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We Won't Be Erased



A week ago Juan Ponce Enrile, Marcos' former defense minister and currently a senator, spoke on video in a documentary that no one was incarcerated during Martial Law for their political beliefs. In response, Bantayog ng mga Bayani's current Executive Director May Verzola Rodriguez wrote this well received letter online.

(The image of the newsclip above is from Nestor Castro who was together with her at Camp Dangwa in 1983.)
Dear Mr. Enrile,

You have to be more careful with your lies.

I was a political prisoner in 1983, arrested by virtue of a presidential commitment order (PCO) signed by President Marcos. My prison cell was in Camp Dangwa in Benguet, an office room converted into a prison cell (whose most memorable feature was that it had no toilet facilities).

A few weeks after my arrest, a military helicopter came for me and airlifted me to Camp Aguinaldo, where to my surprise, I was brought before you in your office. I had no idea why. Maybe your intelligence people had tagged me as someone important in the Left (wrong), and was worth personally interrogating (wrong again).

You are likely to have forgotten that half-hour of our meeting. It’s been 35 years, we have both grown older, and you had a busy life as Marcos’ secretary of national defense implementing his martial law, likely overseeing the arrest of more dissenters like me, and then saving your skin and your name later.

But I haven’t forgotten. You had a male, brown room. You sat on a huge padded chair and rocked it as we spoke. Behind you was a shelf full of books. Above you was a huge painting of your wife Cristina.

I sat on an office chair in front of your table. I was wearing slippers. I sat there hearing you claim you read all of Marx’s books, and knew more about communism than most communists. It’s useless to fight Marcos, you said, and young people are wasting their lives doing it.

Cristina’s painting looked down on us. Here were two Cristinas, I thought, one the wife and the other his prisoner. Fidel Ramos dropped by, took the other seat in front of me, and addressed me in Ilokano. He said the same thing: you are wasting your lives; cooperate with the government instead.

What exactly am I doing with these two monsters of martial law, I thought.

My crime, when finally I was slapped charges, was subversion, specifically membership in the communist party. Prison life was slow and killing. But us, political prisoners, we always fought back.

Fast forward a few months in 1983. It was a day in December. Marcos, looking and talking like a dying man, had a few of us brought to him personally and given orders for our release. Of course it was the year Ninoy Aquino was killed and some brownie points were called for.

Name one, you said last week. I name myself one then. We won't go away, Mr. Enrile. We won't be erased.

Share us your thoughts at the Bantayog blog.

Signs of the Times





The Signs of the Times was published by the Association of Major Religioius Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP). The articles and reports were intended for critical analysis and theological reflection of the religious and laymen whom the institution serve.

Signs of the Times Oct 2, 1976

The Signs of the Times was published by the Association of Major Religioius Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP). The articles and reports were intended for critical analysis and theological reflection of the religious and laymen whom the institution serve.

SIGN OF THE TIMES 02OCT 1976 FINAL 1of2

SIGN OF THE TIMES 02OCT 1976 FINAL 2of2

Signs Vol. 1 No. 18 Mar 10 to 16, 1984

Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation launches this digital archive section in its website, with the publication Signs.

Signs was circulated during the final years of the Marcos dictatorship and had a total of 37 issues before it morphed into another form. Other publications circulated at this time were the We Forum, Malaya, Veritas, Mr and Ms, Sic of the Times, and Who, the University of the Philippines’ Philippine Collegian, and the Catholic Church’s Various Reports, Signs of the Times and Ichtys, and the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines’ Update. They were later collectively called the “mosquito press,” because by their small bites they stretched and broke the limits of the regime’s censorship rules. The underground press, to which belonged mostly clandestine national and regional newsletters such as Ang Bayan and Liberation defied Marcos censors from day-one. They provided reliable information about events happening in the country in the midst of the regime’s efforts to ram its rosy propaganda down the people’s throats.

Bantayog acknowledges the courageous efforts of the people and groups behind these publications, who lived through their commitment often at the risk of loss of incomes, security, profitable careers, and worse, imprisonment or even death. They gave life to the people’s struggle for the right to a free press, free speech, and free expression under the brutal dictatorship.

SIGNS VOL 1 No 18 MAR 10-16 1984

Signs Vol. 1 No. 17 Mar 3 to 9, 1984

Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation launches this digital archive section in its website, with the publication Signs.

Signs was circulated during the final years of the Marcos dictatorship and had a total of 37 issues before it morphed into another form. Other publications circulated at this time were the We Forum, Malaya, Veritas, Mr and Ms, Sic of the Times, and Who, the University of the Philippines’ Philippine Collegian, and the Catholic Church’s Various Reports, Signs of the Times and Ichtys, and the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines’ Update. They were later collectively called the “mosquito press,” because by their small bites they stretched and broke the limits of the regime’s censorship rules. The underground press, to which belonged mostly clandestine national and regional newsletters such as Ang Bayan and Liberation defied Marcos censors from day-one. They provided reliable information about events happening in the country in the midst of the regime’s efforts to ram its rosy propaganda down the people’s throats.

Bantayog acknowledges the courageous efforts of the people and groups behind these publications, who lived through their commitment often at the risk of loss of incomes, security, profitable careers, and worse, imprisonment or even death. They gave life to the people’s struggle for the right to a free press, free speech, and free expression under the brutal dictatorship.

SIGNS VOL 1 No 17 MAR 3-9 1984

Signs Vol. 1 No. 16 Feb 25 to Mar 2, 1984

Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation launches this digital archive section in its website, with the publication Signs.

Signs was circulated during the final years of the Marcos dictatorship and had a total of 37 issues before it morphed into another form. Other publications circulated at this time were the We Forum, Malaya, Veritas, Mr and Ms, Sic of the Times, and Who, the University of the Philippines’ Philippine Collegian, and the Catholic Church’s Various Reports, Signs of the Times and Ichtys, and the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines’ Update. They were later collectively called the “mosquito press,” because by their small bites they stretched and broke the limits of the regime’s censorship rules. The underground press, to which belonged mostly clandestine national and regional newsletters such as Ang Bayan and Liberation defied Marcos censors from day-one. They provided reliable information about events happening in the country in the midst of the regime’s efforts to ram its rosy propaganda down the people’s throats.

Bantayog acknowledges the courageous efforts of the people and groups behind these publications, who lived through their commitment often at the risk of loss of incomes, security, profitable careers, and worse, imprisonment or even death. They gave life to the people’s struggle for the right to a free press, free speech, and free expression under the brutal dictatorship.

SIGNS VOL 1 No 16 FEB 25 MAR 2 1984

Signs Vol. 1 No. 15 Feb 18 to 24, 1984

Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation launches this digital archive section in its website, with the publication Signs. Signs was circulated during the final years of the Marcos dictatorship and had a total of 37 issues before it morphed into another form. Other publications circulated at this time were the We Forum, Malaya, Veritas, Mr and Ms, Sic of the Times, and Who, the University of the Philippines’ Philippine Collegian, and the Catholic Church’s Various Reports, Signs of the Times and Ichtys, and the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines’ Update. They were later collectively called the “mosquito press,” because by their small bites they stretched and broke the limits of the regime’s censorship rules. The underground press, to which belonged mostly clandestine national and regional newsletters such as Ang Bayan and Liberation defied Marcos censors from day-one. They provided reliable information about events happening in the country in the midst of the regime’s efforts to ram its rosy propaganda down the people’s throats.

Bantayog acknowledges the courageous efforts of the people and groups behind these publications, who lived through their commitment often at the risk of loss of incomes, security, profitable careers, and worse, imprisonment or even death. They gave life to the people’s struggle for the right to a free press, free speech, and free expression under the brutal dictatorship.

SIGNS VOL 1 No 15 FEB 18-24 1984

Signs Vol. 1 No. 14 Feb 11 to 17, 1984

Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation launches this digital archive section in its website, with the publication Signs. Signs was circulated during the final years of the Marcos dictatorship and had a total of 37 issues before it morphed into another form. Other publications circulated at this time were the We Forum, Malaya, Veritas, Mr and Ms, Sic of the Times, and Who, the University of the Philippines’ Philippine Collegian, and the Catholic Church’s Various Reports, Signs of the Times and Ichtys, and the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines’ Update. They were later collectively called the “mosquito press,” because by their small bites they stretched and broke the limits of the regime’s censorship rules. The underground press, to which belonged mostly clandestine national and regional newsletters such as Ang Bayan and Liberation defied Marcos censors from day-one. They provided reliable information about events happening in the country in the midst of the regime’s efforts to ram its rosy propaganda down the people’s throats.

Bantayog acknowledges the courageous efforts of the people and groups behind these publications, who lived through their commitment often at the risk of loss of incomes, security, profitable careers, and worse, imprisonment or even death. They gave life to the people’s struggle for the right to a free press, free speech, and free expression under the brutal dictatorship.

SIGNS VOL 1 No 14 FEB 11-17 1984

The Philippine Signs




Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation launches this digital archive section in its website, with the publication Signs.

Signs was circulated during the final years of the Marcos dictatorship and had a total of 37 issues before it morphed into another form. Other publications circulated at this time were the We Forum, Malaya, Veritas, Mr and Ms, Sic of the Times, and Who, the University of the Philippines’ Philippine Collegian, and the Catholic Church’s Various Reports, Signs of the Times and Ichtys, and the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines’ Update. They were later collectively called the “mosquito press,” because by their small bites they stretched and broke the limits of the regime’s censorship rules. The underground press, to which belonged mostly clandestine national and regional newsletters such as Ang Bayan and Liberation defied Marcos censors from day-one. They provided reliable information about events happening in the country in the midst of the regime’s efforts to ram its rosy propaganda down the people’s throats.

Bantayog acknowledges the courageous efforts of the people and groups behind these publications, who lived through their commitment often at the risk of loss of incomes, security, profitable careers, and worse, imprisonment or even death. They gave life to the people’s struggle for the right to a free press, free speech, and free expression under the brutal dictatorship.

Searchable versions of these publications that defied Marcos censorship will soon be available.

Signs is published by Crossroads Publications Inc. the Editorial Board at that time was composed of Bishop Antonino Nepomuceno, OMI, Fr. Benigno Mayo, SJ, Fr. Pedro Arguillas, MSC, Fr. Primo Racimo, Laura Ocampo, Atty. Felicitas Aquino, Dr. Levi Oracion.

Ma. Sophia L. Bodegon was the editor, with Ibarra C. Mateo and Celine Claire B. Reyes as staff writers. Contributing photographer was Alberto Marques, Ma. Ceres P. Doyo was the chief of correspondents, Nes Jacinto on production, Ram Flores for editorial assistant, and Edgardo del Val was the business manager.

Signs Vol. 1 No. 13 Feb 4 to 10, 1984

The Philippine Signs describes itself as a publication "that does not merely report facts, but also ideas and issues; not only to inform, but to elucidate, to bring the hows, and whys, and the alternatives. In the tradition of fair journalism, it will point out facts and show contradictions, not to take a negative position but help people recognize and understand the world in which we live: its expectations, its longings, and its often dramatic characteristics."

Published by Crossroads Publications Inc. the Editorial Board at that time was composed of Bishop Antonino Nepomuceno, OMI, Fr. Benigno Mayo, SJ, Fr. Pedro Arguillas, MSC, Fr. Primo Racimo, Laura Ocampo, Atty. Felicitas Aquino, Dr. Levi Oracion.

Ma. Sophia L. Bodegon was the editor, with Ibarra C. Mateo and Celine Claire B. Reyes as staff writers. Contributing photographer was Alberto Marques, Ma. Ceres P. Doyo was the chief of correspondents, Nes Jacinto on production, Ram Flores for editorial assistant, and Edgardo del Val was the business manager.

SIGNS VOL 1 No 13 FEB 4-10 1984

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