The Horrors of Martial Law and the Present Administration’s Semblance of the Marcos Regime

We shall never, ever, permit a despotic rule again…

This day reminds us of one of the darkest days in Philippine history. On September 21, 1972, former President Ferdinand Marcos declared the Philippines under Martial Law through Proclamation No. 1081. On that very same day, our country was put under an authoritarian rule which became the onset for the destruction of Philippine democracy and the collapse of our economy. Numerous human rights violations which include extrajudicial killings, mass arrests, sexual harassment crimes, disappearances, and acts of torture became rampant as law enforcement have been entirely neglected. Moreover, the extreme persecution and suffering of the Filipino people during those times were staggering, enough to label the Marcos dictatorship as one of the greatest evils of all time.

Today, 48 years after the Martial Law declaration, is the time again to commemorate and look back on our history’s years of horror during the Marcos regime. At the same time, it is also an opportunity for us to honor and give tribute to the real HEROES who have fought and struggled in order to achieve justice and freedom for the Filpino people during those times. It also serves as a reminder for us to remain critical, vigilant, and always on the lookout for injustices that happen in our society.

As the Marcoses return to their original level of influence today through Bongbong and Imee Marcos, it will never be enough to say that we should “move on”. The Filipino people still demand accountability for all the moral, physical, and economic damages that the Marcoses have brought our country. We must not simply forget the lies and historical revisions that the supporters of the Marcoses and the Marcoses themselves try to impose on our consciousness. Probably one of the most vocal allies of the Marcoses, President Rodrigo Duterte, perpetuated revisions in our history as he himself allowed former President Ferdinand Marcos’ remains to be transferred in the “Libingan ng mga Bayani”. A blatant act of historical revisionism; it is something that we shall continuously oppose as the Duterte administration consistently tries to purify the legacy of the Marcoses.

With the continuous violence and systematic crusade of blood and inhumanity, misplaced priorities, and debt-driven projects, the Duterte administration is undeniably a semblance of our horrendous past. The recent release of Pemberton who murdered Jennifer Laude, a Filipino transgender woman, is an example of a priority that favors not the Filipino people, but the other country’s interests. In line with the nature of Marcos dictatorship, Duterte also serves as a lapdog to imperialist nations and insolently tolerates violence and injustice towards the Filipino people. Indeed, the qualities of ruthlessness, cruelty, and inhumanity are inarguably kindred to these two diabolic rulers.

The Philosophical Society of UPLB, as a philosophical organization, believes that it is part of our duty to enlighten the public about the real story behind these two dictators. We believe not in the restoration of the Marcos legacy, but in the restoration of the spirit of justice and sovereignty of our country. All the more so, these are the times for us to discuss the role of philosophy and to raise discourse on the realities that the public deserves to know.

As we recollect memories of the gloomiest days in our history, let us all put in mind that we should never forget the atrocities that happened in the past. May we always remain constant in seeking for justice to those who died and became victims of Martial Law during the Marcos regime. As we face similar symptoms of these darker days in present times, let us all together be watchful and critical of our government. We will never, ever, allow a despotic regime to destroy our country, our nation, and our people again.





Encabo, P. (2019, September 20). We should never forget the horrors of Ferdinand Marcos’ dictatorship. Retrieved September 20, 2020, from…/

Llaneta, C. (2020, September 10). UP to hold virtual commemoration of the struggle against Martial Law in UP Day of Remembrance 2020. Retrieved September 20, 2020, from…/

Mass Arrests and Curfew Announced in Philippines. (1972, September 24). The New York Times. Retrieved on September 21, 2020. Retrieved from…/mass-arrests-and-curfew…

Carpio, S. (2018, September 28). #NeverForget: Ms. Hilda Narciso’s Martial Law Talk. The Science Scholar. Retrieved on September 21, 2020. Retrieved from…/neverforget-ms-hilda-narcisos…

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