Truth or Consequence

Apropos the stream of comments generated by my article SYRIAN WAR: MARCOS IN RETROSPECT, I’m prompted to think back on Rashomon, that movie by Akira Kurosawa which won the Best Picture Award in the 1950 Berlin Film Festival onward to winning a similar honor in the Cannes Film Festival.

rashomonRashomon tells the story of a murdered samurai viewed from different angles. Each of these angles claims to be the truth, to be more precise told during the trial by a number of people claiming to be witnesses to the crime. The testimonies contradict one another, making for the difficulty of telling which is true and which is false. This dilemma constituting Rashomon’S theme is what I believe stares us in the face in the current discussion.

Which of the contradictory comments that poured into GRP on account of my article is true and which is false. Each of the comments is not wanting in historical proof.

jcc goes to such great lengths, thank you, citing someone’s account of the EDSA event (I promise to read up on this to get me less ill-informed) to show that orders to shoot the EDSA crowd were given out but that the field commanders refused to carry out those orders.

On the other hand, Andrew reports on a conversation he heard between General Arturo Enrile and somebody in a London Times’ correspondent’s bash in 1995 in which the general, said to be leading the armored column in EDSA, admitted that they were ordered to stop and being the army, they obeyed.

Twenty six years after, therefore, the question continues to hang: Did or did not Marcos order shooting the EDSA crowd?

jcc, again, calls it being “ill-informed” to believe the exchange between AFP Chief Ver and President Marcos was one for real. Johnny Saint agrees, calling it odd that Ver and Marcos should be talking that way on television. “The whole event,” Johnny says, “seems contrivcd – a scripted melodrama, and a bad one at that.”

For her part, sendonggirl, whom Amir Al Bahrs alludes to as “lockness monster” and whom Johnny Derp would rather liken to a “mewling quim” (whatever that means), points out impropriety in comparing a leader to Assad. “Such a low bar hehehehe,” she comments, hardly realizing that “such a low bar” in fact was what people in the 70s – at least Ninoy Aquino and his ilk – were measuring Marcos against already: “Marcos! Hitler! Diktador! Tuta!” So okay with sendonggirl for Ninoy to go low, low to Hitler but never low enough to Assad? And for a final challenge, she prescribes, “compare him to lincoln so we can see.”

So okay, sendonggirl. You asked for it..

Lincoln did self-study of law. Marcos reviewed for bar while in prison. Even Stevens.

Lincoln passed the bar. Marcos topped the bar. Marcos up.

Lincoln lost a number of attempts at winning lower political posts. Marcos never lost an election. Marcos up.

Lincoln went turncoat from Whig Party to Republican Party and won US presidency. Marcos went turncoat from Liberal Party to Nacionalista Party and won Philippine presidency. Even Stevens.

Lincoln was captain of volunteers during the Black Hawk War but, as one account says, saw no combat save for “a good many bloody struggles with the mosquitoes.” Marcos actually fought in battle as a combat intelligence officer for the allied forces in the Philippines during World War 2. Marcos up.

Seven states seceded from the United States during Lincoln’s term. No portion of the nation seceded from the Republic of the Philippines during Marcos’ term. Marcos up. (P.S. Such secession is being contemplated by the current PNoy administration for Mindanao through the Framework of Agreement. History will assign score to PNoy for this.)

The American Civil War broke out during Lincoln’s term. No civil war broke out in Marcos’ term. Marcos up.

Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus and arrested suspected Confederates sympathizers without warrant. Marcos suspended writ of habeas corpus and arrested suspected communists without warrant. Even Stevens.

Lincoln said, “Hold your friends close and your enemies closer.” (Sun Tzu said this first.) Marcos said, “There are no permanent enemies. There are only temporary allies.” Even Stevens enough.

Lincoln said, “A house divided cannot stand.” Marcos said, “This nation can be great again.” Marcos sounds better, or don’t you agree?

Lincoln served for a little more than four years. Marcos served 20 years. Marcos far, far ahead.

So now, sendonggirl, see for yourself how Lincoln and Marcos compare. There is only one area in which Lincoln does one over Marcos. Lincoln was so hated in America that a popular actor assassinated him on April 14, 1865. Marcos was only exiled.

Why is that the case, that is, why exile Marcos? “Because,” says Hayden Toro, “Marcos was against the bases agreement to be extended. Enrile, Ramos and Honasan were just front men of the Americans….”

I’m inclined to believe Hayden. The US military bases agreement was subject to review every five years. When Marcos came into power, he began imposing rental on these installations, the first president ever do so. By 1985, when another review was in the offing, the US must have had enough. Marcos had to go.

In this regard, Teddy Boy Locsin, reacting on Twitter to this same article, contributes a very helpful insight. He cites a meeting between Cory and Philip Habib, special envoy sent by Reagan to intervene in the crisis gripping the nation as a consequence of the presidential snap election. According to Teddy Boy, Cory rejected Habib’s proposal for her to share power with Marcos and declared that if that happened, she would tear the nation. At which, narrates Teddy Boy, Habib stood and told Cory that she will (apropos the comment of Jack, tense is Teddy Boy’s original) win. And as the cliché goes, the rest is history. With EDSA, Cory won.

Now, see how we have meandered through a labyrinth of views which we seem to find a hard time getting out of. In much the same way, Rashomon treats our consciousness to endless juxtapositions of current and past scenes seemingly able to achieve only a grand display of incoherence.

In the opening sequence of Rashomon, a priest and a man (later to be identified as the woodcutter who, by his own testimony, discovers the murdered samurai) are under the ruined gate of Rashomon outside Kyoto, lamenting something which they say they cannot understand. An intruder rushes to the scene, taking shelter from the rain that is pouring hard. He is told of the two’s lament.

Says the priest, “War, earthquake, winds, fire, famine, the plague. Year after year it’s been nothing but disasters. And bandits descend upon us every night. I’ve seen so many men getting killed like insects. But even I have never heard such a story as horrible as this. Yes, so horrible. This time I may finally lose my faith in the human soul.”

What’s more horrible than war, earthquake, winds, fire, famine, the plague? The question prompts you to view the movie on. For all the disasters that had visited the Philippines, the country hasn’t quite had enough?

In the finale, you get the answer: lies.

Cries the woodcutter at the intruder who accuses him of having stolen the precious pearl-inlaid dagger that went missing from the chest of the slain samurai.

“Damn it! Everyone is selfish and dishonest. Making excuses. The bandit, the woman, the man and you!”

Thus the film delivers its powerful message: that nothing is true in the world and that what truth is to people are consequences of things that work to their favor.

Rashomon’s impact precisely lies in its shattering of the hitherto held western belief of the universality of truth – which obviously is what comments in the GRP stream without exception smack of.

We, all of us, always pretend to nobility in our words. But always we betray a gleam, if a tiny one, by which our listeners can look beyond our façades.

What is mine in this instance? An ache wrought by the babies and children getting brutalized in the Syrian civil war. It’s a pain a lot more fundamental than striking up a brave political braggadocio or priding in grammatical perfection.

It’s really just a plain, simple cry: “Please stop the Syrian civil war. Save the babies and children.”

Discussions in Rashomon abruptly stop as an infant’s cry rends the air. The discussants look and discover an abandoned baby, wrapped in an expensive kimono with an amulet left by the baby’s parents obviously to protect it from harm. The three proceed to do each respective concern, The greedy intruder snatches the kimono off the baby then growls at the woodcutter as the latter tries to stop him.

“You selfish…” says the woodcutter.

“What’s wrong with that? Dogs are better off in this world. If you are not selfish, you can’t survive.”

The priest cradles the continuously-crying baby in his arms as the intruder hurries off. The woodcutter asks to have the baby.

“I have six kids of my own. Another one wouldn’t make a difference.”

The priest hands the baby to the woodcutter, whereupon it stops crying. The rain has stopped.

Manifesting a cleansing of spirit inside him, the priest says, “I think I can keep my faith in man.”

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About Mauro Gia Samonte

Essayist, novelist, film writer and director

94 Comments on “Truth or Consequence”

  1. “Ask four guys how it happened and you’ll get four different versions” – from the musical Jersey Boys.

    It’s amazing how people see the same thing differently. I guess we all view things from a different angle, which is why we end up having different points of view. It depends also on what social class we belong to. Those who benefit from the current administration for example, see things differently from those who don’t benefit from it.

  2. Nassim Taleb in his book Anti-Fragile highlighted the frequent way people embrace a principle in one context but fail to see it and uphold it when encountered in a different context. On one hand, for example, one would cringe at the thought of taking medicine that wasn’t purchased at a reptuable drugstore then on another occasion wouldn’t think twice about popping a recreation drug handed to her by a stranger in a trendy club. Contexts shift, while principles tend to be stable. Anchoring one’s regard for something on principles is often a good way to help mitigate the effects of those shifting contexts and biases we are often unaware our personal judgments are subject to.

  3. hehehe…. you clearly see the political slant in other people’s view, but totally clueless about your own.. i asked you to google Alfred McCoy, but you wish that we gravitate on your position instead of him, because yours seem to be the unalloyed truth. hehehe…. if i go to a specialist and he told me that i have cancer, i will not go to a general practitioner to tell me that i don’t have a cancer. it is all that there is to it… you are a general practitioner, while i based my position on the basis of the opinion of the specialist.

    i should hear ilda protest, but information is such a delicate matter to entrust to a general practitioner when i have a specialist that i can reckon with.

    wheewww… you believe that marcos was a well-decorated combatant… while others who have spent time and years of research have found most of those medals fake.. i heard this blog argue about ‘falsus in unos, falsus in omnibus’ that if he could make such a grand lie, then he could almost lie in every aspect of his life.

    http://jcc34.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/a-review-of-enriles-memoir-by-installment/

    1. ‘Twas not just a clue, but an unequivocal statement”It’s really just a plain, simple cry: ‘Please stop the Syrian civil war. Save the babies and children.’”

    2. This jcc’s idiotic comment –

      ” if i go to a specialist and he told me that i have cancer, i will not go to a general practitioner to tell me that i don’t have a cancer. it is all that there is to it… you are a general practitioner, while i based my position on the basis of the opinion of the specialist.”

      Talagang abogado de patola.

      If he’s really a lawyer, why is it he can’t even make his point like a lawyer?

      In his comment –

      “if i go to a specialist and he told me that i have cancer, i will not go to a general practitioner to tell me that i don’t have a cancer…”

      Is that his logic?

      Kaya nga abogado de patola!

  4. hehehee… that marcos wanted to exact rentals from the u.s. military bases, that is true but those rentals went directly to his pocket… during the vietnam war, u.s. paid marcos huge sums which did not go to the treasury… the u.s. also gave marcos engineering equipment as part of the financial package and he practically turned them over to disini and cuenca, two of his trusted cronies so they can use them in the construction of roads whose costs added kickbacks given to high-up officials… read bonner, seagrave, primitivo mijares, alfred mccoy, and semprel.

    hehehehe… one thing you have not mentioned about marcos and lincoln, the latter is not a thief.

    http://jcc34.wordpress.com/2012/08/26/japans-loot-shapes-its-economy-marcoss-loot-his-personal-fortune/

    1. Lincoln spent $2,000,000 without congressional appropriation. Presumably he spent it for the war, but then no appropriation, no auditing, who knows where the money actually went? That was 1861. How much would that $2,000,000 in Marcos’ time?

        1. Sorry, forgot the question mark. “How much would that $2,000,ooo have been in Marcos’ time?”

    2. This jcc abogado de patola is guilty of oversimplification – where is your verifiable facts that Marcos pockets the US base rental?

      Give us a break!

      Idiot…

  5. Your article was lifted directly from “Iginuhit ng Tadhana” the propaganda movie of Marcos during the 1965 Presidential elections. And you want to present it as the unvarished truth… please give us a break!

      1. @Mauro

        This jcc, I can show to the readers I can’t find anything in the blogger’s post that is related to Marcos movie “Iginuhit ng Tadhana”.

        If he’s not an idiot, he should cite any part of the blogger’s post that was referenced to that movie.

        The blogger’s post BTW is very straightforward IMO. Well written based on commenters’ comments.

        On the other hand, I have some reservations that I’ll post later.

        I’ve read the post and still reading the comments. I’m counter-commenting as I read the comments.

  6. History is a battleground of perspectives. Even if you were around at the time, so many things are still hidden away from sight. Sometimes, we may never know.

    It ends up with where you’re coming from.

    1. ChinoF…no. Historical perspectives are supposed to provide insight. They aren’t supposed to alter facts. If they present an alternative version of recorded historical events, the historian is supposed to provide quantifiable, empirical data. Evidence that can support the thesis. Otherwise, it’s just opinion. Or lies.

      1. I have these two comments –

        From ChinoF

        “History is a battleground of perspectives. Even if you were around at the time, so many things are still hidden away from sight. Sometimes, we may never know.”

        From J. Saint –

        “Historical perspectives are supposed to provide insight. They aren’t supposed to alter facts. If they present an alternative version of recorded historical events, the historian is supposed to provide quantifiable, empirical data. Evidence that can support the thesis.”

        I have to agree with ChinoF.

        Why?

        It will always defend on who would debunk the historical facts. It would defend on what data the debunker has against the historian’s data.

        Historical perspective are supposed to be relating the history as to the best of the historian’s knowledge and what is the available verifiable facts. Historians are not supposed to alter those verifiable facts.

        That’s why some claims that it should be Emilio Aguinaldo or Marcelo H. del Pilar should have been our national hero instead of Jose P. Rizal.

    2. Well said… Well said… It has always been my stand that writing history, like reading history, is a class endeavor. Historical events take shape in our consciousness accordingly as we take stands in the class struggle between workers and capitalists.

  7. Do you actually know what happens in the Philippines? “No civil war…?” Have you never heard of Jose Maria Sison and the New People’s Army? Or the Moro National Liberation Front? Nur Misuari? Hashim Salamat? They all started in 1969.

    1. hehehe, mccoy consider the hukbalahap uprising, the NPA uprising and the MILF uprising a civil war. but this guy, the general practitioner, consider it not a civil war… but he did not define what a civil war is.

      1. I didn’t say anything about the Hukbalahap uprising, did I? I was referring to a civil war in Marcos’ term. But will touch on this in my next piece.

        1. And this idiot jcc is confusing everybody here.

          My advice to this jcc – go somewhere else where everyone is agreeing with your idiotic posit.

    2. When I read the article, I assumed the comparison between Marcos and Lincoln was “tongue in cheek”.

      I honestly don’t know enough about the Huks to comment; the NPA, MNLF, MILF and Abu Sayyaf are nearer to my own experience.

      But a “civil wars”, these groups, whilst murderous enough in all conscience, don’t seem really to have gained enough traction with the masses to turn an armed insurrection into a civil war.

      It’s not unusual for “guerrilla” groups that don’t achieve their aims to degenerate into “gangsters” – the same thing has happened in Northern Ireland, which indeed has many points of similarity with the issues in Mindanao, and in Colombia, but usually such groups turn into protection racketeers and drug dealers, rather than “guns for hire”. That seems a peculiarly Filipino trait.

      1. “Tongue in cheek,” confirmed. Just to accommodate sendonggirl. But what I wrote were facts. You want to read anything else beyond the facts, suits you fine.

    3. and have not been all too successful. The American civil war was a good ole fashioned WAR. Fought till the destruction of the enemy in less than 5 yrs. The comparison made here is merely laughable,L-A-U-G-H-A-B-L-E. A scumbag/tyrant,from a ‘banana republic’ compares badly to a humanitarian GIANT/leader of a great nation.
      BUT TO BE FAIR the scumbag/tyrants country is a banana-republic, that could have been another Japan if not for the scumbag/tyrant/weasel/rat/thief.
      Lincoln was a MAN. an HONORABLE MAN at that. The other guy? Uh…NO.

      1. That’s what I mean by “reading something else into the bare facts I wrote.” Not my intention really, sorry about that.

    4. Jose Maria Sison and Bernabe Buscayno came together in 1968 at a meeting brokered by Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. at Hacienda Luisita. Out of that meeting subsequently came into fore the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)which was established December 26, 1968, and a little later, the New People’s Army, founded March 29, 1969.

      No hindsight on the rest; not privy to them.

      As to civil war, I decide to delete my view on it. Too long it can make for another piece. I’m beginning to like this exercise.

      1. Will wait for it.

        As far as the official stand of the Philippine government goes — both the NPA and MNLF are rebel groups. Among western democracies, both are classified as terrorist organisations.

        1. This idiot jcc wold like to make the comment readers feel inferior if they haven’t read a certain book.

          Why can’t this idiot cite what’s in the book that is related to the discussion and credit it to that book?

          Why he would make this insinuation –

          “”Please read Nick Joaquin’s “The Aquinos of Tarlac”.”

          Iba kasi nga ang dating…

          This idiot jcc is special and we’re ordinary.

      2. MGS,

        I have no idea why you posted the report that Ninoy had a meeting with JOMA and Buscayno in 1968, and thereafter, the CPP and NPA were organized. It gave us the impression that Ninoy was involved in organization of the CPP/NPA.I said please read “The Aquinos of Tarlac”, because Nick Joaquin explained that Bernabe and other “rebels” were mostly Pampanga-Tarlac based and it was difficult for a politician in the area to ignore their presence. But to suggest that the meeting was clandestine, devilish, and for the purpose of undermining the republic was far from the truth.

        Even Enrile in his Memoir wrote:

        “I asked Ninoy how and why the meeting between him and “Joma” Sison happened. He said his meeting with “Joma” Sison was arranged long before the actual meeting on September 7. The initiative for the meeting— whether from the Communist Party of the Philippines or from Ninoy— was not certain. The purpose of the meeting was supposed to explore an alliance between the Liberal Party and the Communist Party of the Philippines and to forge a common effort to oppose President Marcos should he declare martial law in the country. “The Communist Party of Philippines believes,” Ninoy said, “that Marcos will place the country under martial law. In that event, the Communist Party of the Philippines wishes to forge with the Liberal Party a common effort in funding, propaganda, logistics, and an armed struggle against President Marcos.” While Ninoy was relating his tale, I was uneasy. I could not fathom his motive and purpose in giving me the information. I asked Ninoy, “Why are you telling me these?” He said, “I want you to know what the communist leadership is planning to do.” I told Ninoy, “I will have to report this conversation to President Marcos.” Ninoy asked me not to. He said, “Do not tell him about it. Just keep this to yourself.” “No, I cannot!” I told Ninoy. I reminded him that I was the Secretary of National Defense, that he was revealing highly sensitive information with national security implications, and that he was saying these things to me not as his friend “Johnny Ponce Enrile”, but as “Juan Ponce Enrile” a public official and head of defense department.”

        Juan Ponce Enrile, A Memoir (Kindle Locations 9082-9084). ABS-CBN Publishing Inc.. Kindle Edition.

        And why would Ninoy report to Enrile, who was then the Secretary of National Defense about his meeting with JOMA if the meeting was meant to forge a treasonous alliance with the NPA in order to topple the republic and place in under a communist leadership?

      1. This is a counter-comment to J. Saint’s.

        “Do you actually know what happens in the Philippines? “No civil war…?” Have you never heard of Jose Maria Sison and the New People’s Army? Or the Moro National Liberation Front? Nur Misuari? Hashim Salamat? They all started in 1969.”

        1. J.Saint

          Disregard this comment. It was accidentally sent to be posted. I was still composing my counter-comment when that happened.

          To be honest, I’ve composed all my comments in this blog after I’ve arrived home from my usual Friday gimmick time.

        2. From MGS’ earlier comment which acknowledged what I stated:

          “…Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)which was established December 26, 1968, and a little later, the New People’s Army, founded March 29, 1969.”

          The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) was founded in 1969 following the events of 18 March 1968, popularly known as the “Jabidah massacre,” by Nur Misuari. Misuari was a student and lecturer at the University of the Philippines in the 1960s. As an student activist he worked with Jose Maria Sison’s Kabataang Makabayan.

          Hashim Salamat, was studying for his doctorate at the Al-Azhar Islamic University when he returned to the Philippines in 1969 to help organize the Moro revolutionary movement with Misuari.

          The signing of the Tripoli agreement in 1976 caused a serious rift in the MNLF leadership. The following year Salamat and 57 other Moro fighters/officers formed a breakaway group, calling itself “The New Leadership.” Misuari formally expelled Salamat in December 1977. In 1984, Salamat’s breakaway group formally established themselves as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

          Walang pakyawan. This is all recorded history.

  8. ” Lincoln was so hated in America that a popular actor assassinated him on April 14, 1865.” You said.

    Well, Booth was a Confederate spy. The slave states declared their seccesion and formed the Confederate States. They lost the war, they had reason to hate the man who defeated them and abolished slavery. Slavery reflected the nature of the economy and culture of the South.

    Is the comparison of Marcos to Abe Lincoln meant to be a joke? Not sure the Rashomon effect can used on this one.

    (BTW, these were the most obvious sour notes I was referring to in your previous article:

    “And thus did the EDSA uprising of 1986 WENT(caps mine)down in history as a peaceful people power revolt.”

    “Had Marcos DID (caps mine) an Assad, he would surely have thrown the nation into a conflagration”

    Teddy Boy Locsin has his tenses correct in your current article. Thanks for taking note of it though.)

    1. So you suppose I DID INTENDED TO USED “threw” but my fingers slipped and pounded “thrown” instead. Oh, well, accidents do happen, but rest assured that the Rashomon effect CAN USED ON THIS ONE (caps mine). What was it that Jesus said: Let him who has no sin cast the first stone.

      1. No accident there, had the writer done an edit then he would surely have thrown his first draft into the waste can.

        Had the writer seriously cared for his readers, he would surely have taken the time to re-read his draft.

        I hope you realize the above sentences are mere examples.

      1. I’m not sure the blogger, who wrote the article, actually understands what he has written. It could be he is trapped in his own Rashomon effect. That’s his prerogative.

        Hard to leave unnoticed was his comparison of Lincoln and Marcos. It really is like comparing the Earth with Pluto. Sure they are both planets. Sure some gasses may be present in both, sure they belong to the same solar system, but then it stops. The differences are glaring and obvious. No need to confuse anyone with a Rashomon Effect.

        Sure Marcos has his stone-face monument somewhere in the Philippines and Abe Lincoln has his on Mt. Rushmore. Would it be reasonable then to compare both men in the context of history? No, it would be a pale comparison, if at all.

        It would likewise be easy to compare, say Jose Rizal with Benedict Arnold or even Ted Bundy, spin it, slice and dice it and say Rashomon! However, even I know it would be ridiculous.

        Thing of it is, Abe Lincoln and what he stands for is part of the American Heritage it is a big part of what we are today. If people of other cultures can’t accept that, then a little more sensitivity and respect will go a long way.

        Now if the blogger, who wrote the article, compared Imelda Marcos with Beth Shak in terms of shoes, that could really work!

      2. Absolutely yes. The two articles I have contributed so far are really just an iota of the volumes of writings I have done in my life. I should know whereof I speak, thank you.

  9. i am right now in another place and away from my library… i will quote extensively from the books of alfred mccoy, sterling seagrave, raymond bonner, primitivo mijares, and william rempel, the myth about marcos, once i get back home.

    i will recommend to readers here to pay particular attention to Alfred McCoy’s three books, Closer Than Brothers, Policing America’s Empire and Anarchy of Families. They are very informative and can remove lots of our blinders.

    http://www.amazon.com/Anarchy-Families-Philippines-Perspectives-Studies/dp/029922984X

        1. I don’t have time with you, idiot. I’m not addressing my comments to you but to the comment readers.

          Just read again you comments. No substance. Puro pagyayabang abogado de patola.

  10. Did this article attempt to compare Ferdidnand Marcos to Abraham Lincoln? Is that what I just read? if so, it is laughable, a true apple and oranges comparison. One was elected and NEVER turned tyrannical scumbag dictator and was murdered. the other was elected, bought influence anywhere he could, imposed marshal law on his own people, putting them in figurative shackles, and became a tyrannical scumbag-thief and was not murdered. Not to mention they were living in completely different times/centuries/circumstances. The comparison is laughable. The tyrant is not featured on any currency, and last reported(?), can not be buried with honors in his homeland, unlike Lincoln who has a monument in his honor (not to mention he is considered a GREAT humanitarian unlike the tyrannical scumbag/thief/weasel) visited constantly by millions from around the globe and is featured on multiple currency instruments. The article, if I were thin-skinned enough would insulting, but I have cow-hide when it comes to insults and so it is merely COMPLETELY laughable. Kinda like real estate prices in CDO,BWAH HA HA HA!

    1. @Joe

      The comparison was suggested by one of GRP’s fierce critics, sendonggirl (here). Of course, the author simply accomodated, as most authors here usually do however ludicrous their critics tend to be.

      1. Now how could someone project Lincoln to be the better guy than Marcos? Just because he gave freedom to slaves?

        1. In fact Lincoln did not liberate the slaves of the south. From the cotton fields, African Americans became open season for the new emerging class of oppressors and exploiters. What were they? Marx called them capitalists. One account goes to such length as declaring that Lincoln did not free the slaves on any moral ground but on the imperatives of the economic development of the United States. Capitalism was on the rise, but who would work in the industries if the Negroes were not released from their bondage to slave masters of the South?

        2. Ah, so it happens that many American textbooks have twisted history in such a way that Lincoln was seen as someone who is good to slaves, top it that with the truth that Lincoln actually hated blacks.

          -__-

        3. Marcos, other than his being a bar topnotcher, (which is true), had weaved one horrendous myth that he descended from Maharlika nobles destined to rule the islands. His progeny, struggles and war-exploits by Hartzel Spence’s, “For Every Tear A Victory” is cinematic and full of make-believe – and superhuman exploits…

          Lincoln did not hire a publicist to write his own propaganda. Historians who came after him described him as an ordinary man, with weakness and foibles and even depressions. In fact no one claims that he is a superhuman. He was simply a simple man with principle. But monuments were constructed for him by a grateful nation for his contribution in the sruggle of the common man, his concept of equality, and his pride over the economic system of his country.

          “Lincoln’s thoughts on money are relevant today because he reminds us of the best aspects of the American economy — not just how to survive a crash but why it matters that we do. The boggling complexity of today’s marketplace would amaze him, but the fact that bust has once again followed boom would not. Lincoln lived through two major economic crashes, in 1837 and 1857, and he learned some timeless lessons. He foresaw, in the Union he struggled to preserve, an open, competitive, capitalist, enterprising nation, tied together by rapid transportation and communication. He believed that government had a leading role to play in building the infrastructure of a growing economy. But the guiding principle for all of it, the whole reason for the nation’s being, was that “equal chance” — the humble citizen’s right to get ahead. Lincoln understood that economic freedom was the bedrock of political liberty. One is not possible without the other. Thus it was not just virtuous but also necessary to fight the slave economy. Lincoln has been criticized for saying, during his famous debates with Stephen Douglas, that white and black might never be equal in social terms. But he was firm on the economic question: “In the right to eat the bread, without leave of anybody else, which his own hand earns,” Lincoln insisted, a black person “is my equal and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal of every living man.” Another time, responding to the Southern argument that Northern factory workers were, in essence, just as enslaved as plantation hands, Lincoln zeroed in on the crucial difference. “There is no permanent class of hired laborers amongst us,” he said. “Free labor has the inspiration of hope; pure slavery has no hope.”

          http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1877093_1877109_1877111,00.html #ixzz2HS0phmvt

        4. The facts are twisted by revisionist history. Lincoln wanted, at the time, to give ‘negroes’ their own state. He did ’emancipate’ the slaves, that is an undeniable fact, and pissed one two many people off, which led to his being set-up to be murdered which is another story altogether.
          THE comparison, however, remains COMPLETELY LAUGHABLE.

        5. To this idiot jcc –

          “Lincoln did not hire a publicist to write his own propaganda.”

          And during Lincoln’s time, who are the persons hiring a publicist to write a propaganda?

  11. @ Mauro G S

    So what’s the big deal about the Rashomon effect? It happens everytime in sports. Watch an “NBA” game and Rashomons happen every second of the game. Three referees calling 3 different violations, looking at 3 different angles the instant replay becomes the final arbiter.

    I don’t see any comparison between Lincoln and Marcos. Lincoln was a liberator of black slaves and was assasinated for that reason.
    Marcos was a master forger, a murderer, a thief…this generation and future generation of Filipinos are suffering and paying for his greed.

    My conclusion: a no-brainer subject…total nonsense. LOL!!!

  12. Fyi, this one’s been lifted from Lincoln’s biography. “He supported the Whig politics of government-sponsored infrastructure and protective tariffs. This political understanding led him to formulate his early views on slavery, not so much as a moral wrong, but as an impediment to economic development.”

    In 1857, the US Supreme Court declared that African Americans were not citizens and had no inherent rights. Abraham Lincoln agreed with the decision since it was his feeling that African Americans were not equal to whites.But as to Negroes having certain inalienable rights, he spelled it all out in his speech at Gettysburg in a manner sounding the contrary: all men are created equal and that they enjoy certain inalienable rights, like right to “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.” Of course by then, he was already President of the United States — a politician.

    So that’s why Rashomon figures out in this discussion. It tells us: nothing is true, nothing is false. There are only things either good or bad for you and for me. But certainly, this is no no-brainer stuff. As the first line in the movie says: “I don’t understand.”

    1. MGS,

      I am floored by your lack of depth. You read one line about Lincoln and draw kilometric conclusions about his lacking in moral authority to talk about “negro equality.’

      Dred Scott decision was promulgated in 1857 by a divided court. Lincoln was not convinced of the wisdom of the decision so in June 1957 he delivered a scathing speech about it.

      “How differently the respective courses of the Democratic and Republican parties incidentally bear on the question of forming a will-a public sentiment-for colonization, is easy to see. The Republicans inculcate, with whatever of ability they can, that the negro is a man; that his bondage is cruelly wrong, and that the field of his oppression ought not to be enlarged. The Democrats deny his manhood; deny, or dwarf to insignificance, the wrong of his bondage; so far as possible, crush all sympathy for him, and cultivate and excite hatred and disgust against him; compliment themselves as Union-savers for doing so; and call the indefinite outspreading of his bondage “a sacred right of self-government.”

      http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=52

      Please observe that the Scott decision was in 1857; Lincoln was elected President in in 1861, he delivered the Gettysburg address in 1865. But you gave us the impression that Lincoln being then a leader of the Union was stymied by the Scott decision. (which is not true).

      And even assuming he agrees with the decision in the Scott case in 1857 and had not become an anti-slavery activist until he became President in 1861, would that earlier acquiescence to that immoral decision diminish his stature? Would not that instead make him bigger, because he respected the Court decision, when he was still nobody and was riled by it when he became President who now can make the difference?

      1. I clicked on the link you provided and honest, that’s what got me floored. Gosh, you went thru that much read just to react to my little comment. If you notice, I was not giving an opinion. I was merely stating facts. That in 1857 he agreed with the Scott decision that being his feeling at the time. But in 1865, he was expressing contrary views and he was already President at the time. Of course I added, a politician, still a fact. Only point here: you speak depending on where you stand. As to stature and such other similar qualitative matters are abstract to me and things I’d not dare attempt getting deep in. In the first place, the comparison I made between Lincoln and Marcos was done to oblige somebody’s wish. Still notice that I took care not to offer an opinion. I simply stated facts,let the facts speak for themselves. Problem is when we try to read something else into the facts, and especially if such reading ascribes ill meanings to me which are not mine. Tell me, in the bare comparison which I made, what wrong did I say of Lincoln, what wrong of Marcos. No opinions, just bare facts, please.

        And in the second place, the challenge to make the comparison was given by sendonggirl with a mindset of the greatness of Lincoln but written with a naughty note, so I thought I’d play naughty as well. As one who made a comment here, it was done “tongue in cheek.” No need to be uptight about it.

        1. MGS, Please read again. The link I provided about the June 1857 speech of Lincoln was critical about the Dred Scott decision. That was the year the decision was promulgated. It gave lie to your position that Lincoln acquiesced on the decision. He was very much against it.

        2. @Mauro

          I could fault you with comparing Marcos and Lincoln. Your partly correct but mostly wrong.

          Your below comment will not hold water –

          ‘So okay, sendonggirl. You asked for it..’

          That’s why his jcc is exploiting it.

          That jcc is an idiot.

          Don’t waste your time with him.

        3. oh, you’ve got everything wrong in your comparison between marcos and lincoln…. and you were stating ‘facts’ with glucomic vision… my friend. 🙂

  13. @ Mauro G S

    You lifted a portion of the Lincoln biography for what? Did Lincoln order the emancipation of the black slaves or not? That was his legacy…Period.

    Rashomon is simply a mental image or a perception, and as you quoted quite clearly that at the first line in the movie it said: “I don’t understand?” Shame on you for calling yourself an essayist, a nobelist, a film writer and a director and not understand what you are talking about.

    1. @LA702

      Just because you don’t agree with Mauro’s views doesn’t mean he can’t call himself an essayist, a novelist and a filmmaker. Just in case you didn’t know, here’s some information about him: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0759988/

      You obviously lack the brains to understand topics above your comprehension skill.

        1. @LA702

          Hehe…do you realise that you just responded to me? And no, I am not his babysitter. I just Googled his name. You should do that too before attacking someone.

      1. Appreciate your concern, Dude, but I don’t think that was necessary. It’s really out of the question who I am, what I’ve done, things like that. What’s important are the words a man speaks. They mirror his character, his soul, the ideals he’d die for. If there is one thing you and LA702, everybody for that, need to know about me, it is that you are talking to a 71-year-old who has spent the best years of his life fighting battles in pursuit of a dream to see in his lifetime the effacement of exploitation of man by man. Maybe you guys would be a little less impolite. I feel odd that quite a few have been rather too belligerent for comfort. I don’t remembering having written anything on a personal level deserving of anybody’s ire. When Ilda invited me to write for this blog, I gladly accepted. I’ve been writing in various other blogs and one more is most welcome. At this age of mine, nobody can ever intimidate me into picking up petty fights. I suppose that holds true for any well-meaning senior citizen. You know you haven’t got much time left, and so the better to divest yourself of all pretentiousness, arrogance, prejudices, biases, dishonesty, insincerity, hypocrisy, all human infirmities that keep you away from having a well-deserved peace of mind. Over the past year, I think I have succeeded at having that peace, if not with others, at least with myself, and that’s fine enough. But there is this just one bias which you cannot take away from me, and that is this nagging concern for babies and children. That’s why when I stumbled upon a link on Twitter showing infants and children suffering from violence and atrocities in the Syrian civil war, it nagged me no end to write about it. So there, the manuscript was ready just as when Ilda invited me to contribute to GRP. Now, Dude, this is just between you and me. You actually Googled the sexy side of me. Google the macho side Infantile Disorder http://infantile-disorder.blogspot.com

    2. It’s not I who said, “I don’t understand.” It’s the film’s message, intended to be the attitude of all of us. After all, Aristotle said: “The apex of all knowing is to know that you know nothing.” Unless you are an exception, in which case, sorry.

  14. Honestly, jcc, I admire your intellect. I can see that you are a splendidly well-read man. The insights you provide above on Lincoln smacks of a man speaking from his principles. One reason I cited Rashomon is that its concept of truth is universal, and I haven’t come across a philosophy by any western thinker similar to it. So maybe we can draw from the lesson of the movie by which differing opinions may perhaps strike up some kind of a modus vivendi, rather than, as Teddy Boy Locsin quotes Camus to Sartre, “throwing corpses at each other just to prove we are right”. Rashomon tells us, it’s not a question of being right or wrong. It’s rather a question of doing good to one another. As the priest in the end says, “I think I can keep my faith in man.” Now, isn’t that a nice thing to do? Reading your lengthy comment on Lincoln, I think there’s a lot in you people, and that includes me, can keep faith in. It is just that I stand on the world view that right now, at least right now, people are divided into rich and poor, and we, and that includes you, are daily subject to making a choice: for whom are we? Lincoln’s having fathered democracy appears good. Equality, likewise. But of what use is democracy if it is not for the poor? Can there be true equality between the toilers and the owners of the means of production. You said very nicely knit words: “Economic freedom is the bedrock of political liberty.” But how do you suppose workers could be at par with their employers? Hence with millionaires in aspiring for political positions. Actually Marx put it this way: Economic power begets political power, political power serves economic power.” The cycle began with Lincoln and hasn’t ended until now.

    1. MGS,

      Bill Gates has popularized this concept in one of his program applications in explaining how smooth is a table. To a naked eye, the table surface is very smooth, seen outside with the bright sunlight over it, the table appears not too smooth; seen using a magnifying glass, the table is so rough…

      You don’t need a Western philosopher to determine that truth is relative, but almost everyone will agree that we would want to see the truth using a magnifying glass.

      1. Frankly, my dear, at my age of 71, I still don’t what truth is. So I wouldn’t know where to use your magnifying glass. I thought you said truth is relative. So would you know where to focus your magnifying glass?

        1. It has nothing to do with the object we called “truth.” It is on the beholder who insists that he sees the truth through his naked eye, while ideally, we should look at it with our magnifying lens.

        2. This from idiot jcc!

          “It has nothing to do with the object we called “truth.” It is on the beholder who insists that he sees the truth through his naked eye, while ideally, we should look at it with our magnifying lens.”

          It’s a hara-kiri for him he he he he.

          Truth?

          He’s a fact challenged dud.

  15. Wow. Madalang lang ako makakita ng non-hostile comment in almost a year kong pag silent read sa blog na ito at ito ang una kong post. Its off-topic I know, I just can’t help to comment about the author’s response. Pasensya na, wala akong alam about sa rules sa argument or whatever. 🙂

        1. I’m very rude to those intellectual dishonest commenter specially jcc.

          Pinakagagong comment poster here. Tinalo pa si fishball.

        2. just stick to the issues MGS…. if there was one who was having an orgasmic intellectual discourse, it was your discourse on Rashomon.. 🙂

  16. @ Mauro G S

    I think you are proving to be a worthy contributor to this blog by the number of responses to your article. You deserve an applause for that because every minute spent by a reader or a commenter at GRP increases their “Alexa Rank,” and that is good.

    However, I think as a contributor you, Mauro, should not run away from “hard hitting” commenters like @ Trosp or JCC. Look at GRP as a playground for wholesome discourse. Nothing personal. You know what I mean?

    1. Well taken, LA702. love that:”playground for wholesome discourse.” As the catchline in one of my blogs proclaims, “Let a hundred flowers bloom, a thousand thoughts blooms.”
      On running away, far-fetched from my mind. But I must observe decorum and refrain from rectal language. Smells fart.

    1. @LA

      Well, annoying commenters with whom I have exchanges of pleasantries is the least of my worries.

      But then, I don’t have the intention of annoying them. I’ve worked as an engineer for so long where the environment, for some would look like we’re bunch of irritating people because we don’t stop until we can support our conclusion with data (calculations, validations, replications, etc.).

      One of our favorite methodology is the “5 Whys”.

      “The 5 Whys is a simple problem-solving technique that helps you to get to the root of a problem quickly. Made popular in the 1970s by the Toyota Production System, the 5 Whys strategy involves looking at any problem and asking: “Why?” and “What caused this problem?”

      Very often, the answer to the first “why” will prompt another “why” and the answer to the second “why” will prompt another and so on; hence the name the 5 Whys strategy.”

      More on them at http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_5W.htm

  17. Now, I am back at home, as promised, i will quote extensively from books that Marcos was not a patriot but a scoundrel.

    “But the focus of the testimony was Vietnam, and members of Congress now, learned for the first time that Washington had been secretly paying the Marcos government in exchange for his sending Filipinos to Vietnam. At least $39 million was spent by the United States to equip, train, and pay the Philippines Civic Action Group (Philcag) in Vietnam. That testimony or at least some of it was made public. When it was, Marcos issued an emphatic denial: “The Philippines has received no fee nor payments of any kind in support of Philcag, or its personnel, nor has there been any grant given in consideration of sending the Philcag to Vietnam.”

    The denial wasn’t just perfunctory, an expected lie from a government that had been caught misleading its people. Nor was the lie motivated solely by Marcos’s interest in defending the honor of the Philippine nation from the taint of having been an American mercenary. Marcos had some very persuasive personal reasons for the denial: During the preceding four years—that is, throughout Marcos’s first term—the U.S. embassy had been delivering quar¬terly checks, each in the amount of several hundred thousand dollars. All were delivered pursuant to agreement “between offi¬cials of the Department of State and President Marcos that the Philippine Government could conceal the receipt of these pay¬ments from the Philippine public in its national defense budget,” the General Accounting Office determined. (The GAO’s report is still classified Secret, only a censored summary having been re¬leased in 1970.) Consequently, the GAO, the investigating arm of the Congress went on to point out that “it is quite conceivable that few officials in the Marcos administration were aware of the cash payments by the United States or of the purpose for which they were actually intended.” Nor did Washington know the money went either, for as the GAO noted, in a portion of the report that is classified: “U.S. officials exercised no control or supervision over the utilization of funds” provided to Marcos for the payment of Philippine soldiers in Vietnam.
    U.S. intelligence, military, and dipomatic officials who were in the Philippines at the time have no doubt that many of the millions that the United States sent Marcos for the Philippine task force went into his pockets or, more accurately, into his overseas bank accounts. Some of the American checks were made out to the Philippine minister of defense, then deposited in the Philippines Veterans Bank. After he had declared martial law in 1972, Marcos systematically drained the bank through loans to cronies— frequently never repaid—for projects in which the Marcoses were often hidden partners. Marcos may have siphoned off some of the millions more directly. What the GAO investigators didn’t discover—they were “seriously hampered” in their investigation by the State and Defense departments —was that Rafferty sometimes delivered checks directly to Marcos.
    Even those portion of the Symington committee hearings and the GAO report which were eventually made public were not released until after the 1969 Philippine election. The State department argued, with support frm Ambassador Henry S. Byroade, that to release them before that might affect the outcome. Perhaps. But Marcos was prepared to cheat and steal and do whatever else necessary to win.
    “Marcos succeeded himself by backing up trucks to the Central,” remarked a CIA officer who had been in the Philippines at the time of the election. He was speaking figuratively; but it was very nearly a literal observation. Two weeks before the election Marcos campaign manager, Ernesto Maceda, withdraw 100 million pesos (roughly $25 million. Then with an air force plane and military security; he hopped around the islands, dispensing peso-filled envelopes: Barrio captains received 2,000 to 3,000 pesos , mayors up to 100,000 pesos, favored congressional candidates as much as a million pesos. “We were prepared to cheat all the way,” Maceda said in an interview many years later. The election cost Marcos a staggering $50 million, which was $16 million more than Nixon had raised for his successful presidential bid in the year before. Marcos some of it to pay for the consulting services of a couple of Washington political pros, Lawrence F. O’Brien, forer democratic national chairman, and Joseph Napolita, who had masterminded Humphrey’s media campaign program during the 1968 campaign. (Waltzing With A Dictator, Raymond Bonner, p. 75-76).

  18. Marcos a War-time intelligence officer and a well-decorated hero… FACT of FICTION..

    Forty years after the end of World War II, the war’s history had thus become one of the most sensitive issues in Philippine politics. At the start of the 1986 presidential campaign, speakers in the president’s entourage hailed him as the greatest Filipino military hero. The ruling KBL party distributed a Filipino language comic book titled Batang Matapang (Courageous Youth),—its first page showing a young Lieutenant Marcos blazing away with a machine gun, muscular shoulders dripping Rambo-like with ammo belts, and its last frame picturing him at the war’s end, with a row of medals on his swelling chest, the most decorated Filipino soldier.” 99.
    Two weeks before election day, the New York Times published a page one expose of Marcos’s war record, quoting U.S. army documents, discovered by this historian that called his Maharlika guerrillas “fraudulent” and his claim of heroism “absurd.” Opposition candidate Corazon Aquino seized upon the issue, damning Marcos as a “fake hero” and a “fake president who could only win “by fake election returns.” In his column for Business Day, Francisco Tatad, the president’s former information minister, called this expose “the biggest propaganda blow to hit the 68-year-old strongman in this campaign.’100
    Marcos, ailing from regular kidney dialysis, suddenly found himself on the defensive. “I don’t know where they got such foolishness,” the president told a campaign rally in the Manila district of Tondo. “You who are here in Tondo and fought under me and were part of my guerrilla organization, you will be the ones to answer these people, these crazy individuals, especially the foreign press.” Two days before the voting, Marcos announced that Emperor Hirohito of Japan had devoted eleven pages of his memoirs to the exploits of the Maharlika guerrillas—a claim that soon collapsed since the emperor had no memoirs.101
    At this critical moment, the president turned to his military historians for support. Speaking to the pro-Marcos press three days after the New York Times expose, Deputy Defense Minister Crisol, the military’s psy-war expert, charged that “the documents used by. . . Alfred McCoy in portraying President Marcos as a Take war hero’ are ‘fabricated and false.'” To discredit the New York Times, he displayed photocopies of real World War II documents “taken by retired Colonel Uldarico S. Baclagon from the National Archives in Washington on April 25 last year,” detailing operations by the Maharlika guerrillas.102
    But Baclagon himself was disarmingly frank in his own front-page interview in the opposition’s Philippine Daily Inquirer. Baclagon admitted that he had, while researching at the U.S. National Archives, found three letters from American officers refusing recognition for Marcos’s guerrilla unit. “But I had no money for reproduction,” he explained modestly, “and I had no time to read the voluminous documents.” Asked how he found the documents confirming the president’s story, the colonel explained: “I selected it [the passages attesting to the Maharlika] because I knew it would make President Marcos happy—I didn’t select the ones which will make Marcos unhappy, like the charges of being fraudulent and all that.”103 For a presidential advisor, speaking only a week before election day, this was extraordinary honesty.
    Why was Baclagon so restrained? Since he will not answer out of loyalty to Marcos, we can only speculate. Even after twenty years of working for the president, Baclagon may have felt a conflict of loyalties. Bound to his PMA classmates and their rigid honor code, he could only go so far in his defense of dictatorship—even when his president’s fate hung in the balance. Honor demanded truth. Loyalty required fidelity to his president. In this conflict between principles, Baclagon struggled to serve both.
    Even after Marcos fell from power, Baclagon remained loyal. While Alcaraz or other classmates could have brokered an accommodation with the new regime, the old colonel continued to serve his president. Only six months after the dictator’s flight, Baclagon went to Honolulu to offer his services to Marcos. Since the exiled president was slowly dying and his assets were tied up in litigation, he needed doctors and lawyers, not a historian. Besides, the myth that the colonel had long tended had been snuffed out. Later, Baclagon joined the search for the fabulous “Yamashita treasure,” returning to Honolulu as an intermediary for a businessman who claimed he could help Marcos recover this mythical horde of gold and gems.104
    A decade later, when the dictator was dead and the headlines were forgotten, I called on Colonel Baclagon, then seventy-seven, at his apartment in one of the government’s low-cost BLISS housing projects, once Imelda’s showcase for her “city of man” and now a high-rise slum. His wife had died from cancer the year before, leaving him lonely and depressed. He had suffered a stroke that slurred his speech and made the climb down the building’s four flights painful. His social world had narrowed to hospital visits and funerals. He had recently spent the whole day at a crematorium, grieving silently while his classmate Edmundo Navarro was reduced to ashes.105
    When I asked whether he still believed in Marcos’s stories of guerrilla heroism, the colonel’s eyes burned intensely as his lips fumbled to form words: “I, I, I don’t claim to know everything because … he is in the north, I am in the south.” From his work as a historian, did he still believe Marcos’s claims? “Well, from my point of view, he was telling me the truth. He was telling me everything, you know. He was telling me outright, [the] direct story.” Had he been paid for writing that glossy defense of the medals, the book Valor? “No, I did not get paid at all.” Was he rewarded for his other services to Marcos as a historian? “Well, he, he, he sent me to the States. But that’s all.” Had there been any bonuses, or other rewards? “I should not be living in a place like this, no?” As he said these last words, our eyes traveled together about the room, taking in the bare bulbs, broken furniture, and dingy walls—conditions that the colonel himself called “squalor.”
    As these questions continued, Baclagon seemed to feel that I was pressing him to recant and denounce Marcos’s war record. He refused, scorning the recent apostasy of Ambassador Nicanor Jimenez, the president’s former wartime commander, who had once written an affidavit that won Marcos the Medal of Honor, the country’s highest decoration. As president, Marcos, in turn rewarded Jimenez with a Gold Cross medal and a succession of senior appointments – general manager of the national railways and later ambassador to South Korea. In writing his histories, Baclagon had relied on the ambassador’s affidavits since they were “very strong” in stating that Marcos “really did it.” But one the president fell from power, Jimenez, in private conversations about manila, retracted, denouncing the medals fraudulent. Since he had been Marcos’s college contemporary and wartime comrade, Jimenez apostasy was, within the country’s culture of loyalty, unseemly. But flexibility served him well. In the change of regimes, he shifted seamlessly from serving Marcos in Seoul to representing Aquino in Washington, D.C.106 Baclagon might have had doubts about aspects of Marcos’s record, but he was, not about to emulate such opportunism.” (Closer Than Brothers, Alfred W. McCoy, p. 176-78).

  19. “ Garcia had only recently quit as assistant administrator for public affairs of the Social Security System in disgust over the misuse by Marcos of the facilities of the system. Garcia had denounced the use for one year in 1968 and 1969 by Marcos (in his reelection campaign) of 50 brand new Toyota jeeps of the SSS, which the institution purchased from a corporation controlled by a Marcos front man, the Delta company, and of the printing press of the system. The SSS press was operated at night by personnel of the National Media Production Center for printing black propaganda materials against Marcos’ rival for the presidency, Senator Sergio Osmena, Jr.

    In the case of young Villamor, he decided to defy Marcos in the unloading of the illegal rice for which the RCA head paid dearly when martial law was declared. When the first issue under martial law of the Marcos-owned newspaper, Daily Express, hit the streets, Villamor was presented as the first important government official to be dismissed for “corruption”. This diabolical smearing of a young Harvard-trained technocrat, scion of a respected justice, was also in retaliation for the humiliation suffered by Marcos’s mother, Josefa, and Marcos’s sister, Fortuna Barba, over the repeated denials by Villamor of their demands for bigger rice allocations for their clients.” (Conjugal Dictatorship of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, p. 54).

  20. That Marcos was dethroned because he was going against Uncle Sam… Fact or Fiction?

    “It was Spence more than anyone else, with his military background, who gave the heroic Marcos legend a ring of validity when his biography “For Every Tear A Victory” was published in New York during the Philippine presidential campaign of 1964-65, which first carried Ferdinand and Imelda into Malacanang Palace.The Spence book was widely distributed to American newspapers and magazines, to embassies, and to U.S. government agencies and U.S. government agencies. It was not clearly recognized that Marcos had tailored some information for the occasion. While some readers may have been suspicious, the mood in New York and Washington at the time was preconditioned to support Marcos, as the latest proxy brought forward in years of CIA manipulation in Manila, in Manila, and as part of LBJ’s desperate maneuvers to save face in Vietnam. Soon the most respected journals in America were repeating the gospel according to Spence, quoting long passages or summarizing his assertions as if they were palpable facts. After that, who was to challenge the authenticity of the Marcos legend?

    Ferdinand learned a lot about presidential politics from Lyndon Johnson’s example, as he had learned much from Douglas MacArthur about enhancing a military career. While MacArthur kept a public relations team busy full time identifying him as the hero of Bataan (to the private disgust of Dwight Eisenhower), President Johnson invented a grandfather who died heroically at the Alamo. Johnson then had no difficulty enlarging a minor incident in the Gulf of Tonkin into m excuse to escalate the Vietnam War. The same President Johnson had no problem praising President Marcos for faked heroics in Bataan, and did not hesitate to offer Marcos an open purse to back his Vietnam policy.

    Many years later, several journalists finally gained access to long-hidden documents in the National Archives that exposed the fakery of the Marcos war record. They discovered that his claims had been investigated by the U.S. Army after World War II and were found to be false and “criminal.” But these U.S. Army findings were tucked away for thirty-five years by the Pentagon, which resisted every effort to examine them, quite possibly with the approval of the White House or even at its instigation. Three presidents of the United States—Johnson, Nixon, and Reagan—publicly commended Marcos for wartime acts of valor that had been denounced repeatedly in the Philippine Congress over the years as sheer fabrication. The Marcos war hero fraud was ignoble enough, but Washington’s apparent readiness to cover it up and capitalize on his vanity was far more cynical.

    For these and many other reasons, the truth about Ferdinand Marcos is all the more interesting for what it reveals about others. It was easy to ridicule him after he fell from power, but he was really only a reflection; the insincere smile, the false heartiness, the watery mollusk eyes, the jaundice and puffiness of kidney decay, all looked disturbingly familiar. “While he lasted,” a U.S. military attache in Manila told me, “he was our boy. He was us. Maybe he still is.”

    “Only after the fall was it generally agreed that there was something fishy about him all along.” (Disease of the Heart, Marcos Dynasty, Sterling Seagrave, p. 5).

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