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Declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines

CHR official: Heroes of Martial law deserve an equal recognition

Declaration of Martial Law  in the Philippines
Declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines

PAMPANGA, Philipines – An official of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said school and village officials should start paying tributes to rights victims during the Marcos regime to ensure that the Martial law teachings are kept alive.

Myrna Jimenez, project manager of the Martial Law Files, said if the late President Ferdinand Marcos is honored in his home province of Ilocos Norte on his birth anniversary, then equal accolade should be given to victims of atrocities during the Marcos regime.

Marcos’ birthday (September 11) is a public holiday in his home province and his heirs spend the day keeping the late strongman’s feat etched in the memories of residents and schoolchildren there.

“The heroes of Martial law deserve an equal recognition. Schools and villages can be made to commemorate their heroism too,” Jimenez said noting that the Martial law anniversary falls on September 21.

She said the Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission, which the CHR leads, has the power to direct schools to pay tribute to victims of rights violations during the Marcos regime.

The commission was created under R.A. 10368 or the law on Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition of 2013.

It is tasked with collaborating with the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) “to ensure that the teaching of martial law atrocities, the lives and sacrifices of [victims of human rights violations] in our history are included in the basic, secondary, and tertiary education curricula.”

It will also establish, restore, and preserve a memorial, museum, library and compendium in honor of the victims.

The law also created the Human Rights Victims’ Claims board, an independent body tasked with receiving, evaluating, processing and investigating the applications for monetary compensation from the P10 billion fund that the government set aside from Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth.

The claims board was in this city last Friday (April 11) as part of its public consultation on the implementing rules of the compensation and recognition law.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.