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Films about Martial Law, Marcoses to have free screening at Bantayog on Ninoy Aquino Day

By NICK GARCIA Published Aug 18, 2022 7:17 pm

A network of independent and progressive media outfits will stream six films about Martial Law and the Marcoses on Ninoy Aquino Day, Aug. 21. 

Altermidya on Aug. 17 said it will launch "AlternaTV: Ang Katotohanan sa mga Marcos at Martial Law" at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City. 

The Bantayog is a memorial park that honors the martyrs and heroes during the dark period in Philippine history. The film showing will be held exactly a month before the 50th anniversary of Ferdinand Marcos' Sept. 21 declaration.

From 10 am to 4:30 pm, the following films will be screened:

  • The Kingmaker by Lauren Greenfield
  • Ang mga Alingawngaw sa Panahon ng Pagpapasya by Hector Barreto Calma
  • Portraits of Mosquito Press by JL Burgos
  • Liway by Kip Oebanda
  • Edjop by Alternative Horizon
  • He Never Wrote 30 by Kadao Productions

"Ang film showing na ito ay BUONG ARAW at LIBRE PARA SA LAHAT!" Altermidya said, adding it's in line with the "ML@50" network, a campaign from various groups and individuals seeking to remember Martial Law atrocities and counter historical distortion.

Critics of the Marcoses and Martial Law survivors have been advocating for such kind of films amid historical distortion concerns over social media, and the rise of the popular movie Maid in Malacañang by controversial director Darryl Yap.

In Maid in Malacañang, activists were depicted as carrying sulo or torches and nuns were shown playing mahjong with former president Cory Aquino, who fictitiously told somebody on the phone to get the Marcoses out of the Philippines.

During Martial Law, Amnesty International data showed there were over 3,200 extrajudicial killings, 35,000 tortures, 70 “disappearances” or desaparecidos, and 70,000 imprisoned.

According to the World Bank and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Marcoses siphoned as much as $10 billion (P521.8 billion) from the government coffers during their two-decade rule.

The Marcoses were kicked out of Malacañang through the EDSA People Power in 1986. In the coming years, however, the Marcoses managed to rehabilitate their image and claw their way back to power.

Things went full circle when the dictator's son and namesake Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. was proclaimed president on June 30 after a landslide victory on May 9, marking the return of another Marcos in Malacañang nearly four decades since their family went into exile.

Ninoy Aquino Day, meanwhile, is observed as a special non-working holiday every Aug. 21, in accordance with Republic Act No. 9256.

It marks the day the opposition senator was assassinated at the defunct Manila International Airport (MIA) in 1983, when he returned from exile during Marcos's martial rule.

The MIA was renamed to Ninoy Aquino International Airport via Republic Act 6639 in 1987 during the term of Cory. Several lawmakers, however, want to rename the airport as part of a string of attempts to erase his name from the gateway.