MANILA, Philippines — Only by remembering can people prevent a recurrence a return of past horrors like martial law, which the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos declare over the country 45 years ago.
“If we do not remember the past, we are condemned to repeat it,” Vice President Leni Robredo said in a statement on Thursday, September 21, ahead of protests both to mark Marcos’ martial law and to oppose what is widely seen as the increasingly brutal rule of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“This is where our struggle lies today. Remembering the dark past helps our people prevent the same perils from ensnaring our nation once more,” she said.
Robredo noted that “few Filipinos now lived through those dark times, when democracy died, and through force and fear, the nation was compelled to accept its passing quietly.”
Because of this, she added, “majority of our younger generations now know of those days of despair only from textbooks, or stories, or worse, from the fabrications of those who would see tyranny return.”
“These fabrications are dangerous for our people,” Robredo said as she lamented that “those who are deceived do not even know that they are walking a doomed path.”
She said the country’s suffering under Marcos “taught us the terrible cost of cowardice, complacency, and collusion in the face of rising tyranny” as she hoped “this is a lesson we do not need to learn again.”