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Protesters remember martial law

Around 1,000 activists marched in downtown Manila on Friday (September 21) to mark the 40th anniversary of martial law in the Philippines. Former President Ferdinand Marcos seized emergency powers by declaring martial law on September 21 1972, and stayed in power until a popular uprising ousted him 14 years later. Marcos was accused of ordering extra-judicial killings, torture, forced disappearances and human rights violations during his rule. The current president is the son of democracy icon Corazon Aquino, who inspired the people's revolution against Marcos when she ran against him in elections. Anti-riot police pushed back the protesters and formed a human barricade around the ceremony. Marcos had declared martial law in 1972 after an assassination attempt on his defence secretary, a pretext that was invalidated years later. Many believe that the attack, blamed by Marcos on communist groups, was staged by the administration.

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