Former Senate president Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. on Friday urged the youth to reject any move to revise the true story of martial law.
Pimentel made this comment in reaction to the claim of Juan Ponce Enrile, former Senate leader, that no one was arrested for their political beliefs during the administration of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos.
“Ang masasabi ko na lang sa ating mga kabataan na huwag kayong magpadala sa mga opinion ng ibang mga tao who really have hidden agenda (What I can say to our youth, do not be influenced by opinions of people who really have hidden agenda),” Pimentel said in a Palace press briefing on federalism.
“And the hidden agenda is to justify the excesses of the martial law regime and to show that they should therefore be given a chance to serve our people through the elections that are forth coming, huwag nating pahintulutan iyan (do not allow them),” he added.
Pimentel did not name names but Enrile made such claim while being interviewed by Marcos’ son Bongbong Marcos on the eve of the 46th anniversary of the martial law declaration.
Marcos, a former senator, ran but narrowly lost to Vice President Leni Robredo in the 2016 elections.
Asked to comment on Enrile’s remark, Pimentel said: “Siguro nakalimutan na niya ako. (Perhaps he’s already forgotten about me). That’s a part of aging, part of aging”.
“I do not take that against him and let the people judge who is right or who is wrong,” Pimentel said.
He disagreed with Enrile but added that “Manong Johnny is entitled to his opinion. He has always been a defender of martial rule”.
During the martial law years, Pimentel said he was put into high security detention and mixed with hardened criminals for three months after he refused to sign a document expressing his support for Marcos.
“So, anyway, part of life and I look forward, I do not desire to take revenge against anyone. I’m only trying to say ‘huwag nating gayahin iyong masamang mga leksiyon na napulot natin during martial law’. (Let’s not follow the bad lessons that we learned during martial law),” he said.
Pimentel agreed with Enrile that the situation was really chaotic when Marcos put the entire nation under martial law on September 21, 1972.
“But it does not mean that the entire nation should have been placed under martial law,” he said.
“Ang daming namatay, ang daming disappeared na mga kababayan natin. So, iyan ang dapat ibigay natin siguro na pangungusap sa mga millennials na, uy dahan-dahan po kayo sapagkat (Many of our countrymen died and disappeared. So that should be the statements that we have to give to the millennals, we should be careful because) you must always remember that the end never justifies the means,” Pimentel added. (Jelly Musico/PNA)