Southern Tagalog 10

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The Southern Tagalog 10 was a group of activists abducted and "disappeared" in 1977 during martial law in the Philippines under Proclamation No. 1081 issued by President of Philippines Ferdinand E. Marcos. Of the 10 university students and professors who were abducted, only three "surfaced" later after being killed by suspected agents of the state.[1][2] Two of those who surfaced were apparently summarily executed.[3] The rest were never found.[4]


The victims, most of them in their early twenties,[3] all belonged to a network of community organizations in the Southern Tagalog region, Philippines.[5][6] They were abducted in late July 1977 at the Makati Medical Center in Metro Manila.[7]

The incident is believed to be the single biggest case of involuntary disappearance during martial law.[2][5][8][9] Bonifacio Ilagan, brother of one of the victims and vice chair of Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (an organization that works for the welfare of political detainees),[10] described the abduction as "the single biggest case of involuntary disappearance and summary execution perpetrated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the entire history of the Marcos martial law in the Philippines."[5]


The ten individuals known as the Southern Tagalog 10 are:[7]

The names of Catalla, Faustino, Rizalina Ilagan, Sales, and Sison are included on the Bantayog ng mga Bayani's Wall of Remembrance for martyrs and heroes of martial law.[11][12]

In popular culture[edit]

The play Pagsambang Bayan (People’s Worship), written by Bonifacio Ilagan, is dedicated to the members of the Southern Tagalog 10. It was first staged in September 1977 at the University of the Philippines (U.P.) by the U.P. Repertory Company under the direction of Behn Cervantes.[5] Its staging led to the arrest of Cervantes and the play's musical director.[13] The play won the Palihang Aurelio V. Tolentino and has since been performed hundreds of times.[14] The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) cites the play as a "major work in Philippine theater."[15] A musical version of the play was staged in 2017 by director Joel Lamangan at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines and the CCP.[13]

On television, actress Bianca Umali played Rizalina Ilagan in the GMA Network docudrama Alaala: A Martial Law Special, which first aired on September 17, 2017.[16][17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Southern Tagalog 10 |". Samahan ng mga Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  2. ^ a b Olea, Ronalyn (2008-09-20). "The Cruelty of Enforced Disappearances: An Abhorrent Crime Against Humanity". Bulatlat. Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  3. ^ a b Faustino, Joey (April 2003). "No Closure 'til Justice is Achieved". AFAD - Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  4. ^ "Southern Tagalog 10 |". SELDA. October 22, 2012. Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  5. ^ a b c d Ilagan, Bonifacio (2016-12-06). "Resonance: The Southern Tagalog 10". Manila Today. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  6. ^ "The President's Day: December 10, 2002 | GOVPH". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  7. ^ a b "The Cruelty of Enforced Disappearances: An Abhorrent Crime Against Humanity - Bulatlat". Bulatlat. 2008-09-20. Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  8. ^ Enano, Jhesset O. (September 20, 2017). "Martial law victims find no justice in 'moving on'". Inquirer. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  9. ^ Boado, Krysten Mariann (November 11, 2016). "Ground zero: Remembering truths of a past forgone". Tinig ng Plaridel. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  10. ^ "About SELDA". Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto. 2010-07-11. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  11. ^ Malay and Rodriguez (2015). Ang Mamatay nang Dahil sa 'Yo: Heroes and Martys of the Filipino People in the Struggle Against Dictatorship 1972-1986 (Volume 1). Manila, Philippines: National Historical Commission of the Philippines. ISBN 9789715382700.
  12. ^ "Martyrs and Heroes". Bantayog ng mga Bayani. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  13. ^ a b Amadís Ma., Guerrero (July 15, 2017). "Landmark martial law play 'Pagsambang Bayan' now a musical". Inquirer. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  14. ^ Dennis N., Marasigan (October 8, 2016). "14 essential plays on Martial Law". Inquirer. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  15. ^ Astorga-Garcia, Mila (October 27, 2017). "Powerful play tackles martial law and EJK". The Philippine Reporter. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  16. ^ Cabato, Regine (September 25, 2017). "How Alden Richards became the face of a martial law documentary". CNN. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  17. ^ Ilaya, Felix (September 18, 2017). "Look: Alden Richards, Rocco Nacino, and Bianca Umali, umani ng papuri para sa docu-drama na 'Alaala'". GMA Network. Retrieved 2018-05-06.