NEVER AGAIN TO TYRANNY AND MARTIAL LAW
“Buhay ang hibla ng kahapon
sa mga alaalang naiwan…
silang nag-alay ng buhay
sa gabi ng paglalamay
silang nagbabantay ng liwanag.”
– Nena Fernandez
Every September 21 of each year since the downfall of the Marcos dictatorship in the People Power EDSA Revolution of 1986, we remember our martyrs and heroes who during those dark years of Marcos tyranny, kept the fire of freedom and hope burning. They are the nameless peasants, workers, urban poor, indigenous peoples, professionals, students, professionals and artists who gave up their lives in the altar of freedom in the struggle against the U.S.-backed Marcos dictatorship.
After the fall of the Marcos dictatorship, the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation, Inc.(BANTAYOG) was formed “to remember and relive the gallantry of the martyrs and heroes during the Martial Law regime.” Located along Quezon Avenue, near EDSA, its statue symbolizes the offering of the country’s finest sons and daughters who gave up their lives and whose 165 names are etched in the Wall of Remembrance.These names include Ninoy Aquino, Jaime Cardinal Sin, Dr. Cirilo Rigos, Bishop Laverne Mercado, Justice Cecilia Munoz Palma, Dr. Juan Escandor, Dr. Remberto de la Paz, etc.. A museum and library at the 2nd floor of the new Bantayog building now features photos, paintings and relics of the people’s resistance to martial law.
As of today, Sept. 2008, there are 165 names of martyrs and heroes on the Bantayog Wall of Remembrance. Many are prominent leaders of the political opposition, personalities and former student leaders who come from the middle class. Surely, the peasants, workers, indigenous people and urban poor who bore the brunt of martial law are still under-represented, or perhaps lack documentation to be included in the list of heroes and martyrs . All over the country, peasant organizers, from the working class and urban poor were picked up, detained, tortured, maimed and “salvaged” or made to disappear during those dark years of martial law.
Most of the victims of the notorious 5th Constabulary Security Group (CSU)of the Philippine Constabulary, the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NICA), the various military intelligence groups/ units of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), and the Metrocom Intelligence and Security Group (MISG) were farmer and worker organizers.
Not even the names of their well known labor leaders like Felixberto Olalia, Rolando Olalia, Ceferino Flores, Jr.are found on the Bantayog walls. Surely, they were not just labor leaders who defied the sanctions of the martial law regime against independent unions, but they fought the dictatorship aboveground and underground with other sectors of Philippine society. We know for a fact that many workers and farmers comprised the main force of the resistance to martial rule especially outside Metro Manila. Many were nameless or to be accurate, used nom de guerres (aliases) to protect themselves while organizing the resistance. But Bantayog Foundation is there precisely to give recognition to them.
Most of those who fell were students, former top students in many of our universities who gave up their promising careers and later even their very lives against the forces of tyranny. Of the 165 names engraved on the Bantayog , fifty six are former U.P. students, professors and alumni, and the University of the Philippines, which is currently celebrating its centennial year, should give special honors for them.
There are alarming and ominous signs that the current occupant in Malacanang would not want to vacate her seat after 2010, the constitutionally-allowed term of office. Marcos declared martial law so that he could extend himself beyond his constitutionally-mandated term of office. Both Marcos and Arroyo have been testing the waters with Marcos first declaring the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, and Arroyo with Proclamation 1017 declaring a state of national emergency, and arresting the opposition. The current turmoil in Mindanao which was provoked and instigated by Malacanang through a Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which gloria Arroyo now claims she has not even read, has provoked violent conflicts in the island. This is a possible excuse Arroyo could use to take steps towards extending her term through the declaration of martial law and using the weapon of tyranny.
We cannot allow this to happen. Today, this September 2008, we best honor our martyrs and heroes who fought the tyranny of the Marcos dictatorship by standing steadfast to fight and resist any attempt to declare martial law and/or extend the term of office of the illegal occupant in Malacanang who stole the 2004 presidential elections.
We shall honor our martyrs and heroes with our deeds.
Notes: The following former U.P. students, professors and alumni are the martyrs and heroes whose resistance to the Marcos dictatorship is recognized on the Bantayog ng mga Bayani’s Wall of Remembrance as of September 30, 2008:
1. Alejandro, Leandro L. – U.P. Diliman, AB Philippine Studies; student leaders Chairman, University Student Council, U.P. Diliman, 1983-84.
2. Alto, Leo C. – U.P. Diliman, 4th year Pre-Med, 1972; member of Panday Sining and Student Cultural Association of the University of the Philippines(SCAUP).
3. Alvarez, Emmanuel I. – U.P. Diliman, Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration, 1972.
4. Aquino, Benigno “Ninoy” , Jr. – Pre-Law.
5. Arce, Merardo T. – U.P. Diliman, BS Architecture, 1969-70.
6. Baes, Aloysius “Ochie” U. – U.P. Los Banos, BS Agricultural Chemistry.
7. Balce, Floro – U.P. Diliman, BS Electrical Engineering, 1975.
8. Barros, Lorena – AB Anthropology (Cum Laude); Founder of the Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan (MAKIBAKA).
9. Bautista, Manuel C.- U.P. Los Banos, 4th year, BS Major in Economics.
10. Begg, William A. – U.P. Diliman, 3rd Year, A.B. History
11. Belone, Alexander III – U.P. Diliman, Electrical Engineering, 1970-71.
12. Brocka, Catalino “Lino” O. – U.P. Diliman, Speech and Drama.
13. Calderon, Jose R. , U.P. Diliman, AB Political Science, 1970-71.
14. Carino, Jennifer – U.P. Baguio, BS Math & Physics.
15. Catalla, Cristina F., U.P. Los Banos, BS Agriculture, 1971.
16. Constantino, Renato, Editor, Philippine Collegian. Professor
17. Cortes, Ellecer – 4th year, Bachelor of Arts, History, 1969.
18. De la Fuente, Edward L. – U.P. Visayas.
19. De La Paz, Remberto A. – M.D., U.P. College of Medicine.
20. Deveraturda, Dennis Rolando R. – U.P. Diliman, Economics, 1969.
21. Escandor, Juan B. – M.D., U.P. College of Medicine/ PGH
22. Faustino, Gerardo T. – B.S. Agriculture, U.P. Los Banos.
23. Garcia, Enrique Voltaire R. – A.B. (Cum Laude) 1962; Editor in Chief, Philippine Collegian, 1965; Chairman, Student Council, 1967.
24. Lagman, Lourdes Garduce – U.P. Diliman, B.S. Statistics, 1970.
25. Hilario, Antonio – U.P. Diliman, B.S. Electrical Engineering.
26. Ilagan, Rizalina – U.P. Los Banos, 1971.
27. Jopson, Edgar M. – U.P. Diliman, 2nd year, College of Law.
28. Ladlad Ma. Leticia P. – U.P. Los Banos, B.S. Agricultural Chemistry, 1971.
29. Lagman, Atty. Hermon C. – U.P. Diliman, A.B. Political Science and Law, 1970.
30. Landrito, Vergel E. – U.P. Diliman, 3rd year, Civil Engineering.
31. Lansang, Lorenzo “Nick” C. – U.P. Elementary School graduate with highest honors.
32. Legislador, Edmundo R. – U.P. Iloilo.
33. Lingad, Jose B. – U.P. Padre Faura, College of Law
34. Lopez, Mariano M. – U.P. Diliman, 3rd year, BS Electrical Engineering.
35. Malay, Armando J. – Philippine Collegian Editor in Chief; U.P. Dean of Student Affairs.
36. Malay, Paula Carolina S. – U.P. Diliman, Graduate Studies.
37. Munoz-Palma, Cecilia – U.P. Diliman, Associate in Arts, 1933; Bachelor of Laws, 1937.
38. Osorio, Magnifico L. – U.P. Los Banos.
39. Palabay, Armando D.- U.P.Diliman, 3rd year. BS Economics.
40. Palabay, Romulo D. – U.P. Diliman, BSBA Marketing.
41. Pasetes, Benedicto M. – U.P. Diliman, B.S. Veterinary Medicine.
42. Pena, Jacinto “Jack” D. – U.P. Diliman, A.B. Journalism, 1975.
43. Resus, Arnulfo A. – U.P. Diliman, Geodetic Engineering, 1970.
44. Rodrigo, Francisco “Soc” – U.P. High School, 1930, and L.L.B., 1938.
45. Roque, Magtanggol S. – U.P. Diliman, B.S. Chemical Engineering, 1965.
46. Sales, Jessica M. – Instructor, Political Science and Sociology, U.P. Los Banos.
47. Sarmiento, Abraham P., Jr. – Editor in Chief, Philippine Collegian, 1975. College of Business Administration
48. Tagamolila, Antonio – U.P. Diliman, A.B. Economics; Editor in Chief, Philippine Collegian, 1970-71.
49. Tagamolila, Crispin – U.P. Diliman, B.S. Business Administration
50. Tanada, Lorenzo M. – U.P. College of Law
51. Tayag, Carlos No. – Graduated U.P. with a degree in English and Comparative Literature.
52. Tierra, Noel C. – U.P. Diliman, A.B. Psychology.
53. Tiglao, Raquel “Rocky” E. – U.P. Diliman, A.B. Psychology.
54. Vytiaco, Ma. Antonia Teresa V. – U.P. Diliman, Veterinary Medicine, 1968.
55. Yap, Emmanuel D. R. – U.P. School of Economics Masters Program.
56. Yorac, Haydee B. – U.P. College of Law.
Source: Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation, Sept.2008.
* Article by Roland G Simbulan – For a full professional background of Professor Roland G. Simbulan (Click Here)