VIRAL: VP Robredo shares story of Martial Law’s first female victim

MANILA, Philippines - The approval of the Supreme Court (SC) to a hero's burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani has taken a great toll to the nation as Filipinos voice out their support and dismay to such decision.

Liliosa Hilao first victim Martial Law
Photo credit: Official Facebook page of Vice President Leni Robredo
Social media platforms are now turning into a melting pot or contradicting arguments between netizens that are pro-and-anti Marcos. Even a month’s back post of Vice President Leni Robredo resurfaced on Facebook. With Robredo narrating about the first casualty of Martial Law--Liliosa Hilao.

Robredo Facebook post Liliosa Hilao first victim Martial Law

The day when Martial Law was declared, Hilao started wearing black, she wrote on her diary: “Democracy is dead.”

Hilao was then the Associated Editor of the school paper in Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. In her articles, Hilao made known her protest against the Marcos regime authoring essays entitled: “The Vietnamization of the Philippines” and “Democracy is Dead in the Philippines under Martial Law.”

Alas, Hilao cannot join protest due to her poor physical condition and asthma.

“On April 5, 1973—barely a year after the declaration of Martial Law—troops from the Constabulary Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) appeared at her family’s doorstep looking for her brother, who the regime had tagged as a communist. Liliosa demanded that they show a search warrant or arrest order, but they had none. Instead, they slapped and beat her. Later, she was handcuffed and taken in for questioning. Liliosa’s family members were able to visit her the next day, and could see the effects of beating: Her eyes were bulging and her face was swollen. Liliosa told her visitors that she was being tortured.” Robredo wrote.

The following day, Hilao was dead. According to CANU, she committed suicide by drinking muriatic acid. But it was not the case in her autopsy: “Her face was severely swollen, her lips bore cigarette burns. Her arms had numerous injection marks, possibly from “truth serum,” a torture method used on victims. Her torso was mottled with finger marks and gun-barrel marks. It was also possible she was sexually abused.”

Hilao was supposed to graduate two weeks after her death. To commemorate Hilao, her classmates wore a black armbands and left a vacant seat supposedly for her. She was awarded posthumous cum laude honors.

Robredo ended the post informing the readers Hilao was considered as the first female casualty/martyr of the Martial Law.

--Mae Tuazon, The Summit Express

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