Martial Law Years: A Firsthand Experience from the “Common Tao”

Suffering from the excesses of corrupt politicians right now; with the poor becoming poorer and the middle class being eradicated slowly; the peace and order situation at its worst; and the incompetence of the government in the face of various disasters that have plagued the country – I wish that martial law days are back again.


President Ferdinand Marcos


No one dared commit a crime, especially during broad daylight because of fear of the long arm of the law. A common tao on the streets doesn’t feel threatened just going out to buy groceries or to perform his daily chores. Unlike now, you’re fearful every time you leave your house because crime thrives everywhere.

Even government services during that time were quick and reliable. There were government projects everywhere that helped improved the lives of the common tao.

The common tao were the recipients of peace and order, better public services, disciplined citizens and more organized system of management.

Did you know that there were very rare electrical brown outs then? Well…don’t laugh; the reliability of a country’s basic services is one reference point if that country is indeed progressing or not.

Of course, during martial law, numerous rich and wealthy people suffered and the extreme leftists were captured because the government has to step in to curb and control their impending desire to go against the government to hold on to their power and wealth. Don’t tell me this was not so, because I am an actual witness and you just read it from books. History is relative. It favors those who are in power.

I experience both martial law and post-martial law eras and I can truly say that I want to live during the martial law days where there’s peace and order, evident organization, various free government services, numerous projects for farmers and the indigents, development of the countryside and infrastructure projects such as roads and bridges, and many more.

What about now?

• Government institutions are slowly being privatized
• Peace and order hang in a balance
• Few development projects
• No clear plans for the farmers and the indigents
• Tax is spent unwisely
• The country’s debt is in TRILLIONS
• Most of the reported facts about the progress of the country are questionable (where’s the FOI) we want to see proofs.
• Government response to emergency situations is slow and insufficient
• There are many corrupt government officials.
• Lack of EMPATHY from the government for the plight of the poor.

Where’s the evidence that the government is cleaning its ranks of corrupt officials? C’mon, PDAF ???

I remember a quote that the late President Marcos stated:

“I have committed many sins in my life. But stealing money from the government, from the people, is not one of them.”

And I believe this because there’s proof seen everywhere in the country of where the money went. Those roads, bridges, public services, and buildings are enough proof.

And, TAKE NOTE! All the plunder cases against the Marcoses were dismissed in the international court of law.

What about now? Is there proof of where the trillion of dollars was spent? The government’s foreign debt is now in trillions but what concrete evidence can they show for it? The FOI is still to be approved.

What about the PDAF? President GMA was incarcerated because she used government funds to save OFW’s from death row, and yet, she’s being charged in court for it. But why is the current president not questioned for the way he has illegally disbursed the PDAF?

Who’s ultimately responsible for it? Go figure, Juan Dela Cruz, not many in government care about it.

Those who are yellow would say I’m paid writing this article. I’m not. I just want to point this out to the young generation, who have not experienced living during the martial law years. Most of these young people just know that Martial Law was so “bad” based on what they have read as “relative” history and “facts”.

Listen to those who have experienced both governments, and derive your conclusion from evidences you observe around you. If you were a law-abiding citizen during those times, there was nothing to fear.

Don’t believe something because everybody’s doing it and the “intellectuals” (with a question mark) are promoting it.

Don’t go with the flow, so you can appear an intellectual too.

Usually, the wealthy don’t want their riches distributed or confiscated so they help in setting a trend for their own benefit.

Look at the “common tao”, is his life better now? That would be your answer!

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