« Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Manila on Thursday, gathering on Mendiola Street, near the presidential palace, to commemorate the 51st anniversary of the declaration of martial law.
“The regime today is a shadow of 1972 with no respect for human rights, the question here is Marcos is the past and Marcos today do they differ? They are both the same. Corruption is very visible in the form of ‘Confidential Funds,” said Renato Reyes, an activist.
Footage shows protesters displaying placards with messages such as, ‘Never Again Never Forget’ and ‘Martial Law Before, Terror Law Now’. Despite the significant presence of riot police at the rally, no clashes were reported.
The protesters also accused President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s government of conducting a « witch hunt » against human rights defenders.
As part of the protest, activists lit candles to honour the 2,326 victims of martial law who have either passed away or remain missing.
“It was a horrible period in 1972 when Ferdinand Marcos Sr declared Martial Law in the entire Philippines,” said Satur Ocampo, another activist.
“It destroys the lifeblood of our country, our economy fell, many activists and journalists were killed, and corruption and plunder in the government is rampant,” he added.
On September 21, 1972, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr’s father, imposed martial law, utilizing security forces against rivals, critics, and dissidents. Amnesty International estimates that thousands were killed, and tens of thousands were subjected to torture and imprisonment during the brutal crackdown. »