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Who among current government officials experienced the 'Golden Era'?
By Augustine 21 Sep 2022 172

Fifty years ago, Marcos Sr. signed a proclamation that marked the grueling era of Filipinos - Martial Law. This bloody chapter resulted in a series of powerful resistance from the collective effort of citizens to overthrow the dictator, which we now know as the “People Power Revolution.” As we commemorate the thousands who died, were tortured, disappeared, and overall suffered under the hands of tyranny during this time of the year, let us look back and discover who amongst the current government officials experienced the rotten system of Martial Law. 


  • Senator Koko Pimentel - Despite voicing that he does not need an apology for the horrors he experienced during Martial Law, Pimentel also shared that we should learn from our past experiences; otherwise, we would be “condemned” to repeat them. 


Reminiscing on these traumatic events, Koko Pimentel was only nine years old when his father, the late Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr., was jailed three times beginning in 1973 for opposing the Marcos dictatorship. 


  • Senator Loren Legarda - During the campaign season, Lorenzo Legarda, Loren Legarda’s son, exposed his mother in an open letter shared online. According to his son, Loren is an example of people who made fascism become normalized and accepted. Furthermore, he elaborated on how Loren Legarda ‘lived through’ the cruelties of Martial Law and was once a journalist who taught him the value of truth and justice; yet, she still chose to be a part of Marcos Jr.’s senatorial slate.


Before entering politics, Legarda was an anchor at Newswatch Late Night Edition of RPN 9 with Pat Lazaro. She allegedly reported the arrival of Imelda Marcos in Kenya and the People Power Revolution.


  • Senator Risa Hontiveros - As claimed by Risa, she considers herself a Martial Law baby. Her earliest memory during this time includes spending the night at her Uncle’s house because of curfew and hanging out with her cousins while the grown-ups talk about politics during dinner. In the dying years of Martial Law, Risa became an activist and witnessed the struggles of her comrades. 


After the dictatorship of Marcos, Hontiveros committed herself to democratic socialism. Today, Senator Hontiveros is the lone opposition that made it to the Senate. 


At the hands of an oppressor, lies and violence are two components that feed its desire to stay in power. Today we remember the lives of those who fought and repelled against the system. Although many of the victims are buried 6-feet-underground, amidst the regime of the dictator’s son, we remain to strive to keep their stories alive. It is still a long journey for justice to be served, but as long as people continue to march and hope, the end is never too far away. 


And so, we continue to clamor, “Never Again. Never Forget.”


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