Why the #NeverAgain slogan reflects Filipinos’ total failure of imagination

The onus on building a clear vision of what lies ahead for the Philippines during the euphoric months following the 1986 “People Power” EDSA “revolution” was on the victors. What did we get instead? Nothing more than a vacuous excuse of a roadmap to prosperity. The Yellow emotionalist rhetoric that dominated the national political “debate” for three solid decades had as its pillars the sorts of notions only the infantile emotionally-unstable society of the Philippines could embrace:

– Martyr worship
– Sacrifice Platforms
– Political vendetta

As to the future, guess what: The Yellow Mob only issue a deafening silence. Actually, that’s not entirely true. The Yellow Mob of the Aquino-Cojuangco clan and its legions of emo worshippers do have a notion of what the future of the Philippines is not. This is encapsulated in the moronic slogan #NeverAgain. The girly “Never Again” slogan draws upon the Filipino’s bakla fear that another fearsome Marcos-style dictatorship may one day engulf the Philippines again.

ferdinand_marcos_neveragain

The screaming fits being thrown by Filipinos are therefore more about what the Philippines cannot be again. Indeed, the Philippines as a society suffers from a fatal failure of imagination. Filipinos cannot seem to imagine a country that is something and can only throw hissy trantrums over what it should not be.

Oscar Franklin Tan in his Inquirer column today To old Filipinos who knew martial law and dictatorship, could not have described the intellectual bankruptcy of the #NeverAgain slogan better…

“Never Again” is merely rejection. It is incomplete because it builds nothing and leaves revisionism and disenchantment to fill the void. Many frustrated voters, for example, do not disbelieve the thousands of deaths during martial law, yet entertain vague ideas of imposing a discipline associated with martial law. This is hardly unique. In last year’s presidential elections, Indonesia almost voted in the macho and “tegas” Gen. Prabowo Subianto, a former son-in-law of Suharto, who ruled for 31 years.

We unconsciously shroud the Edsa Revolution in myth. We risk overly romanticizing its events and demonizing less enthusiastic views as heretic. Unrealistic expectations fuel cynicism. For example, the term “necropolitics” was coined to criticize that Corazon Aquino and Sen. Benigno Aquino III would never have become presidents but for a famous relative’s death. Finally, myth is simply not credible to a critical YouTube generation who value authenticity and readily accept flawed heroes.

The political leadership of the Aquino-Cojuangco clan is to blame for Filipinos’ wholehearted embrace of the historical “revisionism” (the younger generations’ openness to the postulated virtues of the Martial Law years under former President Ferdinand Marcos) that the Yellow Horde are stomping their feet about today. It started way back in the months (extending into years) that former President Cory Aquino’s “revolutionary” government and then succeeding Philippine governments failed to put Marcos and his circle of cronies and Martial Law architects and implementors either in jail or before a firing squad. Look no further than how Juan Ponce Enrile and his former Martial Law henchman Fidel Ramos continue to hobnob with the Philippines’ high society today.

Add to that the reality that the intellectual achievements of the Marcos regime itself remain in effect today. Laments a certain Miguel C. Suarez in a letter to the Inquirer

IF MARTIAL law was such an abomination, as your editorials on Sept. 22 and Sept. 27 correctly pointed out—“the long dark night of martial law” and “Martial law would always be a total, monstrous aberration from democracy…” — why have the dictator’s decrees not been repealed?

The truth is, although the Filipino people threw Ferdinand Marcos the father out of power 29 years ago and he’s been dead the past 26 years, he still rules this country—through his more than 4,000 decrees and other issuances that remain part of the law of the land! They are the biggest monument to that historical aberration. Is it any wonder then that Marcos’ progeny is back, with nary an apology; or why we, as a people, can’t seem to take seriously that rare national accomplishment that was the People Power Revolution?

The reason is quite simple: Filipinos habitually allow themselves to be taken for a ride by their oligarchs and traditional politicians — which is not surprising considering that the circus we like to call a “revolution” back in 1986 delivered no real change. The same oligarchs and the same traditional politicians continue to rule. Filipinos deserve each other.

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60 Comments on “Why the #NeverAgain slogan reflects Filipinos’ total failure of imagination”

  1. >> The truth is, although the Filipino people threw Ferdinand Marcos the father out of power 29 years ago and he’s been dead the past 26 years, he still rules this country—through his more than 4,000 decrees and other issuances that remain part of the law of the land!

    I sometimes mention this to Filipinos interested in talking politics. They don’t seem to realise that nothing actually changed with the EDSA revolution. Same laws on the books; same faces in power behind the scenes; same government institutions; same convoluted systems designed to enable graft. There’s not much point giving democratic power to people who can’t even be bothered to understand the mechanics of government, or to pay attention to the way they are ruled.

  2. Let me get this straight…we had a JUNK credit rating during the Marcos era. Now, we have INVESTMENT GRADE. Brownouts were very frequent and long during the Marcos era. Seldom happens in the last two decades. 50% poverty incidence during the Marcos era. Nowadays, car ownership has never been higher in history.

    Why should I ride this boat romanticizing the Marcos era?

    Stop posting statements from the Marcos era press which was controlled by the dictator himself. It’s like North Korea where bad news was suppressed and self-promotion shamelessly published. Of course, just as Kim Jung Il is viewed as a God, Marcos-era press props Marcos on a divine pedestal.

    Having said that, I have no preference for either Marcos or Aquino. Both are CRAP.

    1. The 8 to 10 hour brownouts were during the Cory Aquino administration. Not during Marcos. Stop your misinformation

      1. I’m not saying PNoy is responsible for the investment grade credit rating. I’m saying that we now have INVESTMENT GRADE credit rating, compared to the JUNK status just before Marcos fled to Hawaii.

        JCB rated us BBB+ (just a notch below “A”). Moody’s rated us BAA2. Both are investment grade. Go straight to these credit rating agencies, instead of Tribune.

        Aminin? In your world, you’re either for Marcos or for Aquino. What an idiot! What I agree about in this website is that we squandered the lead given to us by the Americans after WW2. Marcos wasted a lot of it. Cory made things worse. The successive presidents actually made substantial improvements.

        And what has the Marcoses got to show for all their years of ruling Ilocos Norte? That region’s economy still consists of manufacturing Cornicks, poultry/swine farming, and Tourism. Ever heard Ilocos Norte figuring prominently in the LIVEABILITY ranking? EXACTLY. Sure there’s windmill. That’s no biggie. One just call up the firm and order one. I have solar panels on my rooftop, so?

        1. “Sure there’s windmill. That’s no biggie. One just call up the firm and order one. I have solar panels on my rooftop, so?”

          Most countries are now using alternative energy while most Pinoys suffer from high electricity bills from oligarch-owned electric companies like Meralco. So yeah, it’s a big deal.

  3. NeverAgain should actually be MarcosAgain. Isn’t it evident how people demand so much now from their leader, even if it’s just from the Marcoses, than they care to do before with anyone?

    People started to see that their leaders owe them something, that their leaders have so much to prove to their constituents. At the name Marcos, people became watchful, cautious, demanding, they became aware about the ugly situations we’re all in and demand change, people learn to compare and by comparing sees what’s lacking and missing with our present government. People walk the line between good and evil. Everytime the name Marcos is being mentioned, people get themselves into political or critical discourse.

    The name Marcos challenges people. What more if people concentrate on the works and abilities of the Marcoses. The name Marcos reminded people how to be great again. And it gets into their nerves because they would rather be dependent to their government, be cheated and exploited. It gets to their nerves because moving on means facing the very real and pressing problems that was left unsolved since EDSA1,2,3. It gets to their nerves because now they get to know their real selves mirroring the kinds of leaders they allow to rule this country – inexperienced, incompetent, and corrupt. It’s hard for Filipinos to deny the truth about themselves now because faced with the Marcoses governing still and competently it can’t be help that their flaws be revealed.

  4. The quote that the writer in the newspaper that states :”Never again”,WELL is total rejection. BUT acts as if that is a bad thing. To remember the atrocities that were comitted during the time of 1965-1986 is a virtue.Having a memory is imperative so as to make use of the knowledge of the past. The fact that the Filipino people have been bamboozeled since 1986 does not mean that they should forget what Marcos and his regime did, but should take it one step further and realize that the replacements were not up to the task of uplifting the masses. What the Filippines needs is a real leader, like a Castro ,who will eductate the people (Cuba has the highest literacy rate,97%, of any country on the planet), build infrastructure in the country, inspire people to play musical instruments instead of vidiot games,reject the ‘privitization’ of the public domain, and instill a sense of pride,instead of shame(Filipino’s abroad do not like to say they are from the Fail-ippines!)in the people.
    Remember: to reject that which is evil and then invite evil’s brother in the door is not a way to get rid of evil.
    A TOTAL REBBOT IS ECESSARY AND A CLEANSING OF THE LEADERS IS PARAMOUNT. The country needs these thieves like it needs a does of Ebola.

  5. I am just wondering, so what if GRP and rest of the people who support it’s ideals convince majority of the filipinos to be more aware about the nations current situation? With the election coming, everybody would be choosing a new leaders wisely. That would be fantastic. But the thing is, I haven’t seen any moves by the government or any private institution to oversee the real result of the election. We all know that the previous election has been a sham. What are we holding on to now? Just the comelec?

    I am afraid it will still be the same old song we will be singing come 2016 up to 2022. And I guess I will still be working my ass off on foreign soil/water (whichever is applicable) for the rest of my life.

    1. Relax, Bongbong’s gonna win the VP. Grace Poe looks to be the favorite to win the Presidential race. So there’s hope for you Marcos d-ck rider.

      LOSERS are those who need everything to be perfect to make it in the Philippines. In my case, I don’t give a sh_t what type of government is installed or which President is running the show. The free market is no different from evolutionary theory. It takes constant change, trial and error, before one stumbles upon a trait that prospers. The world favors those who accept failure as part of life.

  6. The whole hashtag thing is a butthurt response from the younger generation preferring the Martial Law era over today’s so called “democracy” and also a free way to demonize Bongbong’s candidacy.

    The yellows and People Power fanatics see that their legacy is being forgotten and their enemy, the Marcos era, is now presented as stability, order and better life.

  7. The great enemy of truth in the G-D-SOB country called the Failippines is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest– but the myth — persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. Too often Failipinos in the Failippines hold fast to the clichés of their so-called “forebears”. They subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. Failipinos enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

  8. It suddenly came to my mind that this #NeverAgain mentality that is being touted around is closely related to the “lesser evil” discourse we have at elections. I can’t say which came first, #NeverAgain or “lesser evil” mentality. Either way, this sort of thinking is hindering progress, its about time that we moved on fromthis 30 year old ghost.

    I am not saying that we shouldn’t be vigilant. A politician’s track record, as well as his platform should be considered.

  9. “Never again” is nothing but an empty, stolen phrase. It refers to the holocaust. Or was it Apartheid? No! The Armenian genocide perhaps? Ah, it’s a song by Kelly Clarkson!

    “Never again” means shit anyway in a country where people keep on voting for the same thieves and crooks over and over.

    Just like everyone knows how dangerous firecrackers are and even though the emergency room horror pictures are shown on TV, some idiots keep on blowing their fingers off. Year after year.

    What does that say about Filipinos?

  10. This Post is for Adults Only
    *****

    Quite stunning with large dark eyes and high bosomed figure, she walks late at night into a bar. “San Mig please”, she says. After a couple of bottles, she passes out. Bartender couldn’t resist the temptation, takes her to the backroom, rapes her. She’s still out. Bartender looks for some identification, finds out her address, as well as a set of keys, one must be for her apartment, the other, for her car. In the parking lot, he quickly finds out which car was her’s. He decides to drive her home. Getting there, he gently puts her to her bed. He leaves; she is still out cold.

    To the surprise of the bartender the next day, she shows up again at the bar same time, but more stunning this time. He was nervous and waited for her to say something. She says, “San Mig please”. Again, after a couple of bottles, she passes out. Well, he did it already the first night; so he rapes her again. After that, the same routine as in the previous night, he drives her home and leaves her still sleeping like a baby.

    He wondered if she would show up the third time. She did, but before she could reach her usual place in the bar, there was already the ice cold San Mig in the glass waiting for her. She says, ” What’s this?” He replies, “Your usual, ma’m, San Mig.” She replies: “Never Again! No, San Mig; it makes my pussy painful. Give me a Corona Lite please.”

    *****

    So, #NeverAgain to what?

    *****

    1. Bwa ha ha ha. Now, I can’t hold a San Mig without laughing. San Mig makes it painful, eh. Bwa ha ha ha. And, I will be thinking of a flaky woman. Bwa ha ha ha.

      Really good one, bro. You’re damn right it is the Flaky-pines. Intelligently encapsulating everything true of this freaking country, the FLAKY-PINES

      My aggravation in this country as an expat is the wholesale stupidity. It’s just too much. There is one below, a Mikey, listing what everybody knows already. Ya, ya, ya, yakity, yak Marcos is the worst. So what? Why didn’t you do anything about it? He is dead, Mikey. DEAD, you dumb freaking stupid SOB. The laws have expired because you just yak yak yak yak. NeverAgain, my ass, but it is YOUR fault. Got that, dumb ass, YOUR.. YOUR… YOUR fault,

      Here is what I tell you is relevant today, got it from your dailies.

      “The World Bank ranks the Philippines 95th in ease of doing business, 161st in starting a business, 124th in dealing with construction permits, 108th in registering property, 104th in getting credit, 127th in paying taxes, 124th in enforcing countries, 65th in trading across borders, and 50th in resolving insolvency.

      Considering that there are 189 economies/countries in the world, the Philippine rankings are a disgrace. They put a lie to claims of Daang Matuwid. There is so much red tape and graft every time businessmen try to start a business or do business.”

      That is the DISGRACE, stupid, which is TODAY. Chasing a dead man is moronic. DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE RED TAPE AND GRAFT.

      1. @ Greg, yeah, the red tape and corrpution is what is preventing economic growth in the country as well as the speculation in the Energy sector that has lead to the worlds highest electricity rates and worst service.
        All of this does not mean that the plundering done durong FMarcos regime should be forgotten. That money should be confiscated, bu any means necessary, and given back to the Filippine people and the thieves thrown in fucking jail or at least dis-enfranchised to the point where they have no ill-gotten wealth, and either have to work like REAL people or suffer poverty and homelessness like that which their fellow countrymen have had to endure BECAUSE of the thievery ingrained in these scumbags.The money is still being used by them,it is inside the country and could be confiscated quite easily, and it should be.

  11. #Never Again?

    What’s wrong with Martial Law? Any president in his right mind would have done the same if faced with the prospect of a civil war involving communists.

    Thank FM’s martial law we did not have to go through a full-scale Vietnam or Korean civil war.

    Pinoys are like mice. When the cat’s away, the mice will play.

    So please bring back the CAT!!!

    Where’s the iron-fisted stronman who will hammer back discipline into these greed-drunk zombies.

    Pag-balik ng PUSA, tapos na maliligayang araw niyo (corrupt, perverts, syndicates, lazy squatters, etc.)!

    We don’t need a CAT this time; we need a TIGER! Go ahead shout louder little mice –> “Never Again!” The better it will be for the TIGER to find you.

    As my high-school teacher used to say in our all-boy’s class: “Discipline makes a man”. We need a disciplinarian; we need “military-calibre” discipline.

    Please stop playing guys, let’s become the next Singapore. Stop fooling around, or become Tiger-food.

      1. Don’t worry Grim, I WAS a pervert myself as well …. up until a TIGER came my way. I needed it.

        Who knows, you might be the TIGER this country is waiting for…

        Pervert -(turned)-> Prophet -(turned)-> Hitler-calibre TIGER 🙂

    1. The implementation of Martial Law was based on a fabricated murder attempt on the life of the biggest scumbag of them all, J P ENRILE. The old scumbag should have the roots of his teeth drilled with no anesthesia for what he has done, and then thrown in fucking prison to rot just as he oversaw and imprisoned/tortured what he perceived as 50,000 ’emeny’s of the state’ during ML. The guy is a complete POS !
      and the country was nowhere near being taken over in a ‘Communist’ revolt. That is just more MSM bullshit that you probably swallow hook line and sinker, huh?

      1. Ummagumma, quite obvious, does not know his history. And chooses to believe what he wants to believe.

        If you really care about the truth…then here’s the truth! And it’s fabricated!

    2. Thumbs up!

      While the past is important and we can learn from it, Filipinos should really focus more on the future, especially since the consequences will be felt by their children and their children’s children and so forth.

      We shouldn’t let fear rule our hearts. Since,
      “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering” – Master Yoda.

  12. No need for imagination. Just get the facts. It’s far more compelling than imagination… 😉

    Reposting from ASIAN JOURNAL:

    Chronology of the Marcos Plunder

    September 1976, the Marcoses bought their first property in the U.S. – a condo in the exclusive Olympic Towers on Fifth Avenue in New York . Five months later they would also buy the three adjoining apartments, paying a total of $4,000,000.00 for the four and using Antonio Floirendo’s company, The Aventures Limited in Hong Kong, as front for these purchases.

    October 13, 1977. Today, after addressing the UN General Assembly, Imelda celebrated by going shopping and spending $384,000 including $50,000 for a platinum bracelet with rubies; $50,000 for a diamond bracelet; and $58,000 for a pin set with diamonds.
    The day before, Vilma Bautista, one of her private secretaries, paid $18,500 for a gold pendant with diamonds and emeralds; $9,450 for a gold ring with diamonds and emeralds; and $4,800 for a gold and diamond necklace.

    October 27, 1977
    The Marcoses donated $1.5 million to Tufts University in Boston, endowing a professorial chair in East Asian and Pacific Studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. The students and professors discovered this and forced the school to reject the donation. To save face, the Marcoses were allowed to finance several seminars and lectures.

    November 2, 1977. Still at her shopping spree, Imelda paid $450,000 for a gold necklace and bracelet with emeralds, rubies, and diamonds; $300,000 for a gold ring with emeralds and diamonds; and $300,000 for a gold pendant with diamonds, rubies, and thirty-nine emeralds.
    July 1978. After a trip to Russia, Imelda arrived in New York and immediately warmed up for a shopping spree. She started with paying $193,320 for antiques, including $12,000 for a Ming Period side table; $24,000 for a pair of Georgian mahogany Gainsborough armchairs; $6,240 for a Sheraton double-sided writing desk; $11,600 for a George II wood side table with marble top – all in the name of the Philippine consulate to dodge New York sales tax.

    That was merely for starters.

    A week later she spent $2,181,000.00 in one day! This included $1,150,000 for a platinum and emerald bracelet with diamonds from Bulgari; $330,000 for a necklace with a ruby, diamonds, and emeralds; $300,000 for a ring with heart-shaped emeralds; $78,000 for 18-carat gold ear clips with diamonds; $300,000 for a pendant with canary diamonds, rubies and emeralds on a gold chain.

    After New York, she dropped by Hong Kong where a Cartier representative admitted it was this Filipina, Imelda, who had put together the world’s largest collection of gems – in 1978.
    May 1979 The Marcos couple celebrated their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary in a party that cost $5,000,000.00 There was a silver carriage drawn by eight white horses.

    November 23, 1978 A house was purchased at 4 Capshire Drive in Cherry Hill , New Jersey (actually near to Philadelphia where Bongbong was taking courses at that time) for use by servants and Bongbong’s security detachment. The Marcoses did not neglect their annual real estate purchase. During this year and next year, 1979, they purchased two properties – one at 3850 Princeton Pike, Princeton – a 13-acre estate for use by daughter Imee as she attended Princeton.

    The other was a house at 19 Pendleton Drive in Cherry Hill for use of Bongbong and under the name of Tristan Beplat,
    erstwhile head of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines .

    April 1979 in two days in New York this month, Imelda spent $280,000 for a necklace wet with emeralds and diamonds; $18,500 for a yellow gold evening bag with one round cut diamond; $8,975.20 for 20-carat gold ear clips with
    twenty-four baguette diamonds; $8,438.10 for 18-carat gold ear clips with fifty-two tapered baguette diamonds; and $12,056.50 for 20 carat gold ear clips with diamonds.

    June 1980. For $1,577,000.00 in New York Imelda buys Webster Hotel on West 45th Street . She rewards Gen. Romeo Gatan as a limited partner. Gatan arrested Ninoy at the beginning of Martial Law.

    The insurgents’ ranks grew by twenty percent a year. . Meritorious officers in the armed forces experienced low moral due to Marcos’ penchant for promoting friends over more deserving officers.

    February 16, 1986. In Fe’s records of monies paid out during Marcos’ last campaign, one unusually large item was authorized by “FL” (First Lady) and paid to Assemblyman Arturo Pacificador on this day. A few days later, two carloads of men drove into San Jose , the provincial capital of Antique. Evelio Javier, head of Aquino’s campaign, was watching the votes being counted when the men opened fire and killed Evelio after he was still able to run through town but finally got cornered in a public toilet where he was gunned down in front of shocked townspeople. Pacificador was later convicted of the murder.

    February 25, 1986. Marcos fled the Philippines leaving behind a foreign debt of $27 billion and a bureaucracy gone mad. “Cash advances” for the elections from the national treasury amounted to Php 3.12 billion ($150 million). The Central Bank printed millions of peso bills, many with the same serial number. Sixty million pesos in newly printed bills were found in a vehicle owned by Imelda’s brother Bejo in the Port Area of Manila, and another Php 100 million aboard the MV Legaspi also owned by Bejo Romualdez. How massive and humongous a loot Marcos took can be deduced from the known losses he left behind. The known losses he left at the Central Bank included $1.2 billion in missing reserves and $6 billion in the Special Accounts. Imelda charged off most of her spending sprees to the PNB or Philippine National Bank which creatively wrote off her debts as “unresponded transfers”.

    Ver also used PNB funds to finance his “intelligence” operations.

    The known losses at the PNB amounted to Php72.1 billion.

    At the DBP, the losses Marcos left behind totaled Php85 billion; at the Philguarantee, it was Php 6.2 billion; and at the NIDC or National Investment and Development Corporation (NDC) – the losses amounted to Php 2.8 billion.

    These losses were primarily due to cronyism – giving loans to cronies that had little or no collateral, whose corporations were undercapitalized, whose loan proceeds were not used for the avowed purpose, and where the practice of corporate layering was common, i.e. using two or more companies with the same incorporators and officers, whereby one company which gives the loan owns the company which obtains the loan, or similar arrangements.

    The cronies enjoyed their closeness to Marcos. With him they formed a Grand Coalition. They participated in the exercise of dictatorship. But Marcos owned them. The wealth of the cronies belonged to him. Because of the free rides taken by Imelda, Marcos and the cronies, the Philippine Airlines was in debt by $13.8 billion.

    The conservative Grand Total for losses Marcos left behind (and therefore the kind of loot he grabbed and hid) amounted to $17.1 billion. The Central Bank, the PNB, and other financial institutions badly need an audit. The special review (not regular audit because there seems not to have been any – there are no records anyway) did not uncover Imelda’s spending – her name never appeared – and Ver’s intelligence fund. The review gave no hint of theft or missing money, only “downward adjustments” and “proposed adjustments” to “deficiencies” and “shortages of money”.

    February 26, 1986. A few hours after the Marcos party landed in Honolulu, their luggage arrived – 300 crates on board a C-141 cargo jet. It took twenty-five customs officers five hours to tag the bags and identify the contents. The process was videotaped because of all the money and jewelry found inside.
    There were 278 crates of jewelry and art worth an estimated US$5 million. Twenty-two crates contained more than Php27.7 million in newly minted currency, mostly hundred-peso denominations worth approximately US $1,270,000. 00 (It was illegal at that time for anyone to depart the Philippines carrying more than Php500 in cash.)
    There were other certificates of deposit from Philippine banks worth about US$1 million, five handguns, 154 videotapes, seventeen cassette tapes, and 2,068 pages of documents – all of which were impounded by Customs.
    The Marcos party was allowed to keep only US$300,000.00 in gold and $150,000.00 in bearer bonds that they brought in with their personal luggage because they declared them and broke no US customs laws. There were 24 one-kilo gold bars fitted into 2 0$17,000 hand-tooled Gucci briefcase with a solid gold buckle and a plaque on it that read, “To Ferdinand Marcos, from Imelda, on the Occasion of our 24th Wedding Anniversary.”

    February 1986. When Marcos departed the Philippines, the losses in the three Central Bank accounts surpassed Php 122 billion (more than $6 billion). The big bulk of losses was attributed to the RIR account mainly due to two items: forward cover and swap contracts.
    Forward cover referred to foreign exchange provided by the CB at a fixed exchange rate to importers of essential commodities. Swap contracts referred to CB’s receiving foreign exchange from banks in exchange for pesos at the prevailing rate with a promise to deliver the foreign exchange back to them at an agreed future date. There was no mention of losses due to CB transactions in gold or foreign exchange.

    February 28, 1986. On this day, Jim Burke, security expert from the US Embassy, was tapping on the wooden paneling in Imelda’s abandoned Malacanang bedroom when he heard a hollow sound. It was the walk-in vault. Inside were thirty-five suitcases secured with locks and tape.

    They contained a treasure trove of documents about Swiss bank accounts, New York real estate, foundations in Vaduz , and some notepaper on which Marcos had practiced his William Saunders signature. They also contained jewelry valued at some US$10.5 million.

    March 16, 1986. Did Marcos steal any gold from the CB? The CB always refused to comment. Why?
    Today, the LA Times reported that 6.325 metric tons of gold was unaccounted for in the Central Bank. Between 1978, the year Marcos ordered all gold producers to sell only to the CB, and end 1984, the Bureau of Mines reported that 124,234 pounds of gold were refined. But the CB reported receiving only 110,319 pounds during this same period. That left a difference of 13,915 pounds (6.325 metric tons).

    March 1986. Jokingly referring to themselves as the Office of National Revenge, a vigilante team led by Charlie Avila and Linggoy Alcuaz received a tip in the morning that Marcos’ daughter Imee had kept a private office in the suburb of Mandaluyong at 82 Edsa. They obtained a search warrant, then rushed to Camp Crame to pick up some soldiers.
    After devising a plan, they boarded four cars and drove to the premises, arriving around midnight. The soldiers scaled a fence and sealed off the area. Avila , Alcuaz, and their men moved in and found documents in cardboard boxes, desks, and filing cabinets. Gunfire could be heard outside but it didn’t deter the search. The documents revealed the names of offshore companies and overseas investments of Marcos and his cronies – a late link in the paper trail that had been started abroad by the teams of Avila, Steve Psinakis, Sonny Alvarez, Raul Daza, Boni Gillego, and Raul Manglapus.

    March 09, 1986. A Greek-American, Demetrios Roumeliotes, was stopped at the Manila International Airport before he could leave with eight large envelopes stuffed with jewelry that he admitted belonged to Imelda – valued at US$4.7 million.

    March 15, 1986. Ernie Maceda, Minister of Natural Resources, revealed today that some 7 to 14 tons of Philippine gold are sold to the Binondo Central Bank annually and then smuggled to Sabah , Malaysia – this gold being part of some 20 tons produced by 200,000 panners all over the country. Maceda’s query was whether part of the gold they produced was siphoned to the “invisible gold hoard of Ms. Imelda R. Marcos.”

    “We deliver to the Central Bank,” the miners said. “If it happened (the siphoning), it happened in the Central Bank.”

    Is it true that Marcos propagated the Yamashita myth to hide the fact that he looted the Central Bank, that its gold bars were melted down and recast in odd-size bars to make them look old (how does gold look old, anyway?). Marcos claimed that he “received the surrender of Gen. Yamashita” after a battle with his guerrilla outfit. History has recorded that Yamashita surrendered to Lt. Co. Aubrey Smith Kenworthy and that there was no battle. Yamashita’s peaceful surrender had been arranged at least two weeks before the event.

    In one entry in Marcos’ diary he noted, “I often wonder what I will be remembered for in history. Scholar? Military hero…?” In a supreme irony, he did achieve what he so vainly sought – lasting fame – but not in the way he envisioned:
    The largest human rights case in history – 10,000 victims.
    * Guinness Book of Records – the world’s greatest thief.
    * The largest monetary award in history – $22 billion..

    September 30, 1986. Questioned by Philippine and US lawyers about his hidden wealth, Marcos took the Fifth Amendment 197 times. Imelda followed suit – 200 times.

    December 1989. An American jury found the Marcos estate liable for $15 million in the killing of anti-Marcos activists Gene Viernes and Silme Domingo. Manglapus, Psinakis, Gillego and other erstwhile exile oppositionists testified at the trial.

    November 04, 1991. Today, a Sunday, the circus came to town. The Swiss Federal Tribunal had ruled the year before that the Philippine government must comply with the European Convention of Human Rights, especially due process. There had to be a lawsuit filed within one year. Thus, the solicitor general’s office filed all sorts of cases against Imelda and the government had to allow her to return to answer the charges.

    “I come home penniless,” she tearfully said on arrival. She then repaired to her suite at the Philippine Plaza Hotel which cost $2,000 a day and rented sixty rooms for her entourage – American lawyers, American security guards and American PR firms.

    December 1991. The Central Bank had accumulated losses of Php324 billion in the Special Accounts.

    November 30, 1992. The Central Bank losses were Php561 billion and climbing. Cuisia asked that the CB be restructured. Sen. Romulo asked to see the 1983 audit of the international reserves. He couldn’t get a copy. It was “restricted” .

    January 05, 1993. Imelda didn’t show up for the scheduled signing of a new PCGG agreement. She kept vacillating on the terms and conditions – demanding she be allowed to travel abroad for thirty-three days to confer with bank officials in Switzerland, Austria, Hong Kong and Morocco to work out the transfer of the frozen funds. Actually she was hoping a guy she had authorized, J.T.Calderon, would be able to move the funds just as the order was lifted, before the government had a chance to transfer them to Manila . When the government discovered the authority, all negotiations with Imelda were halted and her requests for travel suspended.

    August 10, 1993. Georges Philippe, a Swiss lawyer of Imelda, wrote today a confidential letter to the Marcoses’ old Swiss lawyer, Bruno de Preux, who handled almost all of the Marcos family’s hidden accounts in Switzerland . Philippe requested de Preux for the status of:
    * A $750 million account with United Mizrahi Bank in Zurich ;
    * Various currency and gold deposits at the Union Bank of Switzerland , at Kloten airport and at Credit Suisse;
    * A $356 million account (now in escrow and worth almost $600 million) which was being claimed by the PCGG.

    In 1994, the human rights jury awarded the victims $1.2 billion in exemplary damages, then $766.4 million in compensatory damages a year after that, for a total of $1.964 billion. Two days after, another $7.3 million was awarded to twenty-one Filipinos in a separate lawsuit.

    In 1995, the US Supreme Court upheld the $1.2 billion judgment.

    March 29, 1995. The Swiss Parliament passed a law (an amendment to a previous act) that removed the need for a final judgment of criminal conviction of the accused (such as the Marcoses) in the case of criminally acquired assets which could now therefore be returned to claimants (such as the Philippine government) by Swiss court order.

    July 1996. In part because of the torture of Roger Roxas, $22 billion was awarded to his Golden Budha Corporation.

    December 10, 1997. The Swiss Supreme Court promulgated a landmark decision that took into account the March 1995 Swiss Parliament act and the fact that new criminal cases had been filed against Imelda Marcos. The court held that there was no need for any criminal proceeding; that a civil or administrative proceeding would suffice, and the Marcos Swiss deposits which had been “criminally acquired” can be returned to the Philippines in deference to the final judgment of the Philippine court as to the ownership of these deposits. The Swiss court also announced that the interest and reputation of Switzerland was at stake if it would become a haven for money launderers laundering money obtained by crime. Therefore, in the case of the Marcos deposits, because “the illegal source of the assets in this case cannot be doubted” the Swiss court ordered that the money be returned to the
    Philippines to be held in escrow account in the PNB to await the judgment of the Sandiganbayan in the forfeiture case.

    By the way, in January 17, 1975, a secret decree not made public until after the Edsa insurrection was signed by Marcos stating that in the event he became incapacitated or died, power would be turned over to Imelda.

    On June 7, 1975, in his own handwriting, Marcos amended the January 17th decree and clarified imelda’s role as chairperson of committee with presidential powers.

    In February 1979, Imelda was named chairman of the cabinet committee, composed of all ministries, to launch the BLISS (Bagong Lipunan Sites and Services) program, an ambitious attempt to centralize control of all economic and social development. She assumed responsibility for the “11 needs of Man” codified in her ministry’s multi-year Human Settlements Plan,1978-2000.

    By 1986, the number of Filipinos living below the poverty line doubled from 18 million in 1965 to 35 million. And the ecological balance of the country had degraded from 75 % to 27% forest cover remaining – with 39 million acres of forest falling victim to rampant logging.

    This was BLISS.

    She was also the head of the Metro Manila Commission, which by year-end 1985 had managed to accumulate debts of Php 1.99 billion (which included $100 million in foreign loans) in its ten years of existence. Imelda had accomplished nothing and left the people embittered and even more disillusioned.

    In September 1992 Marcos was found guilty of violating the human rights of 10,000 victims. The ruling occurred just after a judge found Imee Marcos-Manotoc guilty of the torture and murder of Archimedes Trajano, a 21 year old engineering student at Mapua who had the temerity to ask Imee after a speech she gave whether the Kabataang Barangay (a national youth group) “must be headed by the president’s daughter?”

    Imee and brother Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. have been active in the political scene. Bongbong, who finished 3 terms as Ilocos Norte governor, is now running for Senator under Presidential bet, Manny Villar’s senatorial slate.. he’s been quoted as saying that if given a chance, hed like to run for President one day…(gads).

    Bongbong is now a Senator, Imelda is Governor of Ilocos Norte and Imee is in Congress. The MARCOSES are back in full force thanks to our “despicable amnesia” as aptly described by the eminent writer, F. Sionil Jose.

    PLEASE PASS THIS IMPORTANT PART OF PHIL HISTORY TO YOUR FRIENDS, SO WE WILL NOT FORGET…

      1. And GRP has citations from presumably unbiased sources? Not to my due diligence — but then this is an opinion blog, and opinion blogs get a free pass when it comes to citations, yes?

        1. the comment above is not an opinion, but an alleged by-the-numbers account of what supposedly happened.

          it is up to the reader if he’d just take the above narrative at face value, and it is another to question its authenticity. I’m not saying it is wrong, but that doesnt mean i’m right for dismissing it as garbage either. It’s simply that my bs meter is working overtime, which of course is tuned to a frequency that most likely differs from yours.

    1. all of this loot has been brought back to the Philippines (except the obvious) and Imelda openly brags about it. ALL OF IT should be confiscated and turned into something useful for the people of the country….with the thieves thrown in prison.

  13. Martial Law is the “Bogeyman” that the the Aquinos and his cahoots, use to, hold “hostage”, the emotions of the Filipinos. It is the “Fear Factor”, that they are using to continue their power and plunder of this country. They are frightening us like children.

    The crimes of Benigno Aquino Sr.’s KALIBAPI Party, is more gruesome. They tortured and murdered Filipino Guerrillas, during the Japanese Militarist occupation. They raped many Filipino women.

    This was the reason , Benigno Aquino, Sr.; sought refuge in Tokyo, Japan; during the American liberation of the Philippines. He was afraid of his own people; and afraid of the war crimes, he committed. After the surrender of Japan; he was brought back to the Philippines. And was tried, of Treason. He was convicted of treason, but was pardoned, on the request of Gen. MacArthur.

    Never Again, that we will have a Mentally Retarded, Depressed, delusional and paranoid President in the Philippines.

    Never Again, that we will have DAP, PDAF, Pork Barrel Bribery, as a guise for virtual dictatorship, and plunder of the National Treasury.

    Never Again, that we will ignore the massacre of our Police and Army personnel.

    Never Again, that we will have the Hacienda Luisita, owned by the greedy Aquino/Conjuangco families.

    Never Again, that Feudal Oligarchy will reign in our country.

    These are the True: “Never Again”, that we have to work for, at present.

    Lastly, Never Again that there will be a continuation of Aquino’s KALIBAPI rule in our country.

    We all have to Move On, and rebuild our country. We don’t dwell on the past; as the Aquinos and his cahoots wanted us to do. They want to hold us “hostage” of our past.

    1. I disagree. Martial law was not a creation of the present administration. It was an instrument of oppression resorted to by Marcos to remain in power. The Aquinos don’t have the monopoly to use it because regardless of who is in power it can always be raised to point out the dark part in our history.

      With regard to ‘hostage’ there maybe some truth to it but they are definitely not the Filipinos. If ever, the hostages of the martial law is the Marcoses themselves, Bongbong in particular, and those who were identified with it. The specter of martial law or the fear factor of it is actually keeping Bongbong, et.al. hostages of the past because they are being made to answer for it. They are called to account for it for being the beneficiaries of marital law. It’s a badge of dishonor they have to resist and disprove.

      1. Martial Law was declared not to fall under communism, to stop civil unrest caused by treacheries against democratic government. It’s in the 70’s. Even US then feared the spread of communist aggression. After WWII, another tyranny looms and that is communism. Martial Law wasn’t declared for personal gain! Why don’t you all declare history including what surrounded a leader’s hard decision, dammit!

        1. NO, NO , NO IT WAS NOT. The USA feared a youth rebellion in their country because the country was dragging teenagers to fight a war they did not want to fight in and had no business being in and were sending these teenagers back home in body bags…and they were sick of it and were protesting for the war to end.There was no ‘Communist threat’, get a clue you fuckin retard.
          The USA started that war to gain access to Vietnams rubber plants and Firestone/Goodyear/Bridgestone tire manufacturers did not want to cut Ho Chi Minh and his people in on the profits. Could you be any dumber?

        2. Partly true. The first two years of martial law gave a semblance of stability and unity in the country. Communism and the deteriorating peace and order was the reason given for the declaration of military rule. It was well received initially but eventually became unpopular when abuses and corruption starts to spread within the military and civilian authorities. Human rights violation abound and civil and political rights were emasculated.

          It was a “hard” decision, yes, but a very beneficial and productive one to those who benefitted from the fruits of military rule.

  14. @Janico:

    How about the specter of Benign Aquino, Sr. KALIBAPI crimes?Benigno Aquino Sr. was convicted with Treason; and was sentenced to hang as a War Criminal. He got lucky to be pardoned at the request of Gen, MacArthur.

    To use Martial Law , as a tool to frighten people is ridiculous.We are not children, or YellowTards, who can be frightened by “bogeymen”…we are mature, thinking people.

    My brother,who graduated in Medical school at U.P.; and who who is a retired Cardiologist, here in U.S., fought against Martial Law. Before, he migrated to California.

    He told me, Martial Law was not as awful, as portrayed by Aquino propagandists.

    There is a Filipino old-timer here, who can attest the crimes of Benigno Aquino, Sr. KALIBAPI, during World War II.

    1. If we’re to go by your theory of casting blame, it’s practically saying let’s punish the children or descendants of those people who did wrong in the past. Let us make the children answer/suffer for the shortcomings, real or imagined, of their elders. I don’t think that is what Jose Rizal meant or thought when he made a statement about our youth as the future of the country. Pointing to the past crimes of the other party will not really prove the innocence of the accusing party. It will only prove that everybody are guilty of the same crimes.

      I don’t think martial law is being use as a tool to frighten the people. Even if it is I don’t think there will be people who will get scared because martial law is a non-starter at this time. It was a fad in the ‘70s and ‘80s. It was the trend in the past that will be hard to repeat in the present. What actually was happening was, for lack of a legitimate issue against, for example Bongbong, people bring up the past that can be attached to him in order to put him on the defensive. And what better way to do it than drag his dictator father in the picture?

      Politics is all about points. Wherever you get it you must get it.

      I’m actually speaking about not putting too much fuss about martial law as a tool to frighten us not because it was harmless but because it is now being floated about as a handicapped, an obstacle on Bongbong’s path to frustrate his political ambition. It’s all politics.

      You know what’s scarier than the specter of martial law for some people? The possibility of Bongbong Marcos becoming the president of the country.

        1. I don’t know where the fear is coming from. Is it Bongbong doing a repeat performance of exactly what his father did or simply the hate generated by simply being a Marcos? Either way, the fear is baseless.

        2. @ Janico, You really don’t get it, do you? IT IS NOT FEAR !Its about getting what was stolen back(it is owed) and not allowing that money to be used again to further impoverish the people, and be enjoyed and utilized in the country as if that family were never exiled.
          They robbed the country blind and NOW the dumb as rocks Filipino’s have allowed the family to return and enjoy the riches that they stole, and if the past 20 years is any indication they are going to come up with their own forms of DAP,ZTE scandals and various other ways to rob what is not already nailed down, just like what FM started, it has NEVER stopped.It is obvious that they do not have to implement Martial Law as the way things have been set-up no one is doing anything to STOP the thievery.
          It is about breaking away from the past,COMPLETELY ! Something BB Marcos even encourages the Filipino to do! BUT idiotic Fail-ipino’s consider this statement incorrectly as getting rid of the current Commander in thief. DUH!!! Get it through your thick as shit skullz already, they are all thieves !!!
          Think about why Noy-noy is not mad at Bing-Bong? FM did not kill his Father, it was a ruse to implement was what was already outlined as to what was going to take place AFTER FM was exiled. AND IT WORKED TO perfection because Fail-ipino’s think with their collective emotions, DU-U-U-U-HHHHH!!!

          OMG, the country is hopelessly DOOMED.
          in 50 years the same shit will be happening.Better do something now to prevent it.

        3. Ummagumma,
          It’s about getting what was stolen? So, how do you do it? How’s the progress in the effort to get what was stolen? We can never solve the problem by just getting mad and confrontational. You can never find peace and closure by calling Filipinos dumb because they do not share the kind of thinking you have. Since we’re just talking, let’s talk civilly.

          You said they are all thieves and on the same breath talk about completely breaking away from the past. Doesn’t make sense. How can you break away from the past when they are all thieves?

          The country is hopelessly doomed that in 50 years the same shit will happen and then you want to do something now to prevent it? How can you do something when all people are thieves?

          I can sense fear, panic even, in what you wrote in your post. That could be the reason why you advanced nothing as a solution. You proposed nothing as a step towards improving the situation.

        4. @ Janico, FREEZE THE A$$ETS of the entire family, THATS HOW. Nowhere did I state anything about ‘Peace’,I did not.
          Imelda Marcos can be seen on youtube.com bragging about her 170 bank accounts. SEIZE THEM ALL, THAT IS HOW YOU DO IT !!!!

        5. …and while the people are at it, throw them out of their houses and seize them too !!! seize the cars,EVERYTHING !!! Convict them of crimes against the people and treason. THAT IS HOW !

          Dealing out some REALPENALTIES WILL HAVE AN EFFECT ON THE OTHER THIEVES AS WELL.

  15. These are the Real Threats to our country:

    (1) The BBL Law, promoted by Aquino and Roxas. Partitioning our country; like the Hezbollah in Lebanon. A State within a State. Aquino and Roxas proposed to finance the terrorists: MILF/ISIS/Al Queda, with our taxpayers’ money.

    (2) DAP, PDAF, PORK BARREL BRIBERY, etc…the unabated Plunder of the National Treasury, by Aquino , his cahoots, and his YellowTard followers.

    (3) The non implementation of the Land Reform Program. Done by Aquino and the Feudal Lords political leaders.

    (3) The widening gap, between the rich and the poor. You can just visit the Squatters (slum dwellers), who are living below human dignity.

    (4) The continued reliance of OFW remittance to float the Philippine economy.

    (5) The continued migration of Filipino brains, draining technical and scientific know how in our country.

    (5) The ignoring of the murders of the 44 SAF Police officers; and other murders of Army personnel, by Aquino, Roxas; and other responsible public officials. This strengthened the MILF/ISIS/Al Queda.

    (6) The invasion of Philippine territories by China. Again, ignored by Aquino, Roxas, and other responsible public officials.

    These are more frightening than the return of Martial Law. Because, they are staring straight into our faces, NOW. The Aquino era is solely to blame on these problems. They protected their own interests, the Feudal Lords interests, and the Oligarchy. They are incompetent and irresponsible.

    1. NO THEY ARE NOT, They are smart and good at what they do:Blinding idotic Filipino’s to the point that they think that change equals bring the old thief’s Son back to replace the current thief.

      OMG, the country might as well sink into the Pacific Ocean.

  16. It seems Filipinos are not really interested in solving problems. They are more interested in finding someone to blame. It’s likely because blaming someone gives the illusion of moral high ground, and it feels like solving the problem when it really worsens it.

    In this case, for why the Philippines is so backward and dysfunctional, it is popular to blame Marcos. But that’s actually the wrong answer. Blaming-addicted Filipinos fail to understand that the true reason behind the country’s dyfunctions is the very attitude of Filipinos themselves. Indeed, a significant cause is their very culture, composed of their beliefs vis-a-vis their actions. The laziness, the “me-first” attitude, the parochiality, the victim mentality, the arrogance through “Pinoy Pride,” and more. These are all part of what led to Marcos’s regime after all.

    But when faced with the obvious solution, Filipinos refuse to do it. They refuse to admit their own faults and take responsibility to do the proper action. Because it is easier to pass the buck and avoid responsibility and accountability. They don’t want to do anything! They want someone else to do it! They still wait for the Messiah who will spoil them rotten. But that will never come, since they are spoiled rotten anyway.

  17. Sadly, we are like Post-Reconquista Spain (or Medieval Europe for that matter), in which the majority simply believe their leaders (or rulers) who say that they are good and their enemies are bad.

    A black and white is a very narrow point of view, since a person can appear as a hero to one while simultaneously appearing as a villain to another. (Here’s an example, King David can be seen both as a ruthless conqueror to his enemies and an inspiring leader to his people.)

    The Yellows even have their own version of the Inquistion (Yellow Media and their rabid supporters) who label contrarian thoughts as some sort of heresy.

    Who knows, if the Aquinos tell them (yellows) that the earth is flat, they might believe it (Hopefully, I’m wrong in my last statement).

  18. When a government impose discipline and along the way some were killed they call it atrocity, but when a government let loose on criminality and drugs and other crimes , they call it incompetent and not doing its mandate to the people , saan ba tayo .. marcos declaration of martial law was legit and it was affirm by the SC.. there were obvious reasons for its imposition .. i dont know if some of you were already alive then ,to be able to assess the situation on its face value …
    With regards to the economic downfall of marcos , this happens , in 1984 to 1985,which resulted in negative growth , but did we ever asked our selves what precipitated or what caused this negative growth , was it because marcos is an incompetent manager or lousy economist , or was it because of politics and some of the policies of imf and world bank? Let us not forget that it was during marcos time that we posted the highest growth after the war at 8.9 and 8.8 percent .. it was then that our manufacturing sector was its best, compare our manufacturing capacity then and now , wala pa siguro sa kalahati ang meron tayo noon sa ngayon employing most graduates either in high school or college. It was then that we became rich self sufficient.. the infrastructure that we enjoy now , which is the very foundation of any growth to a country, was mostly marcos era.. tell me if without these massive infrastructure projects can we even say that we can sustain any growth, tiyak zero tayo .. remove the two express way , remove the mandaue bridge , the ports , the roads, saan kaya tayo , the rural electrification, the irrigation system , even tesda, which we call the. As nmyc.. the numerous state colleges and universities that were commissioned , saan kaya tayl ngayon …the diplomatic initiatives ,,,, we have to be objective to know more about history .. forget this never again , this slogan only impoverish this nation , drugs went unabated, crimjnality is rising , so thus with poverty…marami daw brownouts noon kay marcos , my gosh , it was marcos who introduced these cooperatives on electricity all throughout the country..it was he who persevered to light most of the rural municipalities .. anong brownout s hahah no wal pa ngang power ang karamihan noon naging president siya , look at the daya kung ilang porsiento my electric powerwhen he assumed office and when he depart, look waht was our literacy rate when he assumed office and when he was deposed, look at what we have before him and after him , even roads , my goodness mostly not cemented when he assumed office , when he left around 80 percent was already cemented.. it was he who built the highest number of schools in a particular year .. yan kasi hirap puro dada wala naman alam , his MARCOS TYPE BUILDINGS ARE STILL IN USE AS OF NOW

  19. So why does Duterte love Vladimir Putin? Putin is the worst kind of modern dictator, one who has made himself “king for life” and has brainwashed and tortured / killed his own people. I was living and working in Russia (and afterwards in Ukraine) before and during the tenure of Vladimir Putin. I saw first-hand how the politics of Putinism caused the elimination of the free press in Russia (and in Ukraine before the Maidan ‘EDSA’ revolution of 2014), then the rebellion and war in Ukraine – due mostly to Russia aggression. I also saw how Russian people were taken in by their leader, how his propaganda machine worked and continues to work today. No matter what anyone says, Russia today is still threatening its neighbors in Eastern Europe, the EU and the USA constantly. In real fact, Russia has been threatening its neighbors for the last century, and this doesn’t end. There is never any remorse for taking (back) the Crimea or parts of Eastern Ukraine, spreading propaganda to neighboring countries via Russia Today television and social media, making the lives of most Ukrainians stressful (torturing and killing enough of them as well) – or even Putin’s influence on the Russian people, for driving Russia to the edge internationally and economically. If you speak to most Russians, they will only say that there is propaganda everywhere and they just choose to believe their own propaganda. This misinformation theory is guided precisely by the Russian government, telling people that the USA and EU also create “propaganda” to their benefit and want to harm Russia. In the meantime, not only is the free press fairly destroyed in Russia, and politicians / journalists who oppose Putin often killed, but gays, demonstrators and other ethnic groups are often beaten in the streets by thugs. Russia has for the most part been turned into a xenophobic, homophobic state with a silent majority who just sit home and watch everything on television. Those brave souls who demonstrate against the government endure harassment, imprisonment, or even assassination. Is this the dark road the Philippines is going down?

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