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President Marcos Press Conference on the State of Martial Law (1972)

AP Archive

1972

President Marcos Press Conference on the State of Martial Law (1972)

AP Archive

On 28 September 1972, less than a week after declaring Martial Law, President Ferdinand Marcos held a press conference on the state of the country. In this appearance, he reassures Filipinos that things are much better since his declaration and congratulates himself for “the sudden cessation of anarchy and criminality throughout the land.” He also proclaimed that he was implementing land reform throughout the Philippines and pledged that his administration would respect human rights.

This became a standard message during the Marcos regime under Martial Law, although most of the content were false and empty promises.

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“President Marcos Press Conference on the State of Martial Law,” Associated Press Archives, September 28, 1972.

Signos (1983)

Mike de Leon, Jose F. Lacaba, Sylvia Mayuga, Ricardo Lee, Ding Achacoso, Joe Cuaresma, Lito Tiongson, Jovy Zarate

2018

Signos (1983)

Mike de Leon, Jose F. Lacaba, Sylvia Mayuga, Ricardo Lee, Ding Achacoso, Joe Cuaresma, Lito Tiongson, Jovy Zarate

In this documentary, journalists, human rights lawyers, activists, labor leaders, and artists emphasize the work, the risks, and the hardships that came with challenging the Marcos dictatorship. They discuss issues of red-baiting and repression that led to the suffering and deaths of those who fought for democracy in the Philippines. “Ang batas ay hindi masyadong masama (the law is not that bad),” says former senator Jose W. Diokno in the film. “Ang masama ay ang pagka-intindi ng mga militar at pulis sa kahulugan ng batas (what’s bad is the interpretation of the military and police on the spirit of the law).”

The film begins with interviews of people visiting Ninoy Aquino’s wake at the Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City. It then moves to the experience of people representing various sectors: Sr. Christine Tan of Justice for Aquino, Justice for All; Joe Burgos, publisher of the independent newspaper Malaya; journalists Armando Malay and Ceres Doyo; former senator Jose W. Diokno; Letty Magsanoc, former editor of Philippine Panorama; Rene Saguisag, MABINI lawyer; Lino Brocka of Concerned Artists of the Philippines; Loretta Rosales of Alliance of Concerned Teachers; Ka Felicing Villados, labor leader; Popsing Malonzo of Kilusang Mayo Uno; Dr Sylvia de la Paz of the Medical Action Group; Elmer Mercado of League of Filipino Students; Sr Mariani Dimaranan of Tasks Force Detainees of the Philippines; Jaime Cardinal Sin, archbishop of Manila; and Ramon del Rosario, Jr, businessman.

Notable is the representation of mainstream celebrities and filmmakers who rose against censorship and human rights violations. The Manila Film Center and the Manila International Film Festival are visible in the background of protests and interviews. Director Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Anita Linda, Johnny Delgado, Bembol Roco, Mitch Valdez, and Gina Alajar are seen speaking out in a mass demonstration against the Board of Review for Motion Pictures and Television headed by Maria Kalaw Katigbak.

The film itself is collectively made–the hierarchy of credits flattened–by artists who by this time were already quite renowned in the cinema scene, including director Mike de Leon, writers Jose F. Lacaba and Ricky Lee, and musician Ding Achacoso. “It was no accident that this documentary heavily influenced my depiction of the major characters of Sister Stella L.,” said de Leon, referring to the film starring Vilma Santos that he directed under Regal Films the following year. “Sister Christine and Ka Felicing became my templates for the characters of the two Sister Stellas and the union leader Ka Dencio.”

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Mike de Leon, Jose F. Lacaba, Sylvia Mayuga, Ricardo Lee, Ding Achacoso, Joe Cuaresma, Lito Tiongson, Jovy Zarate, “Signos,” Vimeo video, uploaded by Citizen Jake, 38:33, December 4, 2018
https://vimeo.com/304516355.
https://vimeo.com/696054524?login=true

Philippines Information Bulletin

Various Authors

1973

Philippines Information Bulletin

Various Authors

The inaugural issue of the Philippines Information Bulletin. Started in 1973 by U.S.-based allies of the anti-Marcos movement, the Bulletin was in operation until 1976. The publication, which was eventually guided by the Friends of the Filipino People, kept people in the United States up to date on martial law developments in the Philippines as well as the role that the United States played in supporting the Marcos presidency.

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Philippines Information Bulletin 1, no. 1 (January 1973).

Letter of Instruction No. 1

Ferdinand E. Marcos

1972

Letter of Instruction No. 1

Ferdinand E. Marcos

Along with Proclamation 1081, President Marcos, signed “Letter of Instruction No. 1″ addressed to the Press Secretary and the Secretary of National Defense, pertaining to media operations. Effectively, the President instructed these bodies, stating…”you are hereby ordered forthwith to take over and control or cause the taking over and control of all such newspapers, magazines, radio and television facilities and all other media of communications, wherever they are, for the duration of the present national emergency, or until otherwise ordered by me or my duly designated representative.”

After declaring Martial Law, the very first letter of instruction President Marcos signed institutionalized censorship of all forms of media, curtailing the freedom of the press.

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Marcos, Ferdinand E., “Letter of Instruction No. 1,” Official Gazette, Government of the Philippines, September 22, 1972.

The Philippine Press Under Siege, Volumes 1 and 2

National Press Club of the Philippines and the Committee to Protect Writers

1984

The Philippine Press Under Siege, Volumes 1 and 2

National Press Club of the Philippines and the Committee to Protect Writers

This two volume anthology contains newspaper articles by prominent journalists who wrote courageously about the authoritarian regime of President Marcos while he was still in power. It is the first time these articles have been gathered together in a book. As the foreword states, these articles “show the kind of ‘dangerous writing’ that has brought about the forced resignation, firing, blacklisting, arrest or detention of journalists, the padlocking or sequestering of a newspaper’s printing plant and equipment, and the filing of multi-million peso libel suits or subversive charges against writers, editors and publishers.”

The second volume contains more articles to serve as a “graphic documentation of the blood-and-sand state of a profession under siege, underlying the personal struggles and heartbreaks of the men and women of the Philippine press who now work under the shadow of death itself.”

Aptly called “The Philippine Press Under Seige.” A truly valuable anthology.

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The Philippine Press Under Siege. Manila: National Press Club of the Philippines, 1984.

Malaya, September 1-4, 1983

Various authors.

1983

Malaya, September 1-4, 1983

Various authors.

This special issue by the liberal newspaper, Malaya, covers the funeral of Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr., which was attended by millions of Filipinos. The headline refers to this event “as a new chapter” in Philippines history. For many, this was the beginning of the end of the regime of President Marcos.

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“Millions pay last respects for Ninoy,” Malaya Newspaper, September 1-4, 1983.

Balita News, June 2, 1983.

Balita News Team

1983

Balita News, June 2, 1983.

Balita News Team

Retrieved from the online library of the Bantayog Foundation, this copy of the Balita News Tabloid, then owned by Marcos Crony Hanz Menzi, offers perspective on the selection and positioning of media news connected with the Administration. The issue features an article titled “Canadian priest is Harassed by gov’t” referring to the harassment of the clergy in Mindanao – including Canadian Father Pat Kelly and German Nationals arrested with Karl Gaspar. Another article later in the paper also speculates on whether Former Senator Benigno Aquino would be returning in time for the 1984 Parliamentary elections.

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Balita News Tabloid. Vol. 5. No. 18. 2 June 1983.

Days of Disquiet, Nights of Rage: The First Quarter Storm and Other Related Events

Jose Lacaba

1986

Days of Disquiet, Nights of Rage: The First Quarter Storm and Other Related Events

Jose Lacaba

A compilation of gripping on-the-spot reports on the First Quarter Storm first published in the Philippine Free Press and the Asia-Philippines Leader, Days of Disquiet, Nights of Rage was a pioneering example of the New Journalism emerging in the country in the 1970s. “Of our journalists, one of the most able in the new style is Jose F. Lacaba. As TV and newsreel do, he puts you right on the scene… [H]e communicates the emotion, even the meaning of what’s happening without having to spell it out.” – Quijano de Manila

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Lacaba, Jose. Days of Disquiet, Nights of Rage: The First Quarter Storm and Other Related Events. Asphodel Books, 1986.

The Philippines Sunday Express, September 24, 1972

Various Authors

1972

The Philippines Sunday Express, September 24, 1972

Various Authors

The cover page of the Philippines Sunday Express dated September 24, 1972 shows President Marcos declaring Martial Law just the day before. Accompanying articles explain that this declaration was not a military take-over and that life and business would go on as normal. And yet, the newspaper cover alone elicits a sense of foreboding of what is to come.

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“FM Declares Martial Law,” The Philippines Sunday Express, September 24, 1972.