A visit to the Victims of Martial Law Memorial Wall in Manila

Filipinos around the world marked the 39th anniversary of Martial Law yesterday, September 21. The date ironically coincides with the International Day of Peace. Indeed, a sense of eerie peace can be achieved by silencing (literally) noisy dissidents to one’s rule – which is what Ferdinand Marcos did. Because of a research I was doing, I found myself walking in the area between Universidad de Manila (formerly the City Colleges of Manila) and the City Hall Wednesday afternoon.

The Bonifacio Shrine (near Manila City Hall)

There are two prominent historical landmarks in the area: Bonifacio Shrine and the Victims of Martial Law Memorial Wall. It was unveiled in 2006 by then-Manila mayor Lito Atienza to “remind the generation of today and tomorrow of the Filipino’s struggle against the injustice and oppression brought about by martial rule.”

A marker at the Victims of Martial Law memorial wall in Manila

Knowing that Martial Law is being commemorated that day, I expected to see some sort of beautification for the place. I was wrong. In fact, it seems like no Martial Law-related event was done there at all. Is it because Atienza is a bitter political rival of current mayor Alfredo Lim? After seeing the memorial wall, I had the following observations:

Martial Law Memorial Wall dedication text

1) It recognizes the fact that even if Marcos technically lifted Martial Law in 1981, he wielded dictatorial powers until 1986.

2) Sen. Benigno Aquino, Jr. was listed as a Martial Law casualty in the year 1983. What are its implications? Have they just pinpointed Marcos as the mastermind in the former’s assassination?

Sen. Benigno Aquino, Jr. was listed as a Martial Law casualty in the year 1983

Here are other pictures I took:

Probably the most recognizable feature of the Manila City Hall

What are those birds?

The contents of the Kartilya ng Katipunan can be seen at the back of the Bonifacio Shrine

From Manila Bulletin – Memorial Wall for Martial Law victims unveiled: http://www.mb.com.ph/node/93806

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