Historian says ‘contigency plans’ drafted as calls to preserve Martial Law references mount

May 11, 2022 - 4:06 PM
Rally in Plaza Miranda
A mass rally organized by the Movement of Concerned Citizens for Civil Liberties was held at Plaza Miranda in Quiapo. (Photo courtesy of Philippines Free Press Magazine via Official Gazette)

A historian said that contingency plans are in place as concerns are raised about sources and references related to the Martial Law era.

This comes as the son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. is seen to lead the country as president like his father after the May 9, 2022 elections.

Based on the Comelec’s transparency server as of 12:05 p.m., former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. garnered over 31 million votes.

His father is known for implementing Martial Law that lasted for almost a decade and saw multiple human rights abuses and violations.

Meanwhile, historian Kristoffer Pasion on Tuesday responded to a Twitter user who said that “historians and librarians should start hiding (or) securing Martial Law years’ primary sources and documents.”

“Archive them online,” user Kin Enrique wrote.

His post has earned over 61,500 likes, 17,600 retweets and more than 650 quote tweets so far.

Pasion saw this and replied: “Contingency plans are being drafted.”

He is a museum researcher at the National Historical Commission of the Philippines where he handles research and curatorial projects.

Similar initiatives have also surfaced online.

Facebook users appealed for the public to “take care” of their soft and hard copies of “books on Martial Law” for fear that these will be “banned or whitewashed.”

“We need to fortify ourselves to fight against historical revisionism!” a Filipino wrote.

Mira Yuchengco, an independent bookstore owner, likewise suggested that the public buy certain books to “protect our history.” These are:

  • The Conjugal Dictatorship of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos
  • Marcos Martial Law: Never Again
  • Gun Dealers’ Daughter
  • The Jupiter Effect (2006)
  • Subversive Lives: A Family Memoir of the Marcos Years
  • Dekada ’70

She also shared a link featuring additional books that likewise tackle Martial Law or have subjects involving it.

Online influencer Dora Lulab Dorado also urged his followers to “hoard Marcos or Martial Law storybooks.”

“Hoard them and get (your) copies. Bago pa mawala sa circulation!!!!!!!! We will preserve and protect history,” he tweeted.

Dora’s post has earned 26,400 likes and over 7,600 retweets as of this writing.

From 1972 to 1981, Marcos Sr. placed the country under Martial Law to supposedly quell the communist insurgency and restore order.

All powers were transferred to the president, a curfew was imposed and assemblies were forbidden.

The period was rife with curtailment of civil liberties, extrajudicial killings and unsolved disappearances, media oppression and economic recession, among others.

It was also called an “era of impunity” in which 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 the period of its imposition.

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