Protests held in Philippines to mark 50 years since Marcos declared martial law

Protesters have held rallies as the Philippines marks 50 years since former President Ferdinand Marcos imposed martial law.

The father of the current president signed the law aimed at cracking down on communism on September 21, 1972, during the Cold War. Under the law, police and the military detained politicians and journalists critical of the government and tortured them. At least 2,300 people were killed.

Survivors of the crackdowns by the government at that time, as well as others, including students, took part in a rally at a university in the capital, Manila, on Wednesday.

They protested remarks by the current president, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who said earlier this month that martial law was necessary to protect public order. The protesters demanded he apologize to the victims.

One of the demonstrators said distorting history is an insult to the victims. The female university student also said that she and others have the right to protect truth, history and the future.

People in the Philippines face a challenge of how to pass on what happened under the martial law to the future generations, as about 70 percent of the current population were born after its imposition, and the current leader has often made remarks praising his late father, who ruled the country under a dictatorship.