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DISINFORMATION NATION

Propaganda about a former dictator may have made Filipinos more comfortable with martial law under Duterte

PHILIPPINES

AT A CAFÉ in Baguio City, Philippines, on the island of Luzon, Mary Lou Marigza’s voice trembles as she recounts her experience as a political detainee under then-dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who imposed martial law in the Philippines from 1972 until 1981. Marigza was tortured, mostly by electrocution, for 13 months for organizing anti-government protests.

When the current Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, declared martial law on the southern island of Mindanao in May, it reminded Marigza of her time in detention. Like many Filipinos, she believes Duterte may extend military rule nationwide. Already, he has threatened to jail martial law critics and dismiss Supreme Court verdicts that challenge his authority.

Marigza is dismayed by the public’s meek response since martial law began on Mindanao, which is home to nearly a quarter of the country’s population. “Duterte is still a popular president,” she says. “There’s not even panic or concern. It seems like it’s just our destiny.”

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CANCER REBELS For this year's Special Health Issue, we've focused on the Cancer Rebels, the women, men and children who ignore the rules and scorn the conventions that surround cancer, and who refuse to succumb to the disease. These are the people who find vitality in taking on cancer from unexpected directions.
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