Press Release
May 23, 2006


Martial Law in the Philippines: My Story, authored by Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr., is now off the press.

Published by Cacho Hermanos, the 562 pages book will be launched at the Manila Hotel on June 7, 2006 at 4:00 p.m.

The book tells the story of how a provinciano from Cagayan de Oro City in Mindanao, his wife, Bing, and their family of six children coped with the difficulties that martial law brought into their lives in 1972.

It deals with the unswerving faith of the family in Divine Providence and how people became instruments of the Lord in helping them overcome the trials that were heaped upon them by martial law.

The trials included privation of the family of their basic needs that arose from the four arrests of Nene Pimentel and his two ousters from public offices (mayor of Cagayan de Oro and assemblyman of the Batasang Pambansa) to which he had been elected.

The book also documents the names of small people, who had no power, influence or political clout, who stood up for their convictions during the martial law years.

Some of these small people died in the struggle for the restoration of freedom while others were detained by martial law authorities and tortured. But all fought for freedom and democracy without counting the cost.

The book names the oppressors where these are documented. And the oppressed, too.

The book covers the period from the time the author began his law practice in Cagayan de Oro and started his family. It goes on to the time he became a delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention, mayor of Cagayan de Oro, member of the Batasang Pambansa and de facto campaign manager of Corazon C. Aquino, all the way up to the day President Ferdinand E. Marcos fled the country in 1986.

The book devotes separate chapters on:

1. How Marcos subverted the work of the 1971 Constitutional Convention; 2. Why and how martial law was declared in 1972; 3. The 1980 local elections; 4. the 1981 presidential election; 5. The Aquino assassination; 6. The Batasang Pambansa; and 7. The 1986 snap election.

In the chapter on the imposition of martial law, Pimentel gives his personal account or interpretation of the following questions and events:

The bombings in Metro Manila as a prelude to martial law proclamation. Did the Big Four bomb the Liberal Party meeting in Plaza Miranda? Who plotted the daredevil rescue of Ninoy Aquino from Fort Bonifacio? Was Victor Lovely responsible for the explosion in his room at the YMCA Building? Why Senator Jovito Salonga was implicated in the Light-A-Fire Movement. Why Atty. Lutgardo Barbo was tortured. How Gaston Ortigas and Augusto Lagman flubbed their assignments to blow up Rustans Department Store. What was (now national security adviser) Bert Gonzales role in the plot to bomb Rustan supermarket?

The truth behind Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enriles ambush that led to the martial law declaration. The role of the Rolex 12 in the proclamation of martial law. The padlocking of several newspapers, radio and television stations. Why Pimentel cast a refusal to vote in the Con-Con for the proposed Constitution. How Pimentel became a counsel for some of the early detainees of martial law. Why Pimentel was arrested and detained by martial law authorities for the first time. How Pimentel met one of the alleged leaders of the Big Four criminal syndicates in Camp Crame. Why was Pimentel thrown into the cell of hardened criminals? Who was Angel Baking and Nat Seno? Was the Office of President Diosdado Macapagal bugged when martial law was declared? How Marcos consolidated his rule. How Marcos diverted the peoples attention from his misrule by sponsoring the Miss Universe Contest, the Thrilla in Manila and other extravaganzas.

How Raul Manglapus and his family escaped from the Marcos Gulag. How the Tausug family of Gerry Jumat family helped Manglapus wife and sons flee to the United States through the pirate-infested seas of Sulu. How Heherson Alvarez and Romeo Capulong escaped from martial law agents. What price did Primitivo Mijares pay for telling on Marcos before the US Congress? The hunger strike of Serge Osmea and Geny Lopez and their escape from Fort Bonifacio. Why Alex Boncayao, the hero of Alex Boncayao Brigade of the New Peoples Army, got included in the Laban slate for Metro Manila in the 1978 Interim Batasang Pambansa elections.

How the Marcos mayors of Metro Manila made the Laban campaign difficult. Why Ninoy Aquino decided to run against Imelda Romualdez-Marcos in the Interim Batasang Pambansa elections in Metro Manila. Who was Trining Herrera and who and why she was tortured by her military jailers. Who was Labans secret weapon in the campaign? Why were Sen. Lorenzo Taada, Soc Rodrigo, Joker Arroyo, Tito Guingona, Ernie Rondon, Archie Intengan and Nene Pimentel jailed? Who was Fidel Agcaoilli? Why were he and Fr. Intengan in the same prison at Bicutan?

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