These millennials didn’t take that ‘millennials have moved on’ remark well

August 23, 2018 - 12:51 PM
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Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos said that the millennials have already "moved on" from the past but several members of the generation contradicted her remarks. (Artwork by Uela Altar Badayos)

Citing atrocities under the Martial Law dictatorship, some millennials slammed Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos’ comment that young adults have moved on from the past.

As the nation commemorated on August 21 the assassination of Senator Ninoy Aquino Jr., the unwavering critic of her father, Imee said at a press conference:

“The millennials have moved on, and I think people at my age should also move on as well.”

“The conflict between the Marcoses and Aquinos happened a long time ago. We don’t need to keep hating people for a very long time. It’s not our way. We just need to go forward.”

The statements of late dictator Ferdinand’s eldest child were met with ire by some millennials on social media.

To prove that millennials haven’t moved on, one user quoted Imee and shared pictures of young people who were present during the protest of Ferdinand Marcos’ surprise burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Dark days 

There are several reasons why the country’s youth should not forget historical events that occurred right before and around the time they were born.

JC Punongbayan, an economics doctoral candidate at the University of the Philippines, explained in a Twitter thread Marcoses’ corruption and plunder from an economic perspective.

He wrote, “First, (Imee Marcos’) father’s rule culminated in the country’s deepest postwar recession and more than two ‘lost decades of development.'”

Data indicates that the country’s GDP per capita or income per person significantly declined after 1982 or during Marcos’ later years. It only rose in 2003.

Filipinos were also supposed to have a higher income than today were it not for debts that have accumulated throughout Marcos’ two-decade term.

Former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos with Japanese Prime Minister Eisaku Satō. (Malacañang.gov.ph)

In addition to a dire economic situation, the era was marked by human rights violations perpetrated by the ruthless policies under Martial Law. Those who opposed the government were illegally detained, tortured and oftentimes killed.

Victims who survived the ordeal testified on torture and imprisonment they suffered. There was also a blatant disregard of fundamental civil liberties.

#NeverAgain

While millennials did not live during the Martial Law period, they are very much active in condemning the dark days of the modern Philippine history.

In the 45th Martial Law anniversary last year, they participated in various street demonstrations.

The hashtag “#NeverAgain” has been a cry against instances of historical revisionism and a way for millennials to remember the dark period tainted with abuse and oppression.

To help millennials be more aware about the period, the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to the Malacañang shared a video of Filipinos recounting their own experiences during the regime.

It was released two years ago, with a link to a petition for the Department of Education to “rewrite Philippine history books to include the full story of the Martial Law era.”

In the video, some surviving Martial Law victims shared their harrowing experiences during the militarized period. They were violently hit, electrified, verbally abused and subjected to extreme methods of torture by state actors.

The video has since been viewed over 3 million times as of this writing. — Artwork by Uela Altar-Badayos