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Family recalls martial law horrors, appeals to millennials

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By Jel Santos

Sixty-eight-year-old Carlos Salvador recalled Friday the torture that he, his wife, and children suffered and endured when they were arrested during the Martial Law years.

On Aug. 13, 1973, Salvador was arrested and held at Camp Crame along with his wife and their one-year-old boy.

“I was working as a pizza delivery boy then. My wife makes pizza that we sell,” he told the Manila Bulletin.

Carlos Salvador  (Jel Santos / MANILA BULLETIN)

Carlos Salvador
(Jel Santos / MANILA BULLETIN)

At 2 a.m. of August 13, soldiers barged into the family residence.

“They destroyed our door. We were awakened by the bang.”

Four progressives at his house were also apprehended, he said.

Salvador said that while he was being beaten by the soldiers, his house was searched, but did not yield anything that would put him in trouble.

“Apparently, a co-activist, whose wife and children were detained at Camp Olivas in Pampanga ratted us out. He pointed to us in exchange for the liberty of his wife and children,” Salvador disclosed.

Salvador, his wife Selma, their one-year-old son, and four other women-activists were brought to Camp Crame.

They were placed not in a cell, but in interrogation rooms.

“I was tortured for a whole week. They did not allow us to fall asleep. They kept on punching and kicking us,” he narrated.

He said that “when I tend to fall asleep, they make me sit on ice while I was naked.”

His one-year-old boy, he said, was in the other room.

“I could hear my wife cursing and sobbing as my son was crying in the other room. It was excruciating, very painful to me. It was complete torture, than of the physical torture,” he recalled.

Apparently, the fathers of Selma and Carlos were part of the military.

“My father was very angry. I was even told na wala kami panalo sa gobyerno nung dinalaw niya ako,” Carlos said.

His wife, who was pregnant at that time, had bleeding episodes.

They were tried, he said, after their wounds healed.

His wife labored in prison after they were transferred to jail.

A year after, on Aug. 13, 1974, Salvador said he was released.

He also believes his wife was abused.

“She never spoke of it. I never asked her of what happened to her out respect to my wife,” he said.

As anti-martial law activities were held during the 46th anniversary of its declaration yesterday at the Quirino Grandstand, Salvador warned millennials to study the lessons of history and prevent a repeat of the bitter memories of martial law.

“They should not forget what happened in the past. Never ever forget.”

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