Our ‘sec­ond­hand’ mar­tial law

Panay News - - OPINION -

Metro­com po­lice pa­trol the streets, scour­ing ev­ery dark al­ley and street corner for vi­o­la­tors of the na­tional cur­few. Loud knocks on your gate at two-in-the-morn­ing could mean you’ve been tar­geted for ar­rest, per­se­cu­tion, or worse… “dis­ap­pear­ance.”

Be­hind closed doors, rad­i­cals the Mar­cos regime. I’ve seen and gather in dimly- lit rooms, muted talked to peers of mine who think voices dis­cussing the strug­gle against that the time of Mar­tial Law (and tyranny. Tele­vi­sion net­works and I’m di­rectly quot­ing here) “was not news­pa­per of­fices are bar­ri­caded, the that bad.” Bor­der­ing on blas­phemy, air­waves and print me­dia cen­sored. these in­di­vid­u­als rat­tle about the Jour­nal­ists fear for their lives, the “peace and or­der” of the ‘70s, about out­spo­ken re­ceive death threats, the sta­ble value of the peso, how the ac­tivists dis­ap­pear into the night. dic­ta­tor­ship was in­stru­men­tal to the

creep­ing progress we now en­joy. The very lit­tle this gen­er­a­tion They air sim­i­lar views on Our Ver­sion of Events knows about the EDSA Revo­lu­tion Face­book, shar­ing the long list of and Mar­tial Law, they got from the sup­posed in­fra­struc­ture projects foot­note in Philip­pine His­tory class com­pleted un­der Mar­cos, fawn­ing they slept through in high school, or over the glam­our of Imelda and how the gos­sip they’ve over­heard from she in­flu­enced dig­ni­taries the world adults who lived through that time, over, chris­ten­ing a time of op­pres­sion or the white lies they’ve seen shared as a “Golden Age of the Philip­pines.” on so­cial me­dia. And with the count­less Pro-

Our gen­er­a­tion has had to rely on Mar­cos and white­washed Mar­tial sec­ond­hand ac­counts to imag­ine our Law lies cir­cu­lat­ing around the own images of Mar­tial Law. That’s in­ter­net, the mis­led crowd grows, why our ver­sion of events may not wan­der­ing fur­ther away from real­ity. al­ways be the most re­li­able. Mil­len­ni­als know about the 12

It’s as­ton­ish­ing just how un­aware o’clock cur­fews, Imelda’s lav­ish most Mil­len­ni­als are of the ills of col­lec­tion of shoes, and Mar­cos’ iron

Swept un­der the rug are the Filipinos tor­tured and mar­tyred, the tram­pling of free­dom, the large- scale cor­rup­tion, the thou­sands of who have yet to sur­face to this day. de­sa­pare­ci­dos The first line of Car­los P. Ro­mulo’s In­her­i­tors of the Past most mem­o­rized piece, prob­a­bly still ring­ing in the ears of most of the Filipino youth ob­li­gated to re­cite it, goes – “I am a Filipino - in­her­i­tor of a glo­ri­ous past, hostage to the un­cer­tain fu­ture.”

What the line falls short of cap­tur­ing is that we’ve also had to heirs to the darker facets of our his­tory. But “hostage to the un­cer­tain fu­ture” sums up our sit­u­a­tion spot on. The sec­ond­hand sto­ries of Mar­tial law atroc­i­ties, the worn prom­ises of a

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