Philippine martial law memorial held

Kyodo

On the eve of the 41st anniversary of its declaration by Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, a memorial event was held Friday for victims of the nearly nine-year period of martial law.

“Martial law should never take place again,” the event’s leader, Loretta Ann Rosales, chairwoman of the Commission on Human Rights, declared at the gathering, which took place in a forest south of Manila.

She said the event was part of “efforts to immortalize the martyrdom of those who fought against the (Marcos) dictatorship.”

Rosales, a former political activist, was herself a victim. She said she was detained in 1976, sexually abused and tortured by electric shocks.

In February, President Benigno Aquino III signed the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act, which provided 10 billion pesos (about $233 million) in initial compensation money to victims of human rights violations during the martial law period that ended in 1981.

The fund was sourced from ill-gotten wealth recovered abroad since Marcos fell from power in 1986. He died in exile in Hawaii in 1989.