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FROM THE MANILA TIMES
By RACHEL A.G. REYES: PEOPLE POWER, THE US, AND MARCOS
[Is EDSA, then, the product of an American-made conspiracy as Bongbong claims? Hardly. The sequence of events, as they unfolded over three tense days and nights, could not be further from Bongbong’s outlandish fantasy. His claim is an insult to all Filipinos who risked their lives at EDSA and an attempt to belittle the momentous People Power revolt against his father’s regime]
FEBRUARY 29 -by Dr. RACHEL A.G. REYES Senator and vice-presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos recently claimed that the 1986 EDSA People Power revolt was “American inspired.” Speaking on ABS-CBN radio to respected broadcast journalist Karen Davila, Bongbong recalled how he was witness to several back-and-forth exchanges between his father and US Ambassador to the Philippines, Stephen Bosworth. “Ako, nasa Palasyo ako nung panay ang message ni Ambassador Stephen Bosworth sa father ko na ganito, ganyan dapat gawin. Ang sinasabi ko lang, involved sila.” (Translated: “Me, I was at the Palace when Ambassador Stephen Bosworth was constantly sending messages to my father that this, that should be done. What I’m just saying is, they were involved.”) It’s a fact that the assassination of opposition leader Benigno Aquino on August 21, 1983 marked a major turning point in US policy toward the Philippines. By November 1984, Washington had become extremely concerned by the deepening civil unrest and the government’s failure to bring Aquino’s killers to justice. Serious pressure was put on Marcos to enact political, economic and military reforms to “counter the communist insurgency.” When US intelligence reported massive fraud in the February 7, 1986 elections, which Marcos was declared to have won, Washington drew a red line. US President Ronald Reagan had known Marcos since 1969 and was sympathetic toward the man the US valued as an important ally. But, in a statement made public on February 15, Reagan condemned the election. The stream of communications from Reagan’s advisers to Marcos, pressing for a peaceful transition, became increasingly blunt. As one diplomat put it, “the screws were really tightened” (New York Times, Feb. 26, 1986).READ MORE...
ALSO: By Rigoberto Tiglao -- Virata and technocrats ran the martial law economy
MARCH 3 -by RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO A statement issued by the Ateneo de Manila staff pontificated: “The Marcos regime’s economics of debt-driven growth was disastrous for the Philippines. The regime was not interested in inclusive development, long-term state-building, nor genuine social transformation of the country.” And they demanded that Ferdinand Marcos 2nd apologize for this.It is such a sad commentary on the quality of an academe to be so misinformed of a crucial era of our country, and to sink to the level of sloganeering. The dishonesty of whoever plotted this statement is obvious in that the statement has been portrayed as issued by “412 professors.” The fact is only half of them were faculty, including teachers and assistant teachers at the grade and high school levels. On the other hand, the Ateneo has always been an academic bastion not only of the elite but whoever or whatever regime is in power. The blue eagles of our generation have become the yellow parrots today, parroting mindlessly the fraying yellow storybook. Was Marcos directly running the country’s apparatus for economic management? No, and that might have been a big mistake on his part. The politician-lawyer left economic management to the following, known as the martial law “technocrats”: CONTINUE READING...
ALSO: Editorial Tweet - Palace communications needs to be fixed
MARCH 5 -The frustration of many in the media and the public over the non-response of Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. to questions about the charges of one paper and one columnist that former PNP chief Alan Purisima had collected nearly P1 billion from one casino, would be lessened if the good secretary would enlighten the public about what exactly are the functions of his office.Is the Communications office part of the Office of the President? Or is it a regular department of government like the Department of Public Information during the Marcos presidency, when Times columnist Francisco Tatad served as information minister? At times it seems as though Mr. Coloma is just one more spokesman of President Aquino, in addition to press secretary Edwin Lacierda and his deputy Abigail Valte. In this role, Coloma seems to limit himself to being just a member of the president’s staff – with the fillip that when he speaks, it is the president speaking through him. At other times, it seems as if Mr. Coloma has arrogated to himself the role of spokesman for the entire executive branch of government, serving as a full-fledged member of the Cabinet, as he comments on everything that happens under the administration. This is why the Malacañang press corps immediately pressed him for an official statement when the Purisima story was published. The way things happened, Mr. Coloma muddled things by giving a lazy response and using text messaging as his medium of communication. Text message? Doesn’t the administration budget billions for communications? READ MORE...
ALSO: By Mauro Samonte - No political wound is deep enough to hurt forever… unless you are Aquino
MARCH 4 -by MAURO GIA SAMONTE First of two parts -THERE are thinkers and there are thinkers, but of the many ill thoughts spawned by the specter of Marcos Martial Law, none has succeeded in debunking the strongman’s words:
“In politics, there are no permanent enemies, there are only temporary allies.” Marcos was proof of his words. In the lead up to the presidential election in 1965, he was Senate President determined to contest the incumbent President Diosdado Macapagal. But by the principle of the equity of the incumbent, Macapagal enjoyed the privilege of being the official candidate of the Liberal Party of which Marcos was a member, too. What Marcos did was bolt to the Nacionalista Party and talked the NP presidential aspirant Fernando Lopez into sliding down to the vice presidential slot in favor of him as the NP standard bearer. The arrangement struck up between the two, so reports went, was that Marcos, should he win as president, would relinquish the presidential slot to Lopez come next election – which never happened, because the former, after winning as president in 1965, reneged on his promise not to seek reelection; Marcos ran again in 1969 and, again winning, proceeded to set the stage for his dictatorship that would last up to 1986. In reverse, then Tarlac Governor Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., a member of the Nacionalista Party, who had turncoated to the Liberal Party when that party came to power at Malacañang, ran and emerged winner as an LP in the mid-term senatorial elections in 1967.Turncoatism has been so institutionalized in Philippine politics that it has become the rule of thumb among politicians, particularly on the eve of elections when a clear winner is in sight and those aboard the losing cart leap into the bandwagon of the victor. Now, barely two months to elections time, Senator Bongbong Marcos is clearly in sight as the next vice president. While, as Marcos mandated, there appears already a trend among politicians to jump into Bongbong’s bandwagon, the Yellow Cult that sprang from the legend of Ninoy’s homecoming in 1983 embarks on a hate campaign quite reminiscent in form and in substance of the demonizing that Ninoy unleashed against Marcos in the tumult of the 70s and well into the entire period of martial law.READ MORE...PART 2 - Knowing Ninoy Aquino...
ALSO: Radyo Totoo’s first Servant Leadership Halalan 2016 Forum
[Auidiences may also watch the first Veritas Servant Leadership Halalan Forum 2016 through live streaming at www.veritas846.ph .The forum will also have a delayed telecast on TV Maria aired at Dream Satellite’s Channel 12, Sky Cable’s Channel 160, and Global Destiny’s Channel 91. An important teaching of Robert K. Greenleaf that voters and citizens ought to keep in mind is this: “The great leader is seen as servant first.” This is a teaching that President Aquino, while hypocritically calling us, the people, “his bosses” obviously cannot live by.]
MARCH 5 -TOMORROW, Monday, March 7, Radio Veritas airs its first Servant Leadership Halalan Forum 2016 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. This is very much worth listening to. Radio Veritas 846 is the leading faith-based AM radio station in the Philippines. It is owned and operated by the Archdiocese of Manila. Established in 1969, the station has received the Ramon Magsaysay award for being faithful to its name—Radio Truth or, in Tagalog, as coined by the late Antonio R. Mercado, Radyo Totoo, which is what the Latin phrase Radio Veritas means. This Catholic radio station has continued to be the leading social communications ministry for truth and evangelization in our country. The Veritas Servant Leadership Halalan Forum 2016 is a Radio Veritas special election series of discussions that will focus on the ten qualities of a servant leader that voters should use to gauge candidates by. The forum will be moderated by Radio Veritas anchors, Angelique Lazo-Mayuga and Bernard Cańaberal. For the first forum, among the guests are Mr. Charlito S. Ayco, Chief Executive Officer of Habitat for Humanity Philippines, and Mr. Roy Calleja, Chairman, Pilipino Movement for Transformational Leadership and Brotherhood for Christian Businessmen and Professionals. READ MORE......
READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:
People Power, the US, and Marcos’ final hours
by RACHEL A.G. REYES -PROFILE: Dr Raquel A.G. Reyes MA (Sussex) PhD (SOAS, London) Overview: Teaching, Author, Research, Publications, Department of History, Research Associate Department of South East Asia Research Fellow Email address:email@example.com FROM https://www.soas.ac.uk/staff/staff39300.php
MANILA, MARCH 7, 2016 (MANILA TIMES) February 29, 2016 8:51 pm RACHEL A.G. REYES - Senator and vice-presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos recently claimed that the 1986 EDSA People Power revolt was “American inspired.”
Speaking on ABS-CBN radio to respected broadcast journalist Karen Davila, Bongbong recalled how he was witness to several back-and-forth exchanges between his father and US Ambassador to the Philippines, Stephen Bosworth.
“Ako, nasa Palasyo ako nung panay ang message ni Ambassador Stephen Bosworth sa father ko na ganito, ganyan dapat gawin. Ang sinasabi ko lang, involved sila.” (Translated: “Me, I was at the Palace when Ambassador Stephen Bosworth was constantly sending messages to my father that this, that should be done. What I’m just saying is, they were involved.”)
It’s a fact that the assassination of opposition leader Benigno Aquino on August 21, 1983 marked a major turning point in US policy toward the Philippines.
By November 1984, Washington had become extremely concerned by the deepening civil unrest and the government’s failure to bring Aquino’s killers to justice. Serious pressure was put on Marcos to enact political, economic and military reforms to “counter the communist insurgency.”
When US intelligence reported massive fraud in the February 7, 1986 elections, which Marcos was declared to have won, Washington drew a red line.
US President Ronald Reagan had known Marcos since 1969 and was sympathetic toward the man the US valued as an important ally. But, in a statement made public on February 15, Reagan condemned the election. The stream of communications from Reagan’s advisers to Marcos, pressing for a peaceful transition, became increasingly blunt. As one diplomat put it, “the screws were really tightened” (New York Times, Feb. 26, 1986).
Is EDSA, then, the product of an American-made conspiracy as Bongbong claims? Hardly. The sequence of events, as they unfolded over three tense days and nights, could not be further from Bongbong’s outlandish fantasy.
His claim is an insult to all Filipinos who risked their lives at EDSA and an attempt to belittle the momentous People Power revolt against his father’s regime.
As is well-known, on February 22, a small group of military rebels headed by Marcos’ Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile, and constabulary chief, Lieutenant General Fidel V. Ramos, attempted a coup. Headquartered in Manila’s military Camp Aguinaldo and adjoining Camp Crame, the rebels demanded that Marcos resign. Is there any evidence to show their actions were at the instigation of Washington? None.
Marcos responded by mobilizing troops to crush the mutiny. Broadcasting over the Catholic-run radio station Veritas, Cardinal Sin appealed to the general public to block Marcos’ troops and protect the rebels. Was the Cardinal acting at the behest of Washington? No.
Heeding the call, more than a million people — nuns, priests, ordinary citizens, children — massed on the broad highway called EDSA. In an extraordinary show of non-violent confrontation, people bravely put their bodies before tanks and appeased heavily armed soldiers with food and camaraderie. As military defections rose, the dynamics of the demonstrations shifted.
The aim was no longer just to protect the rebels. People were there to end the Marcos dictatorship. This assembly in the streets effectively stripped Marcos of his mandate and legitimized his successor, Corazon Aquino, who took her oath of office at the Club Filipino, just a few blocks from the crowds. Did Washington have a hand in any of this? No.
Back in Malacañang Palace, Marcos was sleepless. The latest message he’d received from the US State Department unequivocally wanted him to step down. It is now February 24th, a Monday night. Imelda has prepared a range of stunning outfits for inauguration celebrations she thinks will last a few days.
Bongbong, at 28 years old, is mature enough and informed enough to know what is going on. He hangs around in haute couture combat fatigues waiting to see what Dad will do. Everyone, in fact, wants to know what Marcos’ next move will be.
Paul Laxalt, was so close to Ronald Reagan that he was called 'the First Friend' PHOTO FROM DAILYMAIL.CO.UK
Marcos telephones Washington and gets to speak with Paul Laxalt, a Republican senator from Nevada, with whom he has long enjoyed a good rapport. In a conversation lasting around 20 minutes, Marcos asks in vain about ways in which he can stay in power, including the chance of sharing power with Corazon Aquino. He could help her secure loans from the International Monetary Fund or fight the communists, he pleads. He worries about life in the US and fears harassment.
He wants to know if he can stay in the Philippines, perhaps in Ilocos. He doesn’t want to die in exile, he whines. He wants assurances that if the new government took over, he and his family, and his close associates, would not be harmed. “He was a desperate man, grasping at straws,” Laxalt thought. (Washington Post, Feb 26, 1986).16 Responses to People Power, the US, and Marcos’ final hours
In the meantime, Bosworth is busy keeping in touch with the Marcos side, the Aquino supporters, and the military rebels. To Enrile and Ramos he stresses America’s wish for a peaceful transition. He assures the Marcoses that the US is ready to offer them all a safe haven, and promises medical aid to Marcos who suffers from kidney problems. Perhaps it is these communications that Bongbong overhears, which are burned into his memory.
Marcos calls Laxalt for a second and final time. It’s around dawn on Tuesday 25 February, 1986. In this phone call, the Dictator who ruled the country with an iron fist for almost 20 years, asks the senator from Nevada what he should do. “Cut and cut cleanly. The time has come.” Laxalt replies.
That evening, at 7:15pm Manila time, Marcos takes the decision to leave the Palace and relinquish office. There is a last minute request from Marcos who begs to be allowed to remain in the Philippines, “somewhere out of sight.” The message is relayed to Ramos, via Bosworth. The request is denied.
Four US helicopters arrive soon after, and, under the cover of darkness, ignominiously scramble the Marcoses out of the country.
March 1, 2016 at 2:19 pm
I think what the author trying to say is a figment of her imagination. when she say perhap about what bongbong means, it only portrait of her ignorant of the what transpired before and she hope we can accept what she says. SORRY MAM HINDI DAPAT GANYAN.. dont feed us wrong information please.
Marcial Lex says:
March 1, 2016 at 1:24 pm
Well, it is a fact that US has influence in every major political event in the country, F16 died over Malacanan during 86 fake revolution, US support give confidence to the mutineers and power grabber yellowish people..Ver asked Marcos to bomb Crame or Edsa but Marcos refused, it was a fact broadcast televised, now if that was not humane, what would we call Marcos Sr…!!
lorenzo Tiglaw says:
March 1, 2016 at 12:10 pm
From the WWII heroism to the tasadays, and now, EDSA as an American invention, – The Marcoses and their loyalists are liar-to-the-bones!
Noel Barrameda says:
March 1, 2016 at 10:55 am
A sour time in the history of the Philippines. America made the decision, not the people.
Bert O. Romero says:
March 1, 2016 at 9:36 am
The diffusion of power in the US in policy and decision making on international issues had never been more apparent than in the handling of Marcos during the last days of February 1986 popularized as the EDSA revolution. The White House because of the Reagans’ personal friendship with Marcos and Imelda and Reagan’s ultra conservative stance on the need to preserve the American bases as an anti-communism foil continued to support Marcos till the very end. When asked in a forum at the San Francisco World Affairs Council on 20 February 1986 if the Reagan administration will continue to prop the Marcos dictatorship despite reports of the latter’s reported cheating in the recently concluded elections, then Secretary of State , George Shultz, unhesitatingly replied that reports of election shenanigans were committed by both sides ( San Francisco Examiner, 21 February 2006).
Some members of Congress, however, exemplified by the late Congressman Stephen Solarz of New York were militant in their condemnation of Marcos and who was in fact the US – based anti-Marcos steak commandos’ link with the American foreign policy establishment. These steak commandos believed that like Vietnam, the Philippines would fall if Marcos’ support by the US is removed.
From various accounts of the February 22-25 withdrawal of support by Enrile , Ramos and RAM, it appears the American foreign policy establishment both in PH and in US was fully informed of the four-day upheaval . For one, why did Israel allow the importation by Enrile of Ghalil and USI submachine guns, the distinctive armory sported by RAM distinguishing them from the other members of the AFP? It could have been done only wit the intervention of the US.
Till the very end, Marcos tried to negotiate for his exile to Paoay ( The Reagan Diaries, 2007) but Reagan supported Cory Aquino’s objection to Marcos’ request fearing the possibility of a civil war in case Marcos was allowed to stay in the Philippines.
In conclusion, Cory and her admirers – Pimentel, Mitra, Cuenco, etc were all in Cebu monitoring Manila developments from inside the walls of a convent- should be the last to claim authorship of the EDSA upheaval .
wannabe analyst says:
March 1, 2016 at 9:21 am
A very shallow reasoning of Marcos Jr. based on NOTHING, that the Americans influenced the 1986 EDSA Power Revolt. The Americans only wanted the family to leave the country and they provided them the means for safe passage. Throughout the history of nations, people revolt against their government because they wanted a CHANGE. The basic fundamental change that the Filipino people at that time was the restoration of DEMOCRACY, and until now, Filipino people still paying for the loans stolen by their family, made under the Philippine government. The couple used to go overseas, asking for loans. Ferdie used to go begging, while Imelda goes shopping.
Marcos Jr. and the whole family also aware that their wealth were came from the Filipino people during their father’s regime (it is a common knowledge). These wealth have not made it back to the BSP, nor the victims under his father’s regime were compensated, as of yet.
March 1, 2016 at 7:57 am
J. Perkins Economic Hitman…read and ask FVR, JPE Mr. R. Tiglao and F Tatad..u will be surprised about how big u need more to know and how outlandish you are to just dismiss BBM. They’re still alive go and ask these insiders.
March 1, 2016 at 2:32 pm
Yeah!,,And Ms.Reyes everything that you’ve written here can be read in a lot of published reports,,anything new that you can at least add to those?
Alma Lin says:
March 1, 2016 at 7:46 am
Life dismayed it turns to sour but tasty if using a power of dictatorship.
Franck Frego says:
March 1, 2016 at 6:22 am
Well I don’t know who you are, but I read many other stories that are far from your scenario.
Were you there in the Palace?
March 1, 2016 at 12:33 pm
Please ask the people during that time who were picked up and suffered. Marcos may not be totally blamed for that, the military too, but martial law gave them the power and the beginning of total suppression of rights began. Bongbong could be a good man, I haven’t seen him to be involved in any human rights suppression. Who knows, he could be president one day too. But the rule of his father had many negative stories to tell, most directly from those who were tortured. I believe they won in their claim for renumeration for their sufferings, I am not just sure how the money was distributed among them because there are those who were not lucky to survive.
March 1, 2016 at 1:36 am
My question is: why are some of the people allied with Marcos still around, including one of your staff?
J Shire says:
March 1, 2016 at 12:05 am
American inspired? No. American approved, certainly. I watched from the US and was
so excited when the revolt was over and Marcos was gone. It’s astonishing to me that people here keep electing that family to high positions.
To the Max says:
March 1, 2016 at 11:20 am
Marcos has a lot of followers specially Ilocanos that is willing to die for him. They are just blinded like Filipinos that voted for Imelda, Imee, Bong Bong. A lot of Filipinos owe the Marcoses their wealth they amassed during Marcos time. My neighbor is an Ilocano and a presidential security of Marcos. The details reported was fairly accurate but he was not privy with Marcos telephone calls to the American politicians. He was in Malacanang but the calls were held private. What he is saying was the Marcos family was not prepared to leave.
March 1, 2016 at 2:27 pm
So should we elect more Aquinos?
February 29, 2016 at 11:22 pm
You have a distorted view of History and reality. History will be kinder to the Marcos’ and all those who maligned them will face the wrath of God. There will be retributions.
Virata and technocrats ran the martial law economyMarch 3, 2016 11:16 pm RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO
by RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO <http://www.rigobertotiglao.com/curriculum-vitae/>
A statement issued by the Ateneo de Manila staff pontificated: “The Marcos regime’s economics of debt-driven growth was disastrous for the Philippines. The regime was not interested in inclusive development, long-term state-building, nor genuine social transformation of the country.” And they demanded that Ferdinand Marcos 2nd apologize for this.
It is such a sad commentary on the quality of an academe to be so misinformed of a crucial era of our country, and to sink to the level of sloganeering.
The dishonesty of whoever plotted this statement is obvious in that the statement has been portrayed as issued by “412 professors.”
The fact is only half of them were faculty, including teachers and assistant teachers at the grade and high school levels.
On the other hand, the Ateneo has always been an academic bastion not only of the elite but whoever or whatever regime is in power. The blue eagles of our generation have become the yellow parrots today, parroting mindlessly the fraying yellow storybook.
Was Marcos directly running the country’s apparatus for economic management? No, and that might have been a big mistake on his part. The politician-lawyer left economic management to the following, known as the martial law “technocrats”:
Cesar Virata, Marcos’ finance secretary from 1970 to 1986.
He was Marcos’ “chief technocrat, or for the entire period of Martial Law, and stayed with the strongman to the very end. He was one of Marcos’ earliest recruits, joining him in 1967 as deputy director of the Presidential Economic Staff.
That he was Marcos’ official in charge of the economy is also reflected in the fact that he was chairman or board member of 22 government firms and financial institutions, for which I estimated he made P1 million a month, a fortune in those days.
Marcos trusted him so much he ordered his 200-member Interim Batasang Pambansa and then the “regular’ Batasang Pambansa, which was set up in 1984, to elect him Prime Minister. Virata took the prime minister’s title seriously that he refused to vacate his office in the few days before EDSA I, saying he was elected to the position, and resigning would have meant “a dereliction of duty”. *
When I was covering the finance beat for the business newspaper Business Day in the early 1980s, all of us in media addressed him as “Prime.”
Gerardo P. Sicat, Marcos’ economic guru and chief economic planning minister, who organized the NEDA in 1973 and headed it until 1984. Sicat was and to this day is a true believer of Marcos’ Martial Law “vision,” as he reveals in his recent book “Cesar Virata: Life and Times,” published by the UP (University of the Philippines) Press:
“On September 21, 1972, Marcos declared Martial Law, explaining that he would build a New Society. The immediate effect of this declaration was a major shift in the political and economic climate. Martial Law gave Marcos the power to undertake a clean execution of institutional change. Economic reforms suddenly became possible under Martial Law. The powerful opponents of Martial Law reform were silenced. Now it was possible to have the needed changes undertaken through presidential decree… Marcos was a lawyer and he made sure that the moves he made were covered effectively by current provisions of law or by new legal provisions.”
Take it from the horses’ mouth. “The technocrats who occupied high positions under the Marcos administration found themselves in charge of major economic policy… Now they were power wielders within the government,” Sicat wrote.
If Virata, Sicat and the other technocrats weren’t really running the economy, why did these strong-willed people, known for their integrity, stick through the entire Marcos regime? I don’t think any of them was the type who would act willingly as Marcos puppets.
Both Virata and Sicat were known to share the economic philosophy of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB), who trusted them as if they were their representatives in the Philippines.
Other than Virata and Sicat, Marcos’ technocrats included:
Roberto V. Ongpin – Marcos’ minister of trade and industry throughout his regime, especially credited, or cursed, for handling the country’s foreign exchange market by controlling the so-called underground “Binondo Central Bank” during the crisis years of 1984-1985. Ongpin was, however, at odds with Virata and Sicat because of his espousal of a Japan- and Korea-type of state-directed industrial development.
Jaime Laya – Marcos’ budget secretary from 1975 to 1981, and central bank governor from 1981 to 1984.
The IMF and the World Bank asked for his head in 1984 for being responsible as central bank governor for the deliberate padding of the country’s international reserves.
Marcos then appointed him as education secretary, a post he held until the Marcos regime’s very end. (Manuel Alba replaced Laya in 1981 as budget minister, a post he held until the end of the Marcos regime.)
Marcos’ trade and industry secretary ongpin, budget secretary Alba and PNB Chairman Mapa.
Marcos’ Trade and Industry Secretary Ongpin, budget Secretary Alba and PNB Chairman Mapa.
Placido Mapa – a ranking Opus Dei figure, who headed the NEDA from 1981-1983 and at various years during the dictatorship, the Philippine National Bank and the Development Bank of the Philippines.
Arturo Tanco – agriculture secretary from 1974 to 1984, the architect of the Green Revolution who steered the country to rice self-sufficiency. He was succeeded by his trusted deputy, a veterinarian, Salvador Escudero 3rd, father of vice presidential candidate Francis Escudero. (Should he be also asked to be accountable for Martial Law abuses, going by the logic of the Ateneo manifesto?)
Most of these technocrats shared the same worldview, the same philosophy on how the economy should be managed, formed by their years in Ivy-League schools – Virata studied at Wharton; Sicat, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Laya, at Stanford Graduate School of Business; and Mapa, at Harvard.
They believed so much in laissez-faire ideology (now called neoliberalism) – that state intervention should be minimal – that partly explains why our economy became so bad throughout Martial Law.
Contrast what they did, or did not do, to what their counterparts in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan did, which was to support (and force in some cases) companies in becoming world-class players.
In contrast to Marcos, who was demonized after EDSA I, most of his technocrats, of course, have become highly respected members of Philippine society, their role in running the economy under Martial Law – for good or bad – forgotten.
This isn’t at all surprising. Our elites needed their services, as they knew the ins-and-outs of the financial community, the business world they presided over during 13 years of Marcos’ rule. Maybe I’m wrong and the Philippine elite assessed that these technocrats didn’t do so bad really, with the economy simply a victim of external shocks.
Virata had been consultant to the World Bank and to scores of companies, even serving as director in a few others.
The University of the Philippines, which was a center of the anti-Marcos movement in the 1970s, even – unbelievably – named its School of Business Administration, the Cesar E.A. Virata School of Business.
I say unbelievable because while most prestigious US universities would name a school only after a humongous donation to them, the UP didn’t get a single centavo from Virata.
And why would a school of business be named after somebody who never was a businessman, but an executive, all his life?
If the economy during the Marcos years was bad, and if Virata managed it, why the hell did our premier university name a major college after him, the only unit there named after a living person?
Sicat is treated as a sage of the School of Economics, writes a regular column for the Philippine Star set up by anti-Marcos journalists in 1986, and wrote a 500-page hagiography on Virata published and financed by the UP.
Laya set up what would be one of the top accounting firms in the country, and has been chairman or board member of a dozen firms, including the Yap family’s PhilTrust Bank, Ayala Land, Manila Water and the GMA Network.
Alba has been the administrator of Quezon City since Feliciano Belmonte (now Speaker of the House) became its mayor. Mapa has been the top executive of Metrobank taipan George Ty.
The smartest of Marcos technocrats has been Ongpin.
While his comrades have remained essentially highly paid employees, he has become one of the country’s richest tycoons, ranked 20th for 2015 by Forbes magazine, with a net worth of $900 million (P43 billion).
Are these the kind of people who messed up our economy?
I covered the economy, focusing on finance, as Business Day reporter from 1981 to 1987, and had so many interviews with Virata, Laya, Mapa, and Ongpin.
No one ever complained that Marcos was intervening in economic policy, although Virata was very critical of Imelda Marcos’ projects that required huge government funds, such as her human settlements program and the heart, lung and kidney medical centers. That or he felt that Imelda would replace Marcos, rather than him, who after all was Prime Minister.
Why Marcos’ rule ended in economic conflagration, as in any phenomenon in this world, is a long, complicated story, beyond the simplistic good-versus-evil little minds of the writer and signatories of that Ateneo manifesto against Marcos Jr.
It is a story still to be told.
Among many things that should alert us that something is wrong with that Ateneo simplification is as follows:
GDP average growth from 1972 to 1980 averaged 6 percent, reaching 9 percent in 1973 and 9 percent in 1976, a rate never reached again. However, from 1981 (after the global recession broke out as triggered by the spike in oil prices) to 1985, the average GDP growth rate became negative 1 percent because of the economy’s unprecedented 7 percent contraction for each of the years 1984 and 1985. I believe such recession was partly due to the austerity measures the IMF and the World Bank imposed on us, which were the conditions for extending loans to pay off our debts.
We weren’t the only country on a “debt-driven” growth mode, which the Ateneo manifesto condemned.
After the Arab countries wrested from the industrial nations their oil wells, they were awash with “petro-dollars” looking for some outlet.
The US banks rushed to push successfully these loans to Latin American countries and our country in the 1970s. The shit hit the fan when the Iran-Iraq war broke out in 1980, disrupting oil production, pushing its prices and then international interest rates through the roof.
What we could easily afford before 1980 became totally beyond our means, and we declared that we couldn’t pay off our foreign debt in October 1983.
Ninoy’s Aquino’s assassination in August 1983 merely hastened, but was not really the reason, for the debt default.
Together with Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, we fell into our so-called debt-crisis, which essentially meant our isolation from the world economy, resulting in our near economic meltdown. It was this economic crisis that was the base for the widespread dissatisfaction with Marcos by 1985, that with or without Cory Aquino, the strongman had reached his end of days.
According to an academic study, Virata believed to the very end of Marcos’ rule that the country’s economic downturn in 1983 was not due to corruption or cronyism but to three factors: negative balance of payments, accumulating debts and low returns on capital.*
It is important for us as a nation to have an objective, accurate analysis of the Marcos era, especially its economic history, if we are to develop our nation.
It is worrying, though, that a century-and-a-half old academic institution like the Ateneo could be so easily mesmerized into believing the Yellow Cult’s inaccurate, simplistic narrative of the Marcos era.
The simplistic, erroneous analysis is that our economy crashed because of corruption and cronyism in that era.
The reality, though, is that the technocrats who ran the economy adhered fanatically to neoliberal economic thinking, which in almost all developing countries had proven disastrous. No country that has become industrialized in the past 40 years ever implemented such kind of economics.
But while Marcos technocrats are still alive, why don’t our media and academe, especially those at the Ateneo, ask them what really happened to the economy under Martial Law?
POSTSCRIPT. It is a bit surreal for the Ateneo “community” to be coming out against the Marcos regime, when the institution was the strongman’s bastion throughout the Martial Law period, as it has been such for every regime that is in power — and as it is now a base for this Administration. The University’s president from 1972 to 1984 then was Fr. Jose A. Cruz, who was so close to and supportive of the dictator as his father confessor and spiritual adviser.
Cruz kicked out my comrades – Alex Aquino and Billy Begg, and others – for leading anti-Marcos demonstrations at our campus.
Fr. Cruz was so rabidly pro-Marcos that he refused to allow for even a day the wake for my close friend and comrade and fellow Atenean Ferdie Arceo, an NPA commander killed by the military in Aklan in 1974.
It was only when the tide started to turn in 1984 that the big Jesuit bosses removed him and replaced him with the Cory-friendly Joaquin Bernas.
* (From Teresa S. Encarnacion Tadem, 2012: Virata: the trials and tribulations of a “chief technocrat,” Philippine Political Science Journal, 33:1, 23-37. )
(PHNO - THE PDF FILE BY THE ATENEO PROFESSORS AND GRAD STUDENTS CAN BE READ HERE IN FULL SIGNED BY 412 SIGNATORIES. Thank you Mr. Tiglao for this column. It seems we really do need to improve so badly the kind of 'high-end'(?) education today in our people, as well as many of our senators and lawmakers should be better educated too. Or Philippines will remain in this very sad state in the face of the entire world.)
42 Responses to Virata and technocrats ran the martial law economy
Ronnie Ambe says:
March 4, 2016 at 6:31 pm
Very nice reading, Mr. Tiglao. Been following your column even when you were still with the other paper and I found your writings making sense and based on thorough research. Hope you have a compilation of your columns as I would like to get a copy. If none yet, kindly make a book out of those and inform us how to secure a copy.
March 4, 2016 at 6:28 pm
virata et al. just tools for display. to createa mirage for an inexistent government. 24/7 agenda. behest loans crony capitalism rob the treasury dry. economics 101. marcos era.
Reynaldo G. Bitangcor says:
March 4, 2016 at 5:02 pm
You are dead ball accurate on this one Bobby! More Power!
March 4, 2016 at 4:43 pm
These Atenians are just opportunists who want to make tons of money by bootlicking people from those in the corridors ot power eo happens to belong to the same clique… so who are they to listen to when we all know that all they want is to continue with their elitist mentality of monopolizing and exploiting hard working people by their cliques and product of the same low life school…..
March 4, 2016 at 4:30 pm
As usual! i love reading your articles MR. Tiglao. NAPAKAMAKABULUHAN!
More power to you sir!
Leodegardo Pruna says:
March 4, 2016 at 4:19 pm
Ateneo will be doing itself a favor if it will release the results of P-Noy’s visits in the counselling unit of the university. It is sad that an academic institution is allowing itself to be used in political matters when its first and foremost reason for its existence is to create knowledge to enhance human development and welfare. God save the Philippines.
Rich Hoey says:
March 4, 2016 at 3:25 pm
All these technocrats sold their soul to the devil. They paved the way or the Marcos and Romualdez to steal and plunder while these technocrats covered up for them.
susan day says:
March 4, 2016 at 1:29 pm
YELLOW Parrots yellow trolls– salot sa bayan: general luna film, wwII, no power during corys time, ekeke during noynoy, at ano naman ang contriution ni ninoy sa bansa natin sige nga?????
boyet m. says:
March 4, 2016 at 12:50 pm
Nice article. You forgot 1 technocrat, the controvertial Jobo Fernandez of Central Bank
Fred Pescador says:
March 4, 2016 at 12:13 pm
God…forgive this Ateneo staff for they don’t know what they are saying. Please school them about the Marcos regime.
March 4, 2016 at 12:02 pm
…great PHILIPPINE HISTORY lesson!!! More power. .. God bless the Philippines
March 4, 2016 at 12:00 pm
Very, very enlightening column Mr. Tiglalo, as always. Let us see if those “bright” employees of ateneo, with a sense that is not common, bother to interview the technocrats you mentioned.
I heard somebody said before that the essentiality of ateneo is to produce crooks in government.
jhun carlos says:
March 4, 2016 at 4:00 pm
that’s true, in Noynoy Aquino, aray!!!
March 4, 2016 at 11:02 am
Thanks, Mr. Tiglao for this informative column.
March 4, 2016 at 10:11 am
More power to you Mr. Tiglao, you are an eye opener and the wisdom you impart to young ones like me are truly invaluable.
bernie velasquez says:
March 4, 2016 at 1:04 pm
Tiglao is a lawyer, not an economist. He doesn’t know that National Income is Consumption + Investment + Government Expenditures, + Exports – Exports, the biggest being Consumption and Investment. If Investment collapses, employment collapses and Consumption obviously collapses. There was massive Capital Flight during Martial Law because Marcos was taking over every successful company, be it PLDT, Meralco, ABS CBN, Aguinaldo’s, the Pearl Farm, San Miguel Corp and almost every successful company. Imelda said so four years ago.
Why would companies invest and risk capital if Marcos will simply take it over if it’s successful? That is how the economy collapsed and people couldn’t find jobs, starting the OFW movement to find jobs abroad. To replace Capital flight, he borrowed from abroad and that is why we accumulated all that foreign debt but in 1980, his credit lines got cut and caused our economic Depression and decline. That was what happened and Tiglao didn’t mention any of that other than praise the debt driven temporary unsustainable growth which collapsed once foreign loans dried up. Tiglao’s points were pure propaganda, ignoring very basic macroeconomic and microeconomic facts.
He’s an Atenean so he can write well but rudimentary analysis shows the farce! No respected economic analysis ever claimed those Martial Law years produced an economic boom. It produced the massive OFW movement that has reached 10 million + people, breaking up families but eventually saving the bankrupt Philippine economy.
March 4, 2016 at 10:02 am
This is the kind of writing they call revisionist. I hope your colleague Rene Saguisag would take time out to read this. Hopefully, he will understand why the revisionists are winning.
March 4, 2016 at 11:12 am
No. Saguisag is a hopeless old man.
If he can accuse the INC as “super bullying the government” without valid reasons or understanding of situation, how come Saguisag will understand this article
Saguisag is, and will always be a blind yellow believer.
Mhar Omang says:
March 4, 2016 at 9:42 am
Very informative indeed !
Thank you Mr. Bobby Tiglao,
GOD Bless you and your Column
comment lang.. says:
March 4, 2016 at 9:40 am
You got a nice piece Mr. Tiglao kaya lang sana po maitranslate din niyo yan sa Pilipino ng sa gayon po eh maintindihang mabuti ng ating mga kababayan lalo na po ung mga hindi nakakaintindi ng english para po maliwanagan sila sa totoong pangyayari sa ating bansa..
Keep up the good works. I salute You….
ronald badilles says:
March 4, 2016 at 9:20 am
i’ve never been in government service. im 56 years old now and i do believe you. there were bad and good things martial law has brought us. it should be told fair and square.
me i love martial law especially those early years. congrats and more power,
robert arellano says:
March 4, 2016 at 8:58 am
by far the most enlightening article. you just kicked ateneans ass real good
March 4, 2016 at 11:40 am
Right, not just the atheneans but the Jesuits in whole.
March 4, 2016 at 8:55 am
Thanks for a piece of our history. Good reading.
March 4, 2016 at 8:20 am
This column is partial with facts long live, thank you so much for the enlightenment to the young generations to know the exact occurrences during ML. I’m living witness during ML era, the good things happened to us as poor, a very poor family who doesn’t a farmland to till, however, that during ML my father awarded a parcel of land thru CARP, it is sad that well known catholic school who advocates good deeds and they well verse “THE WORD OF GOD” are they ones who don’t follow The God’s commandments, by God said Love ur neighbor as love as youself….God bless you Sir and your family
emmanuel soriano says:
March 4, 2016 at 7:46 am
I pray that more people like you, enlightened our young generations regarding martial law years, hopefully the biased assumption and false belief being instigated by people whose only intentions are to maligned the marcoses but disregarded the gains of their administration that benefited our country during those times… CONGRATULATION MR. TIGLAO, YOU ARE REALLY A MAN OF INTEGRITY…
March 4, 2016 at 7:38 am
Ateneo and La Salle are on the same boat, both educational institutions are given too much credit for nothing. The reason why they are “popular” is due to those running them, Ateneo by the Jesuits and La Salle by the La Salle brothers both political leeches. There is Fr. Arevalo, a Jesuit priest who is the confidant of Cory Aquino who made comments that Cory should be declared a saint and continue to defend PNoy in spite of all the corruption and mistakes of this man because he is an Aquino. We have the political institution La Salle which produced 2 secretaries of Education but have done nothing to uplift the educational system of the country. These 2 institutions are no better than the others other than propaganda and very expensive tuition and other school fees.
teodoro m reynoso says:
March 4, 2016 at 7:34 am
A well-written based on facts and statistics commentary as usual, Mr. Tiglao!
As a former government employee who devoted 35 years of my prime working with a government corporation created under martial law that established and developed independently managed and operated local water utilities through most of the country’s provincial cities and urban centers which have tremendously improved water supply delivery in their areas and sustained their operations without even a single centavo of government subsidy (Their capital projects have been funded by government loans which they religiously pay), I can attest to the massive infrastructure improvements done during the Marcos years.
Mega cities as Cebu, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Angeles, Dumaguete, Dagupan,Baguio, Iloilo, Naga, Legazpi, Olongapo, Laoag and Vigan and former backwater towns as Tarlac,Tarlac, San Fernando, Pampanga, Dasmarinas, Cavite and San Jose del Monte, Bulacan to mention just a few would not have reached the status they have been enjoying since the 80s and 90s if not for the contribution of these water districts and the greatly improved water supply in spurring their socio-economic growth.
Many of these now large, financially viable and self-sustaining water districts which aside from religiously paying their government loans, are even contributing to the national coffers by way of tax payments are in fact the apple of the eyes of private business many of whose CEOs and executive officers are graduates of Ateneo!
Truth to tell, it is those exclusive school-bred graduates ( including many Ateneans like PBSA ) now holding top posts in the government and private sector who are bent on taking control of many of these large, progressive water districts through privatization or the so-called PPP for profit motive while consigning the poor water consumers to long years of graduating water tarriffs on account of onerous so-called concession agreements!
I hope Mr. Tiglao will come up with an in depth investigative commentary feature on
earning GOCCs being harrassed and pressured to PPP or outright privatization to satiate the greed of a few.
March 4, 2016 at 7:25 am
The programmed heads no matter how much explanation and back it up with facts they probably won’t even bother. Their brain seems only functions on how they were program by their master manipulator! I believe that one of the stupid (apparently smart professor) who wrote an anti FEM book base on rumors and opinions! I say if he really wanted the truth,why not interview those guys you named in your article Mr. Tiglao. I commend you for trying to write facts no fiction, of which the Yellow Turd Zombies writes only fiction. Another thing, I wish you’ll also talk about under Cory (controlling) Aquino. According to the author of “Greed and Betrayal, Mr. Cecilio Arillo,that nobody in the Philippines so-called journalists touch about her very negative background as one term president. Apparently her administration and of course her has a worse record than FEM regarding corruption, extra judicial killings corruption etc.
March 4, 2016 at 5:38 am
I love ur write ups sec Tiglao and congrats for sharing these valuable info esp us the youth! GODBLESS& MORE power sir! -jr
March 4, 2016 at 7:45 am
Alas. I hope that readers will share tis to others.
March 4, 2016 at 5:36 am
The Philippines in Ferdinand E Marcos regime was ran like a tight Mafia like operation that Marcos micro managed to every detail. Every government transaction, big or small passed through the hands of Marcos. And let’s not forget that Imelda and the Romualdez clan did their pillaging too. Every government post had a Romualdez relative on the top tier, mid level and lower level of operation.
The Philippines was like the Marcos’s and Romualdez’s personal “piggy bank,” they took money out like they owned the country. Kickbacks was the order of the day.
Virata, Ongpin, Mapa and the rest of the boys were just messengers in the palace. Imelda had the final say on everything. Every Marcos and Romualdez niece and nephew were millionaires. Travels to Europe, America and Asia was like a trip to the nearest shopping mall. I know it, my younger sister was friends with a couple of Romualdez girls.
Peoples awareness in this election is crucial because a Bongbong VP win is a step to having another Imelda “kleptocracy.” And let’s not forget that a Binay presidency is equally catastrophic for the country.
Samuel Santos says:
March 4, 2016 at 4:10 am
“It is such a sad commentary on the quality of an academe to be so misinformed of a crucial era of our country, and to sink to the level of sloganeering.” – It no longer makes me wonder why some people refer to this educational institution as “Taeneo.”
Mohra Naga says:
March 4, 2016 at 3:20 am
Well said, Mr. Tiglao. There should be more journalists like you that writes and supports what you write with “clear and verifiable facts”!
Senator Marcos was never his Father’s Keeper. And the majority of the Filipino voting electorate as well as those political and community leaders supporting his bid for the Vice Presidency are most rightly in the righteous path!
el vicar says:
March 4, 2016 at 2:56 am
Mr. Tiglao your article is really enlightening to us. Thank you.
March 4, 2016 at 2:49 am
All YES MEN of the dictator.
Daniel Ali says:
March 4, 2016 at 1:50 am
Epic piece. Thank you.
Hill Roberts says:
March 4, 2016 at 1:44 am
But FM was right NOT to meddle. Precisely why the Philippines is heavily in debt because of the meddling by one man: BullShit Aquino. The country has trillions upon trillions of US dollars lost, stolen, wasted, diverted . Now this sitting president will leave the Nstional Treasury bankrupt . It’s not the job pf a president of a country to handle the economics of the nation. He can guide and make suggestions , but that’s about it. A president must not even sign infra projects. That should be the job of the Treasury Secretary only.
Jose Vallejo says:
March 4, 2016 at 1:39 am
The buck stop at the top, FM. They were just executing orders from the top, FM. Responsibility resides with who ever is on the top, FM. Point the finger or blame the Captain and not the Lieutenants.
Wilfredo Magtibay says:
March 3, 2016 at 11:58 pm
Kaya hindi ako bilib sa mga graduate ng Ateneo. Isipin mo, may diperensiya sa utak, nakagraduate sa Ateneo.
UP Diliman ang cream of the crop
March 3, 2016 at 11:54 pm
the ateneans only believe in themselves. thats how stupid they are. no matter what the facts are they will just insist what they like. its better to ignore them. anyway they are a lost case. always blaming marcos. and what about them. what did they do for the country? mga professor pa mandin.
silvestre bayangan says:
March 4, 2016 at 5:39 am
long live Mr. Tiglao column. There is no doubt he informs factual events on his daily comments at his editorial.
Palace communications needs to be fixedMarch 5, 2016 12:03 am
The frustration of many in the media and the public over the non-response of Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. to questions about the charges of one paper and one columnist that former PNP chief Alan Purisima had collected nearly P1 billion from one casino, would be lessened if the good secretary would enlighten the public about what exactly are the functions of his office.
Is the Communications office part of the Office of the President?
Or is it a regular department of government like the Department of Public Information during the Marcos presidency, when Times columnist Francisco Tatad served as information minister?
At times it seems as though Mr. Coloma is just one more spokesman of President Aquino, in addition to press secretary Edwin Lacierda and his deputy Abigail Valte.
In this role, Coloma seems to limit himself to being just a member of the president’s staff – with the fillip that when he speaks, it is the president speaking through him.
At other times, it seems as if Mr. Coloma has arrogated to himself the role of spokesman for the entire executive branch of government, serving as a full-fledged member of the Cabinet, as he comments on everything that happens under the administration. This is why the Malacañang press corps immediately pressed him for an official statement when the Purisima story was published.
The way things happened, Mr. Coloma muddled things by giving a lazy response and using text messaging as his medium of communication. Text message? Doesn’t the administration budget billions for communications?
Coloma casually declared that anyone can file charges against Mr. Purisima if they have the proof to show he embezzled public funds during his term as head of the Philippine National Police.
The full text message read: “Citizens are encouraged to participate actively in ensuring the accountability of public officials if they are aware of improper or illegal acts committed by public officials.”
He said citizens with the goods on Purisima should file criminal charges for violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (RA 3019) at the Office of the Ombudsman.
This is totally unhelpful and evasive. He seems to suggest that the Aquino administration does not care enough about the charge to order an invesrtigation by appropriate agencies.
And then he appears to suggest that a citizen should take matters into his own hands, if he can.
This is absurd and irresponsible.
To be sure, not all charges against officials should necessarily be given credence or should be investigated. It remains to be seen whether the claims of the columnist will really hold water and can stand the test of scrutiny. But it is also possible that this story has substance. The story was supported by documents and receipts. The casino does exist, the payoffs were made, and they were collected.
The fact that it was a certain “Alan La Madrid Purisima” who appears to have received P937,424,003.85 from the First Cagayan casino rings a familiar bell. The public has heard too much about Purisima already – mostly unsavory.
Whichever hat he may wish to wear, Presidential Spokesman or Communications Czar, Mr. Coloma cannot dismiss the matter as unworthy of official attention.
Malacañang communications would be much more efficient and effective, if it adopts the White House system in the US, where there are two bodies to handle presidential communications.
One is the White house press office. The office, a staff mainly, is headed by the press secretary. It is largely reactive. It responds to the needs of the White House press corps.
The other is the White House office of Communications. It is headed by a communications director. It is responsible for setting the public agenda and coordinating the news from the different departments and agencies of the executive branch.
By straddling the two roles of spokesman and communications director, Mr. Coloma often gets confused by the issues and stumbles on his own words.
The recent emergence of Manuel Quezon III as another communications bigwig has made things even more confusing in Malacañang.
[PHNO SPEAKS: Yes we agree. We read Mr. Coloma exactly the same way as described here. We just think it is because of the type of President he is working for. His job under a boss like Noy must be cvery onfusing for him, too. that's all!]
No political wound is deep enough to hurt forever… unless you are AquinoMarch 4, 2016 11:55 pm MAURO GIA SAMONTE
by MAURO GIA SAMONTE
First of two parts
THERE are thinkers and there are thinkers, but of the many ill thoughts spawned by the specter of Marcos Martial Law, none has succeeded in debunking the strongman’s words:
“In politics, there are no permanent enemies, there are only temporary allies.”
Marcos was proof of his words. In the lead up to the presidential election in 1965, he was Senate President determined to contest the incumbent President Diosdado Macapagal.
But by the principle of the equity of the incumbent, Macapagal enjoyed the privilege of being the official candidate of the Liberal Party of which Marcos was a member, too. What Marcos did was bolt to the Nacionalista Party and talked the NP presidential aspirant Fernando Lopez into sliding down to the vice presidential slot in favor of him as the NP standard bearer. The arrangement struck up between the two, so reports went, was that Marcos, should he win as president, would relinquish the presidential slot to Lopez come next election – which never happened, because the former, after winning as president in 1965, reneged on his promise not to seek reelection; Marcos ran again in 1969 and, again winning, proceeded to set the stage for his dictatorship that would last up to 1986.
In reverse, then Tarlac Governor Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., a member of the Nacionalista Party, who had turncoated to the Liberal Party when that party came to power at Malacañang, ran and emerged winner as an LP in the mid-term senatorial elections in 1967.
Turncoatism has been so institutionalized in Philippine politics that it has become the rule of thumb among politicians, particularly on the eve of elections when a clear winner is in sight and those aboard the losing cart leap into the bandwagon of the victor.
Now, barely two months to elections time, Senator Bongbong Marcos is clearly in sight as the next vice president. While, as Marcos mandated, there appears already a trend among politicians to jump into Bongbong’s bandwagon, the Yellow Cult that sprang from the legend of Ninoy’s homecoming in 1983 embarks on a hate campaign quite reminiscent in form and in substance of the demonizing that Ninoy unleashed against Marcos in the tumult of the 70s and well into the entire period of martial law.
Come to think it. Imperial Japan aggressed the Philippines in World War II, her forces heaping untold woes, miseries, and horrors upon the Filipino people, but as early as 1960 we had completed a return to normal friendly relations – all to our two countries’ mutual benefits. It had needed less than two decades for the wounds of war to completely heal.
But the Aquino hate campaign against Marcos has gone the long course of two scores and four and now gives signal that it is not about to end ever, but on the contrary to even grow stronger now that the prospects are turning, oh, so bright for Bongbong becoming the country’s vice president in just a matter of less than three months.
It is as if the woes, miseries, and horrors, if at all, of the Marcos reign far outweigh those of the Japanese occupation in WWII so that while Japan had long been forgiven by the Filipino people, the damning of Marcos must continue on and on.
Can the former dictator be turning in his grave now (or more appropriately in his chiller, for his remains remain preserved in a refrigerated chamber in Ilocos where the past three decades it has been waiting a hero’s entombment in the Libingan ng mga Bayanni) in the face of a renewed demonizing he is currently getting from his enemies of old?
Anti-Marcos diehards, claiming for credentials to being revolutionaries a variety of maltreatment from the martial law administration, launched last February 22 the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacanang (CARMMA). In a manifesto released by the organizers of the group for the occasion, it declared: “The Filipino people booted the Marcoses out of the presidential palace – and out of the country – in 1986.
After sometime, they wormed their way back to Philippine politics. Thirty years hence (sic), the Marcos grand scheme to recapture Malacanang long planned by the Marcos cabal, is just a stride away – if Ferdinand E. Marcos becomes vice-president. A mere walk in the park could be the presidency, courtesy of the plunder of the people’s money by the Marcos conjugal dictatorship.
“For this reason, we have formed CARMMA – Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacanang. We say no to Bongbong Marcos as vice president – because he is not the guiltless son that he presents himself to be.”
To the discerning, that opener reeks of deceit, at best a misrepresentation of actual transpirations alluded to in 1986, EDSA 1. It was not the Filipino people that “booted the Marcoses out of the presidential palace – and out of the country – in 1986.”
Granting there was truth to the claim that two million warm bodies constituted the EDSA 1 crowd, was that enough to make up “the Filipino people”? The Philippine population was rounding off at 60 million at the time. How much is 2 of 60, a very measly 3 %. How presumptuous of those yellow puppies to proclaim themselves as the Filipino nation.
Make no mistake, the yellow puppies did not topple Marcos; the US did, kidnapped the Marcoses and brought them to Hawaii, thus throwing Malacañang open to the rampaging mob that were the EDSA 1 marauders.
If EDSA 1 turned out bloodless, it was for no other reason than Marcos vehemently refusing to turn it bloody. The whole nation was agape at that television coverage of General Fabrian Ver, then AFP Chief of Staff, urging President Marcos to disperse the EDSA 1 crowd with gunfire, but Marcos, evidently with restrained rage at Ver’s urging, just refused, ordering instead to simply use water hoses for dispersing the crowd on Edsa.
The history of martial law – which in fact may be written as the history of the Third Epoch of the Philippine Revolution (the First Epoch being the 300-year-struggle against Spanish colonization, and the Second Epoch, against American aggression and its subsequent sponsored succession of regimes by the local bourgeoisie) – has suffered much from biased reportage, that is, biased against Marcos. It is quite risky, therefore, to gather knowledge of that history simply from media reports, more so from revolutionary pretenders whose politics is driven by selfish hurt and insatiable vindictiveness, let alone greed for spoils, to the utter neglect of the pragmatic, primordial need to keep the nation moving on.
Nothing can beat accounts by people who had taken part in the shaping of that history, like Senator Kit Tatad and Ambassador Rigoberto D. Tiglao, whose recent writings in this paper have been dealing with the topic. Though standing on opposite poles of martial law, they speak from the heart and their words cannot but converge in an honest picture of what actually happened.
I wish to go the path they tread
In 2010 I wrote an essay, “Knowing Ninoy Aquino,” which I hoped to publish into a book but not having enough funds for the undertaking, I succeeded only in publishing it in my blog KAMAO.
(End of Part 1. Part 2 appears tomorrow Sunday March 6.)
PART 2 NO POLITICAL WOUND IS DEEP ENOUGH TO HURT FOREVER… UNLESS YOU ARE AQUINO
Knowing Ninoy Aquino March 5, 2016 10:33 pmMAURO GIA SAMONTE
by MAURO GIA SAMONTE
In 2010 I wrote an essay, “Knowing Ninoy Aquino,” which I hoped to publish into a book but not having enough funds for the undertaking, I succeeded only in publishing it in my blog KAMAO.
In that essay, I detailed my own involvement in the revolutionary movement called the National Democratic Revolution, from my organizing of a labor union in Makabayan Publishing Corporation, owned by J. Amado Araneta, grandfather of now presidential aspirant Mar Roxas; to my deeper integration into the revolution, first as staff member of the education department of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Party Group in the Katipunan ng mga Samahan ng mga Manggawa (KASAMA). Then, after being elevated to full-fledge membership in the Party, as head of that department onward to my assertion of overall leadership of the group when upon the declaration of martial law, the Group Gensec ended up in military hands.
In all these capacities, I ran through the gamut of varied revolutionary tasks, organizing unions, conducting education among workers, from the abattoir in Vitas, Tondo, to ladies garment factories in Valenzuela, from textile mills in Pasig all the way to the sacadas in Tarlac.
Propaganda had already been my cup of tea, and in the revolutionary movement I used it to the hilt in the trimedia, particularly promoting the revolutionary strike movement, envisaged to bring about the final collapse of the enemy’s political power in the cities.
My first ever feel of a grenade was in that rally one rainy afternoon at the corner of T. M. Kalaw and Roxas Boulevard, directed at the US embassy just a hundred meters away. I did not know that it would be my baptism of fire.
Under the command of Manila Police Chief Col. Robert Barbers, the police had blocked our advance at the intersection, and our march toward the embassy came to a standstill.
While the lead agitators were taunting the police and mouthing anti-US imperialist tirades, Ka Estrel sidled up to me and in a stealthy manner slung on my shoulder a soft, innocent-looking bag made of cloth (backpacks were not yet in vogue at the time), then whispered: “Ganyan ang ginamit sa Plaza Miranda. Pagbunot ng pin, ibato mo agad. Four seconds sasabog yan.
(That’s the same kind used in Plaza Miranda. After pulling out the pin, throw it at once. In four seconds it will explode.)” And with that, Ka Estrel made herself scant. Shortly after, those at the front line succeeded in intimidating the policemen, who started charging. Those assigned with pillboxes exploded their weapons at the police onrush.
That was supposed to be my cue to explode my own fireworks.
I thought I passed my test in terms of quick-decision making. At the last minute I decided not to throw the grenade but kept it in the bag, lugging it as I rushed along with the retreating rallyists. Realizing that the pursuing policemen were gaining in on us unavoidably, I dived into the foot of the Rizal Monument in which, it turned out, police pursuit was taboo.
At the eye-signal from one of the Marine soldiers guarding the monument for me to stay put there, I crouched even lower behind the concrete railing as the policemen rushed by.
Col. Barbers and the policemen who got hit only with the non-fatal pillbox shrapnels should owe me a debt of gratitude for not having been blasted by the explosive I had in my bag. And to the Marines guards, thank you whoever you are and wherever you are for not telling me to the pursuing policemen. Had they done so, I would have exploded the grenade just the same then and there and thereby gone down in history as the guy who blasted Rizal the second time around. But since I had made it a habit not to carry any identifying papers in the performance of my tasks, nobody would have found any identifying mark among the shattered pieces of my flesh and nobody would ever have known whodunit.
Thus did I flunk the baptism of fire
Now, more than four decades after that incident, I still feel goose pimples creeping all over my body every time I think of what would have happened had I thrown that grenade. I would imagine the mangled bodies of those in Plaza Miranda that evening of August 21, 1971 and I would ask myself endlessly if I could have lived with the memory of it all afterward. And the answer would be: No, never mind if I failed the test, failed to have risen to that supreme rank of a red fighter to which every activist at the time was aspiring. Serving the people does not mean blind obedience to an order done in a manner no different from the military dictum that we used to see inscribed at the gates of Camp Aguinaldo: “Ours is not to reason why/Ours is but to do or die.” For if this, too, were our doctrine, how distinguish us then from the fascism that we were supposed to fight in Marcos?
In his book Art of War Sun Tzu speaks of three ways in which “a sovereign can bring misfortune upon his army.” One such way is, Sun Tzu says, “By commanding an army to advance or retreat, being ignorant of the fact that it cannot obey…”
Antagonism within CPP
Martial Law was declared, throwing our unit in disarray, rocked further by an endemic antagonism in the party structure whereby regional leadership clashed with that of the national workers’ sector, with the former tightly toeing the Jose Maria Sison “mass line” of establishing a broad alliance with all “progressive” sectors that included capitalists, the bottom line being opposition to the Marcos dictatorship; and the latter closely adhering to the proletarian revolutionary line which it argued to be the correct “party line.” My individual criticism of the Sison strategy as well as of his Mao Tse Tung copy-cat analysis of Philippine society must have reached all the way to the “sovereign” so that when the directive for the unit to retreat to the countryside was made, it was not meant to include me.
Years later – after I successfully sneaked back into mainstream entertainment writing onward to writing and directing films – I would hear of Ka Estrel getting killed in Cebu in an encounter with government forces. This, along with stories about other elements from our unit meeting with the same fate in Central Luzon, in Bicol and in the Cordilleras, fate that would most likely have befallen me as well had I passed the test Ka Estrel, in all good faith, led me to.
And now, looking back at how the movement got splintered, with the people’s army reduced to guerilla unit formations in contrast to the exhilarating size of 25,000 regulars in company formations on the eve of EDSA 1, I can’t help raising the question: Have those deaths of comrades been worth it? God – I gasped unmindful of any implication the ejaculation connoted – what about those who would have met with their own gruesome demise had I, in one moment of insanity, thrown my own assigned grenade?
For a time, I kept the grenade in a relative’s apartment together with a stockpile of the five volumes of Mao Tse Tung’s writings, which were in my custody as ED (Education Department) head of the national party group in the workers’ trade union sector. After a time, I surrendered it to the HO (higher organ): I wouldn’t be a good grenade exploder.
Only then was I told by Ka Willy, head of the National Trade Union Bureau to whom I turned over the explosive, as a matter of side talk, that the grenade came from Ninoy.
Now, how can I possibly just sit by watching while the very poison I gulped in all naivete in my youth is once again being fed by the Yellow Cult into multitudes of the current young. I swallowed that poison in the pure belief it was the way to achieve workers’ liberation. But the turning point would come.
That was August 21, 1971. The grand miting de avance of the Liberal Party that evening was blasted, resulting in deaths and injuries to more than a hundred. As expected, the instant blame was put on Marcos. But that got me squirming terribly inside. Marcos might be a despot, but he was an intelligent man, oh, much too intelligent to commit the stupidity of bombing his opponent’s political rally. He should know it would be blamed on him and he would not do it.
On the other hand, was it too smart of Senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. to be the only LP senatorial candidate who was safely away at the time of the explosions? It seemed to smack of genius, doing evil and then have it blamed on his enemy. But, as Andres Bonifacio said it, nobody escapes history. Over time, events would unfold to prove Ninoy’s crime.
End of Part 2. Part 3 will come out next Saturday.
9 Responses to Knowing Ninoy Aquino
March 6, 2016 at 9:50 am
This is really interesting information, although the title or headline is rather misleading. I hope you are now in a position to write your book. Self-publication is now so common that you should not find it difficult to publish your book. The more books (recollections, memoirs, etc.) are written about this period in Philippine, the more we will get closer to the truth of what really happened. Is Ninoy Aquino a hero or a villain?
Dennis Fernandez says:
March 6, 2016 at 6:53 am
If ever your claim was true, it would appear that Marcos was right to prosecute Ninoy for complicity to commit rebellion with the communists. I read in one of the news articles that no less than former senator Salonga commented Ninoy had something to do with the Plaza Miranda bombing
Leodegardo Pruna says:
March 6, 2016 at 9:51 am
The time has come for truth to be out. Sen. Salonga did comment what was then the truth. And, the anomaly continues with mother and son having to do with it. Reason why up to now we find no solution as to the mastermind of Ninoy’s killing. The truth however could be that those who are trying to hide the truth by way of not having taken action when in power could be at the top of it. God save the Philippines.
marcial lex says:
March 6, 2016 at 5:55 am
Very interesting Sir!!
Ayyy nakuuuu Bayan! says:
March 6, 2016 at 3:17 am
Ninoy was such an indecent man…marami lang ang nauto at nagpagamit! Diyan mana ang anak, kitang kita! Walang trace na di niya anak si Noynoy, mga inutil at mang-gagamit. Look at Kris and ALL their siblings aside from Viel. Viel appears to be decent and prudent.
roland q.estrada says:
March 6, 2016 at 2:11 am
Your column is interesting to read because it brought me back of my youth wearing a T-shirt blaring a ” bangon kauring alipin” slogan.I dream of becoming a journalist ,martial law ended that dream but became a capitalist.The respected senator Jovy Salonga nearly got killed in the plaza Miranda bombing, writing in his memoirs he believed the confessions of the communist grenade thrower and blamed Joma Sison as the mastermind. As a Mao copy cat he believes that this will fragment the ruling elite and align themselves with the revolutionaries. But I know that Marcos is not stupid to order the decimation of the center of opposition power described by Bono Adaza. Senator Salonga is silent regarding the role of Ninoy. Ninoy’s absence in the blasted opposition rally is a nagging question that pesters over time. I look forward to reading your narrative regarding this.
March 6, 2016 at 12:26 am
Congratulations for your courage and thank you for telling the truth about Ninoy Aquino. He was no hero and was an enemy of the State. His assassination on August 21,1983 was no accident. It was karma for the crime he conspired to commit on the same day in August twelve years earlier. The “hero” of the Yellow horde was a great hypocrite and criminal.
March 6, 2016 at 12:24 am
“Only then was I told by Ka Willy, head of the National Trade Union Bureau to whom I turned over the explosive, as a matter of side talk, that the grenade came from Ninoy.”
In another incident in 1971, Philippine Free Press interviewed Ninoy after the August 21 Plaza Miranda bombing. Ninoy said, “We were bombed in Plaza Miranda. We were almost wiped out. And this is now the very reason being used by Mr. Marcos to gag us or put us in his stockades.”
Kung magsalita si Ninoy, akala mo ay nandun siya sa Plaza Miranda noong bombahin ito, at akala mo ay isa siya sa mga biktima ng bombing. Iyon pala ay alam niya ang planong bombahin ang Plaza Miranda, kaya pala wala siya sa very important event ng Liberal Party’s proclamation rally.
Pagkatapos nung binisita ni Imelda Marcos si Ninoy sa America, dine-deny pa ni Ninoy ang involvement niya sa series of bombings sa Metro Manila noong early 1980’s.
Paano hindi magdududa ang gobyerno na involved si Ninoy, may history na pala siya na involved siya sa destabilization plots against the government and the economy. Siya pa ngayon ang naging hero.
March 5, 2016 at 11:34 pm
Oh my God ganyan ba kadesperado si Ninoy Aquino to destroy Marcos? Even to the extent of killing many people? And we call him a Hero? The Filipinos are insane to call that evil man a hero.
EDITORIAL: Radyo Totoo’s first Servant Leadership Halalan 2016 ForumMarch 5, 2016 10:37 pm
Veritas airs first Servant Leadership Halalan Forum 2016 Posted on March 5, 2016 Veritas TeamPosted in Latest News. “…The great leader is seen as servant first…” – Robert K. Greenleaf Radio Veritas 846, the leading faith-based AM radio […] VERITAS ONLINE
TOMORROW, Monday, March 7, Radio Veritas airs its first Servant Leadership Halalan Forum 2016 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
This is very much worth listening to.
Radio Veritas 846 is the leading faith-based AM radio station in the Philippines. It is owned and operated by the Archdiocese of Manila. Established in 1969, the station has received the Ramon Magsaysay award for being faithful to its name—Radio Truth or, in Tagalog, as coined by the late Antonio R. Mercado, Radyo Totoo, which is what the Latin phrase Radio Veritas means. This Catholic radio station has continued to be the leading social communications ministry for truth and evangelization in our country.
The Veritas Servant Leadership Halalan Forum 2016 is a Radio Veritas special election series of discussions that will focus on the ten qualities of a servant leader that voters should use to gauge candidates by. The forum will be moderated by Radio Veritas anchors, Angelique Lazo-Mayuga and Bernard Cańaberal.
For the first forum, among the guests are Mr. Charlito S. Ayco, Chief Executive Officer of Habitat for Humanity Philippines, and Mr. Roy Calleja, Chairman, Pilipino Movement for Transformational Leadership and Brotherhood for Christian Businessmen and Professionals.
Messrs. Ayo and Calleja will talk about the first quality of a servant leader, which is that of Listening. In Tagalog this quality is described as “Marunong siyang MAKINIG at SUMANGGUNI sa mga taong nasasakupan niya ukol sa mga isyu at pangangailangan ng pamayanan.” [The servant leader knows and wills to LISTEN to and CONSULT the people of his or her constituency about the issues (or problems) and needs of the citizenry.
Radio Veritas President, Fr. Anton Pascual said that the ten qualities promoted by Radio Veritas aims to bring discernment back into the public’s choice of leaders.
“The future of our country lies in our hands. It is our great responsibility to choose the best leader who could respond to the recurrent problems of our country. These ten guides in choosing the right candidate for the 2016 National Elections may reorient the electorates in choosing their candidates for this coming election,” Fr. Anton added.
The ten qualities for a servant leader presented by Radio Veritas include, listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of the people, and building community.
The other qualities after listening will be discussed in the subsequent series of forums to be aired by Radio Veritas.
These qualities are adapted from the servant-leadership theoretical framework first proposed by Robert K. Greenleaf. He founded the modern Servant leadership movement and the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership.
To further define Greenleaf’s paradigm shift, Larry C. Spears , Executive Director of the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership identified ten characteristics of a servant-leader in his paper “On Character and Servant Leadership: Ten Characteristics of Effective, Caring Leaders.”
Auidiences may also watch the first Veritas Servant Leadership Halalan Forum 2016 through live streaming at www.veritas 846.ph. The forum will also have a delayed telecast on TV Maria aired at Dream Satellite’s Channel 12, Sky Cable’s Channel 160, and Global Destiny’s Channel 91.
An important teaching of Robert K. Greenleaf that voters and citizens ought to keep in mind is this: “The great leader is seen as servant first.”
This is a teaching that President Aquino, while hypocritically calling us, the people, “his bosses” obviously cannot live by.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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