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President Benigno S. Aquino III led the Filipino nation in honoring the heroes and martyrs of the Martial Law at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Diliman, Quezon City on Friday.
The Chief Executive attended the event on Remembering Martial Law and the Struggle for Freedom and Justice where he was guest of honor and keynote speaker. With the theme “A Tribute to Martial Law Heroes and Martyrs,” the event also marks the 40th Anniversary of the Martial Law.
To honor the people who lived and died in defiance of the repressive Martial Law regime from 1972 to 1996, a Wall of Remembrance stands in the corner of Quezon Avenue and EDSA where the names of the martyrs are inscribed. They include students, workers, farmers, teachers, lawyers, journalists, justices, local government officials, religious, and soldiers.
The Bantayog’s Wall of Remembrance is a granite structure that serves as the centerpiece of the whole Bantayog complex. Information about these courageous individuals may be viewed in a special section of the Bantayog Museum, called the Hall of Remembrance.
The Chief Executive was joined by National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) chairperson Dr. Maria Serena “Maris” Diokno, Bantayog ng Mga Bayani Foundation executive director Nievelena Rosete, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Soliman, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma, Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Secretary Ronald Llamas, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino and Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim.
Also in attendance were Deputy Speaker Lorenzo “Erin” R. Tañada III, Quezon City Rep. Jorge “ Bolet” Banal, Bagong Henerasyon party-list representative Bernadette Herrera-Dy, Armed Forces Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu, Philippine Navy Flag Officer in Command Vice Admiral Alexander Pama, Lt. Gen. Lauro Catalino dela Cruz, and Atty. Felipe Gozun.
High school students from Quezon City, NHCP and Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation officials, representatives from various local government units (LGUs) and some descendants of the deceased heroes of the Martial Law regime were also present.
On September 23, 1972, then President Ferdinand E. Marcos appeared on television to announce to the entire Filipino nation that he has put the entire Philippines under a state of Martial Law.
Marcos, subsequently, locked down Congress and established a totalitarian government. The Martial Law regime ended following the historic 1986 EDSA Revolution.