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‘Never again to Martial Law’ survivors say

SURVIVORS of Martial Law marched to Mendiola last September 21 to press their demand for justice on the 44th anniversary of its declaration.

They were joined by recently-released National Democratic Front of the Philippines peace consultants who themselves were victims of the Marcos dictatorship.

The activists also reiterated their opposition to the burial of the late dictator at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Read more

Ang Libing, a skit on the planned burial of Marcos at the ‘heroes’ cemetery

Karatula, originally the cultural group of Kabataang Makabayan (KM), performs the short skit “Ang Libing” by Bonifacio P. Ilagan at forums and protest actions.

A celebrated playwright, Ilagan was one of the earliest members of KM. He was arrested and tortured during Marcos’s Martial Law. His sister Rizalina was abducted by Marcos’s troops in the 1970s and remains missing to this day.

Ilagan is a convener of the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses in Malacanang (CARMMA). Read more

Martial Law victims press call vs Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani

HUMAN RIGHTS groups held another rally in front of the Supreme Court (SC) last September 7 during the second round of oral arguments on the petition against the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).

The rally was in support of the petitioners and their lawyers who said that instead of healing, the Rodrigo Duterte government’s plan to bury the late dictator at the so-called cemetery of heroes would open old wounds.

Bonifacio Ilagan, Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacanang (CARMMA) convenor, questioned the use of the term “healing” on the issue of Marcos’ burial at the LNMB.

“Whose wounds are going to be healed? The victims are scarred. Will their scars be healed through Marcos’ burial? I don’t think so,” he said.

“If we want healing, then give Martial Law victims justice,” Ilagan said.

“Even if they say that a burial is a simple thing, it means a lot to us, because it would mean the rehabilitation of the Marcoses and the reversal of our history,” he added.

The group Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) also said it is important not to allow Marcos, his heirs and cronies to escape punishment.

“As long as the Marcoses remain unpunished for their crimes, the burial of Ferdinand Marcos at the LNMB will only add to our pain, as it allows for the warping of the truth and the recognition of Marcos as a hero,” the group said.

More than a hundred Marcos “loyalists” held their own rally farther down Padre Faura Street.

Rally at the Supreme Court protesting Marcos' burial at the LNMB revives old slogans against the former president.

Rally at the Supreme Court protesting Marcos’ burial at the LNMB revives old slogans against the former president.

No burial yet

Before the Supreme Court en banc, Solicitor General Jose Calida and Marcos family lawyer Hyacinth Rafael-Antonio defended Marcos’ ‘right’ to burial at the LNMB.

Calida said that the government does not see any law violated by Duterte’s plan and, in turn, cited Armed Forces of the Philippines Regulation No. 161-375 allowing soldiers, commanders in chief and war veterans burial at the LNMB.

Calida and Rafael-Antonio said the burial would not affect the issue of compensation of the victims of Marcos’ Martial Law.

Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, however, found fault with Calida and Rafael-Antonio’s argument that Marcos would be buried only because he was a president and a soldier.

Leonon also questioned their treatment of Marcos the President and Marcos the soldier as two different people.

“Which part of Marcos is President?  Which part is being accused by the victims of human rights violations? Why is it that government wishes to take only (a) part of Marcos’ life and use it as a justification to bury him in the LNMB?” Leonen asked.

Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, for her part, spoke against the potential use of public funds for the burial, saying that public funds should only be used for public purposes.

Calida denied that public funds would be used and said that Marcos would receive “simple graveyard military honors.”

Calida added that the public purpose would be Duterte’s policy of healing and reconciliation.

But Sereno countered Calida, saying, “There is a campaign promise.  That is a political purpose. That is not a defined public purpose.  And public money cannot be used to fulfil a political promise.”

At the end of the hearing, the SC announced a status quo ante order to October 18, preventing Marcos’ planned burial in the LNMB on September 18.# (By Abril Layad B. Ayroso)

CARMMA holds own sortie vs Marcos

Volunteers of the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang (CARMMA) held a caravan around Quezon City today to convince voters against voting for Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr as vice president in Monday’s national elections.

The campaigners gathered at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani, the place dedicated to those who fought against the dictatorship of the Senator’s father Ferdinand Sr., early this morning and then motored to Barangay Commonwealth to distribute leaflets and post stickers.

Here is a video of CARMMA’s activity this morning.

Anti-Bongbong campaigners get helping hand from ‘Voltes V’

The Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses in Malacañang (CARMMA) received a helping hand from popular 1970s mecha Voltes V.

At a gathering yesterday at the Araneta Center, “Voltes V” slashed and stabbed a photo of Senator and vice-presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos dressed as the cartoon show’s evil Prince Zardoz.

CARMMA members distributed leaflets enumerating the Senator’s “sins” and culpability under the 30-year iron-fisted rule of Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

Here is a video of yesterday’s event.

“Voltes V” campaigns against Bongbong Marcos

Volunteers of the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses in Malacañang (CARMMA) sought the help of popular 70s mecha, or Japanese cartoon giant robot, Voltes V in convincing pedestrians not to vote for Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr as vice president on Monday’s national elections.

CARMMA members distributed leaflets in Cubao, Quezon City this afternoon listing seven reasons why Marcos must not be elected to a higher office.

Security guards and Philippine National Police personnel tried to stop the event, saying Araneta Center in Cubao is a private property and that CARMMA did not have a permit to stage the public gathering.

The guards were convinced to give CARMMA a few minutes however, paving the way for “Voltes V” to make his appearance.

Voltes V was a popular cartoon show in 1978 that was banned by the Marcos dictatorship for being “too violent.” Anti-Marcos activists however said the late dictator just did not want the people emulate the fictional robot’s fight against the evil Bozanian Empire and rise up against the Marcos government.

Senator Marcos was represented as the cruel Prince Zardoz at this afternoon’s event.

(Text and photos by Raymund Villanueva)

Enraged protesters push back police at EDSA 30th anniv commemoration

Enraged by the unexplained decision to prevent them from commemorating the 30th anniversary of the People Power uprising, militant groups overpowered the Philippine National Police to reach the EDSA Shrine at the corner of the famous thoroughfare and Ortigas Avenue.

Waiting their turn after the official program led by President Benigno Aquino this morning, the protesters led by groups such as Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Kilusang Mayo Uno and the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses in Malacañang (CARMMA) wanted to march all the way to the shrine but the police tried to block them.

During their own program, the groups took turns warning about the possible return of dictator Ferdinand Marcos’s family to Malacañan Palace with Ferdinand Jr.’s vice presidential bid in the coming national elections.

They also condemned the police actions as reminiscent of Martial Law policies.

Martial Law victims hold national gathering vs Marcos return to Malacañang

Human rights victims and defenders speak at the national gathering of the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacanang (CARMMA) at the Bahay ng Alumni in U.P. Diliman last Monday.

Former Vice-President Teofisto Guingona, Sr., and former senators Aquilino Pimentel Jr. and Rene Saguisag joined hundreds of other human rights victims during Ferdinand Marcos’ 27-year rule as they chanted “No more Marcos!”

Among the speakers were Marie Hilao-Enriquez of KARAPATAN, Joanna Cariño of the Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA), Bishop Arturo Asi of the UCCP (United Council of Churches in the Philippines), and Bonifacio Ilagan of the FQSM (First Quarter Storm Movement).