Presidential aspirant narrates Martial Law era, founding of PDSP

THE standard bearer and one of the founders of the Philippine Democratic Socialist Party (PDSP) narrated how the party was formed during the Martial Law era at the time of former president Ferdinand E. Marcos.

With this, former national security adviser and Defense secretary Norberto Gonzales, during a virtual press conference held recently, shared how it is a dream of every social democrat in the Philippines to implement and show the system’s goal in the country.

“During the ’60s, ang mga kabataan noon hindi lang sa Pilipinas kundi sa buong daigdig, lahat naghahanap ng pagbabago ng sistema, mga reporma sa lipunan. Dito sa Pilipinas nangyari din yan. Kaya no’ng mga huling taon ni diktador na si Marcos, nagsimula ang pagyabong ng mga organisasyon ng mga kabataan na naghahanap ng pagbabago,” the presidential aspirant narrated.

“Eh, umusbong din noon ang mga komunista. Ang sinasabi nila is kailangan ng himagsikan o violent struggle or revolution para baguhin ang lipunan. Eh kami namang medyo nadikit sa mga religious ayaw naman namin ng violence. Ang hinahanap namin ay tunay na reporma, at sa panahong iyon ang reporma ay ang pagbabago ng Saligang Batas,” he added..

But the plan to change the charter was severely interrupted when Marcos declared Martial Law, he said.

“Di ko alam kung anong inisip ni Marcos, bigla na lang inisip na siya na pinakamatalino, siya nakakaunawa ng lipunan, siya makakagawa ng mabuti sa lipunan, anong ginawa niya? Nag-declare ng Martial Law, and before we know it, the whole nation [was] under a dictatorship,” Gonzales said.

With the nation under Martial Law, the youth during that time were not able to implement their dream of a Charter reform and with the advice from a priest to organize a disciplined organization to fight Marcos’ dictatorship, the PDSP was born.

Gonzales, a graduate of Ateneo de Davao University, also recalled how Marcos recited the same speech in two years.

“My three years in Ateneo lagi akong national awardee. Sinasabi nilang matalino si Marcos, di ba? Nagre-repeat ng speech. Kasi awardee ako magkakasunod na taon eh. Syempre, during the national award the president will deliver a speech, yung dalawang magkakasunod na taon pareho ang kanyang speech,” Gonzales said.

Meanwhile, Gonzales’ sister, Zenaida Gonzales, recalled how in Davao her brother started to become an activist and became a leader. She said as an activist leader, her brother, Norberto, even became wanted by the Marcos-era authorities and had a bounty on his head.

SunStar Davao

SunStar Davao

SunStar Davao is Davao City's most sought after community content provider in both print and online. It is part of the SunStar news network in the Philippines. Sun.Star Davao started as a bi-weekly newspaper Peryodiko Dabaw in December 1985 by Elpidio G. Damaso as the so-called alternative press during the end days of the Marcos dictatorship. It started publishing five times a week the following year and was relaunched as Ang Peryodiko Dabaw on September 7, 1987, marking the entry of new investors and its use of desktop publishing, while its Davao City competitors were still using letterpress.

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