Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Remembering Sept. 21, 1972

1081 Proclamation 1081 is signed by President Ferdinand Marcos on Sept. 21, 1972, placing the entire country under martial law.

1935 Constitution provision stating the President can impose martial rule in the country or any part of it when public safety requires it is invoked by Marcos.

The trigger is the reported ambush of Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile by communists who riddled his car with bullets.

(On the first day of the People Power revolt on Feb. 22, 1986, Enrile admitted the ambush was staged to justify the imposition of martial law.)

49 persons from the Greater Manila Area are immediately arrested on Sept. 22, 1972 by the AFP. Among the more prominent are Senators Benigno Aquino Jr., Jose Diokno, Ramon Mitra, Sergio OsmeƱa III, businessman Eugenio Lopez Jr., activist teacher Loretta Ann “Etta” Rosales, human rights lawyer Haydee Yorac and journalist Amando Doronila.

The AFP closes all media offices and arrests persons suspected of being involved in alleged rebellious activities.

On Sept. 23, 1972, Press Secretary Francisco Tatad announces the imposition of martial law and reads the Marcos proclamation in a nationwide televised broadcast.

12-4 a.m. curfew is now in place. Marcos abolishes Congress, moves to consolidate control over the media, Manila Electric Co., Philippine Airlines, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and other major communication and utility firms. Marcos also bans rallies.

22,287 individuals arrested from February 1974 to February 1986, according to Task Force Detainees of the Philippines.

706 persons disappear during the same period, according to TFDP figures.

880 massacred.

154 tortured.

2,491 summarily executed.

Source: The Philippine Daily Inquirer, 21 September 2005