S21: Martial Law Commemoration

September 21, annually

On September 21, 1972, President Ferdinand Marcos issued Proclamation 1081, declaring martial law over the entire country. Under the president’s command, the military arrested and extrajudicially killed opposition figures, including then-Senator Benigno Aquino, journalists, student activists, and labor activists. Newspapers were shut down, and the mass media were brought under tight control. Human rights violations were on the rise and many progressive organizations who were fighting for basic needs and against the fascist dictatorship were forced to go underground.