Never forget the “darkness” of martial law

Cardinal Jose Advincula, Archbishop of Manila. (RCAM-AOC via CBCP News)

A senior Catholic official invited Filipinos to learn from the “dark” chapter of the country’s history and to live the lesson.

Cardinal Jose Advincula of Manila said Filipinos must remember the lessons of the martial law era and never allow it to happen again.

“We cannot learn these important lessons if we deny or forget the darkness of history,” said Advincula.

“Let’s not forget the lessons of the martial law period. We have seen the light. Let’s not go back into the dark, “she said.

This day, September 21, marks the 50th year that Ferdinand Marcos Sr. placed the nation under martial law, a period marked by 14 years of authoritarian rule, massive corruption and human rights violations.

The cardinal said that the lessons from this period include the evaluation of human life, respect for human rights, the struggle for truth and the importance of democracy.

“We have also learned that true progress depends on justice and peace,” he added.

For his part, Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos once again called for an end to the violations of human rights “which began during the period of martial law and continue to this day”.

“Our collective memories of martial law violence reinforce our determination to intensify our vigilance against any unjust and violent act that recalls the past,” Alminaza said.

He also said that describing the years of martial law as a “golden age” is a “historical distortion”, as he renewed his call for an end to “massive misinformation” during the last presidential election.