Kapihan sa Bantayog Speaks of Untold Stories and Unpaid Debts of the Marcos Regime

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Quezon City, Philippines – “Millennials will not understand [Martial Law] unless we tell the stories. Salvage means to save but the meaning of the word under Marcos is to torture you and kill,,” said Dr. Crispin Maslog at the recently concluded Kapihan sa Bantayog.

Kapihan sa Bantayog: Untold Stories and Unpaid Debts of the Marcos Regime was held yesterday, March 23, 2017 through the initiative of Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation in partnership with DAKILA and Asian Institute of Journalism and Communications – Student Government. The event is done in celebration of the International Women’s Month and the UN International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims.

The Kapihan featured the launch of the book, “Martial Law Jokes, atbp.” By Dr. Crispin Maslog. According to Dr. Maslog, “Jokes are a way under the dictatorship for people to express their emotions because freedom was oppressed.”

Also featured in the event is a video presentation of the untold stories of women during the Martial Law period.

Discussions on the Unpaid Debts of the Marcos Regime and the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act (RA 10368) followed with panelists Gen. Lina Sarmiento, Chairperson of the Human Rights Violations Victims Claims Board, and Former Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights, Ms. Loretta “Etta” Ann Rosales.

In her speech, Gen. Sarmiento clarified the processes needed to be taken by the claimants in order to apply for the reparation, following the release last March 22 in their Facebook Page the list of the first 4,000 eligible claimants. People can also visit www.hrvclaimsboard.gov.ph for a step-by-step process on the application and to track their claims.

Also backed this up is Former Chairperson Rosales, who also shared the importance of recognizing the heroes during the Martial Law era. According to Former Chairperson Rosales, “I think that the history and the integrity of the history of what happened to the claimants, and to the survivors, as well as what is happening right now is so important in influencing the consciousness of the people, with respect to how important it is to fight for your rights, justice, and freedom.”

In the same way, Dakila’s Organizing Director, Rash Caritativo, shared the importance of such event, “People, especially millennials, are faced with wrong information about our country’s history. Talks like this are very helpful in reminding the young generation about the atrocities during a very dark period in our country’s history.

Hopefully, initiatives like this will not only inform people about the history, but also spark in them a concern for human rights.”

Kapihan sa Bantayog was held at the Big Function Room of Sen. Jovito Salonga Building at the Bantayog Center in Quezon City and is part of the Journey with Heroes Project initiated by Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation.

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