bantayog.foundation

bantayog.foundation

Fun Run Relives Martial Law Experience

The Great Lean Run honors the life of iconic UP student leader Lean Alejandro and commemorates the 43rd anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law. Read the entire feature at Rappler.
Organizers of the great lean run emphasize the importance of educating younger generation of Filipinos about the abuses done during the Martial Law period. As the Philippines commemorates the 43rd anniversary of one of the worst events in Philippine history, human rights advocates say we need to remember martyrs like Lean Alejandro to never let another dictatorship come into power.

'Bongbong Marcos Knows What to Apologize For'



Rappler recently published Bantayog's open letter at their site. Read the open letter and the numerous comments and reaction from social media at Rappler. Photo from the Rappler post.
You owe it to the victims of your parents’ regime, but you also owe it to your own sons. How do you teach them the selflessness of true public service and the value of honesty and of righting of wrongs if you lack the courage to admit the truth? How do you spare your sons the scorn that certainly faces them if your family continues to feel no remorse or regret over the years of dictatorship?

You are nearing your 60s, a senator, and possessed of normal intelligence. You know what it is exactly that you and your family have to be sorry for. History will judge, you say? That is why you must now stop the lies – because precisely, history, and the people you have aggrieved, will judge.

Lean Alejandro's Letter to Dr. Rita Estrada (1985)

On March 14, 1985, Lean Alejandro wrote a letter to Psychology Department Professor Dr. Rita Estrada. He was still detained at the Camp Ipil Reception Center, Fort Bonifacio at that time.


An Open Letter to Senator Ferdinand 'Bong Bong' Marcos, Jr.

(On Aug. 26, Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was asked during an interview with ANC's Headstart whether, as a potential candidate for the country's top positions, he would apologize for the corruption and abuses perpetrated by his father's brutal regime. The meat of his response was, "What am I to say sorry about?” This is a response to Senator Marcos’ question. For clarifications, please contact Bantayog.)

Dear Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.,

The extent of your parents’ crimes during the Marcos dictatorship is so extensive its accounting has yet to be completed.

Ferdinand Marcos wrecked Congress, the courts and the bureaucracy. He prostituted the military. He shackled the country with debts. Your parents stole billions of the people’s money and from their political opponents. He had a nuclear plant built that never operated but which the country has to pay for in loans.

He had thousands jailed, abducted, tortured or killed. Many activists are still missing to this day.A law was enacted by Congress in 2012 offering reparation to these victims. As of the latest, seventy-five thousand individuals have applied (and thousands more did not, or failed to, file) for claims. Compensation would be taken from assets recovered from Swiss banks, described by the Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Swiss Foreign Affairs Minister Didier Burkhalter as “looted from the state” by a “corrupt dictator.” The law was an effort by the Philippine and Swiss governments to “right the wrongs committed by the Marcos regime,” said the Swiss ambassador.

We who are writing this letter represent a foundation that launched a book just last month, containing over 100 accounts of the lives of those heroic individuals who fought your father’s regime because they saw it as undemocratic, cruel, and corrupt. We have accounts of unarmed activists shot dead in San Rafael, Bulacan; or who were abducted and later found barely alive or dead in Angeles City, Pampanga, or who were mowed down with gunfire while joining rallies in Escalante in Negros Occidental and in Daet in Camarines Norte. The book was published by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

It is time for honesty, Mr. Senator. You owe it to the country that let you go free unharmed when in February 1986, the Filipino people finally drove your family out. It was through a democratic uprising called in song “Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo,” a gift to the world, because Filipinos managed to cut the Marcos stranglehold with very little violence in the society. It was a gift to you also -- a gift of your second lives.

You owe it to the victims of your parents’ regime, but you also owe it to your own sons. How do you teach them the selflessness of true public service and the value of honesty and of righting of wrongs if you lack the courage to admit the truth? How do you spare your sons the scorn that certainly faces them if your family continues to feel no remorse or regret over the years of dictatorship?

You are nearing your 60s, a senator, and possessed of normal intelligence. You know what it is exactly that you and your family have to be sorry for. History will judge, you say? That is why you must now stop the lies – because precisely, history, and the people you have aggrieved, will judge.

TRUSTEES
Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation



Download Bantayog's Open Letter to Sen Marcos Jr (PDF)

The following is the full version of the open letter to Sen. Ferdinand 'Bong Bong' Marcos, Jr.



Kapitbisig Noon, at Ngayon

(Here's a Facebook post from Ruben Felipe. Photo by Mike M. Garcia taken at the Bantayog Museum.)
"We are the nameless and all names are ours" -Eman Lacaba

A commemorative photo on the 43rd anniversary of Martial Law. #NeverAgain to Dictatorship #NeverForget Repression #Remember Courage and Heroism in the Philippines!

L-R: Robert Francis Garcia, Eileen Matute, Ruben Felipe, Faith Bacon with Lean Alejandro and countless people who fought for freedom and democracy.

Photo by Mike M. Garcia taken at the Museum of the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153122857365893&set=a.436947440892.211946.599080892&type=3&permPage=1

Ang Mamatay Ng Dahil Sa 'Yo Vol. 1 Soft Launch

On August 21, 2015 5PM right after the 29th Annual Membership Meeting of the Bantayog ng mga Bayani, we'll be having the soft launch of Ang Mamatay ng Dahil Sa 'Yo: Heroes and martyrs  of the Filipino people in the struggle against dictatorship Vol. 1, a book project in cooperation with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

The 29th Annual Membership Meeting

On August 21, 2015 2PM Bantayog ng mga Bayani had its 29th Annual Membership Meeting and a soft launch of the Bantayog ng mga Bayani and National Historical Commission of the Philippines' book project.



https://www.facebook.com/bantayogngmgabayani/posts/994806647206472

A Principled Death: Atty. Vic Mirabueno

The following is part of an article at a 1988 issue of PHRU about the life and death of human rights lawyer Vicente Mirabueno.

A Tribute to Human Rights Lawyer David Bueno (1988)

In 1988, the January 15 - February 14 issue of PHRU published the following tribute and the statement of the Protestant Lawyers' League of the Philippines (PLLP) about the murder of human rights lawyer David Bueno.

YBAÑEZ, Rolan Ylagan

rolan

Rolan spent a simple and quiet childhood in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro. His parents were government employees and the siblings were close to each other. In college, Rolan went to Manila and stayed with elder brother Larry in Cavite City. He liked tinkering with mechanical gadgets, and took a radio technician’s course on the side while taking up a college degree.

In college he was active with the Alpha Kappa Rho fraternity, which was then protesting various education issues such as high tuition fees and commercialization of the educational system. The fraternity joined protest rallies and marches, and were soon involved in protests against the martial law government itself.

Rolan was active in these protests, and he became a student organizer.  He became so involved he stopped going to school. When asked why he was making such a sacrifice, Rolan liked to quote what was then a famous student battlecry popularized in the University of the Philippines’ student publication Philippine Collegian: “Kung di tayo kikilos, sino ang kikilos? Kung hindi ngayon, kalian?”

Rolan moved to Cebu, his father’s hometown, in 1982. He tried to integrate himself into Cebuano society, learning to speak Cebuano and mingling with the poor people in the province. He was in Cebu when Senator Benigno Aquino Jr.  was assassinated, resulting in the explosion of people’s protest against the dictatorial regime.

Various groups emerged in Cebu, such as the Coalition Against People’s Persecution (CAPP), the Cebu Oust Marcos Movement for Nationalism and Democracy, and local chapters of national groups like the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN).

Rolan, who now called himself Levi, found himself a role as part of the secretariat of CAPP, assisting then Fr. Rudy Romano. Rolan helped organize CAPP chapters in the city’s various barangays and sitios. With this work, Rolan succeeded in recruiting for the growing number of protest actions in Cebu, providing and personally supervising the marshalls needed for these protest activities. He opened contacts with radio reporters and other professionals in the city, also interested in joining the protest activities.

By July 1985, Levi was deeply engaged in helping coordinate the protest activities in Cebu.  From someone who had been working behind the scenes, so to speak, he had emerged dealing with high-profile individuals like Fr. Romano and Mrs. Zenaida Uy (chairperson of Professionals’ Forum and later Bayan). Unfortunately, this made him a vulnerable target of the military.

On July 11, 1985, witnesses saw a man that fit Rolan’s description walking in a street in downtown Cebu who was forced into a car that then sped away.  The man was reported to have fought to free himself, creating a commotion that was noticed by several passersby.  One witness said she saw Rolan drop several pieces of paper but these were retrieved by two men who then proceeded to board a public jeep.

Fr. Romano was also abducted two hours later.

His family in Mindoro travelled to Cebu to search for Levi in the military camps, to no avail. Rolan and his girlfriend Lilibeth had plans to get married that year.

The immediate suspects in Levi’s abduction were members of the Philippine Constabulary’s Regional Security Unit (RSU) and the Military Intelligence Group.

Fr.  Romano and Levi’s abduction drew loud and angry protests around the country, especially among religious groups. Friends and comrades in the protest movement organized vigils and letter campaigns, and religious and human rights groups all over the world wrote letters to the Philippine government to press for justice for the two activists. The Philippine Supreme Court ordered the military to produce the two missing persons, and no less than Pope John Paul II sent in his own appeal. The two activists remain missing today.

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