September 21 indeed is a very significant date in the history of our country. This is annually remembered but not celebrated because most reports in media, even in some public fora, give focus only on the negative aspects of the historic event.
There were indeed killings – called extra-judicial killings – as used in these times; of personalities identified as communist sympathizers and those who actively joined the rebellion, led by the Communist Party of the Philippines whose main objective was to overthrow the existing government. The rebellion almost succeeded because there were already several barangays especially in rural areas which were already controlled by the communist. In fact these barangays were already headed and operated by communist leaders. They were identified as shadow government because the official barangay officials still functioned.
To be an activist was a popular breastplate among students and young leaders in those times.
Graft and corruption was rampant then. It was because of this situation that on Sept 21, 1972 President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos declared Presidential Proclamation No 1081 putting the whole nation under a military rule or Martial Law. The president laid down 2 major objectives for such: “ to stop rebellion and create a New Society.”
For the many of us who already were matured enough during the Martial Law period know that indeed there were a lot of transformation in the way government was administered. Rebellion was neutralized, graft and corruption got checked and the most important achievement was the spread of massive infrastructure projects nationwide and were effectively done. Marcos-type school buildings were constructed even in far-flung barangays. And many more.
I find it a necessity therefore that after 47 years when Martial Law was declared that patriotic and responsible Filipino citizens to organize a group to help inform the millennial about the positive side of Martial Law to be fair and credible when one reads Philippine history.