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Lanz Cameron D.

Ege 10/03/17
Philippine Politics and Governance Sir Lart James Tenchavez

My review of “Martial Law Myths Busted”

President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed Proclamation No. 1081 on September 21, 1972, placing

the Philippines under Martial Law. Some sources say that Marcos signed the proclamation on

September 17 or on September 22—but, in either case, the document itself was dated

September 21.

Throughout the Martial Law period, Marcos built up the cult of September 21, proclaiming it as

National Thanksgiving Day by virtue of Proclamation No. 1180 s. 1973 to memorialize the date

as the foundation day of his New Society. The propaganda effort was so successful that up to

the present, many Filipinos—particularly those who did not live through the events of

September 23, 1972—labor under the misapprehension that martial law was proclaimed on

September 21, 1972. It was not

Whenever Filipinos remember the days of Martial Law that happen during the 1970’s, it always

brings with it the memories of the abuses and atrocities that happened during this dark time in

the history of the Philippines. But in recent times, some Filipinos especially the current

generation view the Martial Law era as a “golden age of the Philippines”.

In a special episode of “History with Lourd”, Lourd de Veyra tell his viewers from the outset that

he won’t be objective in this episode because he wants to bust out the many myths and

misconceptions people have about Martial Law. He invited historians, political scientists,

architects, from the De La Salle University and the University of the Philippines to shed light on
Lanz Cameron D. Ege 10/03/17
Philippine Politics and Governance Sir Lart James Tenchavez

this topic. Also on the show was former Senator Rene Saguisag to share some of his experience

during Martial Law.

The discussion was informative and lively as they shared their expertise on the topic and you

can easily follow their line of thought as they were conversational in their discussion the whole

episode. The books and the researches that they would refer to for further study on the topic

would further solidify their position on the topic.

As a viewer, the views of the guests provide a comprehensive and well-balanced view on the

topic. I could neither say that they were pro or anti but that they were just sharing what really

happened and the effects of it that we still continue to feel to this day. My misconceptions

about Martial Law were answered in the episode.

I totally agree with Prof. Xiao Chua of DLSU when he said that we don’t need Martial Law to

instill discipline to the people and that one man should dictate what we should or should not


There seems to be an ongoing campaign to revise the truths about the Marcos martial law 35

years after its declaration. There are even those who are justifying the human rights violations

during that era. There is a clear need to tell the truths about the widespread abuses during the

martial law regime; and, how it turned the Philippines from the second richest country in Asia –

next to Japan – at the beginning of the Marcos rule into the economic “sick man” of Asia by the

time Marcos was forced to step down.

Lanz Cameron D. Ege 10/03/17
Philippine Politics and Governance Sir Lart James Tenchavez

No people should forget their history so that the grievous mistakes of the past will never be

repeated again. The millennial generation never truly experienced the horrors of martial law;

and, it is very important for them to know the truths about martial law. The best way is to read

the books and stories written by credible witnesses.