Press Release
June 6, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) will formally launch his book, Martial Law in the Philippines: My Story, at the Centennial Hall of the Manila Hotel on June 7 (Wednesday) at 4 p.m.

One of the outstanding leaders of the resistance against the dictatorship of President Ferdinand E. Marcos, Pimentel recalls in his book the historic and dramatic events in the peoples struggle to free themselves from authoritarian rule.

I wrote it principally to unburden myself about the things that happened during martial law which oppressed me and a lot of other people, said Pimentel who was jailed four times for opposing dictatorial rule.

Martial law came and destroyed lives, not only my life at that time but also the lives of many unknown, unconnected and powerless people. And I want to recall their struggle.

Written over a period of two years, the 562-page book, published by Cachos Hermanos, carries introductions by former President Corazon C. Aquino and Senator Joker Arroyo.

In narrating martial law events from his point of view, Pimentel said he wanted to inform his countrymen, especially the youth of today, who have no absolutely no idea about what happened during those parlous times.

I think they should see for themselves how it was through my eyes, and probably tell themselves and their generations: never again martial law.

The book tells the story of how a provinciano from Cagayan de Oro City in Mindanao, his wife, Bing, and their family of six children coped with the difficulties that martial law brought into their lives.

Despite threats to his life and the travails of his family, Pimentel ran for mayor of Cagayan de Oro during the martial law regime, winning the popular vote by a large margin. Later, he was falsely implicated in a fabricated plot against Marcos, and was jailed after he refused bail by his supporters and friends.

In the 1986 snap presidential elections, Pimentel played a leading role in shaping the opposition party that challenged the Marcos dictatorship, leading to the election of Corazon Aquino, widow of the late opposition Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr., as President, and former Senator Salvador Laurel as Vice President. He also played a key role in the ouster of the martial law strongman.

Today, Pimentel continues his role as principled opposition to the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He has called for Arroyos resignation and the holding of a snap presidential election.

Critics praise the book as a comprehensive, accurate and exceptional record of the national struggle for the restoration of democracy. It records, not just the sacrifices and strivings of one man and the support of his family despite hardships and deprivation, but also the courage and defiance of other personalities and groups against the dictatorship.

It is a welcome addition to the libraries not only of historians and specialists but also of schools and other institutions whose mission is to raise productive citizens and form enlightened members of our larger community, reviewers said.

Martial Law in the Philippines: My Story by Senator Pimentel is a riveting work of remembrance. In this book of epic breadth and depth, one of the leading lights in the resistance against the Marcos dictatorship, brings us back to one of the most formative and destructive periods of contemporary Philippine history. His memories and reflections, including the people he names and the events he now recalls, continue the intellectual conversation about how past events inform present circumstances, the reviewers added.

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