‘Tanggapin mo ‘yan’: Clarita Carlos’ old advice to Marcos on Martial Law issue resurfaces

September 22, 2022 - 5:58 PM
Clarita Carlos and Marcos Jr
Retired professor Clarita Carlos meeting president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in his headquarters in Mandaluyong in this photo posted by lawyer Vic Rodriguez on Facebook on June 8, 2022. (Facebook/attyvicrodriguez)

Old comments of National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos about Martial Law was once again brought up after the country observed the 50th year of its declaration on Wednesday.

A Twitter user on September 22 shared a quote card featuring the former UP professor’s remarks when she appeared in DZMM Teleradyo’s “SRO” show before.

“So how can Marcos apologist[s] counter Clarita Carlos’ statement?” the user wrote as a caption.

Last January, ANCX compiled some of Carlos’s “strong-worded opinions and insightful remarks” from her then-recent appearances on the radio show.

Among these was her “advice” to then-presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

“If I were Bongbong [Marcos], tanggapin mo that there were military and police atrocities [during Martial Law] kasi documented ‘yan e,” Carlos said before.

“It’s not anything contrived or imagined. Ang dami kong colleagues, classmates sa UP, they just disappeared. Their parents could not even grieve properly,” she added.

“So tanggapin mo ‘yan. Then make a categorical declaration [that] ‘these things will not happen in my administration.’ How difficult is it to say that?” Carlos continued.

The quote card surfaced anew after the nation commemorated the Martial Law declaration anniversary on September 21.

ALSO READ: Pro and anti-Martial Law rallyists encounter each other in Quiapo

Some student bodies urged the academic community to “wear black” in observance of its dark past, while others launched free movie screenings with Martial Law themes.

A university also held a light show and played a song once considered seditious by late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

Carlos, meanwhile, has no recent comments about Martial Law, based on her verified Facebook account.

This was not the first time that her remarks about the period made buzz online.

Last March, an Iloilo-based publication made a quote card about it.

In the same month, a Reddit user posted Carlos’ remarks on a Philippine-centered subreddit.

When Carlos was appointed as director-general of the National Security Council, an old Facebook post of her resurfaced where she said that she was “not looking for a job.”

Declared vs ‘rebels, communists’ 

Sen. Imee Marcos, eldest daughter of Marcos Sr, recently defended the imposition of Martial Law in the country amid its commemoration.

“Musmos pa lang ako nung una kong narinig sa ama ko yung martial law dahil ang sabi niya ang pinakatanyag na gumamit nito ay yung president ng Amerika. Si Abraham Lincoln,” she said in a press conference before.

“Kung may karapatan ka bilang tao na ipagtanggol ang sarili mo kung may aatake sa’yo, gugulpi sa’yo, nais patayin ka, may karapatan din ang pamahalaan, ang estado, ipagtanggol ang sarili niya sa mga naghahasik ng gulo, sa mga rebelde na nais bumagsak ang pamahalaan, sa mga susupil na mga dayuhan sa lahat ng pamamaraang ito,” Imee added.

“May gamit ang Martial Law at ‘yan ay ginamit ilang beses na, sa Amerika man at sa ibang bansa. ‘Yan ang paliwanag ng ama ko noong maliit pa ako kaya’t sine-share ko lang po,” she added.

The lawmaker also said that “total amnesty” be granted to both leftists and rightists who participated in a coup d’état and other acts before.

“Pagkat ang pagpapatawad ang umpisa ng pagkakaisa. Unawain natin ang isa’t-isa pagkat sa puno’t dulo, bawat isa sa atin ay Pilipino at Pilipino lamang,” she added.

Earlier this month, Marcos Jr. said that his father placed the country under martial rule since the latter was simultaneously fighting communists and separatist rebellions at that time.

The nine-year period

Martial Law was imposed from 1972 to 1981 in a bid to supposedly quell communist insurgency and restore order, but critics said it was declared to extend Marcos Sr’s presidential term.

The nine-year period saw curfews being imposed, public assemblies being forbidden and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, a legal remedy that protects citizens from unlawful arrests and indefinite detentions.

Martial Law also saw the curtailment of civil rights and liberties, prevalence of extrajudicial killings and unsolved disappearances, media suppression and economic recession, among others.

It was also during this period when the word “salvage,” which originally means to save, became part of the local language to denote extralegal killings.

London-based human rights organization Amnesty Organization said that “some 70,000 people were imprisoned and 34,000 were tortured; over 3,200 people were killed” in its imposition.