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Lakbayan 1985

In 1985, a big rally was held in Manila highlighting the urgent demands of the peasantry. It was a five-day march called Lakbayan, originating from various points in Luzon and converging at Manila's Liwasang Bonifacio. It would end on October 21.


But the marchers never reached Liwasang Bonifacio. Just before noon of October 21, 1985, police forcibly broke into their ranks while they were at Taft Avenue. Emannuel Lazo was one of those shot to death by the police on this day.

LAZO, Emmanuel L.

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Emmanuel Lazo was the “quiet and well-behaved” son of a peasant couple in Barangay Bintawan, Villaverde, Nueva Vizcaya, the youngest of their children. When he entered college and became an activist, his gift for writing, drawing and the stage found expression in the people’s movement against the dictatorship.

The country fell under martial law when he was in grade school, but it was in high school when Manny Lazo started to be bothered by the problems he saw around him and the larger Philippine society. His hometown had by then become highly militarized, and he knew abuses were rampant.

In 1985, as soon as he entered the Central Luzon State University in Munoz, Nueva Ecija, he joined the League of Filipino Students. Lazo also helped organize a cultural group called Akda (Alyansa ng Kabataan sa Dula at Awit) and performed in plays, sang songs and recited poetry during rallies. He was often the lead in Akda's street plays, sometimes taking the role of an activist, a guerrilla in the anti-Japanese resistance, or even national hero Andres Bonifacio. Often he drew political cartoons, posting these on the door of his locker in the college campus. The assassination of former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. touched him and he made a sketch of Aquino with the caption: "Who is this man? Who was the assassin?"

In 1985, when people’s protests were erupting everywhere against the dictatorship, a big rally was held in Manila highlighting the urgent demands of the peasantry: Lower the price of farm inputs like fertilizer and pesticides. Stabilize farmgate prices. Lower interest rates on production loans. Implement genuine agrarian reform. Stop militarization of the countryside.

It was to be a five-day march called Lakbayan, originating from various points in Luzon and converging at Manila's Liwasang Bonifacio. It would end on October 21. Ten thousand people joined, among them Lazo and his friends. He had never been to Manila before.

But the marchers never reached Liwasang Bonifacio as planned. Just before noon of that day, along Taft Avenue, police forcibly broke into their ranks. Patrol cars rammed the marchers. This was followed by smoke bomb explosions and pistol shots. The rallyists ran in different directions. Lazo was separated from his group and was last heard shouting to his companions to keep close together: "Mga Nueva Ecija, mga Nueva Ecija, huwag kayong maghihiwalay!" Someone then saw him fall, a bullet having pierced his skull. Another young marcher, Danilo Valcos, was himself killed as he tried to help the victims.

Manny’s brother Elmer – who had voluntarily foregone college in order to support Manny’s desire for further studies – passed by the scene of the tragedy just minutes after the shooting, not knowing that his younger brother had just fallen there, age 17.

LAURELLA, Francisco "Frank" C.

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Francisco Laurella learned about responsibility for others early in life. Their father having died during the Japanese occupation, he looked after his family, including three younger sisters, even before reaching his teenage years.

Determined to pursue his studies, he went to Manila and earned a teacher’s certificate and (in 1966) a teacher’s degree from the Arellano University. He taught social studies subjects in Paniqui, Tarlac then in Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya. He met and married Belen Mabbayad in Bagabag, and the couple then moved to Diffun in Quirino province, where they settled down and brought up their three children.

At school, Laurella was a fatherly disciplinarian. He coached the boys' basketball and girls' softball teams.

In 1971, he left his teaching job to work on the family farm in Diffun. He also ran for municipal councilor. Despite the lack of backing from the major political parties, Laurella won and served his term. But then martial law was imposed in 1972. Because of it, Laurella made a decision not to seek reelection or engage in any more political activities.

After many years as a private citizen, Laurella knew it was time to stand up and be counted when a 1986 snap presidential election was called. He joined the United Nationalist Democratic Organization (Unido), and openly campaigned for Corazon Aquino. This exposed him and his family to great risk, as Quirino province was then ruled by the warlord Orlando Dulay, a Marcos ally.

As the antidictatorship movement grew stronger nationwide, Laurella found the courage to become even bolder, delivering speeches to urge his provincemates to support a change in the political regime. Speaking over the local radio in Cauayan, Isabela, two days before the election, he lambasted the Marcos regime, saying: "We are buried in debt. We have been sold away by President Marcos. The next generations will not be able to pay off all these loans. The government has to be changed."

On the night of February 6, 1986, Laurella was with Fernando Pastor Sr. and the latter’s son, Fernando Jr. when they were intercepted at a security checkpoint. The three were brought to the governor's residence where they were detained in a van for three days. Then they were killed, and their bodies thrown into a creek in Barangay Balete in Diadi, Nueva Vizcaya. Balete residents found them four days later.

Quirino governor Orlando Dulay was arrested for the kidnapping and murder, and in 1993 the Supreme Court affirmed the life sentence imposed on him by the Quezon City regional trial court.

Frank Laurella and the two other Unido leaders were posthumously awarded by their party and by the provincial government of Quirino in 1990 for their “supreme sacrifice and courage for the cause of truth, justice and democracy."

LANSANG, Lorenzo Bonifacio C.

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The youngest child of two university professors, Lorenzo, called Nik, was fondly considered a genius by his family. He started reading at age three and wrote verses too. By the time he was in sixth grade, he was said to have read through all the volumes of Collier's Encyclopedia, aside from becoming totally engrossed in the book, Philippine Society and Revolution, authored by Amado Guerrero, and other sociopolitical writings. Drawing on a prodigious memory, he would discuss all the main battles of the First and Second World Wars. Like his father and one brother, he was proficient in writing essays as well as poems.

When Lansang entered the Philippine Science High School in 1970, his political involvement deepened, especially after joining the Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan. With the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in 1971, he went fulltime into youth and community organizing, living in a very poor section of Tondo in Manila, having been "adopted" into the home of a family there. He left school by his second year.

After the declaration of martial law, when he was 16, Lansang went to join the guerrilla underground in Quezon province. There, for close to three years, he lived among the marginalized farmers and fisherfolk along the Pacific coast, helping them to analyze and find solutions to their problems.

One day in February 1976, Lansang was in a car with five others, bringing rice and food supplies to Quezon from Manila. Apparently, they were being trailed by constabulary forces that caught up with them in Barangay Cagsiay I in Mauban town. Lansang and three of his comrades, one of them a pregnant woman named Leah Masajo, were shot dead and buried in a common grave in Lucena City. He was 19 years old.

LAGMAN, Hermon C.

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As early as in his high school days, Hermon Lagman who was student council president and editor-in-chief of the school paper, showed the qualities of a principled and uncompromising student activist when he protested and editorialized irregularities in the results of the competency examinations for graduating students.

In college, he led and organized rallies and demonstrations, and expressed his nationalist views as a senior editor of the Philippine Collegian and as editor-in-chief of the Law Register, official organ of the law students at the University of the Philippines.

When he passed the bar in 1971, he became a militant advocate of labor rights, offering his services free especially to workers pursuing cases of illegal layoffs and unfair labor practices. He was a volunteer lawyer of the Citizens'Legal Aid Society in the Philippines and a founding member of the Free Legal Assistance Group.

Lagman was among the lawyers arrested after the declaration of martial law in 1972. He was kept in prison for two months without charges. From detention, he wrote to his mother Cecilia:

"At sunrise today, while standing idly in the morning cold, I saw two sparrows perched together…. (They) looked at us human beings here, and I looked at them. They seemed to have more understanding than some men…. At noon today, two clients came…. They cried…. I always dream here of all of you. We have a surfeit of energy for dreams."

He was arrested again in 1976 but released on the same day. At that time, labor groups had grown increasingly militant, staging pickets and strikes and resisting repressive martial law edicts. Lagman was legal counsel to many of these labor unions, notably the Kaisahan ng Malayang Manggagawa sa La Tondeña Inc. which spearheaded the historic first open defiance of the martial law ban on strikes and other mass actions.

On May 11, 1977, Lagman and his associate Victor Reyes left Quezon City to attend a meeting in Pasay City when they disappeared. Someone who refused to identify himself called Lagman's mother to say that he had been abducted. Searches and inquiries by relatives and friends in military camps and known detention facilities have failed to ascertain the fate and whereabouts of the two victims of enforced disappearance.

Hermon C. Lagman showed a deep and abiding commitment to the causes he espoused, and a fearlessness in living such a commitment. Said his mother: “…My son, although outwardly gentle and unassuming, was an angry young man. But his anger was not the mock anger of a showman, but the strong, silent rage of a warrior.”

LADLAD, Ma. Leticia J. Pascual

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Leticia Pascual loved books. As a young girl, she was "laman ng bookstore,"and by sixth grade serious philosophical works were part of her reading fare. Her intellectual interests were nurtured by her parents; her father, a pediatrician, was once director of the Philippine General Hospital and her mother a professor in graduate school.

Pascual excelled as a student at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños (UPLB), where she was expected to graduate magna cum laude in agricultural chemistry. But her nose was not always buried in books. Tish, as friends called her, joined the Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan and co-founded the UP Cultural Society and the League of Editors for a Democratic Society. In her third year she became the first woman editor of the student paper Aggie Green and Gold.

Although Pascual grew up in the city and had a relatively sheltered middle-class upbringing, she rapidly became aware of the social and political realities that the country’s poor had to live with. Her writings began to show this deepening understanding of her country's politics, especially when she actually started making extended visits to Southern Luzon farming communities and learning about their problems.

Her parents were worried for Tish (who was frail), but they realized that it was a decision they could understand and respect, and admired her for it. When Marcos suspended the writ of habeas corpus in 1971, she left her studies and continued to work among the peasant farmers in Laguna and Quezon provinces. In 1973 she married fellow activist Vicente Ladlad and gave birth to their daughter in 1975.

In late November of 1975, she left home to meet with some comrades in the area of Paco Church in Manila; she expected to return later that day. The group all disappeared without a trace. Parents and friends looked for her at the defense and constabulary headquarters but their efforts were fruitless.

Leticia Ladlad

LACABA, Emmanuel "Eman" Agapito F.

Lacaba, Emmanuel

Emmanuel Lacaba was a poet who searched for meaning and relevance in his art and life, and discovered these in the midst of the Filipino masses.

He won many awards as a poet, fictionist, essayist and playwright; he was a magazine illustrator, a stage actor and a production hand. He taught at the University of the Philippines, wrote songs, practiced the martial and even the occult arts. He was an honor student from grade school to high school (studying in the United States for one year as an exchange scholar), and he went to college on a full scholarship.

“Flower child” Eman Lacaba started to show political awareness during the First Quarter Storm of 1970, when he began taking part in political actions. He named his two daughters, born during that period, Miriam Manavi Mithi Mezcaline Mendiola, and Emanwelga Fe.

Lacaba was teaching a course on Rizal's life and works when he was arrested and detained due to his participation in a labor strike. He lost his job at the UP as a result.

In 1974 he decided to join the New People’s Army (NPA) in South Cotabato. He took the name Popoy Dakuykoy, an allusion to a comic book character whose name he had once used for a character in an epic poem he had written in the 1960s.

His passion for writing was well known. When he ran out of paper to use, he wrote on the back of cigarette foil wrappers. In one of his poems, he described himself as the "shy young poet forever writing last poem after last poem," the "brown Rimbaud" who became a people's warrior.

Lacaba had been with the NPA two years when, in March 1976, an informer led a troop of soldiers to the peasant hut where he and his fellow guerrillas had spent the night. With no warning shots or calls for surrender, the soldiers opened fire. All the guerrillas were killed immediately, except Lacaba and a pregnant teenager who were both wounded. They were being taken to Tagum, Davao del Norte, when the sergeant who headed the soldiers gave the instruction "not to bring anyone back alive."

The pregnant woman was first to be shot dead, then Lacaba, who is said to have dared the informer, "Go ahead, finish me off." The informer had then put a .45-caliber pistol into his mouth and fired. Lacaba's mother claimed her son’s body later.

Eman Lacaba is perhaps the first nationally-known creative writer who joined the armed struggle against the Marcos dictatorship. Poems and articles were written about him after his death. A collection of his poems, Salvaged Poems, was published posthumously in 1986. Another collection, Salvaged Prose, of his short stories, plays and essays, came out in 1992.

JUCO, Estelita G.

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Resistance to the dictatorship was a shared undertaking of the Filipino people, and it included middle-class professionals as well as students and workers, peasants as well as government employes, armed revolutionary fighters as well as advocates of nonviolence.

Estelita Juco was a teacher for 36 years at St. Paul’s College, an exclusive girls’ school where she herself had studied from the elementary grades to her graduation with a bachelor’s degree in education summa cum laude. She taught courses in English, journalism, sociology, public relations, and history, among others. She was the longtime moderator, or adviser, of the school newspaper, the Paulinian.

Before that she had been a well-known student leader in the 1950s, having been very active in the College Editors Guild, the Student Catholic Action, the Conference Delegates Association and the Student Council Association.

As a teenager, Juco was seriously wounded in the final days of World War II, during the Battle of Manila. Her family had taken refuge in the Philippine General Hospital, not far from where they lived, as the bombing intensified and the fighting raged between American and Japanese troops. Juco’s younger brother died as they lay wounded together; she found herself disabled, blind in one eye, right arm and left knee both gone. Years after the end of the war, she was sent to Japan for three months for a leadership training course. While there she won many friends, including members of the imperial family, for speaking as a victim of the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, but having no bitterness towards Japan.

Juco’s political activism was manifested in the 1950s when she campaigned for Ramon Magsaysay as president, who won in 1953, then successively for Manuel Manahan (1957) and Raul Manglapus (1964), who both lost.

Under martial law, she joined several of the groups that formed the budding opposition, among them Joaquin P. Roces's Taza de Oro group. With journalist Jose Burgos Jr. she helped revive the College Editors Guild (which had been abolished) as the Metropolitan Association of College Editors. But while Juco was “totally against the dictatorship,” according to a friend, “she was also very much against violence. She would not hear of resorting to it even to topple what to her was a repressive regime. She was in fact an advocate of non-violence.”

In 1980 she was invited by Burgos to write a column for We Forum ("Once More with Feeling") and later for Malaya ("Woman in the City of Man.") She criticized martial law, decried human rights violations and lambasted Imelda Marcos' increasingly frivolous activities, exulting afterward that “nothing can quite surpass the excitement and tremulous satisfaction of those weekly pieces of ‘brinkmanship’ that challenged the Conjugal Dictatorship when Freedom lay dying and human life was cheap.” One night her house mysteriously burned down, and she suspected that the fire had something to do with a particularly critical column she wrote about Imelda Marcos.

When Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. was assassinated in 1983, Juco's activism became more militant. She wrote increasingly bold articles, joined street marches against the dictatorship, and helped organize St. Paul alumnae to join the protest actions. She campaigned for Corazon Aquino’s election to the presidency.

After martial law had ended, Juco retired from teaching and was appointed as sectoral representative of women and the disabled in the first post-dictatorship Congress. She held the post for two years until her death on July 12, 1989.

Toym Imao: Voltes V and Martial Law

toym imao

Posted by Toym Imao on Facebook:
When the evil forces of Historical Revisionists invade social media with the intent of infecting the Filipino People with a plague of amnesia and ignorance armed with deadly Brain Washing Blasters and Cluster Bombs of Lies, It is time to pull out the "Sword of Heaven" aka "Lazer Sword" and strike down those who threaten our sense of decency, common sense and pursuit of justice for all those who were wronged in the past. LETS VOLT IN!!! (Photo by Albert Labrador)

Photos and article excerpts about this installation art are from Manila Times, Interaksyon, and toymimao.com.

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According to the artist, he pulled the idea of the carroza from his childhood memories of processions during the Holy Week.

“It also plays around the idea of something put into a pedestal,” Imao further explained as he gave a brief guided tour at the exhibit’s launch this week.

On this pedestal is an assemblage of figures that contributed greatly to Marcos’ rise to power. It features an effigy of the dictator’s head with the Malacañang Palace atop it, and the Batasang Pambansa and Bataan Nuclear Power Plant along the sides. Also on top of the former president’s head is San Miguel, protected by the Voltes V armor, brandishing a sword to show the effects of Martial Law through the lines of riot police below.

Along the bottom of the carroza are images of Voltes V’s villains, characters from Planet Boazania that tried to conquer Earth. It is symbolic of how the military tried to control the freedom of Filipinos in the past. Finally, the Latin words “Nunquam Rursus” are written at the top of the installation, to mean “Never Again.”

The 13-feet installation took Imao about a year to complete. Due to budget constraints, the artist had to work alternately between commissioned projects and the completion of “Last, Lost, Lust”. He employed two extra pairs of hands at a time for the first version of the carroza, while it took another dozen helpers to put the this upgraded and updated version together,

As iconic as Voltes V may have been during his time, Imao recognizes the fact that today’s generation may not be too familiar with the ‘70s Japanese animated series, and in the same vein, what took place during Martial Law. He also lamented revisionist statements on Facebook where the younger generation is made to believe that the Marcos’ dictatorship had actually been “the golden age of Philippine history.”

Nevertheless, it is Imao’s hope that his installation will “generate questions” among the youth that will compel them to uncover the truth behind the darkest period of the Marcos regime.

“That martial law is a machine that invades our normal lives,” he concluded.

(Toym Imao, ‘Voltes V’ and the ills of Martial Law, Manila Times)

toymimao voltes

A large-standing installation compels people walking around Makati Avenue corner Dela Rosa Streets to step back and take a glance. The installation at the front of Ayala Museum made of brass, galvanized iron, and fiberglass stands at 396.2 cm high or around 13 feet, and is composed of imageries of Martial Law, referenced from the popular Japanese mecha anime series, Voltes V.

Created by multimedia visual artist Toym Imao, the artwork entitled “Last, Lost, Lust for Four Forgotten Episodes,” the carroza-like installation is a reflection of his ire when the last four episodes of Voltes V were cut off from broadcast by the Philippine government in the 1970s due to its alleged “excessive violence.”

“I wanted to do something that is whimsical on the outside but as we go through the details of the particular work, there are a lot of imagery embedded,” shared Imao, during the press launch of Ayala Museum’s newest outdoor gallery, the Open Space, where his work is first featured work.

“The humble goal of this work is to generate questions and inquiry; to encourage discussion. It doesn’t seek to represent an entire history but rather for a number of people to be curious about, or happen to experience this particular event.  It starts a conversation between a child and his parent, a child and his uncle, a friend, a lolo, or a kuya,” he added.

Imao explained that the installation is set on a carroza or carriage transporting religious icons during a parade—a spectacle that amazed him when he was a child. Seeing this image during Holy Weeks, he incorporated the carroza in his installation and used it as a pedestal for his work.

He represented former president Ferdinand Marcos as Prince Zardoz of Boazania, the main antagonist of the mecha series iconically known having a horn. At the back of the Marcos’ image was a representation of Malacanan Palace. Surrounding his image were also institutions like the Bataan Nuclear Powerplant, and Cultural Center of the Philippines—”institutions, that have been appropriated by the state to propel certain programs and interest that is perceived with the concept of new society  of the former president,” as expressed by the artist.

Imao also incorporated the image of the San Miguel bottle art, where Archangel Michael is depicted donning a costume reminiscent of Voltes V’s armor. Paying homage to the original artist of the bottle art, Fernando Amorsolo, this scene also depicts the classic battle between good and evil.

Hovering above Archangel Michael’s image is a latin phrase that reads, “nunquam tursus,” which translates to “Never Again.”

The installation used galvanized iron, a metaphor to the “iron fist” implemented during that period. Imao shared, “The entire motif is in a very distressed iron as visual metaphor of the iron fist implemented that time.”

First lady Imelda Marcos is also depicted at the back of the carroza as Zandra, the love interest of Prince Zardoz.

Having a rich imagery in his installation, Imao still plans to add more specific details throughout the duration of the exhibit at Open Space, which is six weeks. Imao plans to do this for the people to see that the work is “growing.”

(Memory and anger rekindled in Toym Imao’s installation art on Voltes V and Martial Law, Interaksyon)

Marcos Revisionism

This is a repost of a two-part article (Marcos Revisionism Part I: Time to Sound the Alarm and Part II: Half Truths and Fallacies of Marcos) written by Chempo that can be found at the Society of Honor website. According to a note by JoeAm, the article is "rich with historical facts and perspectives on a matter of considerable argument; where deductions are made, they are solely the opinion of the writer. Readers are advised to apply their own judgment or seek further information on contentious issues."

We hope this would encourage Bantayog website's readers to read more and learn more about that dark period of our country's history.

The photos are from various sources: Aquilino Pimentel Jr, and the book Martial Law in the Philippines from Xiao Time's posts, from the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant archives, from the Bong Bong Marcos Facebook page, from Inquirer (the mural Salvaged Memories of Randalf Dilla / Hiraya Art Gallery) and from Wikipedia.

SEATO

Time to Sound the Alarm

Herminio Disini was a Marcos crony and golfing pal back in the 1970’s. He was the guy Westinghouse used to whisper some magic words into Marcos’ ears to snatch the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant deal out from under the nose of General Electric. From  two GE power plants worth US$650mm, the Philippines ended up with a single Westinghouse plant worth US$2.2 billion. Disini sure was a great negotiator. On top of that, he formed a company that got the deal from Westinghouse to construct the plant. A greenhorn contractor building a nuclear plant – Marcos sure had great faith. From BNPP dirtied money and other largesse from Marcos, Disini fled to Austria where he ended up owning a castle, a title of baron, and citizenship. Envision him sitting on a Queen Antoinette chair, legs raised resting on a Napoleon III table, holding in his hand a crystal glass of Chateau Margaux 2009 as he gazed through the stained glass castle window defined by gold-gilded frames, and dream of his beloved Philippines . . .

In Greek “historia”, it means “knowledge acquired by investigation”. History relates to past events, not necessarily culled solely from facts but from interpretation by historians. It is a profession that makes judgement of evidence before them. Therein is the frailty of history. Firstly, the evidence itself. Over-time, evidence may be re-examined in a new light, new evidence may surface, or new technology may provide new insights. Secondly, human fallibility. Historians write under a prevailing political and social climate, tainted by personal opinions, biases and cultural influences. Objectivity with regards to evidence selection and methodology dictate the historians’ interpretation of events past.

There are those who say history is written by the victors. We are in the age of information, and truth has a way of finding the light eventually, much easier now than hundreds of years ago. The Bush administration’s fabrication that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction is now a known fact. History is fluid and, from time to time, revisions are made. Lest we deride history and cast it down to the level of legends, grand-mothers’ tales, folklore, or mythology, let’s accord it the respectability it deserves because much of written history is based on undeniable facts. The holocaust did take place, Mr Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Comfort women did exist in Japanese camps in WW2, Mr Shinzo Abe. Marcos did loot the Philippines and martial law did do irreparable damage to the country, my dear Filipinos.

Attempts to re-write history have been continual affairs . . . for whatever personal, institutional, governmental, religious, political, benign or evil agendas. An innocuous book here, a seminar there, web-sites, a few YouTube postings, fund some organizations, one or two infomercials, etc. The con is all out there if you pause to read in between the lines and pay a bit more attention.

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The con of men knows no bounds . . .

Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln wrote the best seller documentary Holy Blood Holly Grail, a book that covered hundreds of years of medieval history and at its core, the theory that Christ had a bloodline which exists to this day. In their investigative writing they pursued many clues to questions they raised. It led them finally to the‘Dossiers Secrets’ at the Bibliotheque Nationale de Francais. What they didn’t realize was that Pierre Plantard, a draughtsman, was deliberately planting fictitious documents. This is the length that people go to re-write history.

Baron Disini commissioned New York-based author Judy Corcoran to pen his autogiography, promising to tell all, meaning his version, meaning there were no crooks in the Philippines at all. Disini passed away in 2014. I don’t know if his book was ever published.

There are many who try to re-paint Hitler in a different light, his evil deeds down-played or defrayed over various fancy un-supported explanations, and his achievements over-hyped and misplaced. Nazi groups are coming into existence in many countries – Germany, USA and some Latin American countries.

911 is touted as a great American conspiracy. If you believe them, it’s the CIA who planned the attack.

The Church is under attack from every conceivable angle.

Marcos’ family, loyalists, and beneficiaries are challenging irrefutable facts and expounding half-truths and outright lies. What’s worse, lots of uninformed Filipinos cut and paste these lies to their Facebook or blog to perpetuate a train of lies.

The (international) Church of Satan, San Francisco, California, estb 1966 . . .

We are astounded, befuddled, yeah angry, at why ordinary Filipinos refuse to look at the piles of evidence against the misdeeds of Marcos. We are rendered impotent when more Filipinos say forget the past, in so suggesting the crimes are condoned – meaning, the misdeeds are accepted. We are driven out of our senses when a preeminent judicial personality sings the same tune as long as it can help her win the 2016 Presidency. We go crazy when we hear many who say of Bongbong that the crimes of the father should not be his burden without addressing the issue of billions of stolen dollars they refuse to return to the people.

When mortal logic provides no solace, sanity can only be retained by consigning the rationale for this strange behavior to the Great Deceiver.

For the believers of the good Book, there is one explanation for all this. The fallen one is here. God has warned that Satan lies concealed, and he deceives easily as he is a master at his craft. He manipulates those who plant the lies, he makes the path easy for those doing his work.

“I am the luckiest person that I know and being a Marcos is part of that and I am very happy that I was born into the Marcos family,” said Bongbong Marcos (Illusory mode).

In God we trust, and in the CBCP we hope they help to open the eyes of the laity to the great deception that has gained more traction in the last few years. The Marcoses may go to church, but for their words and deeds, it is so difficult to see the God in their hearts.

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Is there really anything to apologize for . . .

The Japanese have to this day never formally apologized for their atrocities during WW2. Japanese kids grew up generally unaware of what their previous generation did. In schools they were taught watered-down accounts of Japan’s role in WW2. Many Japanese tourists were shocked by the reality they discovered as they traveled outside their country. There is no closure for Japan and the many countries that suffered under them.

After WW2, the Germans reflected and searched their souls. There was remorse, regrets, apologies and acceptance. There was closure for them and for the world. New generations of Germans grew up well aware of their dreadful past. Almost all Germans today have nothing to do with what happened in WW2, yet they feel apologetic.

“Our family have nothing to apologize for . . . ” Bongbong Marcos. (Classic denial mode).

“I don’t think that on a family basis, the Marcoses as a family owe us an apology. In the first place, it was not the case that President Marcos the father pooled all the Marcoses in one table and they all decided jointly to do certain activities,” Miriam Santiago. (Classic insanity mode).

Both Bongbong and Santiago, and all those who share the duo’s sentiments, miss the point. They are absolutely right in a court of law. But where is the moral responsibility to own up and return the loot? If our child steals something from a kid next door, don’t we apologize and get our child to return the stolen goods? The “no apologies necessary” logic shows that critical humanity traits are missing. Where is the sense of shame? Shame is something that separates humans from animals . . . well actually dogs do feel shame too. Notice how dogs lower their heads and droop their tails when chided for doing something bad? An apology signifies acceptance, the real apologists feel shame and remorse, the sincere apologists make restitution. Acceptance, remorse, and restitution are the basis for forgiveness and moving on. We should forgive, but never forget the lessons learned.

Note:

a. The Criminal Code of the Philippines is silent on the culpability of those in possession of stolen goods when they are privy to that knowledge. In most other jurisdictions, this is a criminal act.

b. I learned from Raissa Robles’s blog that there is a Presidential Decree No. 1612 or the “Anti-Fencing Law of 1979” signed by Marcos himself. He shot himself in the foot that time. Santiago conveniently forgot about this decree.

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Does history matter? The past is past, let’s move on . . .

However good, however bad, we must never turn our back on history. It teaches us the wherewither we came from and how and wherewither we want to move to. The lessons of history ground us to what we are.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. . .  George Santayana

WW2 was a continuation of WW1. Basically the same set of players, in different roles – Hitler, de Gaulle, Churchill, Patton and many others. Hitler had a minor role as a corporal in WW1. He experienced the shame of a defeated Germany and yearned for a return of a mighty motherland. Critical lessons of WW1 were not learned and issues were left unsettled. Empires rise and empires fall all over the world in human history. In China, there was one dynasty after another for thousands of years. Each succeeding humanity never learned from their previous fall.

That is why the recent decision by Japan to scrap their pacifist policy and allow overseas military deployment is a dangerous development. Because lessons of WW2 have not been learned in Japan.

To water down the history of the Marcos’ martial law years and whitewash the plunder, human rights abuses and total mismanagement of the country, is not just horrendously distasteful, but utterly dangerous.

Sir Winston Churchill said in the House of Commons :

“When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure. There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the sibylline books. It falls into that long, dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong–these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.”

Half-Truths and Fallacies of Marcos

Most of those who subscribe to the transgressions of the Marcos family come from personalities or organizations of high esteem, with irrefutable evidence, and have no hidden agendas. Those that refute the evidence fall into one of these categories – connected by relation, die-hard loyalists, fellow cronies, people who had benefited off Marcos, people blinded by their hatred of the Aquino administration, and mindless supporters. A name that comes to mind is Kit Tatad – what manner of man is this who has nothing but praise for Marcos’ misdeeds and scorn for Pnoy’s good deeds?

1. Indigenious spoliation:

The term “plunder” cannot adequately invoke the sense of magnitude of what Marcos stole from the nation. Such a pillage it was that surely shocks and outrages the conscience of not just clear thinking Filipinos, but people everywhere. The decent world has a new term for this — “indigenous spoliation”. It is the organized and systematic plundering of national treasuries by political and military elites of such a magnitude that it ravages the country, exacerbating poverty and undermining economic and social development.

Transparency International 2004 ranking of corrupt leaders:

1 – Mohamed Suharto, President of Indonesia (1967-1998) – looted US$15-35 billion.
2 – Ferdinand Marcos, President of Philippines (1965-1986) – looted US5-10 billion
3 – Mobutu Sese Seko, President of Zaire (1965-1997) – looted US$5 billion
4 – Sani Abacha, President of Nigeria (1993-1998) – looted2-5 billion
5 – Slobodan Milosevic, President of Serbia (1989-2000) – looted US$1 billion
6 – Jean Claude Duvalier, President of Haiti (1971-1986) – looted 300-800 million
7 – Alberto Fujimori, President of Peru (1971-1986) – looted 600 million
8 – Pavlo Lazarenko, President of Ukraine (1996-1997) – looted 114-200 million
9 – Armoldo Aleman, President of Nicaragua (1997-2002) – looted US$100 million
10- President Joseph Estrada (1998-2001) – looted US$78-80 million

Not bad, Philippines, we have 2 in the top 10 world rankings. VPJejomar Binay will most likely be up there soon, probably in 5th or 6th position.
THE TRUTH : Marcos is one of the greatest thieves in the world

2. P500 billion or more blue chip stocks:

“We practically own everything in the Philippines, from electricity, telecommunications, airlines, banking, beer and tobacco, newspaper publishing, television stations, shipping, oil and mining, hotels and beach resorts, down to coconut milling, small farms, real estate and insurance”. Imelda Marcos (admissive or boastful mode)

“They were paid well, supported and allowed to live the lives of the rich and famous and look what we’ve got? A betrayal. They were tapped by Ferdinand, supposedly to guard his interests in those companies. But look what happened, they wanted everything” (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 9/12/98) . . . Imelda Marcos (I’m-a-victim mode)

There you are, right from the horse’s mouth. Eye-popping. The Marcoses practically owned the whole Philippines! Towards the end of 1998, Imelda Marcos gave an exclusive interview to Christine Herrera of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI). A lurid Imelda personally confirmed the open secret that Marcos arm-twisted many share-holders of blue chip conglomerates to sell out to him cheap. Cronies were used to front the ownership. She denied the arm-twisting part, and insisted the acquisitions were all paid for out of their own family funds. She never explained how a lowly-paid president was able to amass that wealth. The PDI was supposed to run a 9 part series, all front-page explosives. Part 1 was out on 5 Dec 1998 but the series stopped at Part 5 as Imelda claimed she received death threats to her family.

Was she mad? Not at all, on the contrary, it was a wise strategic move. She had just won the racketeering case in New York and the Philippines had a new Marcos-friendly president in Joseph Estrada. It was the perfect time to put things in the open and go after cronies like Danding Cojuanco, Lucio Tan, and Disini, who claimed rightful ownership of those companies. There are some who estimated the values could be in trillions – we’re talking about PLDT, San Miguel and others.

For trillions, it’s worthwhile to tip-toe back to the country.

Too late, Imelda learnt there was no honor among thieves after all. I wonder if Binay has better luck with Gerry Limlingan et al.
THE TRUTH: Marcos stole more than anyone can ever imagine.

MarcosExilefromBongBong

3. Bongbong and the POA:

“I cannot confirm (the Swiss bank accounts) because I haven’t seen or read them. We – I don’t know. I cannot – I cannot say that I know. Definitely the Swiss money were there. Or are there now. It’s for us – again this constant – that people are saying – more and more participating in that — “ Bongbong, speaking to blogger Raissa in 2012 (Squirming mode)

On 21 Mar 1986, Bongbong handed over Marcos’ power of attorney (POA) to Mike de Guzman at a hotel in Honolulu. This POA was to enable US$213 mm to be moved out of a Marcos account with Credit Swisse, Zurich to a Philippine Govt’s designated account in Exportfinanzierungsbank, Vienna. The transfer was eventually frustrated due to Filipino infighting (Mike de Guzman, a Filipino banker free-lancing agent to retrieve stolen money for Cory, and PCGG.)

The intrigue is worthy of a Grisham novel, complete with code name “Operation Big Bird”. (You can read about it at Wikipedia’s  “Operation  Big Bird” , bearing in mind that’s only de Guzman’s version).

Intrigue aside, this clearly demonstrates Bongbong’s active participation and knowledge of stolen wealth.

So as not to leave readers hanging in the air, here’s a bit more follow through. This episode exposed Filipinos’ penchant for palace intrigue and bumbling teamwork. Had it been properly executed, the funds would have been retrieved in 1986 and it could have led on to uncover other Swiss bank accounts of billions of dollars. Legal complexities came into play and it was not until 1998 that the Swiss remitted the funds (US$540mm with interest) to Sandibangan’s account at PNB, but in escrow, meaning it cannot be touched due to some unclear legal issues. There it rested until 2004 (by now it’s US$683mm) when it was finally free and transferred to the Bureau of Treasury’s account to be utilized as dictated under the Agrarian Reform Act – partly for agrarian reform and partly for compensation to human rights victims under martial law. It was from this fund that President Gloria Arroyo diverted money illegally in what became known as the Fertilizer scam. The balance is still there.
THE TRUTH : Bongbong confirmed that the Marcoses have lots of stolen money stashed away.

4. Imee Marcos and a trust fund:

She is tied to Sintra Trust which was set up in 2002 in the Virgin Islands. Legally, there is nothing wrong with trust funds. But such offshore trust funds are almost always the way the crooked stash away their loot. Since its discovery, by now that trust would have been closed and replaced by others. This pinned her down to active participation and knowledge of stolen loot.

Investigative journalists unearthed some documents that link Sintra Trust to some accounts with Overseas Union Bank, Singapore and HSBC. That stands to reason because during those years of exile, Imee apparently spent some years in Singapore. I owned a small company that did some interior work at her condominium apartment. Despite having billions, she tried to dishonor a debt of S$2,500. The Marcoses run roughshod over little people.

When the Marcoses fled Malacanang, they left behind expensive art treasures and banking documents . . . and of course Imelda’s 3,000 pairs of shoes. That was how Cory’s people got hold of the fictitious names of William Saunders and Jane Ryan in the Swiss banks. During Marcos’ time they were probably untidy in the way they concealed their loot. In more recent times, concealing ill-gotten wealth has become very sophisticated, making it much more difficult for aggrieved governments to locate the funds. There are even companies that specialize in this field and the selling tool of their trade is impeccable professionalism and sealed lips. The funds may be illegal, but the work they do, the way the trusts and nominees that are set up, are perfectly legal. The objective is to conceal the actual fund beneficiaries and to minimize taxation. Places where these proliferate are tax heavens like the Virgin Islands, Labuan, Hongkong, Singapore, Luxemburg, Austria, etc. Rings a bell, does it not, the fact that Imee lived in Singapore for a while and Disini chose to stay in Austria?

There is no doubt the Princeton and so-called Oxford-educated children of Marcos have moved with the times. They are more savvy now to the way of hiding stolen wealth.

Interestingly, Estrada and Binay also visited Singapore for unknown purposes in 2011.
THE TRUTH : Imee is the one managing their stolen wealth

Aquilino Pimentel Jr Martial Law in the Philippines My Story (small)

5. Bataan Nuclear Power Plant:

“Will I say sorry for the power generation (that his father built)?” Bongbong

Let’s leave the corruption issue aside. Up till today, there are Marcos’ loyalists who want to put the blame on Cory, and even Pnoy, for refusing to repair and commission the BNPP which, according to them, would have solved the country’s power shortage problems. They simply refuse to believe that it is not feasible financially, and pay no heed to safety concerns.

Filipino experts, Westinghouse, and other involved contractors, down-played defects that were raised. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported thousands of small defects which individually could have led to a snowball effect if things were to go wrong. Most of these had to do with shoddy soldering work, courtesy of Disini’s inexperienced workers. Soldering looks like a simple task, but, if done incorrectly, it is a weakness that collapses whole structures. There is also a big problem with the foundation itself, which was supposedly rectified but not to the satisfaction of IAEA. Above it all, only in Philippines would one chose a site for a nuclear plant that is just five miles from an active volcano and within 25 miles of three geologic fault lines. It begets the question why? One reason, unverified, but has credence, is that the Marcos and Romualdez (Imelda’s) families had built up large land banks in the Bataan region. The BNPP was expected to benefit that region.
THE TRUTH : Marcos milked BNPP dry. Marcos does not value the lives of Filipinos.

6. From “The Pearl of Asia” to “The Sick Man of Asia”:

“But will I say sorry for the thousands and thousands of kilometers that were built (by his father)?”  . . . Bongbong Marcos (classical half-truth mode)

It is very true. Marcos built lots of roads, schools, bridges, etc. But was it for love of the Filipinos, or love of money? It is very difficult to see where the line of national interest begins and where personal interest ends. The operating credo was “more missions, more commissions”. Overpricing, kick-backs, rigged bidding – all these modus-operandi, still in practice today – were institutionalized during Marcos’ time. Bankers during those days were all too familiar with Mrs 10% in Indonesia (Tien Suharto) and Mrs 15% in the Philippines. Same bankers used to skip town whenever they received an invitation from Imelda to a function where, after her crooning routine, it was donation time.

There was a frenzy of projects. Filipinos need to ask where the money came from. Marcos borrowed extensively from the international capital markets. There is nothing wrong with borrowing. We all do that sometimes to buy big ticket items like cars and houses. What is important is responsible borrowing, meaning you spend on worthwhile projects and you can service the repayment. Marcos borrowed like crazy. When Marcos took power in Dec 1965, the national debt was US$500 mm; when he fled the country in 1986, it had ballooned to US$28 billion. Yes, there were roads etc, but just look at the BNPP – a single white elephant project that made up 10% of the entire external debt. How wild can that be?

Let’s take a bit of a worldview of the US$ during Marcos’ time to have a better understanding.

Since the beginning of 20th century up to 1972, the price of crude oil was stable at around US$2 per barrel (prices here all not adjusted for inflation). From 1973, it begun to shoot north wildly, peaking at US$36 in 1982. This was triggered by Saudi Arabia’s oil embargo in retaliation to the Yom Kippur War. That was the time when the oil cartel OPEC was at its most powerful. By controlling the supply side, prices inevitably shot up. The price of oil was never the same again after that. Oil is traded in US$ and with the dramatic price increase, OPEC countries sucked up all the currency. The middle east became the noveau riche and deserts suddenly began to turn into gleaming cities. These countries sucked in more money than can be pumped into their small economies, so the excess had to be deposited with banks. The oil money, loosely termed petrol dollars, were mostly deposited in banks in European cities. As US$ are settled in US, invariably most find its way into banks in the US. All these money had to be invested somewhere. The banks were flushed with petro dollars and not enough first tier borrowers to lend to. European countries were in recessionary state at the time, so most of these petrol dollars were invested in 2nd and 3rd tier developing countries like Turkey, Mexico, Brazil and other Latin American countries, and then there was Philippines. These borrower countries became blue-eyed boys of all these international bankers. They came knocking on Marcos’ and Philippine bankers’ doors everyday. That explains why there was a building frenzy by Marcos – the borrowing part was easy. As operations head of a bank in Singapore, I personally authorized telegraphic transfers of hundreds of millions of dollars for loan draw-downs by Philippine entities. Those were wild wild west days.

The external debt of US28 billion on its own cannot give you a proper perspective of the roof crashing down on Philippines in the early 1980’s. The Debt to Gross Domestic Product ratio is a proper gauge. In 1970 it was 33.2% and in 1986 it was 95.2%. The GDP is basically the sum of all goods and services produced in the year. Comparing this to total debt provides a yardstick as to a country’s capability to service its debt. Creditors monitor this figure all the time. There is no hard and fast rule, but generally when it reaches the 70% it spells trouble for the country. (There are exceptions).  At 70% the country will find it more difficult and expensive to borrow. Statistics did not lie in this case. Reality caught up with Marcos from 1980. The casino had ran out of chips. I saw the Philippines struggle with debt re-structuring, begging for moratoriums and going bowl in hand to the Asian Development Bank, World Bank and the IMF. Once, in order to meet interest payments, Marcos sent Bobby Ongpin to Singapore to ask for a loan of US$300-500 mm which Lee Kuan Yew refused because he could not gamble with taxpayers’ money. Restructuring is a frightening word in financial markets. It usually means insolvency. Marcos had bankrupted the Philippines. It was a most shameful period of Philippine history. Still, it was better for Marcos to have a bankrupted the Philippines than repatriate the stolen money in his Swiss bank accounts to pay off the loans.

A second whammy – high interest rates. Back to the petrol dollars to understand why. As the petrol dollars re-circulated back into the US, the liquidity caused prices to increase. To make it worse, the Vietnam War too added to the inflationary pressure. President Lyndon Johnson did not want to increase Fed interest rates to tackle the inflation for political reasons. When Paul Volcker became chairman of the Fed, he started to raise interest rates. The Fed rate increased from 11.2% in 1979 to 20% in June of 1981, almost reaching its usury limit. With loan spreads of 125 basis points over 3/6 months LIBOR, Marcos’ loans were paying at 21.25% per annum. and with 10-15 years maturity, he could barely service the interest let alone make repayments. New loans were taken just to pay off interest. Capitalizing interest just made the loans grow larger in succeeding administrations.

The third whammy – shrinking value of peso. Because of the high oil prices, all currencies including the peso weakened against the US$. This was accentuated by a weakening Philippine economy. In 1970 it was 6 pesos to a US$, 21 in 1986 and 45 currently. This meant that the US$28 billion of debt that Marcos left behind in 1986 required more and more pesos to repay. In peso terms, it has more than doubled!

The fourth whammy — When the price of oil shot up in the 70’s/80’s, a country’s economy may still be the same, but it requires more dollars for the same level of oil import. With poor fiscal and monetary management under Marcos, the Philippines had zero US$ reserves and almost no US$ revenue. A big chunk of the budget went into purchasing the dollar for oil imports. The economy basically collapsed.

The recycling of the petro dollars brought the Philippines to its knees and left Marcos shell-shocked. If there is any consolation, the same set of uncontrollable external events left Latin American countries with equally huge national debts. That does not exonerate Marcos. Other net-oil importing countries faced similar problems, but they managed. Taiwan, South Korea, Hongkong and Singapore were well on their way to becoming Asian Tigers. No, Filipinos, it was thievery and mis-management of the economy plain and simple. It’s always the economy, stupid. Borrowed till broke, economy down, massive un-employment and poverty up . . .  discontent set in, strong arm tactics were used to combat civil unrest, foreign investors left in a hurry, capital flight followed, more youths turned military and went underground or into the mountains, communists took the opportunity to destabilize the government, and martial law was implemented with its attendant atrocities. That’s how Marcos led the Philippines from “The Pearl of Asia” to “The Sick Man of Asia”.

Are we to forget this painful lesson of Marcos history? Thank God today we have a good man in Governor Tetengco running the Bangko Sentral. Thank God we have an administration that manages the nation’s money purse better. We now have better leaders who understand the need for delayed gratification, that it is not yet time to reduce taxes (while we are still struggling to pay off Marcos’ debts). It is so easy to simply give in to populist demands and score political points. Bongbong would like to reduce taxes . . . as long as we do not use their stolen wealth to replace the loss in revenue from tax reduction.
THE TRUTH : Marcos bankrupted the Philippines

Salvaged Memories Randalf Dilla Courtesy of Hiraya Art and Hiraya Gallery Manila

7. Marcos agrarian land reform

”Will I say sorry for the agricultural policy (of Marcos) that brought us to self-sufficiency in rice?” Bongbong Marcos (Deceptive mode)

Marcos agri policy and rice self-sufficiency were separate issues. The former was a disastrous failure and the latter was a matter of luck that had nothing to do with Marcos.

To be fair, the reform concept was good, but the execution failed miserably due to difficulties of land valuation and a bureacracy that thrived on patronage and corruption. The agri reform called for re-distribution of certain agrarian land to landless farmers. Over 14 years, Marcos distributed only 2.27% of all land titles by 1986. This took care of a miserable 0.17% of the total landless farmers. Bongbong has a lot to apologize for to the tens of millions of landless farmers out there. The Marcoses measure of success sure is damn low. To them, a face-saving “special diploma” is equivalent to an Oxford University degree.

As to the rice, the luck was that the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) was headquartered in the Philippines. In the mid 1960’s, the IRRI came up with the ‘wonder rice’ IR8 that promised better yields. It was so promising that Marcos visited the IRRI to see for himself and quickly declared that the Philippines would be self-sufficient in rice production during his first term in office. The IR8 strain and further enhancements enabled 2 crops per year and by 1972, the Philippines became a net-exporter of rice. We should be thankful to the IRRI and the good folks that supported the institute – the Rockefeller Foundation and Ford Foundation. The Marcoses take credit for the hard work done by others.
THE TRUTH : Marcos did nothing for land reform and rice self-sufficiency.

8. Education:

“Will I say sorry for the highest literacy rate in Asia (during his father’s time)?” Bong Marcos (Half-truth mode)

In his first term, this was true. DepEd got a 28% highest share of budget. In his second term, DepEd got only 11.6% and school enrollment was up only 2.4% yearly. Why the difference? Because under the martial law years, an educated population is not a good thing. Dictators are not great fans of educated people who are viewed as a threat to them. Do we forget the history of UP campus residents being hauled up by the military?

The truth is the amount of classrooms put up by Marcos in his 20 years rule pales in comparison to the thousands put up by Pnoy in his 5 years.
THE TRUTH : Marcos was not a fan of education

9. OFWs:

Let’s be fair, Marcos did not create OFWs. Long before Marcos there were already many Filipinos working overseas. The professionals, contract laborers and seamen mostly. Previously, they were know as overseas contract workers. However, Marcos’ abysmal handling of the economy led to massive unemployment, forcing many to go overseas to seek menial jobs. From the late 70’s, the Philippines became a popular source of supply for domestic maids. At the human level, these pinays make great sacrifices to bring food to the table for their families. But it created a stigma on Filipinas overseas as they are all assumed to be maids. The Marcoses gave OFWs a stigma that is still there to this day.

Well, Marcos actually did something good. He created the Welfare Fund for Overseas Workers. He further facilitated the labor export by improving the process for outplacement and the remittance system. That was not for love of Filipinos. Firstly, it was to ease the massive unemployment which was generating dis-content and, secondly, he saw the cash cow in the remittances which helped in boosting the peso value.
THE TRUTH : Marcos gave Pinays the “maids” stigma. Marcos made use of the lowest level of working Pinays to help him prop up the country’s damaged economy.

10. Human rights abuses:

“ I will always say sorry but what I’ve been guilty of to apologize about? We have constantly said, if during that time of my father, merong mga nasagasaan or meron sinasabing hindi natulungan (if there were those who were hit or not given assistance) or they were victimized in some way or another, of course we’re sorry that that happened. Nobody wants that to have happened,” Bongbong (Insincere mode)

In a ABS-CBN interview, Bongbong said those words in reply to a question about atrocities during martial law. All media reported “Bongbong apologizes to victims of Marcos regime”. The media were all taken for fools.

Here’s how an apology should be:

1. It is spoken directly and personally to the aggrieved, not to a reporter.

2. It must clearly communicate the following –

  • regret

  • understanding of the problem

  • acceptance of responsibility (his father’s)

  • willingness to do better (he will not do what his father did)


What’s not an apology :

  1. An apology with an “if” is not an apology (see the “if there were those” – he was saying it’s only a perception, maybe there were no victims)

  2. An apology with “I’m sorry but . . .” is not an apology – because it says that he does not understand why he is sorry. IN this case, he actually went on to say “but what I’ve been guilty of to apologize about”.


He still does not understand that we want him to apologize for his father’s deeds. We know he was not the perpetrator, but it’s the moral apology we want. Why are so many countries still requesting Japanese Prime Ministers since the end of WW2 to make a formal apology? Some PMs have done so, even Emperor Hirohito, but we are not satisfied because the Japanese wording was not tantamount to a proper apology.

Apart from the apology, do the right thing Bongbong. release some stolen wealth to the victims.
THE TRUTH : The Marcoses are not sincere in apologizing. The Marcoses will not use their stolen wealth to help victims of martial law atrocities.

11. The good old days:

Filipinos exasperated with the high crime rate always casually say ‘at least during Marcos martial law years, there was less crime’. If you do not mind the curfews, no Friday night gimmicks, no malling at nights, military personnel frisking you for the slightest reasons, your children participating in student riots, seeing your neighbors or classmates go missing. There was even less crime during the Japanese occupation.

After a societal change, when people get dis-enfranchised with the new way, they tend to long for the good old ways, forgetting the lessons of their history. Many Iraqis prefer the days under dictator Saddam Hussein, many Japanese would love the days of the Samurais, many Southerners in the USA would love the cotton fields of old when they had slaves.

Certainly, the high crime rate is a big problem today. The right way to go is to beef up the police and eradicate poverty. Make the PNP more effective by raising professionalism and reducing corruption in the rank and file. So who in the 2016 polls is most likely to meet this challenge – those with experience in stealing, those who are good in keeping stolen wealth, those we are not too sure about, or those with modern management skills?

I am a Soldier I’m marching on, I am a warrior and this is my song . . .

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

Lies are easy to refute, it’s the half-truths that are the most dangerous. Well meaning Filipinos should do the necessary every time they see the Marcoses and loyalists espousing them. Challenge them!

To paraphrase Churchill, “We shall fight them in the media, we shall fight them in the internet, we shall fight them in public spheres, we shall fight them in the polls.”

It is really amazing how the Marcoses can slap the Filipinos, steal from them under their noses, kill off some of them, impoverish them, and yet make the people love them and forgive them their travesties. All we can say to Marcos loyalists and mindless supporters is this:

“ Envision Baron Herminio Disini sitting on a Queen Antoinette chair, legs raised resting on a Napoleon III table, holding in his hand a crystal glass of Chateau Margaux 2009 as he gazed through the stained glass castle window defined by gold-gilded frames, dreaming of his beloved Philippines, then raising his glass as his lips curled into a smile, and said — SUCKERS!!!”.

From Malacanang Tumbler small

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