QC honoring ‘1081’ victims
Manila, Philippines – Groups from local government units (LGUs), civil society organizations and government agencies personnel join Martial Law survivors who will troop today at the Quezon Protected Landscape (QPL) in Quezon City where white ribbons will be tied to 25 century-year-old trees in memory of victims who were allegedly tortured, killed and remain missing.
Remembering September 21, 1972, Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales described it as a fitting time to commemorate martial law, which was imposed by Presidential Decree 1081, by also honoring the victims in Pinagbanderahan in Atimonan, Quezon which is a historic place where Filipino freedom fighters fought and died to raise the Philippine flag during World War II.
Calling the forest park an “extended museum” where 25 century-year-old trees will represent the initial 25 sectors of martial law heroes, Rosales said the CHR is mandated to implement the Compensation Law and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is empowered to preserve and protect the QPL to “preserve the forest ecosystems and uphold the human rights and dignity of the Filipinos.”
The forest park is seen to be an extended museum of the Martial Law Heroes Museum that will be set up in Metro Manila.
“Naming each tree per victim of martial law atrocities will immortalize the memory and the stories of every martial law hero who was tortured and killed during the time of Marcos,” Rosales said.
The 17-strong board members of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau Management unanimously approved the CHR proposal to soft launch the commemorative forest museum in Atimonan today.
Martial Law Files Manager Myrna Jimenez called the 192-year-old Tanguile, 176-year old Arangan, 159-year old Balete and other trees standing tall and robust in the forest park the “trees of valor.”
“The virtues the trees represent are our legacy to the future generations of Filipinos who will ensure that martial law will never happen again,” Jimenez said.
Rosales noted the rich literature, songs and music of Quezon Province against one-man rule will be collected and placed in the forest museum for the “students of today to understand the past”.
The CHR chief added that the protection of natural resources and biodiversity of flora and fauna found in the protected areas reflect the appreciation of the Filipino cultural heritage.