Press statement of Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang - Samar Island (CARMMA-Samar Island)
April 11, 2016
More than 40 years ago, Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law. We all know what happened – in one sweep, he perpetuated himself as president and usurped the powers of congress and the supreme court unto himself. He crushed the opposition, jailing senators, congressmen, labor leaders, students, journalists – all who opposed him.
In Samar Island, with his martial law powers, he carved more than half a million hectares of forests into logging concessions which he awarded to his cronies, supporters and friends and to keep the politicians under his patronage. Whole villages were massacred (barangay Sagod in Las Navas, Gebarin in Marabut) to keep people away from these logging concessions. In one stroke of a pen, he declared that all areas in Samar Island rich in bauxite be part of a Bauxite Mining Reserve (PD 1615). Gold deposits in Samar were mined and flown directly to the conjugal dictators.
Thousands were arrested, tortured, raped, killed and disappeared. The video of the Commission of Human Rights entitled “So, Why Samar?” reported the atrocious and unimaginable human rights abuses – people were cooked as “lechon”; women were not only raped but their breasts were sliced off; human livers were cut off to be grilled and eaten by soldiers; fathers were buried standing in the ground with only the head left above ground, then burned down. Unimaginable atrocities!
The plunder of our forests and minerals left us with untold agonies of our families whose parents, sons, daughters, sisters and brothers were jailed, tortured, and killed, and disappeared. And long after the dictatorship was defeated by our anti-dictatorship struggle, the loss of half a million of forests during martial law led to flash floods, landslides, loss of crops, people killed, livelihoods lost – just what happened in 1989. The plunder of our forests was only stopped when an indefinite logging moratorium in Samar Island was declared in 1989 by Sec. Fulgecio Factoran.
Today, were are now confronted with this issue: will we allow the Marcos family back to Malacañang? Will we allow the election of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as the vice president of our nation? NO!
Let us not forget the loss of lives of thousands of Samareños.
Let us not forget the loss of our forests and valuable minerals that only left us poorer.
Let us not be blinded by the glint of gold that was stolen from us!
No to the election of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (Bongbong)!