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PETITIONERS ASK SC TO RECONSIDER MARCOS BURIAL RULING
[FROM SOCIAL MEDIA -A REPORT FROM RAPPLER.COM: Facebook suspends anti-Marcos journalist's account]
NOVEMBER 28 -Two groups led by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman and former lawmaker Neri Colmenares filed separate motions for reconsideration yesterday, asking the Supreme Court to reverse its Nov. 8 decision allowing the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. EDD GUMBAN Two groups led by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman and former lawmaker Neri Colmenares filed separate motions for reconsideration yesterday, asking the Supreme Court (SC) to reverse its Nov. 8 decision allowing the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB). The petitioners said the burial of Marcos last Nov. 18 was a “gross distortion, a malevolent revision and a wanton derogation of Philippine history.” “The burial of a condemned dictator, confirmed plunderer and censured violator of human rights in the Cemetery of Heroes will not lead to closure because it sanctifies evil and installs a despot and oppressor in the venerable memorial for good men,” they said. The petitioners said the speed and stealth by which Marcos clan members carried out the dictator’s burial showed their incorrigible addiction to deception, underhandedness and abuse, which the SC must never condone. READ MORE...RELATED ALSO, Facebook suspends anti-Marcos journalist's account...
ALSO: ‘Spread truth about history’ - 19 new 'real' heroes who fought Marcos added to Bantayog Wall of Remembrance
[RELATED: Aerial view of anti-Marcos protest on Bonifacio Day]
DECEMBER 1 -‘NEW BANTAYOG’ HEROES : Nineteen names, including those of Inquirer editor in chief Leticia Jimenez-Magsanoc and former Sen. Jovito Salonga, are added on Wednesday to the roster of heroes who fought the Marcos regime at Bantayog ng mga Bayani. —LYN RILLON Nineteen Filipinos, led by journalists Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc and Antonio Zumel, former Sen. Jovito Salonga, movie director Benjamin Cervantes and Bishop Julio Labayen, yesterday officially joined the ranks of 268 other “real heroes” who fought the dictator Ferdinand Marcos—their names etched in stone at Bantayog ng mga Bayani’s Wall of Remembrance. “The message we want to convey is that we need to spread the truth about history, because if not, this will keep on happening. We saw what happened this month, the one who had committed a sin against our nation was buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani,” former Sen. Wigberto Tañada, said referring to Marcos. The rites at the Wall of Remembrance were among key events held in commemoration of National Heroes’ Day, marked by protests in various parts of the country amid a groundswell of indignation against Marcos’ Nov. 18 burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani. READ MORE...RELATED, Aerial view of anti-Marcos protest on Bonifacio Day...
ALSO: By Yen Makabenta - [Ombudsman's] Branding support for Marcos burial
(In subscribing to the immutable interpretation of the Marcos era supplied by the Yellow Cult, Morales shows that she is more interested in politics than in history. email@example.com)
[RELATED: By Efren Cruz -Protests and justice]
NOVEMBER 28 -YEN MAKABENTA OMBUDSMAN Conchita Carpio-Morales made her revisions during her speech before the UP College of Law reunion in Makati last Friday. One wishes they could be dismissed as just a blunder, but coming from a former associate Justice of the Supreme Court and the Ombudsman, they are egregious. I wish the Ombudsman was more circumspect in throwing the weight of her office to bear on the debate about the Marcos burial, because she compromises not just herself but her office. I wish also that she did not wander away from the field of law into the fields of history, philosophy and literature, for these disciplines are beyond her competence. In wagging a finger against those who favor the Marcos burial and showing her usual supercilious manner, she invites scrutiny of her words, her thinking and her understanding of the issue of historical revisionism. Having expressed in writing my own support for the burial and my opposition to exhuming the Marcos remains, I feel obligated to point out the glaring errors in her opinion. Alas, they cannot be ascribed to the frailties of womanhood or to old age. READ MORE...RELATED By Efren Cruz -Protests and justice...
ALSO: By Archbishop Oscar Cruz - Rest in peace
[RELATED: By Rina Jimenez David - Where blame properly lies]
[RELATED(2): Wrong protest venue - from a Reader]
NOVEMBER 28 -The truth of the matter is that which is really important and truly significant is whether someone dead is resting in peace or not, whether he is with God or away from Him — which is infallibly known only to the dead individual himself and the ever living God alone. This is neither profound to know, nor complicated to understand. In the last analysis wherefore, what definitely matters is not if someone is buried here, there or anywhere, if people celebrate or demean his name, or if the same is a hero or not. Symbols are good. But objective reality is certainly not changed by mere symbols no matter how famous — or infamous — these are. Truth ultimately prevails. Reality is what truly counts.This is but promoting the significance of truth, enhancing the imperative of justice, underlining the implications of peace — none of which is abrogated but by mere symbols, by mere words.This is simply meant to say that which is true or false, that which is just or unjust and what is promotional of harmony or disharmony are not in the infallible domain either of the majority of society nor by the minority thereof for that matter. READ MORE...RELATED, By Rina Jimenez David - Where blame properly lies... RELATED(2)
Wrong protest venue - from a Reader...
ALSO: By Tonyo Cruz - ‘F word’
[RELATED: FROM INQUIRER LETTER TO THE EDITOR -‘Libingan na Walang Katahimikan’]
NOVEMBER 29 -By Tonyo Cruz Some say I dropped the “F word” on President Duterte while emceeing for the multitudes last Friday at the Luneta. That’s not true! I was taken out of context! But seriously, the “F word” had to be dropped. Worse words have been written and displayed on placards. I’m not sorry at all, except that maybe I didn’t do it many times, like anywhere between 10 billion (Marcos loot, in dollars) and 24 billion (Marcos -era foreign debt, also in dollars). I wanted to say the Filipino insult that mentions mother and bitch in one go, but we were honoring all martial law heroes who include Soledad Duterte. Duterte fully and totally deserves the “F word” for honoring Marcos with a hero’s burial and forging an alliance with the most criminal and most corrupt political family in modern Philippine history. And what is this odd business about questioning why we are that furious that we drop the “F word” in a rally? Why get so protective of a president who curses at anyone, even the Pope? READ MORE...RELATED,LETTER TO THE INQUIRER EDITOR - ‘Libingan na Walang Katahimikan’...
ALSO: EDITORIAL - History via 'Yellow' lenses
[RELATED By Jojo Robles: Exhume all, now!]
(Yes, there are many soldiers lying under the Libingan’s hollowed ground who perpetrated some of the most vicious and inhuman crimes committed during Marcos’ reign, with no direct instruction from the dictator, Enrile or Ramos. And there are still many of Marcos’ enablers who are still around, trying to hide their involvement in martial law, or worse, even joining those calling for his exhumation now. ...)
NOVEMBER 30 -There were allegations and there is history with two versions which can’t mix and appear to be struggling to diverge but the yellow mob is not allowing this to happen. Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, one of the yellow lieutenants, warned during a speech of the “revisionist-distortionist proclivity” that is spreading under the administration of Rody, she said. What spurred her view, which she told graduating law students at the University of the Philippines (UP), was apparently the sentiments of Rody toward the Marcoses that led to the recent burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB). She warned that “when supposed truths about martial law and the purported progress that the Philippines had enjoyed during the (Marcos) regime are considered more fact than fiction, then we see a transformation of our values as a people.” Judging based on fact, however, would tend to elicit doubts about the yellow version of history that led to the installation of former President Cory Aquino and the dominance of the yellow mob in government.
None of the spectacular cases of massive plunder of the country’s treasury that runs into billions of dollars remained allegations and were never proven in court 30 years after Marcos was deposed. READ MORE...RELATED, By Jojo Robles: Exhume all, now!...
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Petitioners ask SC to reconsider Marcos burial ruling
Two groups led by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman and former lawmaker Neri Colmenares filed separate motions for reconsideration yesterday, asking the Supreme Court to reverse its Nov. 8 decision allowing the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. EDD GUMBAN
MANILA, DECEMBER 5, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Edu Punay November 29, 2016 - Two groups led by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman and former lawmaker Neri Colmenares filed separate motions for reconsideration yesterday, asking the Supreme Court (SC) to reverse its Nov. 8 decision allowing the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).
The petitioners said the burial of Marcos last Nov. 18 was a “gross distortion, a malevolent revision and a wanton derogation of Philippine history.”
“The burial of a condemned dictator, confirmed plunderer and censured violator of human rights in the Cemetery of Heroes will not lead to closure because it sanctifies evil and installs a despot and oppressor in the venerable memorial for good men,” they said.
The petitioners said the speed and stealth by which Marcos clan members carried out the dictator’s burial showed their incorrigible addiction to deception, underhandedness and abuse, which the SC must never condone.
The SC erred in solely basing the burial of Marcos on Armed Forces Regulations G 161-375 because the issuance of the Department of National Defense is not effective and enforceable in the absence of registration with the Office of the National Administrative Registrar of the University of the Philippines Law Center as required by the Administrative Code of 1987, they added.
Under AFP Regulation G 161-375, the chief of staff shall be responsible for the issuance of the interment directive for all active military personnel for interment, authorized personnel and retirees, veterans and reservists enumerated therein.
Petitioners said the executive branch also violated Article II, Section 27 of the Constitution, which requires the government to take positive and effective measures against graft and corruption.
They cited previous SC rulings, including the Sandiganbayan case where $638 million in assets of Marcos was forfeited in favor of the government.
“Thus, allowing Marcos the dictator who has already been judged by the Filipino people in 1986 and even the Supreme Court as a plunderer in many cases to be interred at the LNMB on the mere reason that he, like the others, is listed as qualified in AFP Regulation G 161-375, disregards and violates not only the public purpose standard under Proclamation 86 (S 1954) but is a direct contravention and a violation of said provision of the Constitution,” they said.
Petitioners again pointed out that Marcos was ineligible for burial at the Libingan because when his totality as a man is weighed in the balance, whatever achievements he has done for the country are completely voided by his sins against the nation.
Former lawmaker Satur Ocampo and several other human rights victims during the Marcos regime also filed a motion for reconsideration before the SC.
Ocampo’s group said that the hasty burial of Marcos at the Libingan has not rendered their motion for reconsideration moot.
“The act of the respondents that violated the Rules of Court and the authority of this Court cannot be rewarded by rendering the main issue moot,” they said.
Petitioners renewed their plea for the exhumation of “whatever was interred as Marcos’ mortal remains” at the Libingan despite the lack of finality of the SC ruling.
They also reiterated their prayer for the forensic examination of whatever is exhumed to determine what actually was buried.
The SC is set to tackle the cases in session today.
Meanwhile, Malacañang respects the right of some groups to seek the reversal of the SC ruling allowing Marcos’ burial at the Libingan.
In a statement, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the SC’s 9-5 decision is a clear margin, but that any party is entitled to avail of legal remedies, including a motion for reconsideration.
“We respect their constitutional right to procedural due process, but we must all abide by the ruling of the Supreme Court,” he said.
President Duterte will remain a strong leader despite threats of anti-Marcos groups that support for him will start to dwindle over his decision to allow a hero’s burial for Marcos, according to House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Raneo Abu.
“The military and police are built from very strict discipline,” he said.
“They will remain intact and their support to President Duterte will always be stronger as ever because they are observing the highest standard of professionalism. – With Alexis Romero, Delon Porcalla, Mayen Jaymalin
FROM SOCIAL MEDIA (REPORT BY RAPPLER.COM)
Facebook suspends anti-Marcos journalist's account (UPDATED) As of 11:46 pm on November 28, Inday Varona says her Facebook account was 'resurrected,' and thanked the people who helped restore her account
Published 8:43 PM, November 28, 2016
Updated 4:10 PM, November 30, 2016
SUSPENDED. Image of Inday Espina-Varona from Twitter.
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Writer and activist Inday Espina-Varona was blocked on Facebook on Monday, Nov 28, after reaching out to the social network to raise some issues about online abuse.
Without her Facebook account, Varona turned to Twitter where she disclosed that she had reached out to Facebook executives the night prior. Her message: Why were complaints of cyber-bullying and online abuse being dismissed by Facebook while the victims of these get blocked?
Ironically, that very message led to Varona's account being blocked.
Follow inday espina varona @indayevarona
Revising: last nyt wrote Facebook execs that complaints re worst slurs get dismissed, but victims of troll attacks get blocked. Now I AM 10:07 PM - 27 Nov 2016 1 1 Retweet 2 2 likes
The former head of ABS-CBN's citizen journalism arm "Bayan Mo, I-Patrol Mo" has since contacted friends to share her story on Facebook and Twitter to help reinstate her account.
A copy of that message was posted by blogger Noemi Lardizabal-Dado, embedded below.
On Varona's Twitter page, friends and followers have come to her support, outraged over the fact that the calm and rational media professional was blocked while loud, senseless trolls remained rampant on the platform.
As of 11:46 pm on November 28, Varona was able to send a message via her Facebook account. She said her Facebook account was "resurrected," and thanked the people who helped restore her account.
Who did it?
Varona insisted she did not violate any of Facebook's community standards, which include censorship against hate speech, violence and graphic content, nudity, bullying, and direct threats to name a few.
Commenters say the blocking of Varona's account, a verified one, may have been the result of a concerted effort involving enough reports to trigger Facebook's blocking algorithm.
Facebook's system can be gamed to block out a user whose posts may be in opposition to a certain group's interest.
(Read: Fake accounts, manufactured reality on social media)
However, as Rappler has reported before, Facebook has said that the number of reports on a particular post does not affect whether something will be removed and that it doesn't remove content simply because it has been reported a number of times.
HUMAN REVIEWERS OF FACEBOOK CONTENTS
What happens is that flagged content goes to a team of content reviewers.
According to NPR.org, this task is now outsourced to call centers in the Philippines, raising concerns that the human reviewers may have their own political agendas.
But as the article points out, the team has to deal with a kind of load that cannot have team members reviewing every flagged post thoroughly enough. Some are simple enough to categorize and censor but others require nuanced analysis and thorough contextual review. Given the time constraints, that sort of nuanced analysis doesn't always happen.
We are reaching out to Facebook and the call center in question for their comment on the matter.
Gaming the system
Certain groups can take advantage of the situation and have someone blocked and have their account suspended according to somewhat amorphous standards. Natural human bias is a factor too.
What is Facebook and its partner doing to ensure that the proper policy is implemented – or that the policy itself is fair as well?
VARONA VETERAN ANTI-MARCOS MOVEMENT
What isn't amorphous is that prior to the blocking, Varona has been vocal about her opposition to the burial of former president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
The writer, a veteran in the anti-Marcos dictatorship movement, has been active in supporting earlier anti-Marcos protests, which could have made her a target for the pro-Marcos groups. The timing of her Facebook account's suspension is peculiar, to say the least, as the November 30 protests against Marcos' burial loom.
Varona herself hints that a troll army is behind the reports, replying to one follower who said that she might have been making a "helluva dent" with her rational posts. "As many people convinced to be rational, the troll armies up the ante," she replies.
Not first time
This is not the first time that groups and individuals posting strong political opinions had been blocked on Facebook. Reviewing similar incidents in the past, some have been anti-Duterte in nature.
Back in June, the account of the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (EJAP) was taken down by Facebook because of an anti-Duterte post.
The same happened to one account petitioning to take down the Facebook page of Duterte supporter Mocha Uson.
But perhaps the most similar to Varona's situation is that of Ed Lingao's case back in June. The TV5 anchor's page was taken down because he criticized Duterte's support for the burial of Marcos at the heroes' cemetery, and was slapped with the same reason that Varona is facing now: community standards were violated.
Varona wrote then of the suspension: "Why? Because of an apparent deluge of Marcos troll complaints after a page they are part of shared Ed Lingao's recent post on the family of the late dictator." – Rappler.com
‘Spread truth about history’ 19 New names of 'real heroes" added to Bantayog list By: Tarra Quismundo - Reporter / @TarraINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer / 12:19 AM December 01, 2016
‘BANTAYOG’ HEROES Nineteen names, including those of Inquirer editor in chief Leticia Jimenez-Magsanoc and former Sen. Jovito Salonga, are added on Wednesday to the roster of heroes who fought the Marcos regime at Bantayog ng mga Bayani. —LYN RILLON
Nineteen Filipinos, led by journalists Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc and Antonio Zumel, former Sen. Jovito Salonga, movie director Benjamin Cervantes and Bishop Julio Labayen, yesterday officially joined the ranks of 268 other “real heroes” who fought the dictator Ferdinand Marcos—their names etched in stone at Bantayog ng mga Bayani’s Wall of Remembrance.
“The message we want to convey is that we need to spread the truth about history, because if not, this will keep on happening. We saw what happened this month, the one who had committed a sin against our nation was buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani,” former Sen. Wigberto Tañada, said referring to Marcos.
The rites at the Wall of Remembrance were among key events held in commemoration of National Heroes’ Day, marked by protests in various parts of the country amid a groundswell of indignation against Marcos’ Nov. 18 burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani.
The crowd sang “Bayan Ko” as the wall bearing names of the 19 honorees was unveiled past 7 p.m.
Tañada, head of the Bantayog foundation, said in an interview that he hoped that honoring those who fought Marcos would show “the youth, the millennials we call today, that we should not disregard their heroism.”
The names of the 19 honorees were inscribed in gold against the black granite memorial wall, a silent yet stark reminder of their steadfast opposition to Marcos’ violent and plunderous rule.
Other honorees were journalist Lourdes Estella-Simbulan, labor leader Simplicio Villados, soldier Danilo Vizmanos, professionals Manuel Dorotan and Ma. Margarita F. Gomez, Romulo Peralta and Jose Tangente from the clergy, and youth leaders Marciano Anastacio Jr., Eduardo Aquino, Fortunato Camus, Hernando Cortez, Edgardo Dojillo, Ricardo Filio, and Joel Jose.
The rites began past 4 p.m. with the haunting melody of the Taps played as the Philippine flag was lowered to half-staff.
WREATHS FOR ANTI-MARCOS HEROES Vice President Leni Robredo and former Sen. Wigberto Tañada are joined by Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, daughter of the late Inquirer editor in chief Leticia Jimenez Magsanoc, and other guests during Wednesday’s ceremony to honor Magsanoc and 18 other people who fought against the Marcos dictatorship. Their names were engraved on the Wall of Remembrance at Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City. —LYN RILLON
Marcos no hero
Vice President Leni Robredo, assisted by Tañada and Magsanoc’s daughter Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, laid a wreath at the memorial wall during the ceremonies punctuated by cries of “Marcos, Hitler, dictador, tuta” to cheers from the crowd.
In his opening remarks, Tañada reiterated his protest to the Marcos’ burial: “Marcos is no hero. He does not deserve to be buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani.”
He drew roaring applause from the audience, which included Sen. Francis Pangilinan, Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, former lawmakers, families of the honorees, activists and others bound together by a continuing protest against the honor that Duterte’s administration granted Marcos at Libingan.
Mr. Duterte had allowed Marcos’ burial at the hallowed grounds for soldiers and other Philippine dignitaries, a decision affirmed by the Supreme Court last month.
Former Sen. Rene Saguisag, who came to honor Salonga, his uncle, cited the urgency of looking back at history in the wake of Marcos’ secrecy-shrouded burial.
“To me, this gives greater importance to remembering the real heroes who are here. What I fear is if someone suggests to list Marcos (on the Wall of Remembrance), the Supreme Court will again say there is no law against it. Don’t we have common sense anymore?” he asked.
“We all want forgiveness and reconciliation,” he said, referring to Mr. Duterte’s rationale for allowing the burial. “But the right thing must be done the right way at the right time.”
Burial violated deal
Former National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) chief negotiator Luis Jalandoni said Marcos’ burial violated the government-NDFP’s agreement on international humanitarian law.
“[He was a] fascist dictator and fascist monster against the Filipino people. That’s why it is good that the youth now and other sectors of our country are holding demonstrations against the portrayal of the fascist monster as a hero and model,” Jalandoni said.
First to be honored was Salonga, who died just in March. He was cited “for leading and inspiring generations of Filipino patriots in the relentless campaign to assert Philippine sovereignty and independence.”
Power of the press
Magsanoc, the Inquirer editor in chief for 24 years until her passing on Christmas Eve last year, was honored:
“For unleashing the power of the written word for the common good, for justice freedom and democracy, for challenging and exposing the excesses of the Marcos dictatorship through the media even at great personal risk.
“For testing the limits of press freedom as writer and editor, for defying media restrictions and censorship under martial rule, and for facing up to the wrath of the dictatorship.
“For encouraging and giving space for bold and daring writers, despite threats from the powers that be, and for speaking truth to power without fear, for her faith in her fellow Filipinos, for placing above herself God, family and country.”
RELATED FROM PHILSTAR
Aerial view of anti-Marcos protest on Bonifacio Day (philstar.com) | Updated December 1, 2016 - 1:14pm 2 2760 googleplus2 0
The evening protest on Nov. 30, 2016 at the People Power Monument in Quezon City featured speeches from human rights victims and advocates and performances by music groups and artists.
MANILA, Philippines — The crowd of protesters at the People Power Monument on Wednesday, Bonifacio Day swelled around 5 p.m. and peaked at around 7 p.m. slamming the burial of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Using available aerial shots and maps, Philstar.com's independent estimate is 11,000 people at 5 p.m. when protesters were still arriving. Organizers, meanwhile, estimated a rally of 20,000 people while police counted only 1,500 to 3,000.
Demonstrators held posters criticizing President Rodrigo Duterte for attempting to revise history in having Marcos laid to rest in hallowed grounds of the Heroes' Cemetery under state jurisdiction.
A people's revolt in 1986 ousted Marcos, whose iron rule for 20 years saw wide-scale corruption and killings and torture of thousands who criticized his government.
Crowd at People Power Monument past 5 p.m. Based on a 360-degree aerial view taken by Philip Cheang
FOR MORE AERIAL PHOTOS GO TO PHILSTAR REPORT HERE
Branding support for Marcos burial BY YEN MAKABENTA ON NOVEMBER 29, 2016 OPINION ON
OMBUDSMAN Conchita Carpio-Morales made her revisions during her speech before the UP College of Law reunion in Makati last Friday. One wishes they could be dismissed as just a blunder, but coming from a former associate Justice of the Supreme Court and the Ombudsman, they are egregious.
I wish the Ombudsman was more circumspect in throwing the weight of her office to bear on the debate about the Marcos burial, because she compromises not just herself but her office.
I wish also that she did not wander away from the field of law into the fields of history, philosophy and literature, for these disciplines are beyond her competence.
In wagging a finger against those who favor the Marcos burial and showing her usual supercilious manner, she invites scrutiny of her words, her thinking and her understanding of the issue of historical revisionism.
Having expressed in writing my own support for the burial and my opposition to exhuming the Marcos remains, I feel obligated to point out the glaring errors in her opinion. Alas, they cannot be ascribed to the frailties of womanhood or to old age.
Not knowing what/whom she was quoting
First, Ombudsman Morales does not appear to know the quotation that served as the core of her argument in her speech at the law reunion.
The quotation is: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
While quoting it correctly enough, Morales attributed it to the wrong author. She has no clue where it comes from.
She declared that she was quoting 19th century historian and Cambridge professor Lord Acton; and then she went, wink-wink, to her big point:
“As it turns out nowadays, those who could not remember history have the tendency to write a new one.”
The big problem is, it was not Lord Acton who wrote the words she so proudly parades.
THE QUOTE: GEORGE SANTAYAN, NOT LORD ACTON
The words belong rather to the Spanish-American philosopher-writer, George Santayana, a major figure in philosophy and letters, and a noted exponent of the philosophy of pragmatism and naturalism. Santayana curiously has a Philippine connection in his ancestry. Santayana’s mother was the daughter of an official of the Spanish colonial government in the Philippines in the 19th century. His stepfather also served in the country for a time.
Ombudsman Morales got the personages confused probably because Lord Acton (John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton) is famous for one cliché quotation: “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” He is remembered for nothing else.
Santayana in contrast is huge.
The quote on history from Santayana is to be found in his 1905 book Reason in Common Sense. The full quote reads:
“Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Students of Santayana’s work complain that the maxim has been taken out of context: originally it formed part of a theory about how knowledge is acquired rather than being a moral exhortation to pay attention to history, and it has a didactic quality that is foreign to the subtle, paradoxical, and occasionally humorous quality of Santayana’s thought.
The elegant little sentence is typical of Santayana; he is noted among philosophers as an elegant writer. He believed philosophy is literature.
His other memorable aphorisms show the depth of his thinking and the liveliness of his style. Consider the following:
• That life is worth living is the most necessary of assumptions and, were it not assumed, the most impossible of conclusions.
• Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim.
• There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.
• Only the dead have seen the end of war.
• Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect.
• The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool.
Lifeblood of historical scholarship
Ombudsman Morales is guilty also of revising history in rejecting offhand historical revisionism in historical scholarship and writing. She shows only superficial understanding of the concept.
Morales lamented in Makati the “lack of demand for truthful and honest discourse,” saying people nowadays easily believe lies and half-truths spread by propagandists and fake news sites.
Morales does not allow for a second the possibility that historical revisionism is necessary in the writing and reconstruction of a people‘s history.
Yet in fact, historical revisionism has long been recognized as necessary in historical studies.
Historical revisionism is the means by which the historical record — the history of a society, as understood in its collective memory — continually integrates new facts and interpretations of the events commonly understood as history. The American historian and former president of the American Historical Association (AHA) James M. McPherson writes of the practice as follows:
“The fourteen-thousand members of this Association (AHA) know that revision is the lifeblood of historical scholarship. History is a continuing dialogue, between the present and the past. Interpretations of the past are subject to change in response to new evidence, new questions asked of the evidence, new perspectives gained by the passage of time. There is no single, eternal, and immutable “truth” about past events and their meaning.
“The unending quest of historians for understanding the past — that is, revisionism — is what makes history vital and meaningful.”
Gaps in scholarship and knowledge
It bears noting finally that Ombudsman Morales is challenging the decision of the Supreme Court on the legality of the Marcos burial at the Libingan. She questions the judgment of her former colleagues.
Having committed gross errors in scholarship and shown serious gaps in her knowledge, Morales is hardly in a position to fault the scholarship of others, who may have a different view than her of the Marcos record. Having rejected the value of historical revisionism, she has no competence to dismiss the work of historians who seek new facts and seek to interpret the events that constitute Marcos’s leadership of the Philippines from 1966 to 1986.
In subscribing to the immutable interpretation of the Marcos era supplied by the Yellow Cult, Morales shows that she is more interested in politics than in history. firstname.lastname@example.org
RELATED FROM PHILSTAR By Efren Cruz
Protests and justice BREAKTHROUGH By Elfren S. Cruz (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 1, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0
BY ELFREN CRUZ
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.” William Faulkner
When the law is being manipulated or corrupted and justice is either denied or delayed, it is the right of every citizen to fight for justice. The people have only two options – one is through an armed revolution and the second is through non-violent demonstrations.
Protest rallies are also used to draw the attention of the public to specific issues. It may also be directed towards media – mainstream and social – who can then spread the news to the rest of the country.
A protest or demonstration is simply an expression, through words or actions, of publicly expressing an opinion or feeling. This public expression can be done through rallies or demonstrations, marches, vigils, boycotts, pickets, sit-ins, noise barrage, or public manifestos.
Demonstrations normally depend on spontaneous support and are often organizationally decentralized. This means there is normally no central body orchestrating the different public expressions. The protests can attract diverse political and social groups if it is limited to one specific issue.
During this period, rally participants may not even be influenced by general public opinion but simply want to express their feelings about a specific issue. I remember the video of a single person standing in the middle of the street, in Beijing, trying to block oncoming tanks as an act of protest of the massacre at Tianmen Square.
Mass protests are transformed into civil resistance or nonviolent resistance when they become part of a systematic and peaceful campaign to achieve a particular objective. This happens when pressure and persuasion are added to the mass rallies. Here are two classic examples.
On Dec. 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks, an African American, was arrested because she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger and move to the colored section at the back of the bus. This act led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott which ended bus segregation in Montgomery. However, this became a starting point that eventually became the civil rights movement in the United States.
The current marches, demonstrations and rallies in our country was ignited by the Marcos burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).
A Supreme Court ruling was used as the legal justification of the burial. Despite all the legal arguments and “washing of hands” by government officials, the fact is that the Marcos burial in the LNMB sends a message that there is an attempt to recognize Marcos as a hero. This is historical revisionism. Marcos was not, is not and will never be a hero.
This specific issue of publicly opposing the legal recognition of Marcos as a hero, has united different groups of diverse ideological beliefs – from the Left to the Right of the political spectrum. There are several diverse groups that are presently at the center of the mobilization of protests.
The first and most publicized groups are the ”millennials” using social media as their primary organizing tool. The reaction from this generation has surprised many political observers who had concluded that this was a generation who did not have any political consciousness and was totally unaware of the evils of the Marcos martial law regime. This generation may yet give birth to a Philippine “political Spring.”
The second and third groups are those whose roots were formed during the martial law years and led the fight against the Marcos regime even during the height of its power. These two groups suffered the most severe persecution. It was from their ranks that the Marcos regime used torture, assassination and other heinous methods to try and silence them.
These two groups are the human rights activists and the movement that are often simply described as the Left. During this period, it would seem that the symbolic figures of the human rights activists is that “vintage warrior” Rene Saguisag and former Senator Bobby Tanada. The most visible on the Left, so far, are Satur Ocampo, Bayan,and Makabayan.
The fourth group, which potentially can be the best organized is the Catholic Church. The protests have so far been limited to some Catholic Schools like La Salle, Ateneo, St. Scholastica which have a tradition of activism. Although the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) have issued a strong statement condemning the Marcos burial, there has been no signs of any significant organizing at the parish level.
If these protests are not addressed by those in power, the next question is whether these rallies and protests will grow and widen into a civil resistance movement. It is also important to remember that every protest can sometimes be the subject of counter protest. Liberal Party President Senator Francis Pangilinan has also said that this is only the fifth month of the Duterte administration; and, every administration deserves a “honeymoon” period.
In Philippine history, the most storied civil resistance was the first EDSA People Power.
But I remember the First Quarter Storm which began on Jan. 26,1970. This was the first mass protest rally against Marcos. It was led by students and the principal demand was for reforms.
It is too soon to forsee the future direction of these anti-Marcos rallies. For the moment, we can be guided by the concluding message of Br. L. Jimenez, DLSP President: “Let us oppose every effort to distort our nation’s story...The oppressiveness of Marcos Martial Law must not be forgotten.”
Rest in peace Written by Archbishop Oscar V.Cruz Tuesday, 29 November 2016 00:00
The truth of the matter is that which is really important and truly significant is whether someone dead is resting in peace or not, whether he is with God or away from Him — which is infallibly known only to the dead individual himself and the ever living God alone. This is neither profound to know, nor complicated to understand.
In the last analysis wherefore, what definitely matters is not if someone is buried here, there or anywhere, if people celebrate or demean his name, or if the same is a hero or not.
Symbols are good. But objective reality is certainly not changed by mere symbols no matter how famous — or infamous — these are. Truth ultimately prevails. Reality is what truly counts.
This is but promoting the significance of truth, enhancing the imperative of justice, underlining the implications of peace — none of which is abrogated but by mere symbols, by mere words.
This is simply meant to say that which is true or false, that which is just or unjust and what is promotional of harmony or disharmony are not in the infallible domain either of the majority of society nor by the minority thereof for that matter.
Just as those who shout the loudest are not always right, in the same way, those who keep their silence are not always wrong.
For any member of humanity to believe, act and behave as if he knows anything and everything even — this in fact is a public curse especially so when the same exercises Executive, Legislative or Judicial power in the local or national level.
It bears repeating time and again — specifically as to the so-called Libingan ng mga Bayani — that not all heroes are therein buried.
In the same way, not all those therein in fact buried are honest-to-goodness heroes in accord with the intrinsic significance and objective implications of words.
What about those honest-to-goodness Filipino heroes who died long before the said Libingan was even thought of?
Where are they buried?
What about the good number of heroes in word and in fact who were killed by guillotine even, during the Spanish colonization period? Where are they buried?
And what about the thousands of Filipinos slaughtered by bullets and bayonets during the Japanese regime?
Where are they buried? Furthermore, is it enough to have but a symbolic tomb for “Unknown Heroes”? If they are in fact even unknown, how could they be really considered as heroes?
So it is that which truly and really matters, what eventually and finally counts is whether someone dead — be this a king/queen or a slave, a billionaire or a garbage picker — is resting in peace or not.
In other words, so what if someone is buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani? Does that necessarily mean that he is resting in peace, enjoying the company of saints, marveling at the vision of God?
And when somebody is not therein buried, would this ipso facto mean that the individual concerned is damned to the unquenchable fires of hell?
The Philippines has been far left behind in socio-economic development.
A good number of Filipinos are wallowing in misery and hunger.
The country is besieged by the curse of gross graft and abominable corrupt practices.
There are so many progressive agenda left undone.
Let the living attend to them.
Leave the dead in peace. Please!
(Reprinted with permission of Archbishop Emeritus Oscar V. Cruz, from www.ovc.blogspot.com)
RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER
Where blame properly lies By: Rina Jimenez-David - @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / 12:28 AM November 25, 2016
Rarely, if ever, does the business community get involved in political matters—at least out in the open and at the risk of earning the government’s ire. But the “secret” burial of the remains of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani seems to have roused the anger, indignation and, yes, courage of a number of sectors, including business people.
The Makati Business Club (MBC) recently issued a statement on the “surreptitious burial” of the Marcos remains, saying that the act “reignites an unwanted divisive factor” in the nation. Burying a deposed dictator in a heroes’ cemetery, the MBC said, “does not make a hero,” and indeed “will make it difficult to impart the right lessons to future generations regarding a dark period in our history.”
The business folk added that they are “shocked that the burial was undertaken in a deceptive manner, with undue haste and without respect for the process of allowing time for respondents to file their petitions [in the Supreme Court].”
Such a distracting event, the statement added, “draws our focus away from the critical and enduring need to unite and work with government on a common effort to build our economy, to increase our trade and to put poverty reduction and inclusive growth on top of our agenda to achieve a better life for all Filipinos.”
Still, a clarification needs to be made. Though the reburial of FM’s remains is clearly the doing of the Marcoses, it’s just as clear that they couldn’t have pulled it off without the active—nay, eager—connivance of President Duterte and those within his circle of influence. These are: the nine members of the Supreme Court who said burial in the LNMB for Marcos was legal, and the police and military who cooperated in the planning, preparation and giving of honors.
DIVIDED CAMPS PROTESTING
Currently, judging from heated posts, commentaries and memes on social media, those protesting the events of Nov. 18 are seemingly “divided” between two camps: those taking part in a huge rally on Nov. 25 to be led by leftist organizations currently allied with the Duterte administration, and those who will show up on Nov. 30 at a rally with a similar cause at the People Power monument.
Charges are flying about the possible motivations of both camps, either to absolve Du30 from responsibility, or put the blame squarely on him without mentioning the complicity of previous administrations.
It’s obviously a “divide and conquer” tactic, in the hopes of reducing the number of rally participants and thereby proving the lack of any massive public indignation at Marcos’ fake heroism.
This has led the Coalition against the Marcos Burial, organizer of the Nov. 30 rally, to issue a call to all who wish to show their anger at this reversal of history to “build the broadest coalition possible.” But, it emphasizes, “we oppose any effort to diminish and dilute the responsibility of Duterte for the Marcos burial.” Everyone’s effort, they stress, “should be directed at Duterte and the Marcoses, and not against each other.”
The Coalition statement says it “respects similar initiatives organized elsewhere, and we reject attempts to paint one or another initiative as opposed to, instead of complimenting, each other.”
Together, the Coalition pleads, “let the flames of our outrage burn the hands of those who sought to play god with history, and impose upon us a pekeng bayani (false hero).”
* * *
The Association of Women Legislators Foundation Inc. (AWLFI), made up of the 87 women members of the House of Representatives, will hold its very first fundraiser billed “PamasCONG Handog: Garage Sale for a Cause” on Dec. 6-7 at the South Wing Lobby of the Batasan building.
Shoppers can find great deals on “pre-loved” and “pre-owned items, such as clothes, shoes, bags, and accessories of House members and their celebrity friends.
The AWLFI president, Rep. Linabelle Ruth Villarica of Bulacan, said proceeds of the sale will support a rehabilitation center in Nueva Ecija. She said Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto of Batangas will surprise shoppers with celebrity guests during the opening day.
“PamasCONG Handog” is chaired by Rep. Sol Aragones of Laguna and Rep. Juliette Uy of Misamis Oriental.
RELATED: FROM A READER OF THE INQUIRER
Wrong protest venue 12:03 AM November 28, 2016
Ateneo de Manila students, together with their peers from nearby schools, made a total mess of the already nightmarish traffic along Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City, last Nov. 18. It took us more than two hours to navigate the route from Blue Ridge to UP Town and around that dreadful U-turn.
It was definitely the wrong venue for such protest against the Supreme Court’s decision to allow a “hero’s burial” to the most crooked and extremely hated president this country ever had the misfortune of having.
They should have stormed instead the Olympian gates of the Supreme Court at Padre Faura Street, Manila, where three ignominious justices (Ateneo College of Law alumni Arturo Brion, Mariano del Castillo and Estela Perlas-Bernabe) joined their six unprincipled colleagues in sacrificing truth and justice on the altar of expediency. We would have cheered them on if those justices were the ones inconvenienced like hell!
The votes of those Atenean justices tilted the balance heavily in favor of the Marcoses—9 to 5—and virtually made that decision beyond reconsideration and rectification. Theirs were the final nails (pun intended) to the coffin in which decency also got buried. For shame!
CARMELA N. NOBLEJAS, email@example.com
‘F word’ 0 SHARES Share it! Published November 28, 2016, 10:00 PM By Tonyo Cruz
By Tonyo Cruz
Some say I dropped the “F word” on President Duterte while emceeing for the multitudes last Friday at the Luneta.
That’s not true! I was taken out of context!
But seriously, the “F word” had to be dropped. Worse words have been written and displayed on placards.
I’m not sorry at all, except that maybe I didn’t do it many times, like anywhere between 10 billion (Marcos loot, in dollars) and 24 billion (Marcos -era foreign debt, also in dollars). I wanted to say the Filipino insult that mentions mother and bitch in one go, but we were honoring all martial law heroes who include Soledad Duterte.
Duterte fully and totally deserves the “F word” for honoring Marcos with a hero’s burial and forging an alliance with the most criminal and most corrupt political family in modern Philippine history.
And what is this odd business about questioning why we are that furious that we drop the “F word” in a rally? Why get so protective of a president who curses at anyone, even the Pope?
I know lots of friends who voted for Duterte and they have told me in no uncertain terms that they are either ashamed or angry over the Marcos hero’s burial. The only Duterte supporters who don’t see anything wrong with it are not Duterte supporters really. They are Marcos loyalists, period.
DUTERTE'S PROBLEMS NOW
Duterte has problems now. He has to tell the Bangsamoro that he really respects their history, including their fierce fight against the Marcos dictatorship.
He has to tell the Communists he engages in the peace talks that the Duterte-Marcos alliance will not jeopardize commitments on human rights, political reforms and socio-economic reforms – things that the Marcoses deprived the nation.
He has to calm businesses over the Duterte-Marcos alliance and the high possibility that corrupt Marcos cronies and influence-peddlers may take advantage of his liaison with the family. He has to assure law-and-order advocates that nobody is exempted from the rule of law, including the Marcoses who have been found to have stashed ill-gotten wealth in banks abroad.
He has to convince Vice President Robredo and the leftists to stay in the cabinet, and as well as the others who may be silently protesting and felt betrayed that he didn’t trust them that much to tell them what he intends to do.
Those are Duterte’s problems alone, the results of his conscious choice to commit political orgy with the repugnant Marcoses.
That is also how Duterte repaid the public who, crossing partylines, gave him a 91 percent trust rating in the heady, first few weeks of his presidency.
NO 1 MARCOS LOYALIST
On the issues of the Marcos hero’s burial and the Duterte-Marcos alliance, it cannot be any clearer that Duterte is the country’s No. 1 Marcos loyalist. Those who support him on these issues are Marcos loyalists hiding behind names like “Duterte Youth” maybe because the “Marcos loyalist” label is just plainly too dirty.
Duterte’s legions who felt betrayed but still harbor hope for change have no choice but to come out openly. They owe themselves and the nation to stand up to Duterte, denounce his alliance with the Marcoses and prominently join the protest movement. That is the only way to save the change they hoped for from certain ruin under a Duterte-Marcos alliance.
We likewise cannot build the protest movement without respect for all beliefs and colors, space for debate, openness for parallel/joint/coordinated actions, and firmness against with purported partners who spread rumor and gossip. The diehard Yellows must approach the protest movement with care, humility and remorse.
The youth are too brilliant for cheap politics. They see through the lies and deceit of hyperpartisans. A photo by Ateneo’s Matanglawin publication captured the image of students rallying around a placard that placed X’s on Duterte, Marcos, and Aquino, and a check on Pilipinas. They saw what needed to be said and done – the widest possible unity must be promoted and achieved in order to win.
That means isolating the Duterte-Marcos alliance as the target of the protest movement, and while within the same movement, we must restrain the arrogance, conceit, anti-communism, and messianic complex of the discredited Aquino camp. I’m sure people still welcome them as allies in the protest movement, but the Aquino camp should find their proper place or people will help them find it.
We could only repose hope in the youth: That they will not tire as the fighting force of this protest movement, and understand the politics that happen right in front of us and also behind closed doors.
That politics and change-making is too complex is not an excuse to turn away and to leave it to politicians. It is also an insult to our collective capacity as a nation. We don’t have monarchs, but presidents who should be challenged when they do something terribly wrong as this Duterte-Marcos alliance and the Marcos hero’s burial. In our flawed system, we must view dissent as a citizen’s highest honor, a mark of brilliance and courage, and avatar of social engagement.
All eyes are now on the protest movement and its legal, intellectual, moral, historical, and political challenge to the Duterte-Marcos alliance. And how the millennials would radically disrupt activism and revolutionize Philippine democracy.
The Nov. 25 national day of unity and rage, and the forthcoming parallel rallies on Nov. 30 at People Power Monument and Mendiola all show that the protest movement is moving on and moving forward. The Duterte-Marcos alliance ignited these protests. The protest movement now seeks to challenge, smash, and tear apart that alliance.
We cannot buy the argument that things are too complicated so therefore we should be polite to Duterte. Tell that to Duterte who thinks simplistically about Marcos being a mere soldier and president, and not the corrupt and brutal dictator that he was.
RELATED: FROM INQUIRER LETTER TO THE EDITOR
OPINION / LATEST OPINION 1SHARE THIS
‘Libingan na Walang Katahimikan’ Philippine Daily Inquirer / 12:14 AM December 01, 2016
What do we call the desecrated Libingan ng mga Bayani now that Ferdinand E. Marcos is buried in that cemetery for heroes?
We can’t call it Libingan ng mga Bayani anymore because we don’t consider him a hero. Although there are three presidents buried there, we cannot call it Libingan ng mga Pangulo, because Marcos forfeited that title when we kicked this “thief in the night” out of the country. We can’t call it Libingan ng mga Sundalo, because we do not recognize his feats during the war, much less his fake medals.
Now here comes Senate President Koko Pimentel suggesting the bright idea of calling the desecrated burial ground “Libingan ng mga Makasaysayang Pilipino”— like presidents, dignitaries, national artists and scientists.
What is makasaysayan about Marcos? The butchering of his opponents? His bleeding the nation’s economy dry?
His stealing from the national coffers? Listing all his illicit activities one by one could be a mile-long exercise. Yan ang kasaysayang Marcos.
His loyalists claim he can now rest in peace where his remains now lie. The thing is, would the other three presidents and the genuine soldiers buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani be able to rest in peace knowing that, a thief, a scoundrel lies among them?
It would not be news if the three presidents and genuine soldiers, were they in a position to make a request, ask for a transfer.
Oh boy, let’s just rename this cemetery, “Libingan na Walang Katahimikan.”
REY PEREZ, firstname.lastname@example.org
History via yellow lenses Written by Tribune Editorial Tuesday, 29 November 2016 00:00
There were allegations and there is history with two versions which can’t mix and appear to be struggling to diverge but the yellow mob is not allowing this to happen.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, one of the yellow lieutenants, warned during a speech of the “revisionist-distortionist proclivity” that is spreading under the administration of Rody, she said.
What spurred her view, which she told graduating law students at the University of the Philippines (UP), was apparently the sentiments of Rody toward the Marcoses that led to the recent burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).
She warned that “when supposed truths about martial law and the purported progress that the Philippines had enjoyed during the (Marcos) regime are considered more fact than fiction, then we see a transformation of our values as a people.”
Judging based on fact, however, would tend to elicit doubts about the yellow version of history that led to the installation of former President Cory Aquino and the dominance of the yellow mob in government.
None of the spectacular cases of massive plunder of the country’s treasury that runs into billions of dollars remained allegations and were never proven in court 30 years after Marcos was deposed.
Some small irrelevant cases against associates of Marcos were won by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) but none in the magnitude of what was being alleged against the former President.
Philippine history books taught in schools have a full recounting of the two People Power revolts which are both extra-constitutional movements but which are glowingly referred as events which restored democracy, which is clearly a distortion of historical facts.
If based on facts, the two leaders who came after both revolts, former Presidents Cory Aquino and Gloria Arroyo have doubtful mandates.
Cory’s administration created the 1987 Constitution which is otherwise referred to as the yellow Constitution that enshrined mob rule as a means to replace legitimately elected leaders.
“Much worse, there are a lot of people who simply do not want to read their history. Period. This alarming attitude is appalling,” she said.
History, however, can be learned two ways which is through textbooks that have been the domain of the yellow mob through years of manipulations, particularly during the past 12 years of the administrations under an Aquino, and through the recounting of those who existed during the Marcos period.
The retelling of the experiences of the ordinary citizens point to a vastly different history as that has been taught to young minds.
Many of those who existed during the Marcos regime, and through the martial law period, would attest to abuses of the military and the police force but the social condition then was less of fear but a sense of prosperity except for the tailend of the Marcos regime when the protest actions became prevalent.
There were abuses of power but what replaced it was another movement that was beyond existing laws and there were abuses of power then, but hid mainly by the yellow media.
Such military and police abuses did not cease even during the periods when the yellow champions Noynoy and Cory were in power, yet the allegations of these being state-sponsored were muted.
Again there is a growing tendency to raise government involvement in atrocities, particularly in the drug war because the current leader does not wear yellow.
Morales admitted that Marcos remains “the subject of the most rabid of debates and divergent views in the country today.”
The debates, of course, are being fed by the continued refusal of the yellow mob for history to move in its own course and make a fair judgment of what happened three decades ago.
So long as the yellow mob insists on imposing its will on the whole nation, there are claims that no closure is expected on the Marcos issue.
There will be and a hundred years from now, historians will come up with the more accurate version of history.
RELATED COMMENTARY FROM THE MANILA STANDARD
Exhume all, now! posted November 29, 2016 at 12:01 am by Jojo Robles
by Jojo Robles
The anti-Marcos crowd is in high dudgeon these days, demanding that the dead dictator be disinterred because he should somehow be made to answer for his crimes, even in death, by his exhumation. I’m fine with that, really, as long as the removal of the remains of Ferdinand Marcos leads to the digging up of what really happened—and who enabled him and profited from doing so—during the 14 years of Martial Law.
I think even the most rabid of supporters of the Yellow regime and their Communist partners will agree that Marcos, regardless of how powerful he was when he proclaimed military rule, could not have done it all by himself. Marcos needed his generals and soldiers in the Armed Forces and the Constabulary, his bureaucrats, his politicians, his co-opted media and his businessmen-cronies in order to impose martial law and commit the evils that his victims say he committed.
Marcos can’t have possibly personally done all the things he’s been accused of doing, in the same manner that Adolf Hitler could not have physically committed all the atrocities attributed to him. And as far as anyone knows, Hitler never pushed anyone into a gas chamber or flicked a switch to drop a bomb on London from a German aircraft.
No, Marcos had a lot of help. And a lot of those who helped him do what he did are still around and enjoying the fruits of aiding and abetting him.
I get that Marcos was still responsible, ultimately, for what happened during those dark years. But I also believe that some people intend to make him the sole person responsible for everything wrong that happened then, in order to ensure that their own participation is glossed over and forgotten.
President Ferdinand Marcos and General Fidel Ramos during a parade review in Manila Philippines GETTY IMAGES
Here I must mention the defense of former President Fidel V. Ramos, who recently declared that he has already atoned for whatever sins he committed during the Marcos years by leading the 1986 “people power” revolution. I think Ramos should wait for history to grant him his absolution as Marcos’ chief implementor of martial law as head of the dreaded PC—especially since, by all accounts, he initially joined Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile in revolting because he feared being arrested by the ailing dictator’s chief of staff, Fabian Ver.
But to his credit, Ramos did turn against Marcos before it became fashionable to do so, even risking his own life in the process. What about all the others, including the thousands of soldiers now buried in the Libingan ng Mga Bayani with Marcos and who helped him impose his will—did the Edsa revolt absolve them, as well, and cause all of the blame to rest entirely on the late strongman?
Yes, there are many soldiers lying under the Libingan’s hollowed ground who perpetrated some of the most vicious and inhuman crimes committed during Marcos’ reign, with no direct instruction from the dictator, Enrile or Ramos. And there are still many of Marcos’ enablers who are still around, trying to hide their involvement in martial law, or worse, even joining those calling for his exhumation now.
Exhume them and their crimes, if they are dead—and especially if they are still alive. Only then, I think, can justice truly be served.
* * *
After World War II, the Nuremberg Trials and the Tokyo War Crimes Trials were conducted for the purpose of finding out precisely who participated in the wartime atrocities committed by Germany and Japan. Because Hitler had already killed himself and because there was no way that the Japanese Emperor could be held liable by his lonesome, these trials sought to establish the cooperation the leaders of those two nations received from their subordinates—and how to punish them appropriately, depending on the extent of their participation.
The people who liken Marcos to Hitler keep forgetting this important aspect of Der Fuhrer’s abominable rule: The pursuit of those who implemented Hitler’s crimes did not end with his suicide in a bunker.
Here, those who would exact justice from Marcos’ corpse presumably would be mollified simply be keeping him above ground or having him buried somewhere else. There has been absolutely no call to go after Marcos’ men, dead or alive (except for some light-fingered members of his household staff), because everything bad that happened during his rule was apparently his fault alone.
But then, why stop at the crimes committed during martial law? Why not go all the way back to the unresolved killing of Andres Bonifacio, for instance, or forward to the looting that was committed by the Yellow forces who ousted Marcos in 1986? If even the wife and son of Ninoy Aquino, when each of them became president, did not express any interest in finding out who ordered his killing, how can we expect people to believe that Marcos was as bad as they paint him to be?
I believe that the people who think Marcos was the best thing that ever happened to this country (and there are many of them) fail to give credit to the good people who also served in his administration and who did good things with or without the dictator’s prodding. In the same manner, I will not accept the argument that Marcos alone did everything that his regime is justly being blamed for, because he certainly had a lot of help in that regard, as well.
That’s why I say: Exhume all. Now.
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