Profiles of Courage

Amando Ermitano Doronila

Amando Ermitano Doronila was born on February 6, 1928 in Dumangas, Philippines.[2] The son of Arsenio Dolar Doronila and Marcelina (Guiang) Ermitano, he obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration in the University of East Manila in 1953 before beginning his career as a reporter and columnist in the Manila Bulletin. He would move on to become a political columnist in the Daily Mirror, Manila from 1963-1972. Before the onset of Martial Law, he also became President of the National Press Club of the Philippines, and frequented the University of the Philippines as a part-time lecturer in Journalism.

By then, Marcos and the government had been increasingly critical of the media’s coverage of his administration. This had especially been the case following a spate of corruption allegations put forward by the ABS-CBN network. A wave of libel suits were launched against media groups and organizations, and Doronila would go on record stating that whenever the president outwardly displayed hostility, a coercive atmosphere pervaded the media bureaucracy.[3] Despite the intensifying climate, the Chronicle maintained a vocal opposition against the administration. It became one of the few networks to openly oppose the suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus after the 1971 Plaza Miranda Bombings.

Doronila and many other journalists such as Louis Beltran and Maximo Soliven, continuously warned Filipinos that Marcos was attempting to frighten the people into Martial Law. That it was only a question of when, and not if, it would occur was recalled by himself years later.[4] Before midnight of September 22 that year, he received a call from Johnny Araneta at home in Blue Ridge, Quezon City. Juan Ponce Enrile was said to have been ambushed near the Wack-Wack Golf and Country Club. Immediately, Amando dialed to check the graveyard shift at the Chronicle Newsroom, but no answer came. Switching on the radio and television – he realized they had been cut off as well.

Amando was detained not long afterwards – alongside hundreds of other pre-selected targets before Marcos officially released and addressed the nation about Proclamation 1081.[5] The preparations for Martial Law which began early in Marcos’ second term shocked and disarmed the nation so quickly that there was little room for organized resistance. Doronila would be released early in December 1972, but under a number of conditions similar to his co-detainees. He was made to sign an oath promising not to participate in anti-national activities, barred from resuming work without a permit from the army, and required to report periodically to the army – effectively placing him under house arrest. He was also barred from giving or participating in any interview with any local or foreign media correspondents for any publication, news, TV or radio broadcast.[6]

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[1] retrieved from https://cpcabrisbane.org/Kasama/2004/V18n2/Change.htm.

[2] “Amando Ermitano Doronila”, Prabook.

[3] statement quoted from Press Forum, August-September 1971. Retrieved from Lent, John A. (1 March 1974), “The Philippines Under Martial Law”, Index on Censorship, Vol 3, Issue 1.

[4] Doronila, Amando (24 September 2014), “The Night Marcos Declared Martial Law”. The Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved from https://opinion.inquirer.net/78720/the-night-marcos-declared-martial-law

[5] Official Gazette of the Philippines, “Declaration of Martial Law”, Retrieved from https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/featured/declaration-of-martial-law/

[6] In the matter of petition for habeas corpus of Benigno S. Aquino v Juan Ponce Enrile.
GR No. L-35546, Sep 17, 1974.

May hyperlink to the article on ABS-CBN or on Eugenio Lopez Jr.

Photo of Amando Doronila, retrieved from the
Solidarity Philippines Australia Network website[1]
Photo of Amando Doronila, retrieved from the Solidarity Philippines Australia Network website[1]

Doronila, Amando Ermitano

Birthday: N/A

Parents: N/A

Spouse: N/A

Children: N/A

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