September 21, 1972. Fifty years ago today, the Philippines was placed under Martial Law. Some can still recall the chilling effect of the declaration and the eerie quietness of the streets in the days that followed. Over the next fourteen years, there was fear and unrest; uncertainty lingered in the minds of many. The rest, as they say, is history, but even when a nation forgets, it can never really separate itself from the realities it inherited from the past. The 50 Before 50 series presented real life experiences based on the words of martial law victims and their witnesses.

Fifty stories out of thousands, reflecting the varieties in age, gender, social and economic circumstances, and type and place of violation but all committed by persons acting in the name of the martial law regime. We owe it to the thousands of human rights violations victims, for them to be recognized, and for stories like theirs to never be repeated.

Although many deny them that recognition and tell us to move on, we will remember; we will never forget.