Tatad dares FVR, Enrile: Tell the truth about Martial Law


“ATONEMENT is not enough.”

Former senator Francisco Tatad has called on two fellow martial law-era officials – Fidel Ramos and Juan Ponce Enrile – to reveal the truth about the alleged atrocities and human rights violations during the rule of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

Tatad made the challenge on Wednesday, after ex-president Ramos expressed displeasure over last week’s burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

But Ramos parried questions over his own role during martial law by saying he had atoned for his sins by turning against Marcos during the 1986 EDSA “People Power” revolt.

Tatad however said Ramos’ atonement was not enough.

“I challenge him to speak. Wala na siyang sala, napatawad na siya pero `yung nangyari kailangan ibahagi niya sa bayan ang kanyang nalalaman, kasi maraming mga biktima diyan [He has been forgiven for his sins but he must share with the nation what he knows, because there were many victims],” he said.

Ramos and Enrile were the administrators of martial law, said Tatad, who read the Martial Law proclamation on September 23, 1972 on television and quit as Marcos’ information minister in 1980, six years ahead of Marcos’ ouster.

Ramos was head of the Philippine Constabulary during Marcos’ one-man rule.

Enrile, Marcos’ defense chief, admitted during the “People Power” revolt to faking his own ambush, which was one of the justifications for the declaration of martial law. The former senator however took this admission back in his 2012 book “Juan Ponce Enrile: A Memoir.”

“Mayroong administrators ang Martial Law, si JPE (Enrile) and Ramos. Why don’t we ask them? Ang sabi ni FVR (Ramos) ‘Humingi na ako ng tawad nang ako’y nag martsa sa EDSA.’ Okay kung `yun ay atonement. Pero ipaliwanag niyo sa bayan ano ba ang nangyari talaga [There were Martial Law administrators, Enrile and Ramos. Why don’t we ask them? Ramos said he had sought forgiveness when he marched on EDSA. That’s okay if that is atonement. But explain to the nation what really happened],” said Tatad during the weekly Kapihan sa Manila Bay media forum at Café Adriatico in Malate, Manila.

Tatad added: “Si Marcos ba ang nagtuturo? Siya ba ang naglilista ng mga aarestuhin o sila (Ramos and Enrile) ang naglilista at pinipirmahan lang ni Marcos kung kailangan ang pirma niya [Was it Marcos who pinpointed?

Was he the one who listed those who were to be arrested or did they draw the list and Marcos only signed when he needed to]?”

Tatad issued the call to Ramos and Enrile in reaction to Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman’s claim that Marcos was not entitled to be buried at the Libingan because of his crimes against the Filipino people.

Tatad, a Manila Times columnist, clarified that Marcos was never convicted of the allegations against him, and thus should not be denied burial at the Libingan.

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the interment, arguing that Marcos was entitled to it as a World War 2 veteran, a Medal of Valor recipient, and a former defense secretary.

Tatad said of his stint in the Marcos administration: “I served him (Marcos) loyally and faithfully but did not sell my soul. That’s why I’m still able to see what is right and what is wrong in the administration of Marcos. I just want to be fair.”

Tatad said the controversy could have been avoided had the Marcos family decided to bury the late strongman’s remains in a private plot.

“It was Marcos’ request to have his remains buried beside his mother’s in Batac, Ilocos Norte. If this had been done, it could have resulted into giving his grave the status of being a monument or shrine where people could pay him respect as a former leader of our country,” the former senator said.


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  1. There Is No Need For Torture. We Have Laws To Follow

    We Provided Freedom, Equality and Dignity. You can be the best you wanted to be, a lawyer, doctor or president

    Kamakailan mapapanood na nagsalita si dating Secretary Francisco Tatad tungkol sa Martial Law at tinawag si Fidel Ramos na magsalita tungkol sa administrasyon ni Pres. Marcos kung utos ba talaga niya ang pagpatay at pagtorture. Ito na po ang hinihintay ninyong kasagutan.


  2. I definitely concur with the suggestion of the good former Senator.

    Kasi ang in charge talaga sa implementation ng Martial Law when it was imposed on 1972 ay sina Enrile, Ramos, Ver etc. Patay na si Ver so dapat magsalita na sina Enrile at Ramos ukol sa mga abuso noong panahong yon.

  3. It will good for the Filipino to know the Bottom line of Martial Law and its aftereffect to the Country.

  4. George F Guillermo on

    During Martial law there was almost zero criminality for the first time, and it was the most peaceful period in the history of the country (I knew this as I was then in my 20’s & am now 65 years old). Marcos succesfully implemented Martial Law especially infrastucture and socio economic programs. All Geothermal powers and Hydro-electric Dams that generate the energy requirements of the country were developed and built by Pres Marcos. The establishment and development of numerous Hydro-electric Dams ( Magat Dam (Isabela), Pantabangan Dam (Nueva Ecija), Pulangi Dam (Bukidnon), among many others which do not only serve as sustainable source of power but also as source of water for domestic use and irrigation for hundreds of thousands of hectares of new farmlands/ricefields (formerly unproductive rainfed and hilly land areas). The implementation of Martial law was not perfect as there were there were some abuses and these were committed largely by the Phil Constabulary (PC) headed by ex Pres Ramos as the Commanding General (CG). As CG, Ramos was in direct control of the PC. Yet, among the armed forces, the PC under General Ramos was the most abusive & worst “pinaka mabagsik” sa pag handle ng mga bilanggo o mga suspects na Communists and/or supporters. This was a public knowledge during the Martial Law. I think without the abusive PC under Ramos, Martial law under Marcos would be different and it could had been more peaceful and properly implemented as intended by the Framers of the Phil Constitution.

  5. yap that’s true. fvr should narrate his role in the implementation of martial law. he was telling that the marcos family should apologize for the martial law sins. he must be the FIRST to ask for forgiveness to the filpino people if ever their were sins of the martial law era. he was one of the implementers of the martial law

  6. Kit’s challenge I think is fair and timely. It is really possible that Kit did and still does not know the full story. FVR, though respected by the nation and people that he served well, owe the Filipino a genuine account of what transpired prior to and during martial rule – most specially why he so angry that FM was buried the LNMB. Are there vital info and “secrets” about the marital law regime that Mr. FVR knows that the Filipino community does not yet know till now?

  7. Maribel Calanda on

    This FVR is a Judas Iscariot incarnate. I see him as a traitor and an opportunist. Atonement? Why does he not offer any reparation to his human rights victims? Why point your finger to President Marcos when you yourself is the Implementor of Martial Law. Ramos and Judas both turned against their master so the similarities are identical. However there are differences as well. Judas returned the 30 pcs of silver and hanged himself because he was truly sorry for what he did. Ramos has become an opportunist by bringing the nation to remarkable sufferings with the PEA-AMARI deal, the flop Centennial Expo project in Pampanga that costs the government billions in losses, the high cost of electricty by engaging the services of IPPs, the proliferation of the Yellow cult that brought to the nation knee-jerking atrocities such as the Mendiola massacre. Hacienda Luisita massacre, the Maguindanao massacre, the Mamasapano massacre, the worst traffic situations, the Lumad massacre, the Zamboanga seiige and worst of all, turning the nation into a narco-state with 3,700,000 drug abuse victims. These were brought about by the support you have given to the uncaring, incompetent, vengeful Cory and Noynoy and the other yellow president GMA. Is that atonement? You thought really that they are better than your cousin, the great president Marcos whose projects and laws that he established and created are beneficial to many Filipinos. You thought that bringing us out of the Marcos regime will lead the country to greatness. You are really arrogant and foolish. Now we are a narco-state that only PDigong is sincere enough to stop it with his war on drugs and yet you continue to chide him in public. You atone for your sins further and return to the nation the greatness the Filipinos were receiving from all over the world during the time of the great leader President Marcos.

  8. Hard to delete from our (Martial law ‘adulties’ ) your big role played under Marcos regime, Mr. Tatad. If you were truly honest, good, and true, even at the outset of that PD 1081 declaration which you read to the full on that fateful day of September 1972, you could have stood out, not only as an icon of True Pinoy, but also a man worth burying upon death at the Libingan ng ma Bayani. You missed the train!

  9. Give credit where credit is due. It was Cardinal Sin who pleaded for the people to march to EDSA to shield Ramos and Enrile against the forces of Fabian Ver, not Butz Aquino.

  10. antonio Tobalona on

    If President Marcos did not declare Martial Law and stated the New Society, The Philippines could have been the
    total killing fields of the Communists whose alien doctrine is not unlike Mao’s Revolution and Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge.

    You can only imagine the atrocities of the Reds by multiplying by 100 times what happened during Khmer Rouge regime!

    All abuses of Martial Law, however, were perpetuated directly by the Philippines Military and Defense Forces under the direct command of Fidel Ramos and Juan Ponce Enrile.

    When the end of Marcos regime was imminent, they both abandoned Marcos and took the way-out opportunity and joined the EDSA Conspiracy.

    This action by both Ramos and Enrile was not an atonement but an opportunistic jumping off the sinking ship to save themselves and prosper.

    Every abuse which Enrile & Ramos directly and personally allowed is like “hammering a nail into a piece of wood. When the abuse has received justice not through atonement, the nail is removed. ”

    “Though the nail is removed, the hole in the piece of wood still remains”

    Ramos recently justified himself saying categorically that his joining the EDSA Conspiracy is his atonement.

    This public self-declaration of his sins during martial law is total admission his guilt. And, justice must be served

    The Supreme Court being the ultimate authority of justice, must try in court
    both Enrile and Ramos for appropriating “inhumane abuses upon their fellow Filipinos as Secretary of Defense and Chief of Military respectively.”

    • Casiano Mayor Jr. on

      Marcos was the best recruiter for the NPA. The atrocities of his regime made the communist movement grew by leap and bounds.

    • Wrong! Marcos was the best exterminator of NPA through Fidel Ramos and Juan Ponce Enrile.
      Ang kagagawan ni Cory ang NUMBER ONE RECRUITER, pinalaya niyang lahat ang mga kampon ng kadiliman sa Pilipinas.

  11. FVR, ENRILE, HONASAN and Co. barricaded themselves inside Camp Crame to save their collective asses because their plot to topple Marcos by engineering a coup of their own was discovered. If not for the intervention of God and Butz Aquino who rallied the Filipino people to flock towards EDSA to become their human shields, these Three Stooges would have been ‘dead meat’ as Favian Ver was itching on zeroing in artillery rounds inside Camp Crame in order to take them out. BTW Fidel, quit criticizing DU30 on his crusade to rid the country of drug menace but to follow your advice and eradicate poverty instead. You couln’t possibly come to grasp the full meaning of poverty when your very own domicile lies right smack within Manila’s most exclusive residential villages for the rich at the Ayala Alabang VIllage, where you wallow in unabashed luxury. P.S. You certainly looked every inch like a clown when you came to HongKong clad in your gaudy “Rambo” outfit to make tentative steps in resuming RPs diplomatic relations with China. You could have dressed yourself appropriately in a sharp Canali business suit instead of that faux-Col.Trautman outfit during the event which made you appear like a caricature. This says clearly about your Ilocano sartorial taste.

    • Jaime Dela Cruz on

      FYI, he also owns a “significant” house in West Vancouver, British Columbia Canada. Kinda like the Beverly hills.

  12. I was a freshman in college when Kit Tatad is the only face you see on TV during those dark days of martial law.I am not yet senile to remember that Marcos, Kit’s master and idol gave a press conference live on TV announcing his replacement by Greg Cendana, removing him as his mouth piece because of corruption.It was widely covered by media including the late Teddy Benigno who was AFP bureau chief of Asia and Press Secretary.The captive media reported in screaming headlines that he was fired by the dictator because of ill gotten wealth and did not quit as he claims. Ramos atoned for his sins and Enrile at least became a senior statesman but he remains an unrepentant apologist of the dictatorship.

    • Ramos and Enrile are the most credible living witness who knows a lot more than Imelda or Tatad as to the so called martial law atrocities.

      They can confirm whether there were atrocities. They can clarify how the supposed torture and deaths that came about during martial law. They can even confirm if Marcos ordered the so called atrocities and at the same manner provide an answer why they implemented the order if any!

  13. Don’t ask a question you already know the answer to or you won’t make a good prosecutor.