A group of lawmakers and Martial Law victims were reportedly barred from using the dedicated media room for press conferences on Thursday.
Gabriela Women’s party-list, part of the opposition Makabayan bloc in the Congress’ lower chamber, said they were “forced” to hold the presser in a hallway of the Batasang Pambansa Complex instead of the Media Center Press Conference Room.
“Tahasang pagpapakita ito ng lumiliit na espasyo sa demokratikong pagpapahayag ng kritisismo sa rehimeng Marcos Jr. Stop political repression!” it said on social media.
“Akala ko ba ‘House of the People ito’? Malinaw na repression ito ng Marcos regime,” Rep. Arlene Brosas (Gabriela) commented.
The Makabayan bloc is a coalition of progressive party-lists Gabriela, Kabataan and the Alliance of Concerned Teachers.
The move to prevent the party-list representatives from using the dedicated media room was likewise condemned by some Filipinos online.
“They try so hard to disprove the past when the past is right in front of them,” another Twitter user commented, referring to the Marcos family.
Others urged the lawmakers to continue serving the Filipinos despite such incidents.
“#ServeThePeople #TuloyAngLaban,” a Facebook user wrote.
The House of the Representatives is currently headed by Rep. Martin Romualdez (Leyte, First District) as its speaker. He is the first cousin of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Marcos’ father, the dictator Marcos Sr who was head of state for over two decades, imposed a nine-year period of martial rule which saw various human rights abuses and violations.
It was also called an era of impunity when activists, human rights defenders and civilians were arrested by emboldened uniformed personnel with the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus.
London-based human rights organization Amnesty International said that “some 70,000 people were imprisoned and 34,000 were tortured; over 3,200 people were killed” during its imposition.