Filipinos give Philippine history’s ‘bad’ guy a second look due to lack of progress

Former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos passed away in 1989 but seeing the way people are talking about him lately, it’s as if he is still alive today. This is evident in the way some members of mainstream media keep reliving the “horrors” of the Marcos years. There are quite a number of articles highlighting the same things with one so-called “investigative” journalist admitting it was easy for the Marcoses to slip right back into politics like they never left. Never mind that it was the voters who put them back in power anyway.

It’s a real mystery why so-called “experts” who claim to know a lot about the alleged crimes during the Martial Law years can’t or didn’t even file a case against the perpetrators so the issues could finally be resolved. Had the cases against them been tried in court, the parties involved could have found justice and the Filipino people could have had peace and moved on. Instead, the issues continue to be ‘highlighted’ even after they had dragged on for decades.

Even after two Aquino presidencies, Marcos's alleged 'crimes' remain unresolved.
Even after two Aquino presidencies, Marcos’s alleged ‘crimes’ remain unresolved.
One can be forgiven for thinking that the accusers do not really want closure so they can continue pointing the finger at someone to blame for the lack of progress in the country. Perhaps the late former President Cory Aquino herself wanted it this way because she did not really want to know and pursue the people responsible for her husband’s death.

A “Never Again” movement on social media is even actively advocating taking a stand against Marcos and his heirs. The movement aims to remind Filipinos about the atrocities during the Martial Law years in an effort to prevent a repeat of the same experience. Although for a group standing against tyranny and dictatorship, their discussion on the social networking site Facebook is not open to public scrutiny. Likewise, people with opposing views are not welcome. So much for the freedom of expression they supposedly hold so dear.

Despite the efforts of the “Never Again” advocates at reminding Filipinos how ‘horrible’ it was during the Marcos regime, there are still people who become nostalgic for what they say was the “good ol’ years” – back when they still felt genuinely proud to be called a “Filipino”. Their numbers seems to be growing and it is enough to “alarm” a group of artists to wage a campaign to counter what they think is “historical revisionism” in social media. The artists reportedly came up with posters containing critical views of the Marcos regime.

A spokesman for the group was quoted as saying “it’s alarming when people say that they would rather have martial law than the democracy we have today”. The artists seem to think pro-Marcos propagandists are making it out to appear like “the iron rule of Ferdinand Marcos look admirable—and even worth repeating—to the younger generation.”

It is an interesting phenomenon indeed, the way some people are romanticizing the Martial Law years. It is one thing for the older generation – those who actually lived through it to be nostalgic but it’s quite another for the younger generation of today – those who didn’t live through it to also wish they could experience the perceived “order” and “prosperity” in the country back in the 60s and 70s, which some old folks quite often talk about. Young Filipinos also get excited when they see old photos of a cleaner Philippines.

Some Filipinos are of the opinion that Martial Law can bring order and instill discipline again in Philippine society. They believe that Filipinos just need to be ruled with an iron fist to be better citizens. Their eagerness to try this style is evident in the way they desperately clamor for former Davao Mayor and self-proclaimed “strongman” Rodrigo Duterte to run for President in 2016 despite him repeatedly saying he is not interested.

The appeal of dictatorship is quite ironic considering Filipinos got rid of Marcos for his supposed dictatorial tendencies. Some people’s rationale in justifying a dictator style of leadership is that, one will only get in trouble when one violates the law. Of course this is assuming that the laws benefit the majority and not just a few. Considering that the current Philippine lawmakers come up with the most idiotic and self-serving laws, it is doubtful a dictatorship will work in the Philippines.

For some people, Pinoy Pride used to be more genuine back then.
For some people, Pinoy Pride used to be more genuine back then.
Going back to former President Marcos, the guy has been dead for three decades but a lot of people still think he is a threat to Philippine society. Granted, his remains are not buried yet, but he is unlikely to rise up and reclaim his post. Those who still talk about his supposed crimes are starting to come across as insecure. They always get nervous when election is near. They think that Senator Bongbong Marcos will commit his father’s “sins”. It’s the same thinking that led to some believing that the son of Ninoy and Cory Aquino will continue his parents’ “legacy”.

If people actually think about it, part of the reason why Filipinos cannot move on from the Marcos years is because of President Benigno Simeon (BS) Aquino himself. First of all, his speeches quite often include mentioning his family’s suffering during the Marcos years. This comes before or right after he mentions the “dark decade” of his predecessor. Second, by reminding people of the “terrible” past, Filipinos expect something better from his administration.

The good ol' days when Manila wasn't likened to 'the gates of hell'.
The good ol’ days when Manila wasn’t likened to ‘the gates of hell’.
Unfortunately, because not much has changed in Philippine society even after so-called “democracy” was restored in the Philippines, Filipinos get increasingly disappointed at President BS Aquino’s leadership skills. The lack of progress gets highlighted even more when he blames past administrators. In fact, in some people’s opinion, the situation now is even worse than before. They cite the instance that nowadays, most public servants blatantly pocket public funds as compared to the way things were in the past. In other words, the systematic stealing by public servants has become institutionalized thanks to mechanisms such as the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and various Presidential slush funds.

Aside from the mismanagement of public funds, some people say that the current crop of public servants is mostly incompetent and not as intelligent as before. Filipinos are also increasingly getting frustrated at the way President BS Aquino quickly absolves cabinet members who get embroiled in corruption scandals.

The latest staff President BS Aquino cleared and defended is Philippine National Police Chief Director Alan Purisima even before he was investigated on allegations of accepting bribes. Filipinos can see he applies a double standard in dealing with his allies. Further proof of this is the fact that his allies who are embroiled in the pork barrel scam scandal have not been investigated.

Only impunity progressed under President BS Aquino's rule.
Only impunity progressed under President BS Aquino’s rule.
Frankly, the way President BS Aquino is behaving in office – disregarding the rule of law, bribing lawmakers and threatening to clip the powers of the Supreme Court — is already tantamount to being a dictator. But he is not the benevolent dictator Filipinos need because he is only looking after the welfare of his allies. The Filipino people can see through his self-righteousness. Despite already having all the resources available to release non-stop negative propaganda against his enemies, the reality still works against him. And the reality is, the country is still mired in poverty and public servants are still corrupt.

There is only one thing that can prove to Filipinos that life was worse during the Marcos years. And that is, real progress.

When the living conditions of the majority have improved, people young and old will realize that life is better even without Martial Law. And those who are working hard to remind us to say “never again” to a dictator do not have to bother with their advocacies. Until then, some people will continue to question which situation they would have been better off living in — the past or the present.

[Aerial photo of Ayala Avenue courtesy LPL Suites Greenbelt.]

print

Post Author: Ilda

In life, things are not always what they seem.

Leave a Reply

117 Comments on "Filipinos give Philippine history’s ‘bad’ guy a second look due to lack of progress"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
triple r
Guest
I think the nostalgia for the Marcos years should not be confused with a nostalgia for the return of Marcos-type authoritarian rule (trust me you don’t want curfews, state-sanctioned torture and summary executions). The nostalgia for Marcos is a cry for better governance and vision from our leaders. It is also a realization that after 30 years the EDSA revolution has been for the most part a colossal failure. I hate how leaders who benefitted from EDSA hold it up as some type of accomplishment when those leaders have shit all over the meaning of EDSA. EDSA was a cry… Read more »
Ren Car
Guest
Yes, Marcos was a brilliant guy. Yes, Marcos built the infrastructures and got kickback from contracts. To make it worse, the money to build infrastructures were borrowed and Filipinos are still paying the debt incurred during his presidency. Marcos used the commies to declare martial law. He was the one to orchestrated the violence so his declaration of Martial Law is justified. Remember operation Sagittarius? This is the reason why he had Aquino arrested. The people can not and must not forget Marcos’ atrocities. As the saying goes, “history repeat itself.” We must also be reminded with dictators like Marcos… Read more »
Quirina Landifa
Guest
What you stated is not fact but hearsay or your own biased opinion. Where were you with your accusations when the Marcoses were being prosecuted? Because if what you are saying is true, then you could have sent of all them to jail. Wala naman talaga eh! You’ve got nothing on them! Imelda was acquitted by the judge in the USA. The Marcos children were declared innocent by the Supreme Court during Cory’s term. Aminin mo na lang na paid writer ka ng mga 3conomic hitmen! Or the power group that started all of the troubles that we had before… Read more »
Richard Cruz
Guest

Ren Car’s experiences and description of the time under Marcos pretty much coincides with how I view the era as well.

I have asked some of my friends and it is interesting that they do not seem to have the same view as mine. I’m not sure why that is so.

But one thing I don’t go around believing is that those who do not share my opinions are liars and traitors who need to be killed, LOL!

Vicente
Guest

Do you know what you are talking Sir? Have you researched your facts…do you know that Marcos and Aquino are brothers in their fraternity? If Marcos really is not a good President, how come Philippine economy was spiralling down fastest when Cory sits as president. She became a puppet president for those oligarchs who where targeted by Marcos in order for them not to steal the from the Filipinos wealth..do you know these? If not please put your sources where do get your facts!!!

rosemarie munoz
Guest
sir, parang wala.po kayo dito sa Pilipinas noong panahon na Marcos ang nanunungkulan at lalong parang wala din kayo na si Aquino ang nanunungkulan? baka kasi po na nasa ibang bansa kayo at di ninyo ma differentiate between the two era of ruling the Philippines? o nagtatanga-tangahan lang kayo? or isa kayo sa bayaran na media ng mga yellowtards na yan? at paki-explain na rin po kung ano ang nagawa ng mga Aquino sa Pilipinas para po baka maniwala pa kami sa sinasabi nyo? …… sa nakita po namin mas lalung lumaki pa ang utang ng Pilipinas ngaun at lalong… Read more »
RealityHurts
Guest
if the people would just look at the good side of Marcos, he was a dictator indeed but also he was a strong and wise leader, it was him that gave the country a sense of direction toward progress no other president could have done, in fact he was so good at his job that Philippines still remember what he did for 30 years, that when somebody mentions martial law, they’ll automatically think of Marcos, he may be bad as the media says but as a leader i think he was the best. And also the real problem lies on… Read more »
Evelyn Del Pilar Agujar
Guest
Evelyn Del Pilar Agujar

I do agree with your thought @ Reality Hurts

marco polo
Guest

Very well said.Most of the people who supported the edsa revolution realized that the Marcos Administration is better than today’s so called democracy gov’t,i was one of them who rallied against Pres. Marcos but i regretted that moment.

Gerry
Guest
He stole everything that was nailed down and presented his wife as some sort of ‘gift’ for his crimes. You truly are an idiot if you can not see what a total POS he and now his whoe fuckin family is. The style of political corruption was carried on after his defeat, that is the problem. Except it got even worse, when people saw how easy it was for him to get away with stealing everything, others quickly realized that setting up a merry-go-round of installing one criminal after another and giving the other thieves on the ride a piece… Read more »
Aloysius De Guzman
Guest

Be careful of what you say, remember that during his time, the Philippines was known as one of the Tigers of Asia, ngayon basang sisiw nalang. Stop covering your ears every time we talk about Marcos’ accomplishments for the Philippines. I know what happened to a number of people during his reign but all I’m asking for is for you to acknowledge both sides of the story. Think about this, was there proof that it was Marcos who planned the assassination of Aquino?

Lebron
Guest

Tiger of Asia baka sick man of asia hahah

jepper
Guest

bobo ka lebron. lahat ng inakusa kay marcos wala proof . kaya mga galing na mga bobo na gusto lang mag pakasaya ang nag eenjoy sa bulok na pilinas ngayon.

Richard Cruz
Guest

SICK MAN OF ASIA ang tawag sa pinas noong huling mga taon na ni Makoy. Our economy was so bad and so crippled with debt that we were borrowing more just to pay the INTEREST on exstng debt.

Magaral ka ng kasaysayan bago magsalita.

Nelson de Leon
Guest
You are absolutely right! People took advantage of their closeness to PFEM and abused it. They were the ones who dragged him down. The opposition were so insecure of his intelligence and even friends of his like the US gov’t., IMF and World Bank were scared because the eyes and ears of the whole world were focused on his personality and intelligence. He was gaining so much attention and envy by International leaders. His vision was not only for the Filipinos but for the whole world. That’s why he established diplomatic relations with Russia and China. His legacy could not… Read more »
pinoy_ako
Guest

Use your brain to vote. Dapat sisihin dito mga bobong botante. Porket artista or anak ni ganito binoboto na agad. Sabay mag complain kau na pinabayaan kau ng govt. Dpt sisihin dito yung mga tangang pilipino. Mga bobo! Dpt sa inyu paalisin ng bansa dhl wala nmn kau na contribute tlga sa bansa. Pahirap kau. Vote wisely! Cguro nmn kht bata alam ang tama at mali kau pang mga gurang! Kakahiya kau! Wala tau napala sa edsa at yng mga aquino na yan kala nyu napaka perfect.

Emma
Guest

Yes, I agree also. Very true.

emspine
Guest

you said it well Reality Hurts…

Christine
Guest

I totally agree with you Miss/Mr RealityHurts. Ang the same story’s once again repeating itself. The same old leeches are trying to do everything in their power to keep the Marcoses from coming back to power.

luzviminda
Guest

VINDICATION, noting more, nothing less….

eislet
Guest

who benefited from marcos’ mistakes.. no other than aquinos. they can keep using that past to continue their political ambitions. i really wanna say shut the fuck up to all those sitting in government. all fucking hypocrites! all about money. philippines should be sold to other countries. filipinos dont know what they are doing to their country anyway. philippines for sale.

Dick
Guest
You remember this opinion piece by Oscar Tan for inquirer, “Alienating the youth from EDSA” (link: http://opinion.inquirer.net/76726/alienating-youth-from-edsa) He says: “[S]uch emotional responses, often from those old enough to remember Edsa and directed at those too young, sometimes contain vitriol and not much else. This characterizes many responses to persistent Facebook posts about how the Marcos years were allegedly the Philippines’ best in terms of economic growth, peace and order and literacy, to news articles floating Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as a presidential candidate, …” That’s how it is really. Vitriol. They don’t care to tell us just how bad it… Read more »
Evelyn Del Pilar Agujar
Guest
Evelyn Del Pilar Agujar

Right it is questionable why the case of his traitor father ’till now is unresolve? Huh two Aquinos became a leader and noone of them can take charge to open the case. Will it’s because they know the answer. Isn’t it? This two family C. And A. can answer this question.

Otep
Guest
Another intersting piece, Ilda. The romanticism of the Marcos rule is not really a phenomenon but rather the logical outcome of two rivals. When two opposing super powers/rivals are pitted against each other, each side would struggle to distinguish how different they are from each other. Thus resulting in a stronger sense of identity. Case in point, ADMU and DLSU. Every so often you can hear a Lasallian boast of their accomplishments and characteristics in contrast to an Atenean. The duality is rather natural. And to paraphrase what triple r said, the Philippines can’t be just this dystopian society we… Read more »
Gogs
Member
There are always point missers in any GRP piece whether you see it on the comments or not. Allow me to give an analogy to this from my own life that has a similar theme. My dad remarried in his 60s. My mom was not perfect his choice of a second wife was not a big hit with his adult children. The newly married couple hired a maid for their apartment who also had experience with my mother. One of the few times she got to talk to me she starts bringing up my mother in an extremely complimentary and… Read more »
Johnny Saint
Guest

And that is really what it comes down to. Since the Marcoses were removed from Malacañang, the political oligarchs in the Philippines have cornered the economic wealth and opportunity that were the implied promise of the 1986 ‘EDSA Revolution.’ Instead of ‘restoring democracy,’ they made conditions intolerable for the majority of Filipinos. OFWs would rather risk their lives in war torn parts of the planet than try to eke out a living in Metro Manila.

Narra
Guest

Another problem is people believe everything they read. Snowball effect follows.

Beawolf Agatte
Guest

It should be Never Again for these Fake Heroes who are the real Plunderers. These Kultong Dilaw and their followers should be in the Gas Chambers for bankrupting not only the National Treasury but the minds of the unsuspecting Masa as well through their Dirty Politics and Propaganda using the People’s money. Ginisa nila ang mga Filipinos sa sariling mantika.

Gerry
Guest

Gas chambers are too kind for this lot of scumbags.All of them, every single one.
Ever see someone who has been beaten within an inch of his life only to have boiling water thrown on him/her and then drawn and quartered by thorourghbred horse’s?…thats more like it.

rey m. juico
Guest

Hi Ilda
How about making a blog on the many achievements that FM accomplished during the martial law years and how they impacted the life of the people, economically, culturally, and as a nation.

Beawolf Agatte
Guest

Good suggestion @rey at sana isama rin kung ano mang achievement kung mayrun man ang Sindikatong Dilaw.

jarvis
Guest

yeah do that but state the facts. Like how the Phil economy went down to worst in history, how politicians being corrupt became a part of our culture and how Philippines became the sick man of asia.

Gerry
Guest

and is laughed at to this day because of it.

menan quiling
Guest

Yes. Publish all the good works that has been done during Msrcos years and people will see the big difference.

victor m. hernandez
Guest
“Real progress” even without martial law. Sweet words, and good to hear. I wish that we will have the patience and perseverance to endure many more miseries until ‘real progress’ come about. As it is, we are in a rut. Mismanagemnt after mismanagement; one cohorts of oligarchs and cronies, after another set of cronies,while the poor multiplies in hordes, and the rich gets most of the goodies aided by mercenary politicians who sell their to souls to evil rulers for 30 pieces of silver. We do not have a respectabl democracy, in fact it is an oligarchy, and plutocracy who… Read more »
justined
Guest

There should be a “Like” button here, +1, or thumbs up.

OT:

– I wonder if they still teach land reform in grade school social studies. Big media seems to have forgotten all about it. I wonder if its still in the history books. The new pinoys have become too docile, or ignorant.

– They’re not Aquinos, they’re Cojuangcos. They’ve been sucking up wealth then(Marcos’ time), they’re still doing it now.

Sea Bee
Guest

Life under Marcos was better for one main reason. There were fewer people. The other South East Asian countries have controlled their populations more successfully. That is why they continue to improve and the Philippines continues to decline. The infrastructure and resources cannot keep up with the mushrooming population. No father figure is going to fly down like superman and rescue the Philippines. As long as the culture ignores the problem of lazy irresponsible parenting; no progress is possible.

Sea Bee
Guest
see “depo provera” ….one shot every three months prevents pregnancies. It is less expensive than the pill. This should be made available without cost to all teen age girls and adult women of child bearing age. People should be educated and these treatments should be advertised and advocated; especially among the poor and squatters who continue to have very large families. It does not cause sterility and the anti-fertility symptoms can be easily reversed by simply stop taking the drug. It was able to dramatically reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies among young, unmarried African American women in the USA.… Read more »
Gerry
Guest

Tell that to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

Hyden Toro455
Guest
Marcos who is dead for more than 30 years is used by the Aquinos , Cojuangcos, the Feudalist Oligarchs, the YellowTards…as a “Bogeyman” to frighten people of Martial Law. I have two good friends here in California, who were in the NPA, during the Martial Law Years. They are Diplomate Cardiologists. They graduated from the School of Medicine at University of the Philippines; joined the NPA. However, they abandoned the movement , when they realize the Aquinos and the Cojuangscos, were using the movement. They came to U.S.; further their studies, until they became Diplomates in Cardiology. They told me:… Read more »
Hyden Toro969
Guest

It was the “Rightist” using the “Leftist”, and vice versa…the winners were the : Political Opporutnists, which we have them in abundance today…

Gerry
Guest

Thieves, all of them. None better or bigger than the other, WAKE up HT. Do you even realize what you sound like? Rating the thieves that run the country and saying one was worse than the other, WTF? HOLY SHIT you should know what you sound like, but obviously don’t.

Hyden Toro459
Guest

I know they are all bad characters…I’m just telling the truth about Martial Law; during those days.

It is up to Filipinos to use this information to better, what they can in our country…

menan quiling
Guest
I agree. Was activist during my college days. Worked in an engg’g consultancy firm and surprised to be recruited to be a prjct engr in a govt prjct in the visayas. There and then ifound out how great the vision pf Marcos govt. The problem was and my constant problem then were the trapos constantly meddling the project for their own interest.after finishing two projects i resigned. I never believed with the kultong dilaw people. Self interest lang. I do not see how a person shot in a tarmac become a hero. Ginamit lang para ibagsak si Marcos which for… Read more »
Sea Bee
Guest

Filipinos are so brainwashed, all they can do is think of one oligarchic family or another. Don’t you have any intelligence or imagination? DO NOT VOTE FOR ANOTHER RICH PERSON!!!! Better to vote communist; than to continue to vote for the same families that have been exploiting this country for the last 75 years. Nothing changes because you continue to vote for the same type of political dynasty again and again and again.

Hyden Toro 7777
Guest

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again; expecting different results, everytime…”

from: Albert Einstein

Sea Bee
Guest

Vote for academics or scholars, medical doctors, engineers, community activists…DO NOT vote for lawyers, media stars, athletes, soldiers, or anyone related to a politician. Experience has showed that these type of people are egocentric. They are more concerned with personal power than they are with serving the people.

cssr
Guest
Have you all gone insane? The Marcos Administration destroyed the very democratic checks and balances that would have saved us, ensuring that crooks and scumbags would take over after Marcos is gone. Anyone looks good spending all that money being an autocrat and dictator who is unopposed by its own government in fear of being prosecuted. Then you realize that it’s coming out of your wallet and future generation’s wallets. And of course nobody was going to go against Marcos legally (and live to tell about it). Try suing a top politician for anything today (preferably if they did actual… Read more »
cssr
Guest
And the worst thing about the Marcos nostalgia is how much people don’t realize that we’re already doing great even before the Marcos era. We’re at an upswing in economic standing thanks to the actions of politicians before Marcos. Marcos took advantage of the upswing, made illicit spending and tinkered with the election results in order to secure a lockdown of a 20+ year presidency. Give ANY president 20 years and you will see progress. If any of you looked at the actual economic statistics from the 1960s all the way up to the end of the Marcos era, Marcos… Read more »
WinterSoldier
Guest

I wanna ask you: so you like being in a government whored by media that tells you ‘everything is ok’ and never look forward for progress as a nation and society but to be part of a MEDIOCRITY?

Sad to say, THAT is what exactly what happened after Marcos left.

J
Guest

they should forget about the names
aquino, marcos, et al..
we need to learn from what happened in the past and not repeat the mistakes and improve on those things that are done right
to truly progress we need a visionary
someone with a good plan for our country
and not a dictator
but a good leader is nothing if he/she doesn’t have good followers
a sad realty here in the philippines is that almost all people here are corrupted
can’t even follow simple rules.

Hyden Toro989
Guest

Aquino and the rest of the Political Leaders, are at the helm of the government. They could have right the wrongs that Marcos had done…instead they use him as a “Bogeyman” to frighten people ; and as a good target to Blame for their incompetence…and their corruption and greed…

Ray
Guest

I am enlightened about Marcos… I ithink we need to give chance to Bong MArcos to do what his father’s legacy.. together with R.Duterte of Davao.. We need them not for a change but for a new constitution with KAMAY NA BAKAL…

Hyden toro345
Guest

We don’t need political dynasties, or Fascists, or any kind of Dictatorship. We need good Leaders with good Visions for our country. Leaders who can really lead…

jepper
Guest

im am telling you , philippines will never go up without dictatorship now adays