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September 20, 2013 DEFY PLUNDER AND REPRESSION 41 years ago, on September 21, 1972, Martial Law was

declared by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos. Presidential Proclamation 1081 was signed at the height of the peoples discontent against the government and as they rose against imperialism, bureaucrat capitalism and feudalism. Even before its declaration, arrests, torture, summary executions and other violations were rampant. Martial Law officially sealed the States attack against the peoples civil and political rights. It was the iron hand to secure the dictatorship. Unions, publications, associations, organizations even traditional ones in schools were deemed illegal. Newspapers, radio and television stations were closed. Curfews were imposed. More arrests, summary executions, torture, enforced disappearances were perpetrated brazenly. Those in power plundered the nations coffers. Government resources tax payers money were used to violate the peoples rights. The funds were used to hamlet villages as what the people of Hungduan, Ifugao went through. They were displaced from their homes, their movements were restricted and their economic activities placed to almost a halt. Some of them were shot at by State security forces and the scars continue to remind them of what State terrorism means. The funds were used to burn and pillage communities like Beew, Tubo, Abra. The people could not forget the Philippine Constabulary and the Philippine Army led by Captain Berrido that did this. The troops destroyed and divested the peoples properties. They burned down houses in the village. They arrested the youth. They tortured the residents. They wounded a four year-old child, killed a pregnant woman and a village leader. The funds were used to impose projects like the World Bank funded Chico Dam on communities along the Chico River in Mt. Province and Kalinga. Imposition meant using military force, bribery and deception. More than a hundred Kalinga villagers were imprisoned because of their resistance. Macliing Dulag was killed because of leading the strong peoples opposition to this. The funds were used to arrest, torture, and kill those who seek social justice and peace. Why do we have to remember this dark period in our nations past and embed it in our collective memory as a people? We need to remember because it was during these trying times that the people defined the assertion of human rights as they rose in collective noble defiance against tyranny. Martial law breeds resistance and revolution. The period from the mid-seventies to the mideighties was a decade of ferment and upheaval throughout the Cordillera region. The indigenous

peoples relied on their tribal practice of concerted and unified mass action as they increasingly asserted their collective rights even under conditions of martial rule and intense militarization in the countryside.1 In Ifugao, people sought ways to feed fellow villagers and ensure their safety at the risk of being killed. The Kalinga people men, women and children tore down the National Power Corporation equipment four times in their protest against the Chico Dam project. The fourth time, the people carried the materials from Tomiangan to the PC-Police camp at Bulanao, a distance of 35 kilometers, in a silent protest march of around 250 people, lasting through the night and the curfew hours.2 Those arrested, even in the face of the most grueling torture and death stood by their principles. These are among the inspiring stories of courage that must be learned by the youth. We need to remember because the sacrifices of the people in the assertion of human rights should be fully recognized beyond the signing of a law. The Martial Law Reparation and Recognition Act should be sincerely implemented to recognize the full accountability of the State to the violations committed during that time. The victims have to be given indemnification and recognition for what they have gone through. We need to remember Martial Law now as human rights violations continue. Our communities are being subjected to indiscriminate bombings and militarization like Malibcong, Abra last May and Sagada, Mt. Province recently. Illegal arrests are again on the rise as what had happened in Sagada, Mt. Province. People are being unjustly detained because of their political beliefs. There are six political prisoners in the region including Kennedy Bangibang, consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to the peace talks. We continue to search for the missing like James Balao. Justice remains elusive to the victims of extrajudicial killings. All these continue with the peoples own funds again being stolen and used against us through government appropriations like the pork barrel. We need to remember the lessons that eventually brought down the dictatorship and confronted plunder. Repression was faced with organized resistance, fear was met with courage and human dignity was reclaimed even in the darkest and most difficult times. We need to remember Martial Law because this dark period should never be upon us again. We need to remember because there remains the need to defy plunder and repression to this day.# NEVER AGAIN TO MARTIAL LAW! For reference: Jude Baggo Secretary General Mobile number: 09189199007

1 Remembering Martial Law, by Joanna Carino, Cordillera Peoples Alliance Advisory Council, September 23,

2012 2 A History of Resistance: The Cordillera Mass Movement Against the Chico Dam and Cellophil Resources Corporation by Joanna K. Carino