Martial Law torture victim: ‘Put on historical record the truth’

By Erwin Colcol
Source: GMA News

Martial Law torture victim and former Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson Etta Rosales on Wednesday underscored the importance of putting on “historical record the truth” amid the Supreme Court’s (SC) ruling allowing the burial of the late President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

This was after Rosales and other petitioners revealed that they may file a motion for reconsideration to overturn the decision of the high court.

“Wala naman kaming magagawa diyan. Hindi naman kami gumagamit ng pwersa, hindi naman kami gumagamit ng baril, hindi naman kami manlalaban para pumatay. Pero ang mahalaga dito, you put on historical record the truth,” Rosales, who was a human rights violation victim herself during the Marcos regime, said in an Unang Balita interview on Wednesday.

“Alam ninyo, ang pinakamahalaga, our Filipino today, hindi lang mga biktima ito e, and generations from now, meron silang karapatan sa katotohanan,” she added.

In her appearance during oral arguments on the petitions against the Libingan burial for Marcos, Rosales told SC justices how she was tortured during the time of the late strongman.

She recounted how she was sexually molested and subjected to various forms of torture such as electric shock, water cure and a Russian roulette routine, wherein a gun was pointed at her while she was undergoing interrogation.

Voting 9-5, the SC on Tuesday dismissed the consolidated petitions seeking to stop the burial of the late strongman at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, which is backed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Marcoses won’t admit guilt

Contrary to what Marcos loyalists are saying, Rosales believes that Marcos’ burial at the heroes’ cemetery would not create national healing.

“They keep on saying, let’s move on. Let’s heal na para magkaroon ng closure? Anong iko-closure mo? Sinong maghi-heal dito? Ang makikinabang lang dito ay ang pamilya ni Marcos. Pero ‘yung libo-libo na mga sinaktan, tinorture, na-disappear at sa ngayon ay himihingi ng katarungan sa pamamagitan ng batas na naipasa, ito ‘yung kinakailangan magkaroon ng closure at healing, kasi sila ‘yung sinaktan,” she said.

In a separate Unang Balita interview, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos said she was willing to apologize for the alleged crimes of her father, but not to the point of admitting guilt.

“’Yung tinatawag nilang apology, talaga naman para sa akin, kung sino man ang nasaktan na hindi naman ninanais at wala namang balak na masama, sa akin, kahit papaano, nagpapaumanhin ako,” Governor Marcos said.

“Pero ‘yung apology na ninanais nila, ‘yung admission ng guilt, eh parang may kabigatan naman yata ‘yun sa criminal law. Hindi naman yata kami papayagan ng abugado kapag ganyan,” she added.

The governor said she only wants the Filipino people to unite.

“Kung may pagkakamali, may kasalanan, siyempre wala namang perpekto sa mundong ito, talagang nagpapaumanhin ako para magkaisa na tayo,” she said.

“Kung nakakausap natin at nakikipag-negotiate tayo sa mga kapatid nating Muslim, kung nakikisuyo tayo sa mga kapatid nating CPP-NPA e siguro naman pwede ring pakiusapan din ang mga Ilocano at bahagi rin kami ng bandilang Pilipino. Kung may dilaw sa ating bandila, meron ding red, white and blue, e magkaisa tayo,” she added.

The governor said their family only wanted a “soldier’s burial” for her father. She also said that they do not want a state funeral for the Marcos patriarch.

Twisting history

Rosales said history is being twisted by the SC’s decision.

“Ang nangyayari ngayon, binabaluktot ang kasaysayan. Oras na ilibing natin si Marcos sa Libingan ng mga Bayani, gagawin siyang symbolically bayani, because it is a cemetery of the heroes,” she said.

“Isipin na lang ninyo, hindi magtitiyaga na mag-antay ng 27 taon ang pamilya ni Marcos kung hindi malinaw sa kanila na ang agenda nila, kapag nilibing si Marcos sa Libingan ng mga Bayani, gagawin siya sa symbol na bayani at mawawala sa kanya ang kanyang mga kasalanan sa bayan,” she added.

Amid these developments, Rosales urged the public to not forget the human rights violations during Martial Law.

“Kaya itong mga bagay na ito eh kabahagi ito ng katotohanan sa ating kasaysayan. Kaya ang lagi kong sinasabi, dapat kilalanin natin ang katotohanan at ang karapatan ng taumbayan na malaman ang katotohanan,” Rosales said.

  • November 9, 2016
  • News
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