Press Release
September 21, 2016

ON MARTIAL LAW: #NeverAgain #NeverForget

Forty-four years have passed since the dictator subjected our country to the injustice of martial law. We have lost a generation of brave and promising Filipinos. Four decades after the declaration of martial law, we are still paying for its estimated $27 billion debt. Our coconut industry continues to suffer the adverse effects of the Coco Levy Fund scam. Worse, there is well-funded propaganda that aims to make us forget the dictatorship's many transgressions.

We do not forget: Martial law was not lawful; it employed state violence and brazen injustice against its own people; it institutionalized corruption and wanton abuse of power.

Sadly, there are times when we seem to forget this, when we choose not to stand up against the lies of revisionists because we are tired or have been threatened or simply choose not to care. But the martyrs of martial law stood up for us. They offered their lives so that we may no longer suffer the oppression of martial law. We who now enjoy democracy and the protection of human rights because of their sacrifices must carry the responsibility of making sure that martial law is never repeated.

We must gather efforts to make sure that our country does not regress to the brutal ways of dictatorial rule. Let us build together collective solutions that will move our country forward in spite of the debt, which we will be paying until 2025. Let us set things right for our coconut farmers who were defrauded in the Coco Levy Fund scam. For the martyrs and victims of martial law, let us commit with courage and enduring principle to defending truth against lies, and upholding justice wherever it is most needed.

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