Gov’t vows maximum tolerance vs. martial law protesters

MANILA — Government law enforcers will be exercising maximum tolerance during rallies, in line with the 46th anniversary of Martial Law declared by the late president Ferdinand Marcos on Sept. 21, 1972, the Palace assured on Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the assurance as thousands of activists are expected to join nationwide protests on Friday (September 21) to mark the declaration of martial law over four decades ago.

“We will give maximum tolerance to everyone, because after all the President (Rodrigo R. Duterte) was not the one who declared martial law in September 21 many years ago,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.

Roque pointed out that the President respects the people’s right to free expression.

Wala naman pong makakareklamo kay Presidente na balat-sibuyas si Presidente — hinayaan niya, kinikilala niya ang importansiya ng malayang pananalita (Nobody can say that the President is onion-skinned — he allows it, he recognizes the importance of free speech),” Roque said.

On Sept. 21, 1972, Marcos signed Proclamation 1081, placing the Philippines under martial law.

This period has since been remembered as among the darkest periods in Philippine history as it saw several human rights violations, including killings, illegal detention, and torture by the military.