A group of victims of martial law in the 1970s condemned what they described as the “desecration” of a heroes’ monument in the northern Philippine region of the Cordilleras by the police.
“The brazen act is an insult to the bravery and heroism of Dungoc, Dulag, Gayudan, and their entire communities,” said Danilo Dela Fuente, vice chairperson of the group Selda.
The Cordillera People’s Alliance reported that policemen took down the monument panels bearing the profiles of Cordillera heroes Macliing Dulag, Lumbaya Gayudan, and Pedro Dungoc.
“We call on everyone, especially Marcos’ martial law victims to speak out and condemn this desperate attempt and to support us in condemning this vile act,” said Dela Fuente.
The monument was put up in 2017 in honor of the “martyrs” who led indigenous communities in opposing the building of the Chico Dam Project in Kalinga and Mountain Province.
The Department of Public Works and Highways, however, issued a notice in October 2020, saying that the marker is “installed illegally” and therefore should be removed.
The department said the marker encroached the road right of way of the national road.
In 2017, the Cordillera People’s Alliance commissioned architect Vlad Longid and solar artist Jordan Mang-osan to conceptualize and design and work with over 50 other individuals from the community.
The alliance said representatives of the families of Macliing, Dungoc, and Lumbaya conducted community consultations involving the local government units for the project.
The clan of Macliing Dulag offered the parcel of land where the monument was constructed.
There were no problems on the road right of way raised during that time and the project was inaugurated as part of the people’s Cordillera Day celebration on April 23, 2017.