Lualhati Bautista remembers Martial Law victims ahead of 49th anniversary of declaration

September 17, 2021 - 5:30 PM
Lualhati Bautista in UP
Lualhati Bautista speaks in this photo uploaded on her personal Facebook account with the University of the Philippines' watermark on Oct. 24, 2014. (Photo from Lualhati Bautista via Facebook)

Acclaimed author Lualhati Bautista listed down and recalled some names of victims of Martial Law days before the 49th anniversary of Marcos’ declaration of Martial Law.

Remembering Martial Law victims

Bautista, who had lived through this dark period, listed the names of individuals who were tortured and killed under Martial Law.

Here are some of them:

  • Charlie del Rosario – an activist who was kidnapped in 1970, two years before the declaration of Martial Law.
  • Henry Romero – a journalist, was kidnapped by Marcos’ military men. His body was never found.
  • Liliosa Hilao – barely 20 years old, was arrested, tortured and killed by Marcos’ military men.
  • Juan Escandor – a doctor who was captured, tortured and killed by Marcos’ military men.
  • Bodjie Jimenez – who was wounded in an encounter, was tortured and killed by Marcos’ military men.
  • Luis Mijares – was only 16 when he was kidnapped, tortured and killed by Marcos’ military men.
  • Edgar Jopson – whom Marcos once derisively called “son of a grocer”, was killed by Marcos’ military men.
  • Eman Lacaba – a poet, was wounded in an encounter, captured alive but finished off by Marcos’ military men.
  • Lorena Barros – a poet, was killed by Marcos’ military men.

She concluded her post by saying there were many more names, including women who were raped and tortured during that time.

“I can go on and on with the list, even include the number of women detainees tortured and raped by Marcos’ military men but I can’t, there are THOUSANDS of them,” she said.

The Palanca awardee then dared to ask about the difference between a “kind and loving father” and someone who ordered to kill other people.

“Just do tell me: how can a ‘kind and loving father’ who buys ice cream for every child in school because it is his son’s birthday be the same “kind and loving father” who allows, nay, orders, his men to rape, torture, and kill other fathers’ children? Just think about it,” Bautista said.

Controversial interview

Bautista’s Facebook post came after the release of Toni Gonzaga‘s controversial interview with Bongbong Marcos, the dictator’s son.

Gonzaga’s latest episode of her “Toni Talks” video titled “The Greatest Lesson Bongbong Marcos Learned from His Father” was released a day after the 104th birthday anniversary of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Bongbong’s father.

She received widespread criticisms for it, particularly among human rights advocates, victims of atrocities during the Marcos regime and their relatives.

READ: Throwing shade? Movie lines of Toni Gonzaga go viral amid backlash over BBM interview 

While the renowned novelist did not mention the interview in her post, a Reddit user said she should also be interviewed by the criticized TV host.

“Kelan iinterviewhin ni Toni G si Lualhati Bautista?” the online user asked.

Aside from her award-winning 1983 novel, Bautista also has another book about Marcos’ military rule—Desaparesidos in 2007.

Never forget

Meanwhile, in the comments section of Bautista’s post, one Facebook user expressed hopes that the youth today would be the next ones to remind the next generation of the country’s history.

“Darating ang panahon, mauubos ang mga aktuwal na nakasaksi sa brutalidad ng rehimeng Marcos, kaya dapat patuloy na maimulat dito ang kabataan upang sila ang maging buhay na tagapagdala sa aral ng kasaysayan,” one user said.

Others hoped that the movie “Dekada ‘70” which was adapted from Bautista book of the same title should be available on other accessible platforms like Netflix.

“I hope the Dekada 70 movie will also be available on Netflix and other online platforms. Baka mas madaming mamumulat sa katotohanan,” one user said.