It has been 51 years since Former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. declared Martial Law in the
Philippines on 21 September 1974. And now we see the many accounts, narratives, views, and labels that show both of sides of the story. To those who are against it, the Martial Law is being remembered as a moment of fear, terror, and social unrest. They view it as corruption and abuse of power, contrary to the Marcos Sr. administration’s purpose of combatting the widespread rebellion and insurgency that time.

On the other hand, to those who are in favor of it, the Martial Law is viewed as the “Golden Age” since people were disciplined and the Philippines was known to be a strong economy as compared to other countries. They see that Former President Marcos Sr. has good intentions in declaring it to
save the Republic and build a New Society. But for me and the rest of the Samahan ng Mamamayang Nagkakaisa Kontra Terorismo, the Martial Law gives us the following lessons:

Know the truth – Given the many accounts and views of people on Martial Law, we are encouraged to know and understand more. The people, especially the youth who are the hope and future leaders of our Motherland, should see the bigger picture and not just react and rally base from the limited accounts and references we have today. It is good to acknowledge individual views but these should not influence our view and perspective, instead be critical enough to know the causes,
consequences, and lessons of the Martial Law.

Let us not be deceived by the people and organizations that only use it to destroy, radicalize, and serve their selfish interests. Let us read and study more so as to have a better understanding of
the martial law. Learn from it – Thereis a saying “History repeats itself”, but it is still up to us if
we still want to be chained from the past or move on and face the future. May we learn from our mistakes and from the flaws of our ancestors. Let the Martial Law be our guide towards progress and not a weapon to destroy and blame some people who leads the government.

May we be reminded that the Filipino government is the government of the people, by the people,
and for the people. Therefore, we play a huge role in reforming the government. As we commemorate the 51st Anniversary of Martial Law Declaration today, may we not see and relive the fear and terror of the past, instead focus on the opportunity to restart and a promise to unite as a nation to face every difficulty towards a brighter future, a Bagong Pilipinas, we all deserve.

Ma. Louisa Foligan

Amianan Balita Ngayon