Marking the 51st anniversary of the Martial Law declaration, the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Department of History presented lectures on 25 September, delving into the Marcos regime’s policies.

UP History Assistant Professor Micah Jeiel Perez discussed “Project Gintong Alay,” a Marcos-era initiative from 1978 to 1982 aimed at recruiting and training athletes.

Perez mentioned that the press critiqued Philippine sports for its lack of funding, facilities, and equipment, but added, “None of them criticized Marcos. Parang lahat na lang, criticized nila puwera si Marcos.”

(None of them criticized Marcos. Many faced criticism, yet Marcos himself seemed exempted.)

In another segment, UP History Instructor Aaron Viernes shared research on human rights violations in Samar during Martial Law.

“Bakit ko ginawa iyong pananaliksik hinggil sa human rights violations, particularly sa killings sa Samar? Kasi, naniniwala ako na para maunawaan ng isang ordinaryong Pilipino na hindi naman nakaranas ng Batas Militar, malaman niya kung ano ba iyong nangyari in a different locality,” Viernes said.

(I pursued this research on human rights violations in Samar to help Filipinos understand the realities of different localities during that time.)

The series also featured insights from UP BA History alumnus Jess Immanuel Espina, who delved into the relationship between Australian aid and human rights abuses in the Philippines during the Martial Law era. 

Meanwhile, UP History Teaching Associate Lorenzo Jose Martinez analyzed the portrayal and implications surrounding the ceremonial conclusion of Martial Law.

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