Human Rights groups launched an awareness education campaign online about Martial Law six months before its 40th Anniversary. Tagged as #rememberML@40, the group pledged to inform and inspire the youth about the dark days of tyranny and urged lawmakers to pass the compensation for martial law victims’ bill before the 40th Anniversary of the Marcos declaration of military rule in the country on September 21 through social networking site Facebook.
To remind the public about this part of our history and educate the new generation, human rights groups led by Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, Claimants 1081 together with the Commission on Human Rights, PCGG and peoples organizations joined efforts and target to reach 40,000 informed and inspired individuals online by September 21.
“We pledge to reach 40,000 people especially the youth by September 21. Who can best tell stories to our youth about the heroism of human rights defenders during the dictatorship but the generation who witnessed and fought against Martial Law, and the new generation has to know, so that it will never happen again. One of the best tools to reach them is social networking sites,” Max De Mesa, Chairperson of PAHRA said.
The group also wants to generate support for the enactment of the pending Compensation Bill for the victims of human rights violations of the Marcoses through combining online and offline campaigns.
“The bill has been filed and re-filed since the 10th Congress. Some of the victims are already dead, others are sickly and still the survivors bear the agony of waiting for justice. It’s been 26 years since the downfall of the dictatorship and yet justice continues to elude the victims of martial law. We are doing this type of campaign to enlighten the public and to generate support for the bill before May 7 resumption of Congress,” said Emmanuel Amistad, Executive Director of TFDP.
President Aquino in his last SONA declared, “We aim to give due compensation to the victims of martial law.” The bill has passed its third reading in the lower house while a counterpart bill is still pending in the Senate.
#rememberML@40 is a community page in the social networking site Facebook. According to the group, they will organize discussions, retelling of stories and online events to generate 40,000 voices of informed and inspired individuals who will remember the lessons of Martial Law and call for justice for all victims.
The campaign will also call for series of “online action day” activities that are designed to reach the attention of lawmakers and Malacanang. The group uses the hand gesture pinky swear to symbolize their pledges to inform and inspire people especially the youth to know and refuse to forget Martial Law. ###
For details please contact:
Egay Cabalitan (Task Force Detainees of the Philippines-TFDP)
Rose Trajano (Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates-PAHRA)
April 16, 2012