Demand justice for Marcos Sr's crimes against the people

This article is available in PilipinoBisayaHiligaynon

A few days prior to the 50th anniversary of Ferdinand Marcos Sr’s martial law, Ferdinand Jr shamelessly defended his dictator father’s crimes against the people. He went on to say that military abuses were “normal” because of the state of war in our country.

In the face of attempts to bury the crimes of the Marcos dictatorship in apathy and lies, we are obliged to refresh our memories, and repeatedly remind ourselves of the grim memories of Marcos Sr’s 14-year military rule. Particularly for the youth, we must carefully study our history, reject distortions, let truth prevail and draw lessons.

In this regard, Ang Bayan released a series of articles this year: “Remembering the anti-Moro massacres under the US-Marcos dictatorship” (Ang Bayan, March 21), “Dark memories of the massacres of the Marcos dictatorship,” “Massacre in Sag-od” (April 12); “The Massacre on the Bacong River Bridge in Culasi” (April 13); “Bloody Thursday in Escalante City” (April 14); “A Bloody June Sunday in Daet” (June 25); “Massacre in San Rafael, Bulacan: The Flowers of Motherland” (June 27); and “The Massacre in Guinayangan, Quezon” (June 28). These are only a few of the more than 900 massacres nationwide recorded by revolutionary newspapers and the so-called “mosquito press.”

Massacre in Ibajay River

The semi-legal team of Edward L. Dela Fuente was conducting propaganda and organizing work in Barangay Naligusan, Ibajay, Aklan on April 12, 1984 when they were encircled by soldiers of the 47th IB. The team, armed only with short firearms, was able to retreat. After crossing the Ibajay River on the borders of barangays Agdugayan and Unat in the same town, they were ambushed by troops of the Philippine Constabulary (PC) led by Major Wilfredo Blanco.

One known only as “Johnny” was killed in the ambush while Dela Fuente (Ka Ponso) and Antonio Diore Mijares were captured alive, though wounded. Instead of treating the wounds and respecting their rights as “prisoners of war” (POW), Dela Fuente and Mijares suffered severe torture before they were killed. Farmers who witnessed the incident said the hands of the two captives were tied with barbed wire, dragged by a carabao from the banks of the Ibajay River into the road of Unat which was about a kilometer long. This massacre was named “Bloody Holy Thursday.”

Other massacres

The house of the Gupanon family of the Subanon tribe in Sityo Gitason, Barangay Lampasan, Tudela town in Misamis Occidental was peppered with bullets in August 24, 1981 as they slept. Those who strafed the house were members of a paramilitary group called Rock Christ, a fanatical group that also serves the military. Of the 12 who were sleeping in the house, 10 were killed including a baby.

In the town of Talugtog, Nueva Ecija, the military abducted five 20-year-old individuals on January 3, 1982 around 7:00 p.m. The next day, their lifeless bodies were found. They were called “supporters of the communist movement.”

In Zamboanga del Sur on February 12, 1982, 12 people were killed in revenge for the killing of an Ilaga leader by the New People’s Army (NPA). The culprits were members of the notorious group Ilaga, a terrorist cult known for its cannibalism and also functions as Civilian Home Defense Forces.

In Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur, on May 25, 1982 Philippine Air Force planes dropped bombs on Barangay Dimalinao. Three were killed and eight others were injured. The military claimed that the bombing was in retaliation for the killing of a soldier in a battle with Red fighters of the NPA.

In Barangay Masaymon, Southern Leyte, eight people were massacred by the troops of the 357th PC Company on March 23, 1982. Six of the eight victims were only three to 18 years old.

Demand justice for Marcos Sr's crimes against the people