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PHL STILL SEEKS $1B IN MARCOS WEALTH 30 YEARS AFTER HIS OUSTER


February 24 -The Philippines is still seeking to recover about $1 billion worth of assets accumulated by the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos through 100 court cases at home and overseas, a government official said on Wednesday.
"The task is not easy," said Richard Amurao, head of an agency created in 1986 to recover funds from Marcos. "The people holding these assets have been slowing us down. They have been using all sorts of delaying tactics to thwart our efforts."  Marcos, who ruled the Philippines for about two decades, fled to Hawaii 30 years ago this week after a near bloodless popular revolt. He died in exile three years later. Reuters' efforts on Wednesday to contact his wife, Imelda, and son Ferdinand Junior, to seek a response to the comments were unsuccessful. Imelda has repeatedly said the family did not steal from the people and its wealth was acquired legally. Amurao said that since the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) was created, it has recovered and given the treasury about $4 billion. In line with Philippine law, funds have been used mostly for land reform. Based on a Hawaii court ruling, P10 billion ($210.04 million) was used to compensate about 10,000 victims of human rights abuses.  The government hoped to raise $17.7 million from an auction of some confiscated Marcos jewelry, property and stocks, sources said this month. READ MORE...RELATED, P170-B ill-gotten wealth recovered from Marcoses, cronies ...

ALSO: Let historians and scholars of history make objective assessment of the past - Sen. Bongbong Marcos 
[Marcos said today's situation is vastly different from the situation three decades ago and so current problems require solutions different from what were done in the past. In fact, Marcos categorically said he does not relish the idea of witnessing another declaration of martial law in the country. "Oh, God no. Because if there's martial law, ibig sabihin we're in crisis. E ayaw naman nating mapasok ang Pilpinas sa crisis," he said. Despite Malacanang's actions against him, Marcos is thankful that he has not seen any negative impact on his campaign so far.]


February 26 -Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" R. Marcos, Jr. today said objective assessment of his father's rule is better left to historians and that instead of focusing on the past, our leaders should strive to find solutions to the problems besetting the country today. "Kailangan sagutin natin ang taong bayan pagka sinasabi tulungan ninyo kami dito sa mga bagay-bagay na ito, dito sa problemang hinaharap namin--and that is still what we should be doing," said Marcos in a press briefing in Balungao town in Pangasinan. Marcos made the statement when reporters pressed him to comment on President Aquino's call for the people to oppose his vice presidential bid, saying the people should learn from the lessons of the past. "Ipaubaya natin ang kasaysayan sa mga propesor, sa mga nag-aaral tungkol sa kasaysayan ng Pilipinas. Kami hindi namin trabaho yun. Ang trabaho namin ay tingnan kung ano ba ang pangangailangan ng taong bayan ngayon," he added. Marcos said today's situation is vastly different from the situation three decades ago and so current problems require solutions different from what were done in the past. In fact, Marcos categorically said he does not relish the idea of witnessing another declaration of martial law in the country. READ MORE...RELATED,
Anti-Marcos group starts fundraising drive...

ALSO: Struggle for democracy relived at Edsa Interactive Experiential Museum


February 24 -Edsa Experential Museum’s Hall of the Lost or the Disappeared (Desaparecidos). YUJI VINCENT GONZALES There was “discipline” during martial law, they say. The Philippine economy was at its peak during the dictator’s regime, they say. Three decades after the historic Edsa People Power Revolution, these are just some of the myths and misconceptions that the Edsa People Power Commission (EPPC) hopes to debunk, especially among the new generation of Filipinos, through an experiential museum set up at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.
The interactive museum, which is composed of nine halls, recreates the martial law victims’ struggle for democracy, including the events that led to the bloodless revolution in 1986. Through the concept of a guided museum tour, visitors will be able to relive the collective experiences and oppression committed against martial-law victims, which organizers warned may be “disturbing, haunting, and uncomfortable.” The halls represent various phases of martial law and periods in history, which are retold through the elements of theater, cinema, photography, installation and other allied arts. READ MORE...

ALSO: What FVR wants to tell millennials 30 years after Edsa revolt
[Ramos has also a message to the younger generation of Filipinos who did not experience the oppression during the martial rule, especially to those who are feeling “nostalgic in a positive way” toward the Marcoses. “I would hope that whoever would be elected, together as a team, will succeed better as our top officials, better than successors, better than me,” Ramos said.]


February 24 -Former president and Edsa personality Fidel V. Ramos in a roundtable interview at Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City. YUJI VINCENT GONZALES
 IT HAS been three decades since the historic 1986 People Power Revolution, but for former president and Edsa personality Fidel V. Ramos, its legacy as an “unequaled model” to the world of a peaceful uprising for democracy still remains up to this day. “The Edsa revolution, up to now, is the unequaled model of common people collectively getting together to reject an oppressive regime and succeed in doing so, non-violently,” Ramos told INQUIRER.net. Citing the plight of refugees and the war in the Middle East, Ramos said the world today, contrary to the bloodless 1986 revolution, was “all bloody.” Ramos, then head of the Philippine Constabulary and vice chief of staff to Ferdinand Marcos, became known for breaking away from the dictatorship and pledging loyalty to democracy icon and former president Corazon Aquino. Ramos has also a message to the younger generation of Filipinos who did not experience the oppression during the martial rule, especially to those who are feeling “nostalgic in a positive way” toward the Marcoses. READ MORE...RELATED,
1986 people power - Philippines’s gift to the world...

ALSO: By Jose Ma. Montelibano - Was martial law ever justified?
[We must not gloss over the issue of martial law, and it is not because Bongbong Marcos is running. Rather, it is because a complexity of challenges confronts us today despite the many advances in technology, politics, and economics in the last forty years.]


FEBRUARY 26 - BY JOSE MONTELIBANO -Talaksan:1969 inauguration.jpg FROM WIKIPEDIA History is being revisited because it is election time and Bongbong Marcos is running. Revisiting history is good, but revising it is criminal. A graduating student asked to interview me on a particular question: Did martial law have a good or bad impact on our country? I was shocked that the question was even asked. In my mind, how can martial law be good for any country that believes in freedom and wants to live in freedom? But because the question was asked, not in a political debate but part of an academic exercise, it led me to realize just how warped our understanding of our martial law experience is today. The good or bad that martial law can do to a democratic country is a question that is only subsequential to the more important issue – what for is martial law? The correct purpose of martial law justifies its imposition. If the purpose is according to the reasons anticipated by the Constitution, then martial law is not only an option to do good but a mandate, a necessity. Marcos used several reasons to justify the proclamation of martial law, which means suspending civil rights and imposing military rule. He claimed there was the communist insurgency. He claimed there was a rebellion by Muslim forces seeking their own independence. He claimed there was unrest in the streets from militant activists. Because of these reasons, Marcos said imposing martial law was justified. I think we have to flip the pages of history a little bit more. The communist insurgency was not a new thing in 1972, it had been there since the 1940’s. In fact, Ramon Magsaysay as Defense Secretary suppressed, then contained, it. He did not need martial law. He needed only the military to do their job, he needed only his charisma and integrity. READ MORE...

ALSO: Imelda attends mass for martial law victims


FEBRUARY 25 -Former first lady Imelda Marcos AP file photo/Bullit Marquez
Former first lady Imelda Marcos was wheeled into the Baclaran church yesterday, not realizing she had joined a mass for victims of the authoritarian regime of her late husband, Ferdinand Marcos.
The 86-year-old Ilocos Norte representative, in a wheelchair, sat in front of the altar of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish as several martial law victims recounted their ordeal. Nardy Sabino, secretary general of the ecumenical group Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR), said it was “coincidental” that Marcos was at the church in Parańaque at the same time that they were holding their program for the human rights victims. But others said Marcos is a devotee of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help and is often seen attending mass at Baclaran Church, especially on Wednesdays. It just so happened that yesterday also fell on the day before Filipinos commemorate the EDSA revolution that ousted the Marcoses from power in 1986. Wednesday is known to the faithful as “Simbang Baclaran” day when Marian devotees flock to this church to hear mass, pray and venerate Mother Mary. Baclaran Church, or the national shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, located in Parańaque City has several scheduled midweek masses. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

PHL still seeks $1B in Marcos wealth 30 years after his ouster


THE LATE FORMER PRESIDENT FERDINAND MARCOS

MANILA, FEBRUARY 29, 2016
(GMA NEWS TV)  Published February 24, 2016 By MANNY MOGATO, Reuters  - The Philippines is still seeking to recover about $1 billion worth of assets accumulated by the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos through 100 court cases at home and overseas, a government official said on Wednesday.

"The task is not easy," said Richard Amurao, head of an agency created in 1986 to recover funds from Marcos. "The people holding these assets have been slowing us down. They have been using all sorts of delaying tactics to thwart our efforts."

Marcos, who ruled the Philippines for about two decades, fled to Hawaii 30 years ago this week after a near bloodless popular revolt. He died in exile three years later.

Reuters' efforts on Wednesday to contact his wife, Imelda, and son Ferdinand Junior, to seek a response to the comments were unsuccessful. Imelda has repeatedly said the family did not steal from the people and its wealth was acquired legally.

Amurao said that since the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) was created, it has recovered and given the treasury about $4 billion.

In line with Philippine law, funds have been used mostly for land reform. Based on a Hawaii court ruling, P10 billion ($210.04 million) was used to compensate about 10,000 victims of human rights abuses.

The government hoped to raise $17.7 million from an auction of some confiscated Marcos jewelry, property and stocks, sources said this month.

READ MORE...

By unofficial estimates, Marcos had $10 billion of assets.

'Behest' loans

"We don't really know if the $10-billion estimate is accurate but what we can tell you (about the $1 billion now sought) is based from estimates of the court cases and from what we already recovered," Amurao said.

More than half of the court cases are civil lawsuits to recover shares, real estate, cash and jewellery, he said. A quarter of the cases involve "behest loans" state-owned banks gave individuals with political connections to Marcos, he said.

Andres Bautista, a former PCGG chairman, said most of the cases under litigation are complicated and difficult because government prosecutors could no longer locate witnesses and find documentary evidence.

"Some of the key players are also back in power," Bautista said.

Members of Marcos's family remain active in politics. His wife Imelda is a congresswoman from Ilocos Norte, the political base of the family where her eldest daughter is governor.

Her only son, Ferdinand Junior, is a senator and running for vice president in the May election. In independent polls, he is tied with Sen. Francis Escudero, who's the son of a former Marcos era minister. — Reuters

--------------------------

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

P170-B ill-gotten wealth recovered from Marcoses, cronies By Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 25, 2016 - 12:00am 2 279 googleplus0 0

 
Christie's auction house appraiser David Warren examines a set of jewelry from Roumeliotes Collection, one of three sets of the Marcos Jewelry Collection, during appraisal at the Central Bank of the Philippines Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015 in Manila, Philippines. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines – The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) said it has recovered over P170 billion worth of ill-gotten wealth from the family of dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his cronies from 1986 to 2015.

In an infographic released in time for the 30th anniversary of the EDSA people power revolution today, the PCGG said almost P94 billion was remitted to the national treasury and another P76 billion identified as escrow funds.

“The PCGG is mandated to prosecute and litigate cases involving the recovery of Marcos’ and his cronies’ ill-gotten wealth and investigate such cases of graft and corruption,” said the agency, which was created by former President Corazon Aquino when she assumed office in 1986.

“The recovered assets are deposited at the Bureau of Treasury for the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program,” it added.

The biggest assets recovered by the agency include the Swiss bank deposits of the Marcoses worth over P35 billion and the proceeds from the sale of Philippine Telecommunications Investment Corp. shares worth over P25 billion.

The government recently bared plans to auction the Marcos jewelry collections valued at over P1 billion.

It is also seeking public support in its search of missing artworks that were allegedly part of the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos family.

Called the Missing Art Movement, the portal (http://missingart.ph) contains the “Portraits of Corruption,” a gallery of missing artworks that were supposedly purchased by the Marcoses using people’s money.

“The commission remains unwavering in accomplishing its mandate of recovering all ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses and returning the same to its real owners,” PCGG chairman Richard Amurao said.

Never forget In an earlier statement, the PCGG refuted claims of vice presidential bet Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that he is no longer involved in the cases filed by the government against him and his family.

The agency said court records would show that Marcos Jr. is even the signatory in some of the pleadings.

“It would be untrue to claim that his family has stopped participating in said court cases,” said PCGG. “In fact, the Marcos family has been active in appealing to the Supreme Court various decisions which were ruled against them.”

The statement was released hours before the official start of the campaign period earlier this month.

Marcos is running for vice president alongside Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago. Recent surveys place him tied at first place with Sen. Francis Escudero.

The PCGG said Marcos, in various interviews, appeared to be distancing himself from the cases involving the ill-gotten wealth allegedly amassed by his family during the dictatorship.

But the agency said Marcos and his mother, former first lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos, filed separate petitions before the Supreme Court (SC) when the Sandiganbayan forfeited to the government the so-called Arelma funds amounting to $42 million.

PCGG also said the Marcoses filed motions over decisions on the Malacańang jewelry collection of Imelda and the issuance of a writ of attachment against the million-dollar paintings supposedly in possession of the Marcoses.

“Instances such as these debunk the senator’s continuous denial of his knowledge of the actions being undertaken by his lawyers,” said PCGG.

Marcos is running a rather popular campaign, with his supporters highlighting the supposed achievements of his father during his rule.

Critics, however, slam the senator for failing to recognize and apologize for the atrocities committed during the martial law era.


SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES PRESS RELEASE

Let historians and scholars of history make objective assessment of the past - Sen. Marcos  Press Release February 26, 2016



Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" R. Marcos, Jr. today said objective assessment of his father's rule is better left to historians and that instead of focusing on the past, our leaders should strive to find solutions to the problems besetting the country today.

"Kailangan sagutin natin ang taong bayan pagka sinasabi tulungan ninyo kami dito sa mga bagay-bagay na ito, dito sa problemang hinaharap namin--and that is still what we should be doing," said Marcos in a press briefing in Balungao town in Pangasinan.

Marcos made the statement when reporters pressed him to comment on President Aquino's call for the people to oppose his vice presidential bid, saying the people should learn from the lessons of the past.

"Ipaubaya natin ang kasaysayan sa mga propesor, sa mga nag-aaral tungkol sa kasaysayan ng Pilipinas. Kami hindi namin trabaho yun. Ang trabaho namin ay tingnan kung ano ba ang pangangailangan ng taong bayan ngayon," he added.

Marcos said today's situation is vastly different from the situation three decades ago and so current problems require solutions different from what were done in the past.

In fact, Marcos categorically said he does not relish the idea of witnessing another declaration of martial law in the country.

READ MORE...

"Oh, God no. Because if there's martial law, ibig sabihin we're in crisis. E ayaw naman nating mapasok ang Pilpinas sa crisis," he said..

Despite Malacanang's actions against him, Marcos is thankful that he has not seen any negative impact on his campaign so far.

A crowd of over 3,000 at the covered auditorium of the municipality of Umingan warmly welcomed Marcos, who was guest speaker at the multi-sectoral forum held there earlier in the day.

"Wala naman kaming narararamdaman na ganun. Yung suporta yung pagsalubong ng tao ganun pa rin kainit, hindi pa rin nagbabago. Kaya't nagpapasalamat ako sa lahat g mga tuluyang hindi nagsasawa sa pagmamahal sa akin, sa pamlya ko, at sa lahat ng aming gustong gawin para tulungan ang bayan," Marcos said.

---------------------------

RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Anti-Marcos group starts fundraising drive SHARES: 941 VIEW COMMENTS By: Carmel Loise Matus
@inquirerdotnet Inquirer Visayas 03:19 AM February 29th, 2016


Sen. Bongbong Marcos Jr.NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

CEBU CITY—Kerrina Atillo was not yet born during the martial law era.

Now 18 years old and a third year business administration student at the University of San Carlos, she is among those leading a campaign against the vice presidential bid of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

“Right now, there are no soldiers following us. We enjoy the right to express ourselves. We can rant on Facebook,”ť said Atillo, one of the youth leaders of Anti-Bongbong Coalition (ABC) in Cebu.

The coalition, which consists of 70 representatives from cause-oriented groups, gathered in a hotel here on Saturday afternoon for the formal launch of their “No to Bongbong” campaign.

Noel Tabasa, ABC spokesperson, said the group was into raising funds for the campaign, including organizing a concert next month and selling P300-anti-Marcos shirts and P5-stickers.

Atillo said she wanted to help students like her to always seek the truth and not just rely on what was being circulated on social media about the good deeds of the Marcos family.

“We will not stand for Bongbong Marcos. He was there when martial law happened,” she said.

The present generation of the so-called millennials will have to be reminded that they owe the freedom that they now enjoy to student activists who fought martial law, Atillo said.

Former Sen. Francis Pangilinan said in a statement that Filipinos should be reminded of the people who gave their lives for freedom.

“We cannot dishonor their memory by saying martial law was a good thing, it was not,” he said.

READ:

Bongbong Marcos’s VP bid gets boost from Cavite Vice Gov. Revilla

Keep campaign clean, Bongbong tells rivals


INQUIRER

IN HOLOGRAM, AQUINO SLAMS MARCOS: HE'LL DO EVERYTHING TO HOARD POWER: Struggle for democracy relived at Edsa Experiential Museum SHARES: 129 VIEW COMMENTS By: Yuji Vincent Gonzales @YGonzalesINQ INQUIRER.net 06:22 PM February 24th, 2016

 

There was “discipline” during martial law, they say. The Philippine economy was at its peak during the dictator’s regime, they say.
Three decades after the historic Edsa People Power Revolution, these are just some of the myths and misconceptions that the Edsa People Power Commission (EPPC) hopes to debunk, especially among the new generation of Filipinos, through an experiential museum set up at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

The interactive museum, which is composed of nine halls, recreates the martial law victims’ struggle for democracy, including the events that led to the bloodless revolution in 1986.

Through the concept of a guided museum tour, visitors will be able to relive the collective experiences and oppression committed against martial-law victims, which organizers warned may be “disturbing, haunting, and uncomfortable.”

The halls represent various phases of martial law and periods in history, which are retold through the elements of theater, cinema, photography, installation and other allied arts.

READ MORE...

EPPC Commissioner Millie Kilayko said they are eyeing to attract and engage the youth or the so-called millennial generation who were not able to witness and experience the struggle for democracy and the crimes of atrocities committed against Filipinos.


Edsa Experential Museum’s Hall of the Lost or the Disappeared (Desaparecidos). YUJI VINCENT GONZALES

“It’s always been said that a country needs to understand its history, its children have to learn the mistakes, the pains, the sorrows, and the joys of the past. This is exactly what we are doing.

We want every Filipino, especially the young, what we as a people have gone through because only that way can we grow as a nation,” Kilayco told reporters in an interview.

READ: To young Filipinos who never knew martial law and dictatorship

“They will see in a nutshell what we have gone through as a people in those very painful years in our history as Filipinos.

They will be able to see through the actors and through photographs which are all true, real parts of history what happened. They can experience the pain of the people of the past,” she said.

READ: I saw martial law up close and personal


Edsa Experential Museum’s Hall of the Orphans. YUJI VINCENT GONZALES

The museum’s nine halls are the The Hall of Restless Sleep, The Hall of False Dreams, The Hall of Orphans, The Hall of the Lost , The Hall of Pain, The Hall of Forgotten Martyrs, The Hall of Awakening, The Hall of Reality and The Hall of Action.
 



In the last phase of the tour, a hologram of President Benigno Aquino III called on Filipinos to continuously commemorate.

“Ang makakalimot sa mali ng nakaraan, garantisadong uulitin ito. Ang realidad ngayon, pilit pinapalago ng iilan ang ating pinagdaanan, lalo na ng taumbayan, na minsang may naganap na madilim na yugto sa ating kasaysayan kung saan pinagmalupitan ng Pilipino ang kapwa Pilipino,” he said.

READ: Sa kabataang di nakatikim ng Martial Law, ito ang ginawa ni Marcos


The Hall of Awakening. YUJI VINCENT GONZALES

Aquino also took a swipe at the dictator’s son and namesake who is running for Vice President, implying that an abuse of power is possible if a Marcos will be elected in the upcoming national polls.

“Tandaan natin. Meron pa ring kababayan natin na kung mabibigyan ng pagkakataon sa pwesto ay sasagasaan ang lahat para lang masamsam ang buong kapangyarihan,” he said.



“Sa Edsa experiential museum na ito, sana’y bahagyang madama ninyo sa ilang minuto ang dinaan ng Pilipino sa loob ng 14 na taon ng martial law. Sana’y magpunla ito ng mas matibay na hangarin na pangalagaan ang demokrasya na sisigurong hindi na mauulit muli ang ganito katinding kamalian,” Aquino added.


The Hall of the Forgotten Martyrs. YUJI VINCENT GONZALES

The museum will be open to the public for free on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 25 and 26, from 8 a.m. to 12 midnight. The tour can accommodate up to 40 people per batch for 30 to 40 minutes. Children below 15 years old are barred from entering.

Kilayko said the EPPC is coordinating with a local government unit to transfer the museum to another area so more people can pay a visit.TVJ


Edsa experential museum's Hall of the Restless Sleep. YUJI VINCENT GONZALES

RELATED STORIES

Leni to Bongbong: Moving on from martial law ‘nightmare’ not easy

Etta Rosales to Marcos: We’ll never forget martial law era


INQUIRER

What Ramos wants to tell millennials 30 years after Edsa revolt SHARES: 135 VIEW COMMENTS By: Yuji Vincent Gonzales @YGonzalesINQ INQUIRER.net 07:43 PM February 24th, 2016


Former president and Edsa personality Fidel V. Ramos in a roundtable interview at Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City. YUJI VINCENT GONZALES

IT HAS been three decades since the historic 1986 People Power Revolution, but for former president and Edsa personality Fidel V. Ramos, its legacy as an “unequaled model” to the world of a peaceful uprising for democracy still remains up to this day.

“The Edsa revolution, up to now, is the unequaled model of common people collectively getting together to reject an oppressive regime and succeed in doing so, non-violently,” Ramos told INQUIRER.net.

Citing the plight of refugees and the war in the Middle East, Ramos said the world today, contrary to the bloodless 1986 revolution, was “all bloody.”

Ramos, then head of the Philippine Constabulary and vice chief of staff to Ferdinand Marcos, became known for breaking away from the dictatorship and pledging loyalty to democracy icon and former president Corazon Aquino.

Ramos has also a message to the younger generation of Filipinos who did not experience the oppression during the martial rule, especially to those who are feeling “nostalgic in a positive way” toward the Marcoses.

READ MORE...

“They should visit the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City, where the names of the martial law victims are,” he said, when asked about the popularity of the dictator’s son and namesake in preference surveys.

Marcos Jr., who had repeatedly refused to apologize for the crimes of atrocities and human rights violations committed during the reign of his father, is running for vice president in the upcoming national elections in May.

Ramos said the government and elder people who witnessed martial law should help educate the youth or the so-called millennial generation on the struggle for freedom and the price that came with it.

“It is the responsibility of the parents to impart to the children if they are still very young,” Ramos said.

“This government is trying its best but it’s not good enough,” he added, reiterating the need to establish a center that would lay down the “context of the happenings in 1986.”

Highlighting a “balance mix between discipline and democracy,” Ramos also urged the youth to play their part in nation-building by “sharing, caring, and daring for the Philippines,” and by taking a “concerted action to make a difference,” especially less than three months before the May polls.

“I would hope that whoever would be elected, together as a team, will succeed better as our top officials, better than successors, better than me,” Ramos said.

“To wrap it up, no one wants World War III. Not even that crazy guy from North Korea,” he added in jest.
Ramos was one of the personalities featured in the documentary “People Power: 30 Years On,” which will air on Discovery Channel on Feb. 25, 9 p.m.


INQUIRER

GLIMPSES - Was martial law ever justified? SHARES: 1246 VIEW COMMENTS By: Jose Ma. Montelibano @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net 05:43 AM February 26th, 2016


Talaksan:1969 inauguration.jpg FROM WIKIPEDIA

History is being revisited because it is election time and Bongbong Marcos is running. Revisiting history is good, but revising it is criminal.

A graduating student asked to interview me on a particular question: Did martial law have a good or bad impact on our country?

I was shocked that the question was even asked. In my mind, how can martial law be good for any country that believes in freedom and wants to live in freedom? But because the question was asked, not in a political debate but part of an academic exercise, it led me to realize just how warped our understanding of our martial law experience is today.

The good or bad that martial law can do to a democratic country is a question that is only subsequential to the more important issue – what for is martial law? The correct purpose of martial law justifies its imposition. If the purpose is according to the reasons anticipated by the Constitution, then martial law is not only an option to do good but a mandate, a necessity.

Marcos used several reasons to justify the proclamation of martial law, which means suspending civil rights and imposing military rule. He claimed there was the communist insurgency. He claimed there was a rebellion by Muslim forces seeking their own independence. He claimed there was unrest in the streets from militant activists. Because of these reasons, Marcos said imposing martial law was justified.

I think we have to flip the pages of history a little bit more. The communist insurgency was not a new thing in 1972, it had been there since the 1940’s. In fact, Ramon Magsaysay as Defense Secretary suppressed, then contained, it. He did not need martial law. He needed only the military to do their job, he needed only his charisma and integrity.

READ MORE...

All the more the conflict with rebellious Muslim forces had been around – for centuries before 1972.

Again, martial law was never declared to counter the rebellion or secessionist movement in Mindanao. Way after Marcos negotiated peace by asking for help from other Muslim nations, armed conflict in several areas of Mindanao persisted – yet no one calls for martial law.

If Marcos lived through the last three decades and witnessed daily life in the Philippines, he would have seen street protest after street protest in four presidencies. There has not only been unrest in the streets but even armed violence at times. No martial law asked or needed.

Despite the challenges in the countryside and the streets, there still seemed no justification for martial law. By as luck would have it for Marcos, and a painful curse on the Filipino nation, an assassination attempt was reported against Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile. The problem is that people then believed that the ambush was staged, and people still believe it today.

The bigger problem is that when interviewed during the tense-filled days of February 1986, many heard Enrile admit the ambush was staged.

Where, then, was the justification for martial law? Because without the accepted reasons that could justify martial law, justify the suspension of civil rights and justify military rule, its imposition was a crime that became the predicate for a continuing series of crimes.

So, before even trying to answer whether martial law had a good or bad impact on our country, we must stay focused on the real cause for its imposition. If there was true justification, we can then move on and evaluate how martial law was handled or mishandled. If none, martial was both a ploy and an instrument to cover with some aura of legality more crimes that were already planned.

What was real was that Marcos had serious political problems, but that the problems were mostly his rather than the nation’s. Of course, as president, every response to his own problem with credibility and popularity used his position and the resources of government. By design, or by sheer ineptness, every Marcos response to the challenges confronting him aggravated his and the nation’s problems. But so many had said that Marcos was brilliant, ineptness seems improbable. What is easier to assume is that a brilliant mind built the veneer for a plausible martial law by deliberately aggravating his political problems.

We must not gloss over the issue of martial law, and it is not because Bongbong Marcos is running. Rather, it is because a complexity of challenges confronts us today despite the many advances in technology, politics, and economics in the last forty years.

The communist rebellion persists, except I am not sure if it is still communistic or has morphed to something else. The Muslim conflict is subdued but capable of erupting to a more massive and aggressive scale. Militant activism is still around and continues to keep recruiting in schools and the barangays. The drug trade has exploded to national proportions and could be more harmful in impact than armed rebellion. There is also China, hovering above our heads like the sword of Damocles. Most of all, there is us, many mired in poverty, weakened by factionalism, and enough political and commercial traitors who seek to profit by pitting us one against the other.

We wish for the best but plan for the worst. We have the ingredients that can cause explosions, or lead towards an implosion. Either way, martial law may become an option.

If we are aware, any move towards it can be met with instant opposition and resistance, early enough to show the military where the people stand. But if we are confused about martial law, it can happen again because some of us are led to believe it can be good. Then, past lessons unlearned will become too painful not to learn well the second time around.


Jose Ma. "Boy" Montelibano Columnist at Inquirer.net; NCR - National Capital Region, Philippines Civic & Social Organization; Current Gawad Kalinga Deevelopment Foundation, Inc.; Inquirer.net / Previous TuloypNoy; Founding Member, Planters Products Inc.; Education Ateneo de Manila University SOURCE LinkedIn

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

1986 people power: Philippines’s gift to the world By Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 25, 2016 - 12:00am 0 3 googleplus0 0


Anti-government demonstrators gather at the grounds of Malacańang after the Marcos family fled during the 1986 people power revolution. STAR/Val Rodriguez

MANILA, Philippines – Thirty years ago today, Filipinos achieved the impossible and brought down a dictatorship.

The 1986 people power revolution inspired pro-democracy uprisings in other parts of the world and must not be forgotten by Filipinos, Malacańang said yesterday.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Filipinos should “celebrate and rekindle the spirit of EDSA as it represents a high water mark in our history” with the triumph of democracy.

The peaceful revolt ended the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos and propelled Corazon Aquino to power.

“Demonstrating the primacy of people power is the Filipinos’ gift to the world: we paved the way for the peaceful dismantling of the Berlin Wall and the return of democracy in South Korea and Romania,” Coloma said at the launch of the People Power Experiential Museum at Camp Aguinaldo.

The Berlin Wall divided Germany from 1961 to 1989. A reunified Germany is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The German government has given the Philippines a section of the wall.

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Based on reports, huge rallies challenged South Korea’s strongman Chun Doo-hwa a year after EDSA, which eventually led to democratic reforms, among them the direct election of president.

The overthrow of the communist regime in Romania and other parts of the world also occurred a few years after EDSA.

Coloma said the executive branch would continue to work closely with the judiciary to ensure that all those who suffered during the Marcos regime get justice.

“The Human Rights Claims Board is processing more than 76,000 claims from individuals and surviving families of those who were killed, tortured or who disappeared during martial law,” he said.

Funding for claims would be drawn from ill-gotten wealth recovered from the Marcoses and their cronies by the Presidential Commission on Good Government.

“The Philippines is probably the only country that has set up this institutionalized recovery and compensation processes through official government bodies,” Coloma said.

Human rights victims during martial law assail the slow justice, the reemergence of oligarchs and traditional politicians, as well as the return of the Marcoses to power 30 years after the relatively peaceful military-backed people’s uprising.

Reflect on EDSA As the country prepares to elect its new leaders, voters should ponder the lessons of EDSA so they can be more discerning in their choice, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said.

He recalled that during the EDSA revolution, Filipinos were ready to lay down their lives to “end over two decades of a dictatorship where freedoms of expression and of the press were controlled, and the justice system was barely allowed to function.”

“Significantly, this celebration comes during an election year – a genuine exercise under a democracy that was made possible because of EDSA,” Belmonte said in a statement.

“In May, we choose new leaders. It should also be an occasion where voters should carefully assess choices based on history and our world-recognized achievement that was EDSA,” he said.

“We are each called upon to do our role in choosing government leaders whom we can trust to continue to uphold the gains of EDSA and not set aside the very reason why we live in a democracy today,” he added.

The Speaker said the country has taken great strides since February 1986 when Filipinos overcame fear and fought peacefully for genuine freedom.

He said a legacy of the revolution is the continued quest for good governance as well as for a just and lasting peace.

“Let us enjoy the fruits of our democracy and by all means, speak our minds in all fora where freedom of expression reigns,” he said.

“This is our government and it is our responsibility to sustain what EDSA has won back for us,” Belmonte said.

Noy’s tales

In Talavera, Nueva Ecija, President Aquino recalled how martial law had turned his family’s world upside down – especially with the arrest and detention of his father and namesake, then a senator – at Fort Magsaysay here along with fellow senator Jose “Pepe” Diokno.

He said his father and Diokno were blindfolded and handcuffed when flown by helicopter from Fort Bonifacio to Fort Magsaysay after martial law was declared.

“Whatever I am today, I was molded by everything that we have been through in our lives. And one of the most significant stories or chapters of our lives, of my life, is the declaration of martial law in our motherland, which happened in 1972,” Aquino said.

He noted that though that there had been squandered opportunities after EDSA, including what he called the lost decade under the Arroyo administration, there were still a lot of reasons to honor the first EDSA revolution.

“My father wrote an article published in the Bangkok Post that was critical of martial law imposed during the time of Mr. Marcos. Because of this article, the forces of the dictatorship were enraged,” he said.

“He was secretly arrested in Fort Bonifacio, along with the late senator Jose ‘Pepe’ Diokno,” he added.

“We did not know if our father was dead or alive. There are those even taking advantage and providing false information as to my father’s whereabouts at the time,” the President recalled.

He said a military officer on an Army truck arrived one day at their family’s home on Times street in Quezon City to return the senator’s personal belongings, including a toothbrush.

“My mother asked, ‘Why were all his stuff being brought back, including the toothbrush?’ And the simple answer from those who returned the things was that there was no need for them. Think about it, put yourself in my situation, you’re 13 years old, the toothbrush was being returned. When do you not need a toothbrush? That gave us much anxiety,” the President said.

He said they sought help from the Supreme Court which allowed him, his mother and his siblings to visit the senator.

“From the headquarters of the Philippine Army in Fort Bonifacio, we were brought to a faraway place, we do not know for sure where, and in this place, it was dark, there was a camp, surrounded by barb wire and bamboo splits. At the time I felt we were brought to a concentration camp,” the President said.

He said he was relieved to see his father but was shocked to realize he had lost so much weight.


During his solitary confinement Aquino had lost a great deal of weight and had been experiencing severe chest pains. Afraid he might die in jail, Marcos gave his reluctant blessing to Aquino being moved under strict security to Imelda’s heart hospital for tests. The full complement of Manila’s press corps gathered as the ailing Senator entered the hospital. As a gesture of goodwill and forgiveness the born-again Aquino handed the gold crucifix he had been wearing around his neck in prison to his former nemesis and political rival, Imelda Marcos. FROM A MEMOIR BLOG Ninoy Aquino – The Boy Wonder of Tarlac Posted on February 1, 2010 by anywhereiwander.

“What was left to him before he faced us was his underwear, two pieces of T-shirt, two pieces of briefs. It was very important for my father to wear eyeglasses because he was nearsighted. Whenever he removed that, he would easily get dizzy. If you take the watch, you remove the so-called sense of time,” he said.

“My father told us that he had been praying for so long to see us his family even just once. He prayed to the Virgin Mary and that was his request,” Aquino said.

The President said his story and that of his family were just part of the millions of stories told by Filipinos who experienced injustice at the time.

Aquino said he was doing his best to make sure people are always empowered.

“Here in Talavera, if I’m not mistaken in 2010, we were campaigning, it was here when an elderly woman told me, ‘You will be clashing with the heavyweights, you be careful.’ I lived with that. I knew that what I got into was dangerous,” the President said.

“We stopped their grisly wrongdoings, they would find a way to get even. That is okay with me for as long as in the end I could say that I would leave you in a much better place than what I found. With your help, we can continue the changes,” Aquino said.

About 10,000 people are expected to take part in the 30th celebration of the EDSA People Power today on EDSA in Ortigas in Quezon City.

President Aquino is expected to lead the celebration with other ranking government officials, diplomats, dignitaries and civil society groups at the People Power Monument. The event is expected to last until 1 p.m. tomorrow.

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Joel Pagdilao created a task force composed of the five police districts in Metro Manila to ensure peaceful and orderly celebration of the EDSA people power, said NCRPO spokesperson Chief Insp. Kimberly Molitas.
She reminded the public of the closure of some portions of EDSA’s northbound lane, especially at the corner of Shaw Boulevard and White Plains, until 1 p.m. today.

“We have our troops on the ground ready for any eventuality,” she said, adding Metro Manila is on full alert.

“We are all on duty on Feb. 25. All leaves of NCRPO personnel are cancelled, meaning we are all on duty.” – With Paolo Romero, Cecille Suerte Felipe, Romina Cabrera


PHILSTAR

Imelda attends mass for martial law victims By Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 25, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Former first lady Imelda Marcos AP file photo/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines – Former first lady Imelda Marcos was wheeled into the Baclaran church yesterday, not realizing she had joined a mass for victims of the authoritarian regime of her late husband, Ferdinand Marcos.

The 86-year-old Ilocos Norte representative, in a wheelchair, sat in front of the altar of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish as several martial law victims recounted their ordeal.

Nardy Sabino, secretary general of the ecumenical group Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR), said it was “coincidental” that Marcos was at the church in Parańaque at the same time that they were holding their program for the human rights victims.

But others said Marcos is a devotee of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help and is often seen attending mass at Baclaran Church, especially on Wednesdays.

It just so happened that yesterday also fell on the day before Filipinos commemorate the EDSA revolution that ousted the Marcoses from power in 1986.


Imelda attends mass for martial law victims

Wednesday is known to the faithful as “Simbang Baclaran” day when Marian devotees flock to this church to hear mass, pray and venerate Mother Mary. Baclaran Church, or the national shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, located in Parańaque City has several scheduled midweek masses.

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Aside from the testimonies of victims, Marcos also heard mention of martial law and the importance of the EDSA Revolution during the homily.

Sabino said Marcos was just “stoic, unmoved,” when asked how the former first lady reacted to these criticisms.

Sabino said they made arrangements to sponsor the 10:45 a.m. mass at Baclaran yesterday to commemorate the EDSA People Power revolution.

They also prepared a photo exhibit and a documentary video on martial law.

Marcos reportedly arrived around the time the mass started and left after communion. She reportedly ignored the exhibit that the group had set up.

When asked if there were people who vented their anger against Marcos during the mass, Sabino said the churchgoers were civil and did not prevent her from leaving the church or criticizing her.

“It was not our intention to criticize her. Actually, our real target was the audience, for them to remember and understand the violence that happened during the martial law years, the disregard for life and dignity of people during that time,” he said.

Sabino said after listening to the homily and testimony of a victim, “we just hope that she (Marcos) understands and takes to heart that during the martial law years there were many people who lost their father, their mother and their children. There were also a lot of people who suffered.”


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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