Tuesday, September 22, 2009

US remember: Martial Law

SAN FRANCISCO, California — Filipinos all over the US on Monday commemorated the anniversary of the 1972 declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines during the Marcos regime.

Filipinos on four US cities joined hands in this remembrance through series of events. Gabriela USA led the events in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York City.

A discussion about “Remembering the Victims, Honoring the Martyrs" with Rex Fernandez, human rights lawyer and legal consultant for Melissa Roxas, was held at the San Francisco State University Burk Hall in San Francisco, while a film showing of award-winning Filipino film “Dekada 70" was held at the Manila Terrace Community Hall in Historic Filipinotown in Los Angeles.

Filipinos in Seattle, Washington held a symposium with a theme “Alala: To Remember" to learn more about the Philippines during a time of declared Martial Law, “over 20 years of a repressive regime and its lasting effects on a nation."

Gabriela USA in New York also led a short film screening and discussion about the life during the Martial Law era in the Philippines.

Bayan USA that includes Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment, AnakBayan New York and New Jersey, and New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines also spearheaded the event held at the Bluestockings Bookstore in downtown New York.

Gabriela USA chair Raquel Redondiez said that the group remembers the thousands of victims killed and abducted under martial rule. “And more importantly, we reaffirm our commitment to seek justice for the victims of Martial Law, as well as those who have perished under Gloria’s Marcos-like reign," she said, adding that Filipino American women in the US and members of Gabriela USA remain vigilant against the return of the dark days of the Marcos tyranny.

Claudia Alexandra Paras, chair of Pinay, the Seattle-based member organization of Gabriela USA also remembered and honored the resilience of the Filipino people during the Martial Law. “As Gabriela members in the US, the anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law is an important reminder of the resilience of our people," Paras said in a statement.

Los Angeles-based Terrie Cervas of Sigaw or Sisters of Gabriela Awaken also shared that the group is one with the nation in commemorating the Martial Law era. She said, “We will continue to fight for justice for our sisters like Melissa Roxas and Rebelyn Pitao, the most recent women victims of enforced disappearances and political killings under the Arroyo regime."