Remembering Archimedes Trajano
For those of you who do not remember or not familiar with Archimedes Trajano, it’s about time you should get acquainted with his story. And when we talk about Archimedes Trajano, Imee Marcos’ name is not far behind.
Imee is the daughter of the late Ferdinand Marcos, the president who declared the Martial Law of 1972. Why is Archimedes Trajano associated with Imee? Let’s get to know Imee more first.
Maria Imelda Josefa Romualdez Marcos or more known as Imee is the eldest of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos’ children. She was born in 1955 and her father was already a politician that time. He was a member of the House of Representatives for the 2nd District of Ilocos Norte.
She was 10 years old when Ferdinand became the president of the Philippines. Her early education started at Institucion Teresiana or now known as Saint Pedro Poveda College (or simply Poveda). She studied at Poveda until Grade IV and moved to Assumption Convent (Assumption College) for Grade V until her first year in high school. Imee then transferred to the American School in Makati.
For the rest of other secondary education, she went to various schools in London and also in the US. She attended Princeton University later on for college. She would later be enrolling in several schools for her postgraduate studies such as Princeton once again, Asian Institutute of Management, and University of the Philippines.
Now, let’s go back to Archimedes Trajano. Compared to Imee, his background is simple and modest. He didn’t have connections. He was a student of the Mapua Institute of Technology during the Martial Law.
He was a student activist. One fateful day on August 31, 1977, there was an open forum in the Pamantasang ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) where Imee the current director that time of the Kabataang Barangay (National Youth Council) was a speaker.
Trajano questioned Imee’s appointment as director of the National Youth Council. He wanted to know why the President’s daughter should be assigned for this position. Apparently, the presidential daughter Imee was not pleased about being asked regarding this.
Trajano was taken out of the venue without his consent by Imee’s bodyguards. He was forcibly taken out just because of his question. And who knew this would be the last time anyone saw Trajano alive.
Trajano was finally found on September 2, 1977 and sadly he was already dead when he was discovered on the road. There were signs of torture and abuse – he was covered with bruises and his face was even disfigured.
Initially, they told his parents that Trajano was killed due to a fight with his dorm mates. There was no coverage of his death either except for a few who dismissed it as an event due to college fraternity hazings.
He was tortured and killed just because the presidential daughter didn’t like his question. His question didn’t warrant such response. Any action would not have warranted such response. It was illegal, inhumane – it was a case of human rights violation.
Agapita Trajano, the victim’s mother would finally file a case against them in Hawaii later on. The court ruled in the Trajano’s favor but Imee argued that the Hawaii court should only have jurisdiction on tortures that happened on US soil.
Trajano may have passed on but he will not be forgotten. A life was taken away brutally and the one who is responsible for it goes on with life (running for politics) as if nothing happened.
“Curriculum Vitae Imee Marcos,” https://web.archive.org/web/20051224170710/http://www.congress.gov.ph/download/cv/marcoscv.pdf.
“The torture and death of Archimedes Trajano,”
http://www.bantayog.org/the-torture-and-death-of-archimedes-trajano/, (October 16, 2015).
Antonio Montalvan II, “#NeverForget the killing of Archimedes Trajano,” http://opinion.inquirer.net/96891/neverforget-killing-archimedes-trajano, August 29, 2016.
Vberni Regalado, “The young victims of Martial Law,” http://www.philstar.com/campus/2017/09/21/1741305/young-victims-martial-law, (September 21, 2017).