Martial Law

Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law on September 21, 1972. He was nearing the end of his second term as President of the Republic of the Philippines and could not run for a further term. Declaring Martial Law enabled him to stay in power indefinetly.

Immediately Martial Law was declared many people who had been clamoring for change went underground. Many of those who didn’t were picked up and imprisoned. Others were killed or disappeared. It was clear that the dictatorship would not tolerate any opposition.

Any meeting of three or more people was immediately suspect and people could be arrested under suspicion of trying to overthrow the regime. Permission had to be got by any group eg. unions, farmers organizations etc wanting to have a meeting which was then subject to monitoring by the regime.

The only institution that had tha freedom to gather people without interference was the Church. In such a situation many priests and religious took on the task of helping the poor come together under Church protection and eencourage them to do something about their situation.

This is how the Kristianong Katilingban (KK) or Christian Community was born, grew and flourished in this vacuum created by Martial Law. Community building/organizing became a major task of some parishes in progressive dioceses, especially in Mindanao and Visayas.

What also became apparent was that most of the poor lacked the confidence in themselves to bring about change in their lives. So hand in hand with community building, awareness of their human dignity was developed through seminars and small community actions. Slowly the members of the KKs grew in confidence and took on larger actions in defence of their land and lives. The regime reacted to the non violent actions of the KKs by accusings the priests of being violent people and supporting the rebels. The regime was more afraid of the non violence of the KKs than the violence of the rebels (New Peoples Army). The KKs had to be neutralised. The case of the Negros Nine was one way for the dictatorship’s to stop the non violent actions of the poor in Negros from securing a better life for themselves and from challenging the status quo.

You can make a difference

You can help the Negros Nine in so many ways

  1. On Anti-Human Trafficking – report any suspicious activities that may lead to human trafficking. Call or text 09228939613 or 09092293497. All calls are confidential.
  2. On Negros Nine Feeding Program, you can do the following:
    1. You may donate cash, food or goods
    2. Share your talents on cooking and inspiring children, you will be amazed, you will be inspired, too.
  3. On reforestation:
    1. Do tree planting activities with your group
    2. Impart your talents or skills relating to protecting and caring for the environment. Be the speaker or manpower of the day at Negros Nine.
    3. Donate seeds and seedlings
  4. On Negros Nine Weavers – you can help by promoting the products or you can be a resource speaker or trainer on topics such as livelihood, agriculture, etc.
  5. Help any of our project by Donating through Paypal