10 Essential Truths About
Martial Law


Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos placed the Philippines under Martial Law after signing Proclamation No. 1081 on September 21, 1972. Despite formally lifting the proclamation on January 17, 1981, Marcos still retained his powers as dictator until he was ousted by the Filipino People during the People Power Revolution of February 25, 1986. Covering more than thirteen years of recent Philippine History, the 1972-1986 Martial Law Period contains a large amount of facts and topics that are difficult to fully discuss in a classroom setting among students of social studies and history. 

Through the assistance of various academic institutions and expert-consultants on the period, the Memorial Commission has condensed the various topics and lessons that can be drawn from the period into Ten Essential Truths:

  1. Marcos declared Martial Law to stay in power.
  2. There were gross human rights violations by police and military forces during the Marcos Martial Law period.
  3. The foundations of democracy and the rule of law were dismantled to create a dictatorship.
  4. The dictatorship was resisted by different sectors and pushed many young people into armed struggle to fight for justice and freedom.
  5. Massive corruption by Marcos and his cronies resulted in mass poverty and the destruction of the environment.
  6. This was the dark age of the Philippine economy when it had the worst-post war recession due to mismanagement.
  7. Media was attacked and repressed to censor the truth.
  8. Protest art and culture developed to counter widespread deception and propaganda.
  9. Institutions of Faith were mobilized for social and political action.
  10. People power was nationwide in scope and demonstrated an alternative way of bringing down an authoritarian regime.

Fast Facts about
Martial Law


Essential Truths 72-86
Infographic Design Competition


The design competition was hosted by the U.P. Department of History and the U.P. College of Fine Arts in partnership with HRVVMC. The contest’s focus was on the Essential Truths on the Martial Law years, particularly on the truths surrounding the declaration of Martial Law. Its aim was to feature skills and talents of the students in making socially relevant infographic design.


The Jurors


It was launched on September 21, 2019 and opened to all students of U.P. Diliman. In recognition of the need to reach out to the students and the youth, the submitted works will be displayed in the Freedom Memorial Museum. In addition, the winning entry will be included in the resource materials on the eEssential Truths on the Martial Law years provided by the HRVVMC. The panel of judges included Dr. Kerby Clado Alvarez and Asst. Prof. Francisco Jayme Paolo A. Guiang of the U.P department of History and Asst. Prof. Marc J. San Valentin of the U.P. College of Fine Arts. 


Infographics Entries


The Winner


The Essential Truths 72-86: an Infographic Design Competition culminated last December 21, 2019 with announcement of the winner. Rex Menard L. Cervales bested the 25 submitted entries. He clinched the grand prize worth php 20,000.00. 

The winner is a 1st year bs community nutrition student. He served as the business manager for the Philippine Collegian, as well as the writer for the Rebel Kule. 

Congratulations Rex!


Educational Outreach Activities



Liway Film Screening

HRVVMC’s education program recognizes the value of using various methods in teaching the events that have happened from 1972 – 1986. Film screening has been one of these methods.

HRVVMC have been searching for partners around the Philippines who could conduct a special film screening of “Liway”, a film written and directed by Mr. Kip Oebanda. This film was one of the highest grossing Filipino independent films in Cinemalaya History that showcases the life of a child who grew up in prison because his parents were caught by agents of the state for fighting against Martial Law.

This educational outreach activity aims to impart all the values that can be learned from one of the most important periods in the Philippine History, to further understand the impacts of the Marcos Administration at the grassroots level and to gather insights from the students, teachers, parents relative to the 1972 – 1986 Martial Law. Given the value of insights and inputs of both teachers and students about the film, each screening would be concluded through a panel discussion composed of speakers from the partner institution, HRVVMC, CHR, and other organizations advocating for human rights.

If you would like to hold a Liway Film Screening for your school, you may email us at thefreedommemorialph@gmail.com or fill up the form below.

Students of University of Pangasinan posing with their free popcorn snacks for the Liway Film Screening at their school