Worse than death: Torture methods during Martial Law

Worse than death: Torture methods during Martial Law

Source:  Rappler.com

During the Marcos regime, San Juanico Bridge did not just refer to the longest bridge in the country. It had a far more sinister meaning.

Worse than death: Torture methods during Martial Law 1

(WARNING: The following illustrations may be graphic to some readers. Kindly view at your own discretion.)

MANILA, Philippines – Liliosa Hilao, or Lilli to friends, was a consistent honor student and scholar of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM). The communication arts student, an active member of different student organizations, was due to graduate cum laude.

Her weak health did not stop her from being an active student leader. She was editor-in-chief of HASIK, PLM’s student publication that openly criticized the Marcos administration. Lilli was too sickly to rally on the streets and channeled her strength through her pen, writing thoughtful essays against the dictator’s regime.

At 23, Lilli made it to history books and publications, but not because of her academic excellence nor her writing talent. She was the first female and student activist to die in detention during martial rule.

Lilli suffered a fate worse than death.

Drunken soldiers from the Constabulary Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) beat up Lilli and took her to Camp Crame. She was eventually found dead in the detention center. CANU reported she committed suicide by drinking muriatic acid, but her body showed signs of torture: her lips bore cigarette burns, her arms had injection marks, and her body was full of bruises. According to her sister, her internal organs were removed to cover signs of torture and possible sexual abuse.

Lilli’s tragedy is just one of the many stories of torture during the Marcos regime.

Worse than death

Amnesty International (AI) has estimated that during martial law, 70,000 people were imprisoned, 34,000 were tortured, and 3,240 were killed. The AI mission, which visited the Philippines from November to December 1975, found that 71 of the 107 prisoners interviewed alleged that they had been tortured.

Historian Michael Charleston Chua published a study entitled, “TORTYUR: Human Rights Violations During The Marcos Regime,” that detailed the different kinds of torture used by authorities during this dark chapter in Philippine history, as recounted by victims and published in different reports.

According to Chua, here’s what physical torture looked like during martial law:

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Electric shock – Electric wires are attached to the victim’s fingers, arms, head and in some cases, genitalia.

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San Juanico Bridge – The victim lies between two beds and if his/her body falls, he/she will be beaten.

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Truth serum – An injection administered in hospitals and used for interrogation, making a victim “talk drunkenly.”

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Russian roulette – Loading a bullet into one chamber of a revolver, spinning the cylinder, and then forcing the victim to pull the trigger while pointing the gun at his/her own head.

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Beating – Victim is beaten by a group of soldiers.

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Pistol-whipping – The victim is beaten with a rifle butt.

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Water cure – Water is forced through the victim’s mouth and then forced out by beating.

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Strangulation – Constriction of the victim’s neck done by hand, electric wire, or steel bar.

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Cigar and flat iron burns – Victims of torture are inflicted with burns using cigarettes, and even a flat iron.

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Pepper torture – A “concentrated pepper substance” is put on the victim’s lips or rubbed on his/her genitalia.

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Animal treatment – The victim is shackled, caged, treated, and fed like an animal.

Other forms of torture

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Torture during martial law also came in non-physical forms. Chua noted that the regime also inflicted psychological and emotional torture to “shake one’s principle.” This is done through solitary confinement and isolation. Some reported mental torture by threats of imminent death, rape, and harm to their families.

Stories of sexual abuse were also prevalent inside detention centers. Women were stripped naked, made to sit on ice blocks, stand in cold rooms, and raped and sexually assaulted using objects such as eggplants smeared with chili peppers.

The list of different methods of torture recounted by victims go on.

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Even during martial rule, no amount of censorship nor state control could stop the horror stories from spreading then, as they got more and more atrocious every day.

Survivors and families left behind by victims of the regime are still haunted by the trauma they and their loved ones suffered at the hands of those who had sworn to protect them. Decades after the Marcos regime, these stories continue to be told, serving as stark reminders of the country’s darkest years.

 

MARTIAL LAW VICTIMS | ‘Needles under my nails’

MARTIAL LAW VICTIMS | ‘Needles under my nails’

Source: InterAksyon.com

As we commemorate the 40th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law on September 21, 1972, InterAksyon.com posts a series of testimonies from human rights victims of the Marcos regime. Thousands of Filipinos were murdered, tortured, or disappeared in the 14 years the country was under a dictatorship.

After the fall of the Marcos regime in 1986, close to 10,000 human rights victims – the survivors themselves or their families – filed a class suit against the Marcos estate. A US district court in Hawaii ruled in January 1995 that the victims are entitled to a share of the ill-gotten wealth recovered from the Marcoses: a total of $2.7 billion for their torment and torture.   

However, the legal victory remains only on paper. The Hawaii ruling has to be enforced in the Philippines by a local court. The Makati Regional Trial Court is currently hearing the case but the Marcoses have so far been successful in blocking compensation to the plaintiffs.

So far, only $10 million, or $1,000 each, has been awarded to the victims and their kin. The money is not even part of the $2.7-billion compensatory and exemplary damages awarded by the Hawaii court but is from a settlement with Marcos crony, Jose Yao Campos, who has real estate properties in Texas and Colorado. 

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 This narrative is from the affidavit of a 19-year-old farmer arrested on March 22, 1974, in Barangay Moronporos, Ligao, Albay, by the Philippine Constabulary. He was detained for 10 months. His severe torture led to the paralysis of his hand.

MARTIAL LAW VICTIMS | ‘Their bodies were found early in the morning’

MARTIAL LAW VICTIMS | ‘Their bodies were found early in the morning’

Source: InterAksyon.com

As we commemorate the 40th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law on September 21, 1972, InterAksyon.com posts a series of testimonies from human rights victims of the Marcos regime. Thousands of Filipinos were murdered, tortured, or disappeared in the 14 years the country was under a dictatorship.

After the fall of the Marcos regime in 1986, close to 10,000 human rights victims – the survivors themselves or their families – filed a class suit against the Marcos estate. A US district court in Hawaii ruled in January 1995 that the victims are entitled to a share of the ill-gotten wealth recovered from the Marcoses: a total of $2.7 billion for their torment and torture.   

However, the legal victory remains only on paper. The Hawaii ruling has to be enforced in the Philippines by a local court. The Makati Regional Trial Court is currently hearing the case but the Marcoses have so far been successful in blocking compensation to the plaintiffs.

So far, only $10 million, or $1,000 each, has been awarded to the victims and their kin. The money is not even part of the $2.7-billion compensatory and exemplary damages awarded by the Hawaii court but is from a settlement with Marcos crony, Jose Yao Campos, who has real estate properties in Texas and Colorado.

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This is the narrative from the affidavit of Remedios Gorgonio-Bayabos, widow of Victoriano Bayabos, a 30-year old teacher-community organizer, who was seized, along with his father Jose, by suspected soldiers of the 23rd Infantry Battalion and CHDF in Barangay Pinatilan, Valencia, Bukidnon. They were summarily executed.

MARTIAL LAW VICTIMS | ‘After he was lured back to the Philippines, he disappeared’

MARTIAL LAW VICTIMS | ‘After he was lured back to the Philippines, he disappeared’

Source: InterAksyon.com

As we commemorate the 40th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law on September 21, 1972, InterAksyon.com posts a series of testimonies from human rights victims of the Marcos regime. Thousands of Filipinos were murdered, tortured, or disappeared in the 14 years the country was under a dictatorship.

After the fall of the Marcos regime in 1986, close to 10,000 human rights victims – the survivors themselves or their families – filed a class suit against the Marcos estate. A US district court in Hawaii ruled in January 1995 that the victims are entitled to a share of the ill-gotten wealth recovered from the Marcoses: a total of $2.7 billion for their torment and torture.   

However, the legal victory remains only on paper. The Hawaii ruling has to be enforced in the Philippines by a local court. The Makati Regional Trial Court is currently hearing the case but the Marcoses have so far been successful in blocking compensation to the plaintiffs.

So far, only $10 million, or $1,000 each, has been awarded to the victims and their kin. The money is not even part of the $2.7-billion compensatory and exemplary damages awarded by the Hawaii court but is from a settlement with Marcos crony, Jose Yao Campos, who has real estate properties in Texas and Colorado.

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This narrative is from the affidavit of Priscilla Mijares, whose husband, the lawyer and journalist Primitivo, was forcibly disappeared in January 1977 after he was lured home from the US by agents sent by the dictator.

A former president of the National Press Club, Primitivo became very close to Marcos but, after he was sent to the US in 1974, turned against the dictator, testifying before the US Congress on the human rights situation under the regime, and later authored the groundbreaking book, “Conjugal Dictatorship.” This sealed his fate.

On May 30, 1977, the Mijares’ son, Luis Manuel, who was only 16, was lured from their home and suffered the same fate as his father.

MARTIAL LAW VICTIMS | When a sergeant told me he had been sent home, I knew my son was already dead

MARTIAL LAW VICTIMS | When a sergeant told me he had been sent home, I knew my son was already dead

Source: InterAksyon.com

As we commemorate the 40th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law on September 21, 1972, InterAksyon.com posts a series of testimonies from human rights victims of the Marcos regime. Thousands of Filipinos were murdered, tortured, or disappeared in the 14 years the country was under a dictatorship.

After the fall of the Marcos regime in 1986, close to 10,000 human rights victims – the survivors themselves or their families – filed a class suit against the Marcos estate. A US district court in Hawaii ruled in January 1995 that the victims are entitled to a share of the ill-gotten wealth recovered from the Marcoses: a total of $2.7 billion for their torment and torture.   

However, the legal victory remains only on paper. The Hawaii ruling has to be enforced in the Philippines by a local court. The Makati Regional Trial Court is currently hearing the case but the Marcoses have so far been successful in blocking compensation to the plaintiffs.

So far, only $10 million, or $1,000 each, has been awarded to the victims and their kin. The money is not even part of the $2.7-billion compensatory and exemplary damages awarded by the Hawaii court but is from a settlement with Marcos crony, Jose Yao Campos, who has real estate properties in Texas and Colorado.

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This narrative is from the affidavit of Monica delos Santos Tolentino of Barangay Calaocan, Angadanan, Isabela on the disappearance of her son Francisco Jr., a 15-year old second year high school student, who was arrested by the military in March 1972 and was never seen again.

MARTIAL LAW VICTIMS | When the camp dentist learned I was a detainee, he wouldn’t use anesthesia

MARTIAL LAW VICTIMS | When the camp dentist learned I was a detainee, he wouldn’t use anesthesia

Source: InterAksyon.com

As we commemorate the 40th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law on September 21, 1972, InterAksyon.com posts a series of testimonies from human rights victims of the Marcos regime. Thousands of Filipinos were murdered, tortured, or disappeared in the 14 years the country was under a dictatorship.

After the fall of the Marcos regime in 1986, close to 10,000 human rights victims – the survivors themselves or their families – filed a class suit against the Marcos estate. A US district court in Hawaii ruled in January 1995 that the victims are entitled to a share of the ill-gotten wealth recovered from the Marcoses: a total of $2.7 billion for their torment and torture.   

However, the legal victory remains only on paper. The Hawaii ruling has to be enforced in the Philippines by a local court. The Makati Regional Trial Court is currently hearing the case but the Marcoses have so far been successful in blocking compensation to the plaintiffs.

So far, only $10 million, or $1,000 each, has been awarded to the victims and their kin. The money is not even part of the $2.7-billion compensatory and exemplary damages awarded by the Hawaii court but is from a settlement with Marcos crony, Jose Yao Campos, who has real estate properties in Texas and Colorado.

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This narrative is from the affidavit of a shop owner who was arrested in Quezon City on July 17, 1974, tortured and detained for one year and seven months. He underwent severe beatings and electric shock “applied liberally all over my body, especially the genital area.” But “what I will never forget is the cruel extraction of two of my molars.” When the military dentist learned he was a political detainee, he pulled out the teeth without anesthesia.