Interesting that lobbing charges of “historical revisionism” upon vice presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos has become a popular fashion statement amongst pro-administration “activists”. Leading the charge is the faculty of the Ateneo de Manila University which recently thrust the esteemed Jesuit-run institution of learning into the partisan fray after 400 of its members signed a statement condemning Marcos for supposedly bending the truth about “atrocities” allegedly committed under the government of his farther, the late former President Ferdinand E. Marcos.
But who is the real historical revisionist?
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The camp of Liberal Party presidential candidate Mar Roxas has gone the whole nine yards publishing a comic book portraying a revised account of Roxas’s role in the Typhoon Haiyan disaster that left tens of thousands of Filipinos dead in late 2013. The comic book titled Sa Gitna ng Unos (“In the midst of a storm”) was reportedly the project of “supporters of the Liberal Party standard-bearer” and is endorsed by the Daang Matuwid Coalition. According to its spokesman, Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez (translated from Tagalog to Engish in the Interaksyon.com report)…
The comics were produced by supporters who want to inform our countrymen of all that Mar did during Yolanda. This was done because of all the lies being peddled about all that he did. As a comic book, it naturally dramatizes. The truth about all that Mar did during Yolanda has long been established. His record is clear, and we stand by this.
The cover handily encapsulates the theme of this historical revision of what happened in the horrific days when the planet’s most powerful storm in history hit the Philippines. Filipinos, suffice to say, were not impressed. Manila Times columnist Katrina Stuart-Santiago, in a widely-shared Facebook post had this to say…
I don’t know where the gall and temerity, the kabastusan of this matuwid-na-daan comes from, but apparently none of the things we know about Typhoon Haiyan, none of the stories of those who survived, none of the reports that talked about the inefficiency and insensitivity and lack of compassion of this government, none of that matters.
Because now Mar Roxas is a hero in his own comics, which is so obviously about the strongest storm to ever make landfall, and so obviously NOT about how he and his government messed up rescue, relief, and rehabilitation efforts in Samar and Leyte.
But real eyewitness accounts of the way Roxas conducted himself as leader of the Philippine government’s disaster response operations back then reveal anything but heroism. Get Real Post writer Ilda observed during the height of the ineffective relief operations being undertaken by the Philippine government at the time how the true lame character of then Department Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Roxas was all but exposed in an interview with CNN reporter Andrew Stevens…
Stevens appeared frustrated over not getting an accurate assessment of the relief and rescue efforts from Roxas considering they were both in the disaster zone. It was as if they were both seeing the same thing – chaos, survivors begging for food and water and dead bodies lying around – except that the DILG secretary still insisted that the situation was under control.
Even more outrageous is that in the midst of the chaos and unnecessary loss of life reigning around his, by then, evidently botched handling of the disaster, Roxas remained a true-blue Liberal Party politician. Not one to miss an opportunity to remind Mayor Alfred Romualdez of Tacloban City, epicentre of the astounding tragedy unfolding at the time, of the bigger scheme of things surrounding the occasion, Roxas let loose the most memorable quote of the disaster during a crisis meeting…
You’re a Romualdez and the President is an Aquino. We just want to legalize this. If it’s not legalized then, ok, you’re in charge. Bahala kayo sa buhay niyo.
Again, Get Real Post writer Ilda, does not mince words in her interpretation of the Secretary’s position on the matter of the terms of the national government’s delivery of assistance to the embattled mayor…
It is undeniable that all that Roxas wanted was for Romualdez to put in writing that he was unable to function as the Mayor. He wanted it for the record.
The full video of the meeting follows for reference.
Lottie Salarda, a writer who resides in Tacloban City who saw enough of how Roxas “handled” preparations through to the response in the aftermath of the storm was right when she wrote in a Facebook post, “To all Roxas supporters, I’m sorry but your Presidential candidate is insane.”
How much more blatant insanity in both Roxas and his legions of emo supporters will Filipino voters continue to turn a blind eye to? It remains to be seen.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.