In recent times, there has been a concerted attempt by the spin masters of the Marcos family to re-write history by refurbishing the image of the conjugal dictatorship and denying the grave sins of the martial law period. They have been able to do this because all of the succeeding regimes after the EDSA revolution lacked the political will to pursue the human rights and corruption cases against the Marcoses, recover all of their ill-gotten wealth, and render justice for the victims of martial law. The horrific realities of martial law have not been taught in the schools, such that the so-called post-martial law babies and millenials do not know of this dark period in our nation’s history.

This historical revisionism has been so successful that the Marcoses have been able to regain political positions and the son is now just a stone throw away from Malacañang. They against boast of the Solid North as their bailiwick in their well-funded political campaigns, using the family’s ill-gotten wealth that has been plundered from the Filipino people.

All freedom and democracy-loving Filipinos, especially in Northern Luzon, should reject this re-writing of history and serious attempt of the Marcoses to reclaim political power.

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(Beew, Tubo, Abra Province, 1983)

“I saw my daughter come out carrying her daughter and after a while, one of the soldiers approached Josefina and hit her on the head. She cried out in pain saying ‘anay na’ and fell to the ground, and her child falling beside her. Another soldier hit her on the face, and still another soldier came and stepped on her stomach. In great fear of what I just witnessed, I ran back to Lidao and there I was told later on that the houses at Patuk-ao were set on fire by the soldiers.” This was part of a sworn statement of Joseph Cayandag, father of Josefina. It was an account of the worst atrocity of the Philippine security forces then referred to as Philippine Constabulary (PC), Integrated National Police (INP) and Civilian Home Defense Force (CHDF) during their combat operations in Tubo, Abra in May 1983. The military operation was led by Captain Berido, Lt. Rehaldo Lebua and Lt. Juanito Puyawan of the 623rd Philippine Constabulary.

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Photo: One of the houses burned by the military on May 6, 1983

Cayandag did not stay long to witness the soldiers threw his pregnant daughter and grandchild in their house and set it on fire. It pains all the more that he did not have the opportunity to provide them decent burial as they were turned to ashes.

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(Abra, 1983)
Batang inihagis ng sundalo sa panahon ng kanilang military operation sa Tubo, Abra sa pamumuno ni Capt. Berido ng 623rd Philippine Constabulary.

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Ang karahasan sa Abra ay sagot ng gobierno sa papalakas na paglaban ng mamamayan sa operasyon ng logging ng Cellophil Resources Corporation na sumasakop sa humigit-kumulang 200 ektarya sa central Cordillera, kabilang ang mga 13,000 ektaryang gubat ng pino sa Tubo, Abra. Ang kumpanya ng logging ay nakuha noong 1974 ni Herminio Disini, isang kroni ni diktador Presidente Ferdinand Marcos. Ang CRC ay binalak gawing paper mill at pagawaan ng telang rayon.

Photo: News clipping, June 5, 1983

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This article was first posted at the Never Again, Never Forget Page by Brenda S. Dacpano. April 2016.

 

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