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Pampanga activists remember Martial Law

ANGELES CITY, Philippines – “Thirty-six years after martial law was declared by the dictator Ferdinand Marcos in September 21, 1972, its fascist instruments repressing the people are still in effect," a Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) official said here Monday. The observation was made by Bayan Central Luzon chairman Roman Polintan during a forum held to commemorate the date considered as a dark note in the country’s history. “The same pro-imperialist and pro-bureaucrat capitalist economic policies are in effect, the same pro-landlord agrarian reform program is being implemented, the same fascistic instrumentations are instituted" Polintan explained to a crowd of 50 middle-aged activists, martial law babies and young militants. Polintan said that martial law babies and young activists only know martial law from what books and publications dished out the past years, adding that most were meant to deodorize the prevailing system. Martial law babies have but what their parents and grandparents have told them of how activists or those merely suspected as such were hauled off by the military to stockades, tortured and summarily executed; and how men’s long hair were sheared to the scalp and women’s hemlines were grabbed and torn down to soldiers’ preferred length, he said. “Indeed there’s basically no difference between then and now," said Sister Cecil Ruiz who vividly remembered martial law from its onset. “The military institution and its elements were then the accusers, the judges and the executioners under Marcos, as they are these days under Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Whether Mrs. Arroyo admits it or not this prevalent militarism is her state policy these days as it was in Marcos’ reign," Sister Cecil asserted. - Wilfredo Villareal, GMANews.TV