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.
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.”
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:
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?
Here are other pictures I took:
From Manila Bulletin – Memorial Wall for Martial Law victims unveiled: http://www.mb.com.ph/node/93806