Torture and killings also happened after Martial Law particularly during the Aquino years

Every year during the anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law, a few articles come out from mainstream media reminding Filipinos about the “horrors” that came following its implementation by former President Ferdinand Marcos. I noticed that most of the articles describe the abuse perpetuated by the Philippine military or police back in the 1970s. Those who lived to tell the tale or the survivors of torture and systematic kidnapping, quite often say that members of the military or police committed the atrocities.

Declaring Martial Law itself was not illegal. It was the abuse committed under it that was.

Declaring Martial Law itself was not illegal. It was the abuse committed under it that was.

However, one cannot help but wonder if those atrocities were committed with the knowledge of the late President Marcos himself. Did he order for example, the rape of then 23-year-old Lily Hilao in 1973 after writing her school paper at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila? Who was in charge of the military then? The same question can be asked about Dr Juan Escandor who was said to be a young doctor with UP-PGH. Rehashed accounts say he was also tortured and killed by the Philippine Constabulary. Were any of the Marcoses aware that the members of the military were going to eliminate him in such a terrible way?

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We can name all the victims of abuse and torture during the Martial Law years and ask the same question. We may find that it would have been too far-fetched for the young Marcoses at least to be involved or aware that such gruesome crimes were happening under their father’s watch. But why are they still being blamed for it now?

I find it strange that 30 years after President Marcos’s death, there are still some people – especially those who are allied with the Aquinos – who keep blaming the Marcoses for the atrocities they may not have been aware of. They have this fear that if Senator Bongbong Marcos becomes President one day, he will also declare Martial Law and ask the military to commit the same atrocities against people critical of his government.

In the age of Internet and social media, their fear is outright ridiculous. Obviously, what happened in the 1970s is unlikely to happen again. The use of memes alone by Netizens will help expose government abuse if ever. Likewise, the world is so connected now that atrocities similar to what happened then will make it to international media outlets within hours of happening, which will then be the basis for people in other countries to show support for the victims.

It is unfortunate that the perpetrators of the crimes during Martial Law years were never brought to justice. This is precisely the reason why there has been no closure for them and their supporters. Most of the victims did not get compensated too and this time, the current administration under President Benigno Simeon Aquino is to blame for it. To quote excerpts from a recent report:

Aging victims of the Marcos dictatorship are urging the panel tasked to process their claims for reparation to speed up its work, saying hardly anything has moved in the two years since the law granting them compensation was enacted.

Worse, the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board will cease to exist by next year based on the law that established it, playwright Bonifacio Ilagan, vice chairman of the Samahan ng Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto or SELDA, noted.

SELDA said the delay in granting the compensation “reflects how the Aquino government treats human rights victims then and now,” as it noted that instead of diminishing, the number of human rights violations has increased in the waning months of the current administration.

It also pointed out Aquino has yet to name a replacement for former HRVCB member Chito Gascon, who is now chairman of the Commission on Human Rights, causing even more delays in the panel’s work.

Powerless against injustice suffered under his watch: President BS Aquino

Powerless against injustice suffered under his watch: President BS Aquino

It seems like BS Aquino did not follow through on this. It is also worth noting that even without Martial Law, abuse and killings committed by members of the military and police under the current government is still happening. The most recent one is the killing of three Lumad tribal leaders and teachers from Surigao del Sur who were beaten and tortured before being killed right in front of their community allegedly by militiamen trained by the Philippine military. The motive for the killings of the Lumad leaders is still unclear.

BS Aquino was quick to absolve the military of responsibility for the atrocities. It is also interesting to note that the President’s rabid supporters are not appalled by the crimes committed against the Lumads the same way they are appalled by the crimes committed during the Martial Law years. Economist and media personality Solita “Winnie” Monsod even pins the blame on the leftist for the killings even before an investigation had started. This is what she had to say:

If the military has killed Lumad, it is not because they are Lumad, but because they are NPA. How does the military know the Lumad are NPA? Simple. If they have guns, they must be NPA,” she said.

Monsod’s bias is evident in her statement. She doesn’t seem to mind the torture and killing of suspected communists hiding in communities. She doesn’t seem to care about following due process. Her statement against the killing of the Lumads is certainly appalling. Sadly, most rabid Aquino supporters think like her.

The question now is, will the perpetrators of the crimes committed during the current Aquino government be brought to justice or will they go scot-free the same way the perpetrators of crimes during the Martial Law years got away with their crimes? One just needs to look up the Mendiola massacres in 1987 where 13 people were killed by government anti-riot forces, the Hacienda Luisita massacres in 2004 where seven farmers died in the hands of the PNP and AFP forces, the Maguindanao massacres where 58 victims were tortured and killed in 2009 allegedly by the Ampatuans, to realize that justice for the victims of government abuse in the 1970s and now are the same – it does not exist.

Therefore, those who call for justice for the victims of government atrocities should include the horrors during the two Aquino Presidencies and highlight their failure to end the violence against innocent Filipinos. Members of the media inaccurately exclude other victims of heinous crimes after Martial Law was lifted in their fight for “justice” just because they are beholden to the Aquinos.

23 Replies to “Torture and killings also happened after Martial Law particularly during the Aquino years”

  1. Benigno Aquino Sr., Japanese Militarists collaborators: the KALIBAPI torturers and murderers, were worse than Marcos.

    The Aquinos are allied to the NPA. They financed and supported them. Just look at the NPAs released by Aquino captured in Morong, Rizal. To claim that the Lumads, were killed, because they are NPA, is ridiculous.

    This is the Justice of Aquino. One Justice for themselves. Another Justice for those against them. It is “Selective Justice”.

    The crimes of this Aquino administration reached its stink to high heaven, already…and to blame , everything to Marcos and his Martial Law, is stupid. Marcos has been dead for 30 years.

    What did the Aquinos do for the last 30 years, to improve the country? They cannot even solve the perennial rice shortage…

  2. Yes to the fallen Heroes, Just like Hero Andres Bonifacio, who was Cheated on his Quest for becoming the President of the PHilippines, and our President Ferdinand E. Marcos was usurped and cheated by Shultz,Bossworth,Couangco,and Enrile the real ali baba of the philippines for 32 years of robbing pilipino peoples taxes with his money bathub napolist auditors. Yes to the Heroes Burial of the Greatest President of the world, in his Masagana99 legacy of converting a quarter of a million peasants to landowners and farmers. which is the complete opposite of 32 years of MAD PNOY hacienda luisita self interest land grabber of the world

  3. Punishment is now unfashionable…because it creates moral distinctions among men, which, to the democratic mind, are odious. Failipinos in the Failippines prefer a meaningless collective guilt to a meaningful individual responsibility.

  4. “Torture and killings also happened after Martial Law.”

    This “torture and killing” have been around before, during, and after Martial Law, and will continue to take place in future generations. It’s in the Filipinos’ legacy to compete, outdo, and destroy one another for self-serving and arrogant motives.

    It’s almost safe to assume that it’s in the Filipinos’ DNA to not allow themselves to be outshined by their fellow Filipinos, but are willing to swallow their pride and bow down to their former colonizers and current foreign benefactors.

    “Mabuhay Ang Filipino!”

  5. One has to ask: why are the Aquinos so bent on making sure no one forgets that people were tortured and murdered (including Ninoy)… but avoiding any real steps to find the perpetrators or what actually happened.

    It’s fishy—it’s like they don’t actually want anyone to find out what actually happened as long as allegations can do. Who really killed Ninoy? Why find out when you can allege it was Marcos (of course)?

    With Hitler and Nixon, people uncovered incontrovertible connections going all the way to the top. The few times a Marcos was put on trial, nothing was found. They’re supposedly “that good” at hiding evidence.

    But Pinoys have never shirked from providing false evidence to bring someone to trial before: why not in these cases? Unless you don’t really want to uncover anything.

    Fishy business.

    1. Precisely, why up to now nothing was proven. Who ordered the murder of NInoy? Two Aquinos terms and still no resolution? Maybe the perpetrator is still at large, whoever it is? its a ONE BIG question.

  6. 1. Try to watch the YouTube video “ilantad ang bago ng cojuanco-aquino”.
    2. Monsod is one big b*tch, she have no right by any means to say that Lumads that have guns are NPA and therefore can be executed. Does the Constitution provide the soldiers shoot-to-kill anybody who posses guns? I suppose Monsod is educated(worse if she is or was a professor), why she cannot use her education to speak in an educated manner.

  7. So after ousting Marcos, you expect automatic changes? You cannot fix things immediately especially after 20 years of dictatorial rule. Torturing has become a tradition via CIA trainings rendered to our military during the Martial Law years. So by saying that human rights violations grew and continued after Marcos is beside the point. The point is, as long as we have the ruling elites dominating our political spectrum, there will be no end to these violations. And thanks to Marcos, the ‘San Juanico Bridge’ the ‘Truth Serum’ and the ‘water cure’ became fashionable. Please view the mangled facials of Archimedes Trajano and Marsman Alvarez, then tell me the Martial Law period was relatively peaceful?

    1. Seems you proved my point that abuse is still happening today. Therefore, people should focus on that instead of what happened 30 years ago.

    2. EDSA was the successful Creation of the third world status Philippines, courtesy of America,Malaysia and Japan, the works of the Economic hitmen of the Marcos Destrucion , engineered by shultzh,bossworth,dandingcouangco,Cardinal Sin and Senatong Tanda enrile the real alibaba and the forty representathieves who recently received a bribe from madPnoy self interest of kulangkulang99, to usurf and replace Marcos Masagana99 first world status of Great Nation Philippines.

  8. EDSA was the successful Creation of the third world status Philippines, courtesy of America,Malaysia and Japan, the works of the Economic hitmen of the Marcos Destrucion , engineered by shultzh,bossworth,dandingcouangco,Cardinal Sin and Senatong Tanda enrile, to usurf and replace Marcos Masagana99 first world status of Great Nation Philippines.

    1. I absolutely agree that the country DID NOT immediately improve after EDSA. In fact it took THIRTY LONG YEARS to undo the rot and malaise that Marcos’ regime visited upon the nation, and we’re still trying to improve the country.

      But it definitely was during Marcos’ term that the Philippines became the Sick Man of Asia and slid into third world status.

      The peso lost over 40% of its value from when Marcos first became president in 1966 up to end of 1972, when he declared martial law ->

      All that infrastructure spending he was being glorified for? BORROWED MONEY. Which is fine as long as you can repay it. But external debt still kept growing up till he was booted out all the way up to GMA. It is only under Pnoy that we have started lowering our debt burden.

      [ Duterte plans to embark on massive spending which again, is not necessarily bad, as long as you can grow the economy more, and as long as that money is not plundered. ]

      From the time martial law was declared up to right before Ninoy was assassinated, the peso lost another 30% -> -> and then nearly another 40% all the way to PHP20.5 to USD1 before the country finally got rid of him.

      To summarize, our currency lost more than 80% of its value in the 20 years under Marcos.

      For the next ***THIRTY*** years throughout different presidents, the peso lost at most only another 65% of its value and this was when the turmoil of EDSA 3 was occurring.

  9. we shud remember too that Ninoy’s murder was carried out after martial law.

    so we can’t connect everything to the marital law of all the blames when death still occurring after those times that led to the killing of Lean of LFS and Olalia of KMU during cory;s time.

    the symbol of hope faded once more even this Edsa Revolution occurred.

  10. Marcos had ABSOLUTE POWER back then – unlike later presidents – and yet he did not do anything about the heinous crimes that his own army and police were doing.

    Life under martial law was scary. Congress and the Supreme Court were both beholden to Marcos and were just rubber stamps. WHO WOULD DARE FILE CASES AGAINST ERRING MILITARY AND POLICE PERSONNEL IF THE COURTS WERE ALL IN MARCOS’ POCKETS?

    Even if one claims that Marcos never directly ordered the army and the police to abuse and torture their victims, he surely was at the very least responsible for letting them get away with it.

    It is a testament to Marcos’ legal genius that to this day, many people find it hard to pin things on him.

    1. Gee, can you imagine the likes of Pnoy having “ABSOLUTE POWER”?? Maybe you can offer your services as advisor in that regime.

      1. NO. We do not want ANY PRESIDENT to have the kind of unchecked power that Marcos wielded.

        Marcos was a genius who was very careful to cloak his dictatorship with the _appearance_ of legality. This was why he was able to last for so long and why even the US was fooled.

        His genius was such that today, thirty years later, there is still debate over whether he was actually a bad leader or not. You’re going to have to read carefully documented books like “Waltzing With a Dictator” to understood Marcos’ diabolic mind.

        I’ve lived through those years and I remember so many poor people on our streets. I also remember worse-than-useless policemen here in Metro Manila, the only thing you could count on which was to be abused and shaken down by them.

        Pnoy’s fuck-ups are NOTHING compared to Makoy’s and the good thing is that we have this mechanism known as elections that enable us to change our leaders.

        Real democracy is tough. Reforms can be slow. So people cry out for a strongman. But be careful with the latter. Eventually, the absolute power corrupts them, no matter how good they may have started out as.

        1. That’s precisely the issue. How can you absolutely & properly apply due process in such chaotic states? What would you have done when multiple fronts were attempting to destabilise and overthrow the govt? Do you have any idea on the complexity of legally holding officials in charge of every individual atrocity?
          Here’s a tip, take or leave it.
          Try and study unofficial narratives that might complete the puzzle for you. Even if you argue “documented facts”, what makes you sure they’re infallible?

  11. On “Ninoy’s murder being carried out ‘after’ martial law”.

    Martial law was supposedly “lifted” in 1981. But this lifting was a farce. The book “Waltzing with a Dictator: The Marcoses and the Making of American Policy” states that “Marcos, a few months before lifting martial law, had enacted legislation which allowed him to retain his marital law powers even after he had lifted the decree.”

    Amendment 6 to the 1973 Constitution gave Marcos the ability to “issue necessary decrees, orders or letters of instruction, which shall form part of the law”.

    In other words, all the power STILL lay with him and congress remained a mere rubber stamp.

    Marcos was as much a dictator “after martial law” as he was before 1981.

    The book continues: “He had only put a different face on his rule, demonstrating once again that he was shrewder, more adaptable than other dictators the world has known”.


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