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FACT CHECK: JPE’s revelation on Martial Law in a tete-a-tete with Bongbong Marcos

Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., son of the late president Ferdinand Marcos, interviews Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile in a tete-a-tete about the events that led to the declaration of Martial Law in 1972. (Photo screengrabbed: facebook.com/Bongbong Marcos)

In line with the 46th year anniversary on the declaration of Martial Law in the country, former Senator Bongbong Marcos Jr., via his official Facebook page, uploaded a video of what seemed to be a tete-a-tete with former Senator Juan Ponce-Enrile.

The one-on-one dialogue between Marcos and Enrile focused on the latter’s revelations about Martial Law.

Enrile was the Defense Minister during the Marcos regime.

“History was totally distorted to favor one group. Little by little, the truth will come out,” Enrile said.

The 95-year-old Enrile clarified some of the misconceptions and questions that had led to the reasons of the late President Ferdinand Marcos to sign Proclamation 1081. The former Defense minister made certain points on some important aspects in the 1972 Martial Law:

JPE on Martial Law ‘misconceptions’ 

During the first two to three years of Martial Law, you can open your window and leave your house. Nobody will touch it, that’s how peaceful the country was,” Enrile stated. He justified the current misconception of the so-called ‘millennials’ to the term Martial Law wherein it was tagged as a bloody and darkest era in Philippine history.

Enrile then mentioned about the curfew and the number of people that have been arrested for violating the law. He slammed the claims that thousands of people have been arrested and killed during the implementation of the nationwide martial law.

According to reports, at least 70,000 individuals were arrested and detained illegally. However, Enrile himself cleared the issue by stating that it might be possible “if you are a member of the rebel group or a warlord or someone who violated criminal law.” He then shared one instance during his interview where someone had mentioned the number of deaths under the Marcos regime.

I challenged her, name me one that we executed other than Lim Seng? People can go out at night…they are free in fact,” he said.

However, in a report published in 1982 by the Amnesty International, over 50,000 people were arrested under emergency regulations in the first three years of martial law and almost all of whom were detained without charge or trial. Enrile also answered that the likes of former Sen. Jovito Salonga and Sen. Jose “Pepe” Diokno were arrested for a while but were then released.

Enrile then discussed the Mendiola massacre or the “Black Thursday” incident, where state security forces violently dispersed farmers protesting over the government’s lack of action on land reform, leaving at least 12 dead and 51 others injured.

During martial law, there were no massacres like what happened in Mendiola during the supposed democratic government of Cory Aquino,” he said.

The former Defense Minister also defended the claims that the “Jabidah Massacre” was a ploy made by the Marcos regime since no one from Corregidor had complained about the alleged ‘massacre’ in the area. The Jabidah Massacre was the slaughter of at least 28 Moro men recruited for an operation to invade Sabah in March 1968.

The viral video has now reached 250,000 views and 16,000 shares on Facebook. Based on the comments’ section, a staff from the side of Bongbong Marcos announced that the part 2 of the said one-on-one interview with Enrile will be posted on Saturday, September 22 at 7 PM.

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