, the U.S. Federal Court system ruled that Marcos was guilty of “crimes against humanity” which included torture, summary executions and forced disappearances. The decision ordered Marcos to pay human rights victims $1.2 billion for exemplary damages and $7.76 million for compensatory damages. Until now, no enabling law has been passed for the indemnification of Martial Law victims. It is quite ironic that the current president, whose father and family became victims of political persecution under Martial Law, has not taken keen interest in seeking justice for Martial Law victims,” Cabillas stated.

SELDA is supporting House Bills 1693 and 954 filed by progressive partylist representatives led by Bayan Muna in the Lower House.

Cabillas said that with the presence of the Marcoses in both houses of Congress, the Aquino administration should show resolve in addressing this long overdue demand of Martial Law victims.

“The bills should have been declared urgent by the President for immediate passage. No amount of propaganda or lip service to human rights can deny the fact that justice has remained elusive for human rights victims under Martial Law up to the succeeding administrations,” he added.

SELDA also called for the withdrawal of the continuous implementation of Oplan Bantay Laya counter-insurgency program of the Arroyo administration.

“By virtue of this Aquino’s extension of this program, human rights situation has worsened because of the more brazen and intensive military campaign. According to Karapatan, there are already 13 victims of extrajudicial killings under Aquino’s administration. Thousands of families are being terrorized and forcibly evacuated because of military operations. Indeed, this is a sign that the brutality and violence under Martial Law then continuous to exist,” Cabillas ended.
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The Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) - Philippines is an organization of former political detainees in the country. Founded in December 4, 1984, SELDA was initiated by former political prisoners during the Martial Law period. It works for the unconditional release of all political prisoners and humane treatment of those who are still in detention; for the advocacy on the conditions of political prisoners, the fundamental reasons for their arrest and detention, and their struggle for justice; mobilization of resources for political prisoners and their families; legislative actions on the indemnification and rehabilitation of political detainees; and promotion of partnerships and solidarity with organizations for the freedom and welfare of political prisoners and victims of tyranny.

 

 
 
   

 

News Release – September 21, 2010

References: Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy A. Casiño, 0920-9035683

 

Bayan Muna files bill to remember Martial Law

 

Bayan Muna (People First) Party-list Reps. Teddy Casiño and Neri Colmenares today filed House Bill 3288 for government to have a “National Day of Remembrance” in memory of the Filipino heroes and martyrs who stood up to the tyranny of the martial law regime under President Ferdinand E. Marcos from September 21, 1972 to February 25, 1986 and whose struggles and sacrifices have enabled us to live in freedom today.

 

In their explanatory note, the Bayan Muna solons said that “the declaration of martial law 38 years ago on September 21, 1972 by former President Ferdinand Marcos ushered in a period unparalleled in post-war Philippine history. The suppression of democratic rights and civil liberties, the unbroken pattern of gross human rights violations and the systematic plunder of the nation’s treasury were its terrible legacy, the effects of which our nation still has to recover from until today.”

 

Compared to the other military dictatorships of the 1970s and 1980s, the Marcos regime was exceptional by any standard for both the quantity and quality of its violence. While the Marcos’ regime’s tally of 3,257 extrajudicial killings may be far lower than Argentina’s 8,000 missing persons, this exceeds the 2,115 extrajudicial deaths under General Augusto Pinochet in Chile and the 266 dead under the Brazilian military junta.

 

“Under the authoritarian rule of Marcos, human rights violations were the apex of a pyramid of terror – 3,257 killed, 35,000 tortured and 70,000 incarcerated. In striking contrast to Argentina, only 737 Filipinos “disappeared” between 1975 and 1985. However, nearly four times that number – 2,250 – or 77 percent of all victims were salvaged. Many were tortured, mutilated and dumped on a roadside for public display to create widespread fear,” Rep. Casiño said.

 

“In establishing a national day of remembrance and celebration, we hope to impart the lessons of martial law so the present and future generations shall never forget what should never be repeated. The underlying objective is to teach the youth about the difference between dictatorship and democracy, between oppression and freedom, between right and wrong.”

 

“This bill further seeks to underscore the continuing struggle for justice of the victims of human rights violations of the Marcos era. We hope that by taking the necessary steps toward redressing these gross violations, the long-overdue process for remembering, for recording and for atoning can be established so that the nation can come to terms with the past,” Rep. Colmenares said.

 

The bill mandates the Commission on Human Rights, Department of Education, National Historical Institute, Philippine Information Agency, the premier state schools and universities, and the other appropriate agencies of the government, to take the lead in establishing multifarious prominent activities and productions to celebrate this observance with appropriate activities, ceremonies and programs that demonstrate the national commitment to democracy, freedom, human rights and justice and that pay due homage to the heroes and martyrs of the martial law era across the country. #

 

 
 
   
     
     
     
     
   
           
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