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'No end to rights abuse' after Martial law
Event on anniversary highlights ongoing efforts to improve people's safetyMartial Law anniversary 2011 (photo: Rene Sandajan)
- ucanews.com reporters, Quezon City
- September 21, 2011
Defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin led a symbolic handover of documents from the period of military rule (1972-1981) to Loreta Ann Rosales, chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights, during a ceremony held at the military‚Äôs general headquarters.
Rosales, a political prisoner who was tortured by the military, said the handover was important because ‚Äúevery person has the right to know the truth about the regime so that we can be free.‚ÄĚ
She added that the CHR will be coordinating with other agencies for the storage and preservation of the documents, which include speeches by opposition leader Benigno Aquino, Jr, who was assassinated in 1983, and news clippings about the 1971 Plaza Miranda bombing that the government blamed on communist rebels.
In a speech at the event, Gazmin acknowledged that the military was used to commit abuses against the people during martial law.
‚ÄúThirty-nine years ago today our nation was shackled by the edict of martial law,‚ÄĚ said Gazmin, who at that time guarded Aquino, Jr, Marcos‚Äô political rival, while he was in detention.
Marcos declared martial law on the pretext of protecting the country from a communist takeover. He disbanded congress, gave judicial powers to the military and allowed only government-run media to operate.
Bishops and clergy from the Visayas Clergy Discernment Group today marked the anniversary by issuing a statement expressing regret over the government‚Äôs failure to stop abuses of power in the years after Marcos was deposed.
Auxiliary Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of Jaro said in the statement that perpetrators of abuse have not been punished and that victims have not received justice.
‚ÄúMost condemnable of all is that today, some practices of martial law continue behind the cloak of ‚Äėrestored democracy, justice and protection of human rights.‚ÄĚ
The statement further highlighted the killing of Father Cecilio Lucero as just one of thousands of cases of alleged post-Marcos rights violations.
The statement said Father Cecilio was ‚Äúmurdered by suspected military men‚ÄĚ in 2009.