Reaction Paper about Martial Law
On September 21, 1972, President Ferdinand E. Marcos placed the Philippines under Martial Law. The declaration issued under Proclamation 1081 suspended the civil rights and imposed military authority in the country. Marcos defended the declaration stressing the need for extra powers to quell the rising wave of violence allegedly caused by communists. As I watched the 11 clips of Martial Law, different feelings showed up in me. At first, knowing that a bright Filipino would take over the president’s position during those times, I feel contented because my impression regarding how he would rule the Philippines will be on a good state. However, as I continued watching the clips, my contentment feeling became anger because as he proclaimed that the Philippines will be under Martial Law, my good impression about him was ruined. Benigno Aquino Jr. issued a warning during his speech since he is a newly elected senate; he stated that the Philippines under Ferdinand Marcos was slowly being in a “garrison state” wherein the country will be under the control of militarist forces. When I saw this scene, I was actually agreeing with what Sen. Aquino said. During the early 1970s, the anti-government started doing rallies concerning the increase of price of gasoline and basic commodities, presence of US Military bases in the Philippines, foreign control over economy, corruption in the government and widening gap between rich and poor. In this kind of scene, the government should start having reform movements so that the protests of the people will not be wasted but instead of this, violence is the government’s response. The government should understand the side of the mass but they were contradicted to what they are supposed to be doing. I also recalled in the film was the Plaza Miranda which was the symbol of democracy and freedom of speech since the activists and politicians gathers here.
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