Martial law victims, survivors denounce House measure on Marcos day

The Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA), a human rights groups composed of mostly Martial Law victims, denounces in the strongest terms the House of Representatives’ approval of House Bill 7137, declaring September 11 a non-working holiday in Ilocos Norte in honor of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

"This move by the House of Representative is extremely infuriating and offensive, especially for us victims of Marcos' human rights violations. This is an affront to the Filipino people, who suffered because of the oppressive policies under Marcos and the plunder of the nation’s coffers," Danilo dela Fuente, SELDA's Vice Chairperson, said.

Dela Fuente said that this bill is a glaring act of historical revisionism, and contradictory to Republic Act 10368, also known as the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013.

"RA 10368 clearly recognizes the atrocities done by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, his family, and his cronies against the Filipino people, not to mention the massive plunder they have committed during the Martial Law period. It is utterly exasperating that amidst this public health crisis and worsening economic situation, our so-called representatives are busy being pawns of the Marcoses and a Marcos wannabe instead of prioritizing comprehensive, pro-people and scientific measures to address the nation's problems," he stressed.

According to the SELDA officer, House Bill 7137 is also seen as part of the current administration's orchestrated attempt "rehabilitate the Marcoses' name, as the president's form of payback after they supported him in his bid for presidency."

"Although this measure is enraging, it is not surprising. Rodrigo Duterte openly professed his affinity for the Marcoses. He allowed the late dictator be given a hero's burial. He has close ties with the late dictator's family. He fashioned his administration after Marcos' tyrannical rule, and had sown terror and blood throughout his reign through gross human rights violations and attacks against the poor, opposition leaders and activists," he emphasized.

"We in SELDA strongly condemn this brazen act of covering up the crimes of this blood-thirsty plunderer and tyrant. We strongly oppose this administration's desperate attempts to rehabilitate the Marcoses into power,” he ended.