Manila archbishop: Never forget the ‘darkness’ of martial law

September 22, 2022 - 1:07 PM
Cardinal Jose Advincula, Archbishop of Manila. (RCAM-AOC via CBCP News)

A top Catholic official called on Filipinos to learn from the “dark” chapter in the country’s history and live its lesson.

Cardinal Jose Advincula of Manila said Filipinos must remember lessons from the martial law era and never allow it to happen again.

“We cannot learn these important lessons if we deny or forget the darkness of history,” Advincula said.

“Let us not forget the lessons from the martial law period. We have seen the light. Let us not go back to darkness,” he said.

This day, Sept. 21, marks the 50th year Ferdinand Marcos Sr. placed the nation under martial law, a period marred by 14 years of authoritarian rule, massive corruption, and human rights violations.

The cardinal said the lessons from this period include valuing human life, respecting human rights, fighting for truth, and seeing the importance of democracy.

“We also learned that true progress depends on justice and peace,” he added.

For his part, Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos again called for an end to human rights abuses “that started during the martial law period and continued until today”.

“Our collective memories of the violence of the Martial Law strengthen our resolve to intensify our vigilance against any unjust and violent acts reminiscent of the past,” Alminaza said.

He also said that describing the martial law years as a “golden age” is a “historical distortion”, as he renewed his call to end the “massive disinformation” during the last presidential elections.