The REAL reason Marcos and Martial Law issues will remain unresolved


A discussion on Marcos and the Martial Law years inevitably results in someone making a comparison between Marcos and World War II-era Nazi Germany. Oftentimes, parallels are drawn, such as the use of propaganda, the culpability for hundreds of thousands who lost their lives, etc. Perhaps, most strikingly, the two are often put side by side in order to demonstrate the difference in “remorse” between the two entities.

Through the years, the Germans, for the most part, have seemingly done everything to distance themselves from the Nazi years collectively; Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany and some other European countries. More striking is how Germany has managed to emerge as one of the most powerful economies in Europe and the world, despite going through tumultuous times after World War II, and during the Cold War era.

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In the Philippines, however, public opinion is still deeply divided over whether the Marcoses were good or bad for the country, and whether they should apologize for what happened during the Martial Law years. Compounding the dilemma of those who oppose the Marcoses is that the Philippines generally remained impoverished after the family was ousted; the Aquinos, the family at the center of the anti-Marcos movement, had turned in underwhelming and lackluster performances as public servants. Unsurprisingly, Filipinos have been inclined to give “the bad guy” a second look due to the mediocrity institutionalized by Cory Aquino and her son, Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III.

The latest slap on the face for the anti-Marcos movement is President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to allow Ferdinand Marcos Sr. to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. People who agree with the anti-Marcos movement have taken to social media to make known their staunch opposition to the burial. An example of commentary on this issue is from ABS-CBN TV personality Atom Araullo:

Ferdinand Marcos is no hero. He does not deserve honors from the state, representing the people. Did we not settle this debate 30 years ago?.

The simple answer is, no, Filipinos have settled nothing; the simple reason “this debate” has not been resolved is: Filipinos have not been able to definitively and decisively defeat the Marcoses.

Let’s discuss world history a bit for a moment once again. Historians generally believe that the Romans sealed the defeat of Carthage by sowing salt into the earth to keep it from being rebuilt. The end of World War II was that both the Japanese and the Germans surrendered unconditionally. Surrendering unconditionally is an example of a definitive and decisive defeat. We must mention, of course, that the leveling of German and Japanese cities with bombs helped get the message across: surrender or endure more of it.

In the case of the Marcoses, what would have been a definitive and decisive defeat? The key figures, if not all of them, including Ferdinand Sr.’s immediate family, put in jail with the key thrown away, or executed. Filipinos could have prevented them from setting foot on Philippine soil ever again. All Martial Law supporters and sympathizers could have been made “to disappear”. Legislation could have been passed in order to block any possible return of the Marcos influence. Putting into action the maxim, “success is the best revenge”, Filipinos could have shown that they could sustain economic, social, and political development after and without the Marcoses.

All of these and much more could have been done to make the Marcoses irrelevant. Alas, count on Filipinos to screw something up. Whatever methods the influential people and “the victors” used to shape public opinion, as time went by, lost their effectiveness.

What happened? The root cause is that Filipinos, in no uncertain terms, allowed the Marcoses, when they were still unequivocally “the enemy”, to escape alive and regain their strength and support base. Now it has come back to bite them in the ass; the anti-Marcos movement seems dumfounded that there is still substantial support for the Marcoses despite everything that has been done to discredit them.

What options does the anti-Marcos movement have at this point? After 30 years, what evidence can they chase down to get a court to send the Marcoses to jail? What ideas and logic can be used to counter the resurgent positive regard for that family, if Filipinos feel that life after them has not improved at all?

The anti-Marcos movement, if they can manage to keep themselves in check, has the option of sitting down with other elements, those who have a more favorable view of the Marcoses and Martial Law, and discuss and form a more comprehensive, more balanced, more objective assessment and account of Martial Law. As a colleague of mine said, it should also include a detailed discussion of the geopolitical landscape of the time, and thus, provide the overall context for the declaration of Martial Law. As Manila Times columnist Rigoberto Tiglao has pointed out, the Marcos issue is one where media and the academe have failed the Filipinos.

The Laban (fight) to hold the Marcoses accountable seems, unfortunately, a lost cause. 30 years of blaming that family for the continued impoverishment of the Philippines, and the consequent dropping of the ball by subsequent governments, have rendered attempts to close the issue useless. The mere fact that they have been able to eke out political careers since they returned in 1991, above all things, would make them think, “what apology?”

In accounting terms, two items under Accounts Receivable, the Marcoses’ allegedly ill-gotten wealth, and the apology for the Martial Law years, may need to be written off.

The sad part is, Filipinos have only themselves to blame for the lack of closure. To date, the lack of any collective resolve by Filipinos as a people to put to bed this “debate” and others like it once and for all is a character flaw that will indefinitely impede the progress of their society.

[Photo courtesy: Sydney Morning Herald]

19 Replies to “The REAL reason Marcos and Martial Law issues will remain unresolved”

  1. That reminds me of this:

    30 years, they had all the chance to make the Marcoses accountable, and 30 years they have failed. And now, they want the Junior Marcos to apologize in lieu of their failure. What a convenient way to cover their miserable failures. Indeed, the most dangerous lies are those that are nearest to the truths.

    1. very true, and some media always use the people where there are only few of them against Marcos burial. they are discounting many people who are just as able to decide as they do.

    2. For 30 yrs. they keep blaming Marcos in there propaganda…30 yrs not they never file a criminal case on Marcos instead they went first on his wealth…they keep looking of those money but they forgot to file cases of killings and tortured…a lot of activist said they were tortured by the military…I hope they recognized them by name also..Enrile is also a member and a chief of staff of Marcos…he knows a lot about this but no one not even one activist that tortured implicate Enrile of crime if there is one happened…up to now..according to Enrile why not even one members from anti-Marcos want to invite him for questioning of what really done during ML….he said…they keep blaming Marcos of crimes that he didn’t do that was done by the military and I am there during those days but not one of them try to discuss with me so that I can answer all there queries…bakit nga ba di nila imbestigahan si Enrile…

      1. It sounds funny because Potenciano “Chito” Roque supposedly opened the safe and discovered the hidden Marcos wealth following their departure in Malacanang. Chito claimed he found the combination written on the wall? The sad outcome to this wealth discovery was that documents were turned over to Agapito Butz Aquino and diamonds to Cory Aquino. During the trial in New York against the Marcoses, Chito testified in favor of the PCGG. His testimony that he turned over diamonds to Cory Aquino and documents to Agapito Butz Aquino was a crucial evidence that lead to the total embarrassment of the Philippines government.

  2. all this mess up to the Philippine Republic started in 1957 when hacienda luisita was sold and paid by the government for the farmers which is really their own land before a spanish governor sequestered it. then ninoy was assigned as the administrator for the farmers on how to a better productivity. and greed and betrayal follows. now who mess up the nation, marcos or ninoy? the aquino-cojuangco clan will never surrender hacienda luisita and nobody knows why.

  3. The “real reason” is Marcos is Dead. He is not around to put an end to the issues that the Yellow Party oligarchs are keeping alive, to deflect the attention from what they’re actually doing: raping the country of its wealth and robbing the people of their quality of life.

    The media-brainwashed Filipinos just have to ask themselves the following question to get the answer. How does the Henry Sys, Ayala-Zobels, Manny Villars, and Lopezes of this country become billionaires and millionaires while the masses become OFWs or wallow in poverty?

    Because Marcos is Dead.

    1. Please include the fact that ABS-CBN colluded with Jose Maria Sison and Nur Misuari in demonizing President Marcos.

  4. Without Marcos as the bogeyman, the yellows would not have reason to exist. So they have to keep the “Marcos is evil” tale alive to keep themselves relevant.

    The yellows don’t really care about the “sins” committed during the Marcos regime. Look at how they let the PCGG totally fail at pursuing cases against the Marcoses. Look at how they now go to so much effort to make superficial noise about the burial non-issue but don’t do anything to correct systemic abuses in government that Cory and Noynoy were as guilty of as Marcos. At least Marcos got a lot of things done that we still benefit from to this day. The two Aquinos were completely useless.

    Thank God the yellow media can’t brainwash the Filipino masses anymore. I can’t wait to see the day when ABS-CBN and Inquirer fold up because Facebook and Google have eaten up their ad revenue.

  5. The Marcos burial issue, is a stupid way of Aquino and his cahoots of YellowTards, to cover his affiliation with the Chinese Triad Mafia crime syndicate ; with the Shabu Drug proliferation problem, that was created by Aquino, himself.

    The political Drug Lords; the Drug Traffickers; the Shabu manufacturers are all happy. Along with De Lima, and her criminals in Bilibid National Prison. Who made the Bilibid Prison, a five star Hilton Hotel; their Command Center for their Shabu Drug Trafficking; Shabu Drug Mfg. Co; and an Armed Camps, with weapons of High calibers. Bilibid Prison also became a Bank, with billions of pesos deposited under the prison floor.

    This happened under/during the administration of Aquino; under the watch of De Lima; under the protection of Mar Roxas ; Porky Drilon ; the YellowTards ; the Liberal Party; etc…

    Marcos burial issue…What a way to cover Aquino’s crimes ! Adolf Hitler, did not even thought of this evil way to hide his crimes !

  6. Marcos burial issue can’t cover up the failures of Cory Aquino and his son Noynoy Aquino. For 30 years they’ve the opportunities to improve the lives of the poor and average Filipinos, but they failed miserably. Yes, the Oligarch and their Chinese friends became billionaires and super rich, leaving majority of our people suffers. The Proliferations of Drug, Corruptions in the government, and the expert looting of the people’s money by the corrupt officials of our government under Noynoy Aquinos administration; are living proofs of the Failures of the Aquinos, and the 1986 failed people power as a whole. Sorry, they can no longer fool the awakened Filipino people of the Aquinos lies. Plus the Hacienda Luisita Massacre issues and the Aquinos failure to give the lands to the Farmers; and the subsequent many Massacres are the glaring Sins of the Aquinos. Please …
    Let Marcos burial be at the LNMB… Let the will of the millions Filipinos be done…with the blessing of our beloved Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte.
    God bless us all.

  7. de lima kept on insisting that the photos of her with the drug lords partying were photoshop. it easy to detect if it’s photoshop or not. just blow up the pixels and check if it’s been broken or not. if not, jail her.

    1. And she let that guy upload his music video on youtube while filming inside the Bilibid. And the rest as you know, its history.

  8. Get Imelda, the old witch, to cough up all the CA$H and distribute it to every citizen in the country and that will resolve the major part of the problem.

    1. Tell it like it it…..,

      We’ll probably have as much chance of demanding Imelda to “cough up all the Ca$H”–that she and husband had stolen–as the billions of dollars the Yellow Party oligarch, and their Chinese and Koreans business partners, have fleeced from the country ‘s natural resources and economy in the last 30 years.

      It’s not a question of “who’s the lesser thief of the two sets of thieves (the Marcoses or the Yellow Cartel)?” Instead, the question we should ask ourselves is, “which of these sets of assholes and bitches have done more for the people of this country that made the lives of the people a little more tolerable?”


    2. @Tell it like it:

      The Aquino Cojuangco families, had stolen more than what the Marcoses, had stolen.

      Cojuangco family stole the whole Philippine treasury…that became the Hacienda Luisita !

      Let us make them cough up what they had stolen, with interests. It seems, you see the one side; then omit the other side ! Dimwit Yellowtard !

  9. We’ll probably have as much chance of demanding Imelda to “cough up all the Ca$H”–that she and husband had stolen–as the billions of dollars the Yellow Party oligarch, and their Chinese and Koreans business partners, have fleeced from the country natural resources and economy in the last 30 years.

    It’s not a question of “who’s the lesser thief of the two sets of thieves (the Marcoses or the Yellow Cartel)?” Instead, the question we should ask ourselves is, “which of these sets of assholes and bitches have done more for the people of this country that made the lives of the people a little more tolerable?”

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