Anti-Bongbong Marcos Coalition presents plans to tell youth about martial law

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Cebu City (CNN Philippines) — A coalition calling on people not to vote for Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has laid out its plans Saturday afternoon (February 27) to step up its campaign against the son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Student leaders from various universities in Cebu including the University of the Philippines (UP) and the University of San Carlos (USC) who attended the general assembly would conduct a series of forums that would be held in their respective schools.

This activity was among the action plans aimed at informing young people about the atrocities committed under martial law.

Also read: Sociologist explains: Despite father's dictatorship, why are Marcoses still popular?

The first general assembly of the Anti-Bongbong Marcos Coalition or ABC was attended by at least 200 people from various sectoral groups. It was held at the Golden Prince Hotel in Cebu City.

The assembly included video presentations on the Martial Law victims. Those that were detained and tortured during the Marcos regime also formed part of the coalition group.

Testimonies of martial law victims

Four torture victims also talked about their ordeal while in detention at military camps in the 70s. They vividly described how torture was administered on them through electrocution, among others.

Most of the three-hour assembly was dedicated to testimonies of the martial law victims. One of them, Maxilium Olayvar, broke in tears recalling her ordeal in the hands of the military. She said she was harassed and was almost raped by her captors.

Related: Martial law victims campaign against Marcos' VP bid

There was also singing of songs that were popular during the EDSA revolution.

Marcos, who is seeking the vice president post in the coming May elections, has been described as the "unrepentant son" of the late dictator.

'Never again'

Former Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan was supposed to be among the guest speakers in the assembly but he left before the activity started. His speech was only read by one of the organizers instead.

Pangilinan, who is running for senator in the May elections, is in Cebu for various political sorties.

According to coalition organizers, Pangilinan was rushing to his campaign headquarters in Manila.

Pangilinan said that the country needs to focus on accountability. He added that the wheels of justice have been painfully slow. 
The three-hour assembly capped off with the signing of a huge "Never Again" tarpaulin by coalition members.

The groups said they would be conducting more activities to correct the notion that the Philippines' glorious age was during the Marcos regime.

Related: Pres. Aquino: Marcos regime was not a 'golden age' in our history

The coalition also vowed to mark campaign posters of Marcos with "X" to further their cause.

The groups in the coalition include teachers, UP Cebu and USC student council officers, Akbayan, Partido Manggagawa, Sanlakas, Walden Belo for Senator Movement, and Selda.