Listen to accounts of Martial Law torture victims with ‘Memory Project’

September 21, 2018 - 6:20 PM
List of martyrs and victims of human rights abuses during Martial Law engraved in a wall in the Bantayog ng Mga Bayani in Quezon City. (Photo from Bantayog ng Mga Bayani Facebook page)

A team of journalists has presented a compiled digital recording of the testimonies and affidavits of human rights abuse victims during Martial Law being read.

News editor Roby Alampay uploaded the three-minute recording which contained the recordings on Friday to mark the 46th anniversary of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ Proclamation 1081 declaring Martial Law in the Philippines.

According to Alampay, he and his team decided to come up with the project after Diego Magallona, a history professor at the University of the Philippines, asked for his help in coming up with a project to educate his students.

He and his team acquired the affidavits of the victims from Atty. Rod Domingo’s office and during a panel with Magallona’s class asked the students to read out the affidavits.

Among the affidavits read out by Alampay’s team included one from a pregnant woman tortured and threatened by soldiers after being apprehended and one from a man who fell into a deep depression after being tortured.

“Imagine 10,000 victims and actually more, all whispering and shouting, hoping that somebody hears them,” said Alampay in his post.

He discussed how he told the students to understand what the people whose affidavits they read out went through and remember that they could be placed in a similar predicament.

“I told the students, you will have something in common with these victims. And what is that? Just this: That at this moment you are burdened. You will have been deprived of a right. If we did this right, hopefully you are trapped. You’re under arrest. You have no right to deny. You have no right,” he wrote.

Some have applauded Alampay’s project and even requested that it be spread to educate more people.

Several groups denounced Marcos’ martial law 22 years after he was ousted, recalling the several human rights abuses experienced by dissidents imputed on the late strongman’s administration.

Educational institutions such as the Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University have also released statements calling on the people to remember what happened during Martial Law.

According to rights group Amnesty International, at least 70,000 people were arrested or arbitrarily detained during the Marcos regime.

The group estimates that 34,000 people were tortured and 3,240 individuals were killed during this period.

Rights group Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances in May 2018 also reported that it had documented almost 2,000 cases of enforced disappearances since the Marcos regime.