Never forget… never again to Martial Law!

Never forget… never again to Martial Law!
But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
Isaiah 5:24

As the Marcos heirs condescendingly discount the suffering of the Filipino people and dismissively suggest that they “move on,” we, freedom-loving and peace-and-justice -seeking Church people, firmly stand for our motherland and her children.

We cannot “move on” without addressing the oppression and suffering of the many. We must not move on and simply forget on the basis of lies and historical revision of the Marcoses ushered in, venerated even, by the Duterte administration.

Now, we hear and see the suffering of the majority. From the soaring prices spurred by heavy and regressive commodity taxes that resulted to increased hunger, food insecurity and deepening poverty, to hallow debt-driven projects and misplaced priorities, throwing further burdens onto the poor. The Duterte administration’s call of charter change offers no better. The good desired by our people is met with maneuvers for increased control and authoritarian rule. Basic checks-and-balances have been weakened rather than strengthened. All these constitute a semblance of that dark past; looming once again even before its horrors have been truly accounted for.

In this midst, our faith implores us to resist the rising tyranny and dictatorship.The nation’s experience under the ruthless Marcos dictatorship speaks one of the darkest days in Philippine history. And as President Duterte affirmed his connivance with the Marcoses and Arroyo, we, faithful strengthen our collective resolve to amplify our desire for genuine freedom and democracy.

Our faith beseech us to firmly stand for and uphold the dignity of life. We cannot remain silent in the midst of exploitation, oppression, where majority are left to suffer in despair and poverty and, worst, killed brazenly with impunity. The Duterte administration’s widespread and systematic campaigns of blood and violence are undeniable. The streets have been soaked with blood and the cries of the people are for justice.

Lastly, our faith moves us to perseveringly strive for peace based on justice. One that can be attained when the likes of the Marcoses are held accountable. One that is rendered by the healing of both present and past wounds spawned by the many structural and historical injustices in our land.

On September 21, as we remember the dark period of Martial law and celebrate with hope the International Day of Peace, we honor the legacy of our martyrs by sharing the relentless desire of the people for truth, righteousness, democracy, justice and lasting peace.

Let us affirm our commitment to our prophetic task by being in solidarity with our afflicted brothers and sisters. Together, let us resist dictatorship, uphold the dignity of life and strive for peace based on justice!

Association of Major Religios Superiors in the Philippines
Sangguniang Laiko
Promotion of Church Peoples Response
Religious Discernment Group