As a delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention, Raul Manglapus sponsored a resolution that would ban President Marcos from reelection, and his spouse from succeeding him.

Marcos answered that by exercising one-man rule (or, as others put it, a conjugal dictatorship together with his wife Imelda) until his ouster in February 1986. And Manglapus would have been one of the many oppositionists arrested after the declaration of martial law in 1972, if he didn’t happen to be travelling abroad at the time.

Many years of exile in the United States were spent by Manglapus, who was already a prominent politician at the time, in campaigning against the Marcos regime’s fundamentally undemocratic nature, its corruption and excesses. His group, the Movement for a Free Philippines, focused on lobbying in America to persuade the US government to withdraw its support for the dictatorship.

Much admired for his oratorical prowess and intellectual gifts, Manglapus was consistent in his advocacy for reforms in the country’s political and economic system, including land reform and a change from the presidential to the parliamentary system. He authored the Land Reform Code (RA 3844) during his first term as senator (1961-1967). He founded the Christian Social Movement in 1968, and the Progressive Party of the Philippines.

While in the US, he held teaching and research posts at Cornell University in New York, the American University in Washington DC, and the Harvard University Center for International Relations. He also worked for two years with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in New York and another two years as president of the Center for Development Policy in Washington DC (1983-1985).

After his return to the Philippines in 1986, Manglapus was elected to the Senate for a second term, then appointed by President Corazon Aquino as her Secretary of Foreign Affairs; he had already served as such under President Carlos P. Garcia in 1957. He remained at his post until 1992.

Manglapus continued to promote political reforms with his involvement in such organizations as the Center for Christian-Muslim Democracy, Christian Democrats International, Democracy International, the United Muslim Democrats in the Philippines, the National Union of Christian Democrats.

He died in Manila in 1999, at the age of 80.

MANAOG, Rodelo Z.

Rodelo Manaog was another bright young man, a natural leader, who disappeared under the Marcos dictatorship.

The eighth child in a brood of nine, the young Delo loved school. He graduated valedictorian from elementary school, and was the first from Mauban, Quezon to be admitted to the prestigious Philippine Science High School (which he attended for three years, after which he transferred and graduated from another high school). He then entered the Luzonian State University in Lucena City, where he became involved in the university student council and the school organ, The Luzonian, as well as other campus activities. As a child tagging along with an elder sister as she attended political teach-ins, and because of the pervasive discontent with the dictatorship, Manaog imbibed a nationalist outlook early on. He became a Kabataang Makabayan activist while still in PSHS, during the early years of martial law.

Moving to the University of the Philippines in Los Baños in 1977, Manaog joined the staff of the UPLB Perspective. In one article, he tried to make his fellow students understand that it was only right to question the university’s orientation: “Para saan ba ang pasilidad, kagamitan at gusali kung ang programang pang-edukasyon naman ay hindi akma sa kalagayan ng lipunang nangangailangan nito? ... Nagiging manpower supplier tayo sa sistemang lumulukob sa ating ekonomiya.” (What’s the use of these facilities, equipment and buildings if the curriculum is not suited to the conditions of our society? We only serve to supply the manpower for the system that controls our economy.”

His friends were not surprised when he decided to quit school in order to become a full-time labor organizer. “I will never let my schooling interfere with my education,” he declared.

He worked with the National Federation of Labor Unions, and the Institute for Workers Leadership and Development in Laguna. His friends would see him from time to time. They knew he was aware of being under surveillance. But when he did not show up for two months, they began looking for him and also informed his family. They had last seen him inside a grocery store at the UPLB campus on June 21, 1984.

A campaign was organized to look for Manaog. Pickets were held in front of military camps. The military denied any involvement, but Delo's family and friends remain unconvinced. They never found him.


Aurelio Magpantay was called Boy by everyone. He was the neighborhood kuya, a kind and helpful guy, the one you wish could have been your elder brother.

He was a bright student, earning honors in elementary and high school, and even started out as a college scholar in engineering at Mapua. The family was, however, unable to keep him there, and so he went back home and enrolled in a course in welding at a vocational school, where he finished at the top of his class. Then he won a scholarship at the Western Philippine Colleges in Batangas to study for a commerce course. He joined the staff of the student paper, Western Advocates. His political involvement in the antidictatorship movement began as a student in Manila, and continued even as he transferred to other schools.

Magpantay was set to graduate from WPC when he was killed. He was one of four young men who disappeared during a Lakbayan, a “People’s Long March against Poverty,” and found dead weeks afterward. They were the “Lakbayani” – Ysmael Umali, Ronilo Evangelio, Noel Clarete, and Boy.

After the assassination of Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. on August 21, 1983, Magpantay joined the Batangas chapter of the Justice for Aquino Justice for All Movement, as well as the Batangas chapter of the August Twenty-One Movement. He was detained for a short time in October-November 1983. Two men in civilian clothes but claiming to be constabulary officers arrested him while he was in the middle of a JAJA meeting inside a church in Tuy, Batangas. He was released after more than 10 days of interrogation and torture, and only after his captors learned that he was the nephew of a town mayor. But he and his family knew that he continued to be under close military surveillance.

Still, Magpantay remained an active participant in the many rallies and protest actions that were taking place then in his province, the Southern Tagalog region, and indeed all over the country.

On March 6, 1984, he joined a Lakbayan march. The next day, he and his friends took leave of the others in their contingent as they rested in Manila’s Rizal Park. That was the last time the four were seen alive. Three weeks later, their bodies were found dumped together in a shallow grave in Cavite. Magpantay’s body bore stab wounds and both wrists were tied together. His family believes he was summarily executed, “salvaged,” by martial law authorities.

MAGLANTAY, Rizaldy Jesus M.

In college, Rizaldy Maglantay was a student leader at the National College of Business Administration in Manila. After that he found an office job at a multinational corporation, which would have meant stable employment and a “normal” life.

But it was martial law, and Maglantay knew that life could not be “normal,” especially after a close friend, Diore Mijares, was summarily executed by military personnel in April 1983. Summoned by his conscience, Magpantay quit his job in Manila in order to serve as a volunteer for Task Force Detainees in his home province of Aklan.

For the next two years, Maglantay documented human rights abuses and assisted political prisoners despite minimal wages and, especially, the grave risks involved in human rights work. As far as he could see, he said, there was no democracy in the Philippines and human rights did not exist. He decried the widespread torture, arbitrary arrests, “salvaging” (extrajudicial killings) hamletting, etc., saying: “If I don’t do something, who will explain all this to the people here?”

Shortly before he was killed, Maglantay had ignored an "invitation” for questioning by the commanding officer of the constabulary based in Abago, lbajay, Aklan. On the night of August 2, 1985, however, he agreed to go drinking with an acquaintance whom he knew to be in the military. The two were seen in a beerhouse talking until late that night.

Maglantay was found dead early the following morning inside the grounds of an elementary school. His body had 30 stab wounds and other marks of torture. The man who had been with him, a PC corporal, left Kalibo for the province of Iloilo just hours earlier.

The human rights community in the Philippines angrily denounced the crime, leading Gen. Fidel V. Ramos, then vice chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to order an investigation. The case has not been solved.

LORETO, Mary Catherine Lucinda

Sr. Mary Catherine Loreto was born Lucinda Loreto, the child of an army dentist who died missing in action during World War II. His widow raised her two daughters by herself.

Loreto earned two university diplomas, in foreign service and business administration. She worked in a bank, went to parties and wore miniskirts like other young women at the time, the 1960s. Her family was surprised when she decided to become a nun (a Religious of the Good Shepherd, RGS) in 1973. The country was under martial law.

Working in a poor community in Manila brought her face to face with the suffering caused by poverty. Sometimes she would join residents of the slums protesting against the forcible demolition of their homes, like them going through the experience of being hosed down by water cannons.

She was then assigned to Isabela and Cebu, but it was in Bicol where she was exposed to the abuses perpetrated by the military under the dictatorship. She became a defender of human rights.

She joined the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, a group of sisters from different religious orders who undertook development programs in poor rural communities.

In Davao, Loreto volunteered for the field office of the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) and was soon its coordinator.

Resistance to the Marcos dictatorship was growing in Davao City and adjacent areas. Communities supported legal as well as extra-legal protest actions, and even the New People’s Army  and its urban-based Sparrow Units.

Human rights violations continued unabated. TFDP-Davao received countless requests for lawyers, assistance in locating missing persons and so on. Loreto, as the task force coordinator, carried a heavy burden. But she was aware that her status as a religious afforded her some measure of protection. She went about her tasks with great dedication and courage.

She visited detainees in the camps, sought out military officials in searching for missing persons, traveled to remote areas to inform the families of those who had been detained or killed. She escorted relatives to funeral parlors and morgues to identify bodies. Once she secured the baby of an activist couple and temporarily brought it to the convent to be cared for. Resourceful and friendly, she even developed a network of informants – drivers and funeral parlors owners, among others, for locating missing persons. Detainees were particularly thankful for her efforts in organizing visits by friends and in soliciting material assistance for their needs.

On a boat trip to Cebu in 1983, Sr. Catherine Loreto drowned with three other RGS nuns during the sinking of the MV Cassandra. Survivors said it was the nuns who alerted the passengers that the ship was sinking, because the crew refused to admit it. The sisters roused sleeping passengers, gave instructions on survival measures and made sure that the children especially had life vests. The sisters themselves did not take life jackets. Out of more than 600 passengers, less than 200 survived the disaster.

LOPEZ, Mariano M.

Mariano Lopez was quiet and soft spoken, very bright. He was a government scholar from high school to college. He was among the first students who qualified for the Philippine Science High School in 1964, graduating fifth of the batch five years later.

Introduced to political activism as an engineering sophomore in UP Diliman, Lopez listened and read. The UP Nationalist Corps was the first organization he joined. Then he became a member of the Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan and Gintong Silahis, its cultural arm.

With thousands of other UP students, Lopez attended the rally in front of Congress on January 26, 1970, which was brutally dispersed by the police. The experience affected him deeply. He got involved more intensely in political discussions and organizing.

He argued with his parents, telling them that it was love that made him want his country to be free, that he was casting personal ambition aside for the sake of the people. Eventually in 1972 he dropped out of school to devote himself to organizing work in the poor communities of Manila. He also stayed for months in his home province in Bataan, discussing politics with farmers.

When martial law was imposed, Lopez was arrested and detained until February 1974. After his release, he worked as proofreader with the Daily Express. In the few short months he worked in the newspaper, he managed to organize a union, leading it in demanding higher wages from management.

Not long after, Lopez joined the armed resistance in Isabela. He was reported slain by government troopers in 1976. His body was never recovered.


In January 1980, the dictatorship held elections for governors, vice governors, mayors and vice mayors. Having just decimated the Liberal Party-Laban coalition in the fraud-ridden election for members of the Interim Batasang Pambansa in 1978, the Marcos dictatorship was then at the height of its powers.

The opposition coalition had decided to boycott the 1980 elections, but Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. (already in exile at the time) believed that despite the certainty of being cheated, it would be an opportunity to further expose the regime’s oppressiveness, corruption and tyranny. He asked his friend Jose Lingad to run for governor of Pampanga against Estelito Mendoza, a close associate of Marcos.

Lingad had already been governor of the province, and a cabinet member during the administration of President Diosdado Macapagal. He was a congressman representing Pampanga’s first district when Marcos abolished Congress upon declaring martial law. He was arrested and detained for four months following the imposition of martial law, and since then had turned to farming for a living while continuing to participate in opposition activities to depose the dictator.

As expected, Lingad and his running mate for vice governor – the progressive lawyer Jose Suarez – were defeated by the dictatorship’s party, the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan. The so-called election was marked by intimidation, vote buying and plain cheating. Defiantly, Lingad filed a formal protest with the Commission on Elections.

While the election protest was pending, Lingad was shot dead by a lone gunman while sitting alone in the driver’s seat of his car in the morning of December 16, 1980, along the national highway in San Fernando, the provincial capital. Witnesses identified the killer through photographs: he was a former constabulary sergeant. But before he could be tried, he himself was killed in a mysterious car accident. Thus, Lingad’s murder has remained unsolved and the mastermind is still unidentified.

National leaders of the political opposition all attended his wake. (Even Marcos paid tribute to him as “a friend and fellow veteran.”) At the funeral, Joaquin “Chino” Roces said: “Grieve not. We gather here today not to bury a man but to celebrate an event – the planting of a seed – the seed of freedom and liberation.”


Edmundo Legislador, Toto Eddie to his family and friends, was born into two prominent families of Oton, Iloilo.

His father, who once served as town councilor, owned a rice mill. The young boy was taught how to handle money; he should learn the business and be smart, his father said, because he would own the mill someday. But Toto Eddie used to wonder why his family always got the bigger share in the income, when they were very much less in number than the others. From his mother he learned how to care for the workers, helping her buy, wrap and distribute gifts for them for Christmas.

Toto Eddie got along well with people. He had a good voice and played the guitar well. Sometimes he and his friends spent their evenings drinking beer and singing to the wee hours of the morning.

In college, Legislador joined the local chapter of the Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan, which started him into activism. He was in his 2nd year in college when the First Quarter Storm swept the country. He participated in rallies denouncing police brutality in breaking up the mass actions in Manila. Later he joined the Kalinangan Cultural Guild which offered cultural presentations during protest actions. Quickly, as the student movement launched more and bigger actions, Legislador decided to become a fulltime cultural activist even as he found the time to get married. Performances and training seminars brought him to as far as Luzon.

When martial law was declared in September 1972, Legislador had been living among the migrant farm workers, or sacada, in the sugarcane plantations of Negros. He was unable to return to Iloilo until the following June, but soon after left home again to travel to Antique, to the impoverished areas where many sacadas came from. With some other young people, he visited the towns of San Jose, Patnongon, San Remigio and then Sibalom.

On July 27, 1973 the Marcos regime conducted a sham referendum, during which the people were asked if they approved of martial law and the establishment of a parliament to replace the Congress which had been abolished. Of course no one dared to say no.

On that same day, Legislador and his group were resting after lunch when all of a sudden shots were fired in their direction. Toto Eddie was hit in the head by a bullet. He was 23 years old.

Edmundo Legislador’s funeral procession was said to have been the longest ever in the history of Oton, an act of resistance to the dictatorship. It was attended by people from different walks of life, with some coming from as far as Negros and Antique.

Inang Lupa, Inang Bayan


Catch the play Inang Lupa, Inang Bayan featuring Marili Fernandez-Ilagan and Teresa Opaon-Ali's Sanlibongan and Bonifacio Ilagan's Hindi Na Muli at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani from March 14-17, 2016 7PM. For more information, please contact Bantayog.

Inang Lupa, Inang Bayan is brought to you by the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation, Tag-ani Performing Arts Society, and the UP Sigma Alpha Nu Sorrority, Diliman.


Hindi na muli


Let Music Tell You Why You Should #NeverForget Martial Law

00a status

(Written by Mimi Miaco at

Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat-Cooky Chua, vocalist of Tres Marias, Color It Red, and member of The League of Authors of Public Interest Songs, believes in this statement by author Edmund Burke. "Dapat masusi ang pag-aaral sa Batas Militar at gumawa tayo ng paraan para hindi na ito maulit pa," she said.

On January 30, Filipino composers and musicians will come together for a concert entitled #NeverForget, an effort by The League of Authors of Public Interest Songs (LAPIS) to remember the real deal back when the Philippines was under Martial Law and the leadership of former president Ferdinand Marcos. The event starts at 5 p.m., at Bantayog ng mga Bayani Center. Ticket price is P50.

“Marami akong kakilalang dumaan sa mga katakut-takot na karanasan noong panahong iyon. At marami din akong kaibigan na nilabanan ito sa iba’t ibang paraan na kaya nila. Mahalagang maipaalam ito sa kabataan alang-alang sa kinabukasan ng ating bayan,” said Chua. She will perform with fellow LAPIS members Gary Granada, Bayang Barrios, Chickoy Pura, Plagpul, and Lolita Carbon.

According to LAPIS Executive Director, composer, and musician Karl Ramirez, #NeverForget is scheduled on January 30 because it’s a historic day—it’s part of the First Quarter Storm of the '70s, a day the youth should be aware of. “Dapat maintindihan nila bakit may pag-aaklas sa kabila ng matinding panunupil ng iilang maykapangyarihan noong panahong iyon,” Ramirez said.

LAPIS is an organization of composers and musicians that seeks to raise the Filipinos’ public interest. In 2015, they launched a series of performances for the benefit of the Lumad victims. They are set to release their first public interest music album in March. #NeverForget is a joint project with Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation.

[gallery type="slideshow" link="none" size="large" ids="1410,1411,1412,1413,1414,1415,1416,1417,1418,1419,1420,1421,1422,1423,1424,1425,1426,1427,1428,1429,1430,1431,1432,1433,1434,1435,1436,1437,1438,1439,1440,1441"]

Never Forget Poster2


(From Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation's announcement)

Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation, in partnership with the League of Authors of Public Interest Songs, or LAPIS, is holding an evening concert on January 30 at the Bantayog grounds titled NEVER FORGET. Browse the Facebook event page here for more details.

This is part of Bantayog's advocacy of raising awareness and educating the youth through music about the Martial Law period. January 30 falls within the 1970 First Quarter Storm period, which is regarded as a watershed in the protest movement against Marcos' increasingly repressive government. From the First Quarter Storm were baptized many who would later be leaders of the movement against the Marcos dictatorship, a good number giving their very lives for it.

The concert will feature well-known composer Gary Granada, Chickoy Pura of The Jerks, and the Tres Marias, composed of the three musical icons Lolita Carbon of Asin, Bayang Barrios and Cookie Chua.

A new generation of public interest composers from LAPIS will also showcase songs that continue the tradition of writing and performing music about situations and aspirations of the Filipino people. Karl Ramirez, Plagpul, Xandra Bisenio, and Kit Manlangit, all LAPIS composer-musicians will be opening the concert.

Save the date and enjoy the evening with your family! Tickets at Php50 and available at Bantayog.



prev 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 130 140 150 160 170 180 190 200 210 220 230 240 250 260 270 280 290 300 310 320 330 340 350 360 370 380 390 400 410 420 430 440 450 460 470 480 490 500 510 520 530 next