‘They will always come back’: remembering martial law in the Philippines

The Canadian Museum For Human Rights (CMHR) is marking a grim anniversary for the Philippines.

It was 50 years ago when martial law was declared by former Philippines president Ferdinand Marcos Sr. Martial law lasted for 14 years in that country, and many people faced harassment, imprisonment and torture as a result.

On Friday, the CMHR was honouring victims and survivors with a free documentary screening and cultural celebration.

Survivor Marichu Antonio was imprisoned and tortured during the Marcos dictatorship. She answered questions about her experience at the event.

“We disappeared for 12 days, we didn’t know if we were going to live,” said Antonio. “After those 12 days we suffered from the military hands, I was treated in an undignified way.”

While she was on a temporary release from prison, Antonio joined millions of people in watching Marcos being ousted from power in 1986. She said it’s important to remember events like this, so they don’t happen again.

“At that time, the Philippines was ruled by a tyrant, by a dictator,” said Antonio. “They will always come back because they like more power, they’re more greedy, they want to get more billions of dollars from our country.”

The goal of the event is to educate people on what happened, and about how Marcos’ son is currently in power in the Philippines.

“It is really important to have this event right here to educate our people, especially young Filipino generations to learn about their past,” she said.

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