In Duterte war on Reds, Marcos’ martial law survivors fall victims again

President Rodrigo Duterte and late President Ferdinand Marcos

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte (left) and late President Ferdinand Marcos

MANILA, Philippines—Tyranny, for survivors of martial law beneath the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, has taken a brand new face—that of President Rodrigo Duterte, a populist chief whose conviction is to not let issues over human rights get in the best way of his struggle towards medication and crime.

Under Marcos, who dominated the nation for greater than 20 years, not less than 11,103 had been documented to fall victims to rights violations starting from homicide, incarceration to torture.

READ: Dark night of martial law

In simply 5 years beneath Duterte—July 2016 to June 2021—1000’s had already fallen victims to a counterinsurgency marketing campaign that had been expanded to additionally goal noncombatants, above floor activists of the Left and suspected communist insurgent sympathizers, in accordance with the human rights group Karapatan.

Many of the victims who had been both incarcerated, disappeared, falsely charged or murdered by the Marcos dictatorship discover themselves going by means of the nightmare again.

READ: Fast Facts: The Marcos martial law regime

Lawyer Edre Olalia, president of National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), stated 49 years for the reason that declaration of martial law, the disregard and abuse of human rights within the Philippines have develop into “unbelievably worse.”

“The means and methods of oppression and repression,” he stated, had been “tweaked by populist pretenses and legal hypocrisy.”

Since the day Duterte took workplace, 414 activists have been killed, 497 had been attacked and survived, 223 have been tortured, 1,126 had been illegally arrested and detained, whereas 523 have been bodily assaulted and wounded.

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Graphic by Ed Lustan

These included people who survived the horrors of martial law, which was declared on Sept. 21, 1972 and saved the Marcoses in energy for greater than 20 years till individuals’s anger over large abuses and plunder of the nation’s wealth boiled over in 1986 and led to a peaceable revolt that drove the Marcos household into exile.

One of them was Vicente Ladlad, an activist who had been imprisoned and tortured beneath the Marcos dictatorship who was again arrested in 2018, Duterte’s second yr in workplace, for what his spouse, Fides Lim, described as “fabricated cases.”

Released in 2016, Ladlad served as peace advisor for the underground National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and was arrested in 2018 together with couple Alberto and Virgina Villamor in Quezon City.

They had been arrested by groups of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) by means of a search warrant issued by Quezon City Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Cecilyn Burgos-Villavert.

The police and army claimed discovering and seizing high-powered firearms, grenades and “subversive documents” from Ladlad however Lim stated these had been “planted evidence.”

Almost three years later, in 2021, the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC), a authorities workplace created by the now controversial Anti-Terror Act of 2020, tagged Ladlad as a terrorist.

READ: Duterte signs terror law amid wide opposition

Lim stated that on account of the ATC classification of Ladlad as a terrorist, the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) froze his financial institution deposits which contained the compensation he acquired from the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board for abuses he suffered throughout martial law.

READ: No standards under anti-terror law, IRR to determine what acts are terrorism

An inventory by the Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission stated throughout martial law, Ladlad was amongst those that had been tortured, rendered incapacitated for work, saved in secret detention and solitary confinement, held incommunicado and detained “where torture may be carried out with impunity.”

Last Sept. 15, Adelaida Magpatoc, one other survivor of martial law, was arrested in Bukidnon province for alleged theft with double murder and harm to property.

A warrant of arrest dated Sept. 3, 2001 from the Agusan del Sur Regional Trial Court was served towards her by the army and police.

A sufferer of the Marcos dictatorship, Magpatoc was 24 years outdated and two months pregnant when she was arrested by the army in 1983 and was imprisoned in an Army camp in Butuan City.

Olalia stated this “indubitably shows that the necessary fundamental and long-lasting reforms and enduring systemic safeguards for a truly free and democratic society have not been deeply entrenched in our collective consciousness, practice and institutions.”

“It demonstrates that brazen chronic impunity for recurring violations over several decades continues to frustrate our political maturation, despite many significant and well-fought out victories and successful struggles to push back and attain, regain, win and preserve our individual and collective civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights,” he stated.

Victims twice over, listed below are among the personalities who survived the abuses of the Marcos dictatorship and are going by means of the identical beneath Duterte:

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Graphic by Ed Lustan

Randall Echanis

Echanis, a peasant activist acknowledged for crafting the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill, was tortured and killed inside his residence in Quezon City in 2020 by armed males believed to be state forces.

Former Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao stated Echanis was ailing and having medical therapy and was unarmed when police raided his house.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun stated Echanis was killed by a stab to the aorta, not a gunshot wound: “[T]he implications seems to be there that, if literally torture means suffering was inflicted, in this sense, physical suffering.”

Agaton Topacio and Eugenia Magpantay

In 2020, Topacio and Magpantay had been aged and ailing once they had been killed inside their residence in Rizal province because the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group served search and arrest warrants.

The PNP stated the couple resisted arrest and had been killed in a gunfight, however the NDFP stated such a situation was not potential. “In their physical condition, they could not have handled the many weapons found on the scene, much less engaged in a firefight,” NDFP stated.

Both peace consultants for the NDFP, their killing was condemned as “the most recent in the string of killings and legal persecution.”

Their son, lawyer VJ Topacio, stated the killing of his mother and father was “cold-blooded and brutal.”

Julius Giron

In 2020, Giron, allegedly the pinnacle of the National Military Commission of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), was killed by the army and police in what the lawmen stated was a gunfight in Baguio City.

The PNP and AFP stated they had been about to serve a warrant of arrest towards him, however Giron and two companions resisted arrest, “resulting in a firefight”. The story line is eerily much like that being utilized by the federal government to clarify the killing of 1000’s of males, girls and kids suspected of involvement within the drug commerce. CPP stated Giron was struggling from the infirmities of outdated age, making it tough for him to maintain his stability: “He and his companions in their residence were unarmed and were not in a position to fight back against the armed fascist agents.”

It stated that the allegations of the PNP that the arresting staff was shot by Giron was a “fabrication to cover up their crime.”

Rustico Tan

Tan, an activist and a former priest, was killed by unknown assailants final May whereas sleeping exterior his residence in Cebu.

His neighbors stated they heard a number of gunshots and observed two motorcycle-riding males leaving the realm. No one was capable of determine Tan’s killers.

In 2017, a case of homicide tagged as fabricated that was filed towards him for alleged hyperlinks with New People’s Army (NPA) was dismissed.

An identical case was filed towards Tan in 2019, however he was launched on cognizance in 2020. A yr later, he could be killed whereas sleeping.

The PNP denied claims that police had been concerned within the killing due to Tan’s hyperlinks with NPA.

Rafael Baylosis

Baylosis was a peace advisor of the NDFP who was launched from jail in 2016. However, in 2018, he was “forcibly and violently” arrested for alleged possession of firearms and explosives.

He was the primary to be arrested after Duterte ended talks between the federal government and NDFP. In 2019, the Quezon City Regional Trial Court dismissed the instances filed towards him after it declared the search and arrest as “illegal”.

READ: Anti-terror council tags Joma Sison, 18 other CPP members as terrorists

On a listing from the ATC final April, Baylosis was designated as a terrorist. The Department of Justice (DOJ) tagged him as a terrorist in 2018, however was later cleared by the Manila Regional Trial Court.

Satur Ocampo

In 2018, former lawmaker Ocampo was arrested with 17 people, together with ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro, in Davao del Norte, for alleged trafficking, kidnapping, and little one abuse.

They had been arrested at a checkpoint established by the PNP after receiving a report that people had been popping out of a distant space in Talaingod city.

In 2019, Ocampo requested the DOJ to dismiss the instances filed towards them, saying that what occurred to them was a “clear case of political persecution.”

He stated they solely took half in a National Solidarity Mission for lumad, indigenous teams based mostly in Mindanao, who had been asking for assist after youngsters had been allegedly compelled out of their college by the army and the native anti-communist group Alamara.

Rey Casambre

In 2018, Casambre, a peace advisor for the NDFP, was arrested along with his spouse, Corazon, in Cavite, for unlawful possession of firearms and explosives, a case described as “ludicrous”.

In arresting him and his spouse, the police stated that they had a warrant of arrest from a Regional Trial Court in Davao Oriental for instances of homicide and tried killing.

The late NDFP head Fidel Agcaoili stated in 2018 that the “arresting team planted firearms, ammunition and explosives in the Casambre’s vehicle to ensure their prolonged and unjust detention.”

Casambre was one of many people who filed petitions on the Supreme Court to problem the law which created the ATC, a authorities workplace that designated him as a terrorist final April.

Renante Gamara

Gamara, a peace advisor for NDFP, was arrested in 2019 by the army and police who stormed the residence of retired priest Arturo Joseph Balagat, his longtime good friend.

That time, Director General Guillermo Eleazar, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office, stated a search warrant had been issued by the Laguna Regional Trial Court for alleged unlawful possession of firearms.

Kristina Conti, of NUPL, stated the group would contest the instances to show that “they are all lies”.

Adelberto Silva

In 2018, Silva, a peace advisor for NDFP, was arrested with 4 companions in Laguna for alleged unlawful possession of firearms and explosives.

He was earlier described by the army because the “overall orchestrator of rebel movements in the entire country.” His arrest was made after the police and the army stated they’d improve their operations towards insurgent teams within the Philippines.

His arrest got here after the Manila Regional Trial Court ordered the arrest of Silva and couple Benito and Wilma Tiamzon. Last April, Silva was designated by the ATC as a terrorist.

READ: Survivor can’t ‘comprehend’ experiencing martial law again

For many individuals, particularly these born within the late Nineteen Eighties or later, martial law is only a blur. But for people who find themselves reliving its horrors for a second time beneath Duterte, the nightmare is for actual.


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