Guiang, Francisco Jayme Paolo A. 2023. “To Struggle and Triumph: Maria Cristina V. Rodriguez’s Life during the Martial Law Years” In Ferdinand C. Llanes (ed.), The Marcos Years: The Age of Crisis and Repression, pp. 155-184. (Quezon City: Sandigan para sa Mag-aaral at Sambayanan Alumni Association, Inc. [SAMASA]).
This article will narrate the key events that shaped the life of May Rodriguez during the martial law period. It will first tackle her years in the University of the Philippines (UP) where she was integrated into the student movement. It will then discuss the events that led to her first arrest, torture under the hands of the military, and eventual release from detention. The article will also recount May’s return to the underground movement and second arrest. Aside from May’s personal accounts of torture and incarceration, a short discussion will be dedicated to the collective efforts of the political prisoners at Camp Olivas in seeking accountability from the government. Particularly, the case of Fr. Edicio dela Torre et al. remains a perfect example of well-documented and highly publicized torture accounts. Exploring it could shed light on how the authorities responded to the glaring human rights violations committed by individuals within their ranks. This article will then conclude that though martial law used torture to break its victims— physically and psychologically—May and her fellow martial law veterans remained resolute and continued the struggle against the dictatorship.
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