#NeverAgain? Was former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos really that awful a leader?

The whole brouhaha surrounding the stink raised by Ateneo students and alumni over a photo of their fellows schmoozing with fomer First Lady Imelda Marcos in an Ateneo Scholarship Foundation (ASF) social event brought to light renewed debate over whether or not former President Ferdinand Marcos really was that bad. Was the former strongman a bad President?

The popular sentiment taken for granted as “truth” today is that he was really bad. He allegedly killed lots of innocent Filipinos, including celebrated Atenista martyr Edgar Jopson — a name that is suddenly making waves in social and traditional media following this latest of ‘activist’ circuses.


But Marcos’s family is thriving today. And if the following three renowned popularly-held assumptions about the Marcos family are true;

(1) that its patriarch, the former President was really that bad a president;

(2) that his wife Imelda was complicit in that badness forming with him during his rule what is now popularly called a “conjugal dictatorship”; and,

(3) that the rest of his family have supposedly escaped justice that remains due them…

…then the fact of the Marcos’s continued figuring in the Philippines’ high society and top-level politics says a lot about Filipinos’ collective seriousness and resolve (or lack of either one or both) to confirm and act on those assumptions. On regarding the fact that no Marcos post 1986 has stood accused in a court of law, perhaps one can argue that it was not for want of trying. As a New York Times report cites, “The great majority of the 900 civil and criminal cases against the Marcoses, filed in the Philippines and the United States, have been dismissed.” But the obvious next questions persist. Why have there been no convictions? Why have there been no arrests? No detentions (bailable or non-bailable)?

Certainly if there were, indeed, thousands of victims, at least one complaint progressed to the point of seeing at least one of the Marcoses detained (and feasted upon by social media “activists”) will have been a statistically strong possibility. More importantly, one would think that the current Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III, son of one of if not the most famous of Marcos’s alleged victims would have focused his now famously-narrow presidential attention span and legendary vindictiveness on avenging his father over the course of his six-year term.

But who are languishing in prison today? Famous names maybe. But certainly names not as unforgettable as names ending with “Marcos”.

So, there you go. The track record of people who supposedly had said (and continue to say) the most about the eeevvvviiilllls of the Marcos regime certainly exhibit a dismal track record of convincingly walking their talk, not to mention the Ateneo community who, today, are huffing and puffing about the Imelda photos while bemused non-Ateneans watch.

Perhaps the bigger reality escapes the collective thinking here — that the continued rein of the Marcos clan over Philippine society and politics is a failure of all Filipinos; that is, if (and that “if” is getting bigger as more people supposedly forget what it is exactly we “replaced” in 1986) the Marcoses are, indeed, the bad people they are popularly made out to be.

Innocent until proven guilty, remember? That is the law. If Filipinos, particularly those who speak the loudest about the Marcoses being “evil” are to be vindicated, then perhaps pencils need to be sharpened and complaints drawn up. Then again, it’s all too hard, right? The next teleserye is coming on and the next soundbyte to be issued by our celebrity whistleblowers is due to be issued soon. See ya later.


Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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67 Comments on "#NeverAgain? Was former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos really that awful a leader?"

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Johnny Derp

Growing up, I’ve been told that the marcoses were eeeeviilllll because of their supposed crimes but now I realize that after Marcos left, the philippines began to degrade since the Aquinos used Abias-Cbn and the like to brainwash the masses into lowering their standards for politicians.
Even local tv shows have been dumbed down thanks to Cory’s policies back in the 90’s


Bongbong Marcos pushing for the reopening of Ninoy Aquino assassination case already says a lot about the Aquinos. That is a slap on Noynoy’s face. Less than 3 decades in power and nothing to show for it. It is obvious that the filipino people were duped, big time.

It is no better or worse in the RP now, it is still a miserable third world shit-hole, much like it was in Marcos’ time. Complete with criminal people running the country. You could say it is the exact same way now, as it was then.One difference: minus the political assasination.Martial law becocame routine in the Philippines and the same things are going on now as back then.Technologies and the same families.Only now with the progeny running the show. If a high-profile leader was to be gunned down in the Philippines, the people most likely would not get as upset… Read more »
I cant understand why people are still obsessed with the Marcos’s. That era of gevernment is over. What’s done is done, time to move on. Its been 30 years. There are more pressing problems that needs to be addressed by the current administration, its constituents and populace. As far as his heirs are concerned, who voted them into office? Imelda with the Ateneans? So what? Where they doing something immoral or against the law? Its a selfie, get over it. I bet 90% of people would pose with a celebrity, morally upright or otherwise, when given the chance? Anyway, just… Read more »
Mark valera
It’s all propaganda eh! How about the Aquino and the crime they have committed in their province!!! Hypocrisy… Combine all the president after Marcos won’t match what he did for the country and Cory spent more than Marcos compare to the 20 year’s and 6 years of Cory. If you say Dictatorship what the heck!! democracy is for? sa mga mayayaman lang..dapat mamayan who privatize electricity water etc… look at DXB walang langis and they are in the middle of the desert but they are very succesful and they are not a democratic country but they enjoy freedom and prosperity… Read more »

I’m personally interested in what you think about this particular article, as old as it is.


Curious because this article uses the “you weren’t there when they blew up my family” argument.

Arthur Crandon

The writer is a bright man who has written much common sense, and I understand the premise of this article. However, it misses the central point. Money. The reason the Marcoses have escaped justice and, indeed, thrived is their immense wealth. There is no “innocent until proven guilty” in the Philippines. A more appropriate maxim would be “Guilty until proven Rich”!

Hyden Toro
All of them are bad. They had stolen. They killed and murdered people. They decieved us. I compare the Aquinos and the Marcoses, for you to judge…all these comparison are from reliable sources. Marcos fought in the Battle of Bataan and was a decorated soldier. Benigno Aquino, Sr. collaborated with the Japanese Imperial Army; and served in the Japanese militarist sponsored goverment. After the liberation, he fled to Tokyo, Japan for fear of his life. The Americans brought him back. He was tried and found guilty of treason; but was pardoned. Marcos became a Dictator, by changing the Constitution. with… Read more »
“20 years from now, bagsak na ang Pilipinas” – Pres. Marcos 1987 THE PHILIPPINES after 20 YEARS (The Revelation and Prediction has just began) The primary purpose of this video is to RAISE AWARENESS amongst the poor and underpriviledged citizens of the Philippines. Due to their lack of education, they have limited grasp of sophisticated terminologies which prompted the author to use BASIC FILIPINO TAGALOG STREET WORDS such as “Bobo” and “Ignorante” which means “Dull minded” and “Uninformed” respectively, to appeal to the masses. The objective of the director/author/owner of the video is to promote an intelligent and civilized discussion… Read more »

The Statutte of limitations never runs out on a Murder charge.

So, the shooting of NiNoy Aquino at NAIA AIPORT in 1983 is still open and could be worked until an arrest was made and then a trial could take place to finnally find out who shot the Man on the face of the P500 bank note.

If I were NOY-NOY AQUINO it would be my life’s work to bring the scumbag that brutally murdered my Father to justice….and then some!


Filipinos don’t deserve democracy.

Jorge Bassig
Describing the Marcos’ regime as the “Never Again” or the “Dark Ages” is exaggerate seems to be somewhat unfair, selective and exaggerated. By saying “Never Again” it also includes all the hundreds of schools, hospitals, roads and bridges built during that time. Not to mention that rice was only P9.00 by Masagana ’99 and that PH was building a nuclear power plant, trains and missiles. Of course, we wouldn’t want to ignore the victims of 9 years of Martial Law (not 20 years! ’72-81) where, a lot of individuals were allegedly abducted, tortured and abused. However, lot of Filipinos doesn’t… Read more »

For once instead of complaining about how badly our country is run, why don’t you people run for office and help our poor country?

Carles Xabier

ABS-CBN is the mouthpiece of the CPP-NPA-NDF-Yellow Oligarchs-Jesuits.

roland rosal

Only time will tell. But 29 yrs has passed we can now see who among our past Presidents did the most good and bad for this country. You be the judge.

i wonder why this kids made this article,.,.they are clearly pointing about the marcoses,..I don’t know how this university teach their students,..it is clear that someone should be blame about this,..to all universities or schools around the Philippines,.pls,.use this as a subject only not politics,.because it is clear that you are against to someone and maybe endorsing another as elections is nearly coming.,.if you people are victims of martial law,then let it be,.don’t use young student to announce your feelings,.we are at the future not on the past,.,.instead of teaching your students on how we move forward to make our… Read more »

Philippine will never be a great nation if we the people are the cause of everything.,.,.be patient and let all our hands put together and raise this country as one as we raise all our hands to praise all our success.,.,.(this simple message is for the universities and schools in the Philippines,also a special to all politicians and to all the people of the Philippines.,)

You said it very well, benign0. Perhaps the Martial Law “victims” or those who are riding in the ill-times of the Marcos era due in part to the never ending Aquino propaganda won’t stop until there’s closure which means a convicted Marcos. But seeing the way “victims” and their advocates seek for justice is simply by pricking olds wounds and nobody can counter the dismissed cases by proofs and lawful ways goes to show that Pinoys don’t really seek to win but only wants sympathies and glorification of their helplessness. How pathetic is that. And if BBM ever become like… Read more »
who is the real hero that caused this 1986 uproar? was it ninoy or marcos? i’d been told that ninoy caused the change. but times proven right that if he never came back the Philippines wud still be a good place to live citing our national security problem with china. therefore ninoy is the root of all problems! on the other hand if marcos cud have acted with cruelty as Saddam during the commotion, a lot of innocence wud be perish or gone by now. it’s a matter of time until the haze of confusion evaporate into thin air, we… Read more »

Let’s admit it that this nation is being ruled by the two influential families, Marcos and Aquino.
if u r a pro Marcos then u r an enemy of the Aquino. that’s the political trending nowadays.
so if we gather them all in one lists,
this is how we enumerate things:

1. Marcos vs Aquino
2. Martial law vs Edsa Revoltuion
3. New society vs Tuwid na daan
4. KBL-Nacionalista vs Liberal party

people are tired of this tug of war games in the politics!