Filipina journalist Raissa Robles: “Never again to martial law”

NEW YORK — Filipina investigative journalist Raissa Robles is on a US tour promoting her book called “Marcos Martial Law: Never Again.”

“It is meant actually to break the silence on the torture and atrocities that happened during that period,” she said. “I tried as much as possible to interview actually even yung mga alleged torturers no… because I think we have to find out why they did what they did.”

She says she was surprised by what she learned from the torturers she spoke to.

“Well yung sinabi sa akin ni col. Eduardo matillano (huwag kayong magagalit sa akin col. Matillano) na surprising sa akin tinanong ko sa kanya bakit nagtotorture yung mga military at ang sagot niya, kasi mahirap mambuntal ng tao, mas madaling mag electric shock ang gamitin.”

As she re-examines the era of Marcos dictatorship, she says these lessons may apply today, under president Rodrigo Duterte, who has been vocal about the possibility of declaring martial law — if the need arises.

Last June, Robles wrote an article for the south china morning post suggesting that martial law across the Philippines would bring abuses according to retired Philippine national police director general Ramon Montano.

Robles also suggested, there’s a specific reason why Montano removed Duterte’s bodyguards when he was mayor of Davao.

“These are Montano’s exact words noh, that he said, Duterte was using the bodyguards to kill people and he said that he is only brave when he is faced with people who are in handcuffs… it shows what Duterte was like when he was mayor of Davao City and how he was using his bodyguards.”

Meanwhile, Senator Antonio Trillanes the fourth recently made a separate but similar claim in New York City.


“Dun sa mahigit isang oras na conversation namin, hindi niya pinag-usapan yung bansa, not a single second, ang mga sinabi niya sa akin, was kung sino yung pinatay niya, paano, ganun yung conversation, very graphic yung description na ko… nadismaya ako anoh,” he said. “Kinilabutan ako for the country.”

From Robles’ book tour to Columbia University’s “Watching the Philippines, Reporting Duterte” conference – the fascination on the Duterte phenomenon continues.

“I think part of the interest is around how accountability moves forward, and I’m glad that the academic focus has not been only about specific speeches of Duterte or some outrageous act of Duterte, but looks at longer periods of history, legacy of the dictatorship, how that connects to what is going on in the Philippines,” said Ruben Carranza, from the International Center for transitional justice.

Robles continues her book tour in Washington DC.


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  • Santiago Del Mundo
    30 October 2017 at 11:37 pm - Reply

    According to Doctor William Gener-Med Acob (U.P. Alumni), Raissa Robles was playing safe that she failed to mention that Colonel Matillano and General Montano were puppet of uncle Fidel V. Ramos and cousin Juan Ponce Enrile, who both back stabbed President Marcos. Robles book is like a cheap shot against the Philippine government efforts in restoring law and order. You have got to be desperate going around talking about Marcos Martial Law, Never Again? This book is a desperate effort backed by the yellow cult to stir the bucket once again and move you away from the truth. Raissa failed to find the truth that Marcos was justified in declaring martial law. I just wonder if Raissa would have the guts (maybe courage) to blame Ramos or Enrile for the abuses of martial law? Why not? You know what, WHY CANT FILIPINOS BLAME JOSE MARIA SISON for all the martial law abuses? Tito Jose misled (brain washed) young Filipinos to rebel against the government with the support of China? Common Tita Raissa, enlighten us…