Before the controversy of the possible Libingan ng mga Bayani burial of the late President Ferdinand Marcos goes into full swing as it does periodically, let’s get some facts straight. Who exactly are vehemently opposed to it? They may not number in the millions but these Marcos bashers, mostly leftists and communist-leaning personalities who were “persecuted” during Martial Law and their relatives are, well, the “usual suspects,” so to speak. In addition, there are the members of the opposition (to Marcos) during the early 70’s just prior to the declaration of Martial Law whose personal political ambitions were thwarted by the declaration and that includes Ninoy Aquino and family, as well as the Lopez family of the Meralco and Manila Chronicle business empire and the “Coryistas yellow brigade” sometimes called the “yellow zombies” and other oligarchs of the pre-martial law years plus the more recent ones whose wealth was derived from their closeness to the newly installed dispensation shortly after the Americans whisked Marcos off to Hawaii. Together, this motley crew can manage to create loud enough noise to give it some semblance of a national debate threatening to spill over into a civil war, if we are to believe them. But to the vast majority, the issue is unimportant.
The last elections have shown what the people really feel about the Marcos rule in general vis a vis the succeeding regimes which, together, make up the last fifty years of our republic’s history. Recent surveys (done just before and during the just concluded elections) have confirmed that among all the past presidents from Marcos to PNoy, the one with the highest “favorability” rating is now Marcos himself followed by Cory, Erap, PNoy, Ramos, and GMA in that order. The difference between now and 1986 when the EDSA1 took place is that, now, there is a good thirty years since the People Power event to compare with the twenty-one years under Marcos. It seems to have been a no brainer to favor the Marcos years as the surveys have shown and the elections confirmed.. That explains why the leftists have been screaming to the high heavens and to anyone that will listen, about their fears of the “brainwashing” that has taken traction over the years among the youth which is why, they claim, BongBong Marcos Jr., son of the late president, got elected as Senator in 2010 and as VP in the last elections if his protests prosper and is declared the true winner. Having said that, it is quite revealing how the voting in the National Capital Region confirm the results of those surveys contrary to the pronouncements of the now aging leftists via the propaganda of the yellow controlled media posing as “independent media.” In this metropolis where the People Power “revolution” took place and ignited the eventual ouster of Ferdinand Marcos, the voters sang a different tune in the last elections from the one they sang in February of 1986 when they gathered in support of the renegade military soldiers holed up inside Camp Crame that later merged with supporters of Cory Aquino and the rest is history, as they say. But today is different: they gave BongBong Marcos (BBM) a whopping 45 percent of their votes while the balance had to be shared among his five opponents, all well known politicians with sufficient campaign wherewithal in the last elections, namely: Escudero, Robredo, Cayetano, Trillanes, and Honassan. That amounts to every other vote going to BBM which was even more than the number of votes each of the presidential candidates could muster including Duterte. But the thick faced “usual suspects” once again ignored the voice of the people and have warned Duterte that the kin, friends and supporters of the “victims” of Martial Law will get pissed off if he allows the burial.
Should Duterte acquiesce to the shrills of this motley crew or should he consider the deeper meaning of the massive support given to BBM here in the NCR. By the way, those votes translate into a landslide victory in all but one of the sixteen cities and single municipality that comprise the greater area of Metro Manila officially known as the NCR. Expectedly, Cayetano came in first in his family’s bailiwick of Taguig where his wife is Mayor so BBM could only manage a “decent second” in that city. Other than that, the unanimous support from all the other cities of Metro Manila was unprecedented. There hasn’t been a clearer and more obvious message spoken by the people of this great metropolis as the one that can be gleaned from the results of the last elections and, indeed, it confirmed what we knew from the surveys. So, Duterte must either heed to the proverb, “vox populi, vox dei,” and be in harmony with the people and God, or receive the wrath of its residents when the time comes that the Makati Business Club will, manipulatively, attempt to do another illegal “Erap impeachment” so they can install their chosen one as President, of course, one that “belongs” to them. Ho-hum….
The exit polls done by SWS show Marcos had won the race for VP and in fairness to SWS, they have not been mistaken with their exit polls since they started it in 1998. They have called the winners of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential races of 1998 2004, and 2010 correctly — 100 percent batting average. As for the “brainwashing” of those that were not yet around during Martial Law, yes, it is true BBM came out on top with the younger set 18 – 35 years old but, and here’s the rub, that’s not where he did best. He scored best, in percentage of votes, among the 40 to 60 year old age category followed by the “60 years old and above.” Yes, sir! He did best among the age brackets that were very much born and around during his father’s time to experience Martial Law. So, what are these Marcos bashers talking about when they claim the younger set have been brainwashed into believing that the Marcos rule era was not like they say it was and that it behooves the older people to educate their children about what it was really like. Well, they probably already did and that has been the result: the highest percentage of votes for BBM coming from the people that were already twenty years old and above during the twenty-one year rule of his late father. Again, we witness the pants of the “usual suspects,” this motley crew, catching on fire — more of a conflagration — but that does not seem to bother them more than becoming a totally irrelevant entity which is their biggest fear and a real likelihood.
Curiously, the most vociferous of the leftist groups and the paid media hacks of the oligarchs that returned to the country after the Americans whisked Marcos away to Hawaii, have not mentioned, ever, at all, and in all of their blabber and protestations, the continuance of human rights violations, post Marcos, that occurred in the last 30 years. As a result, some observers and families of the victims of human rights — not during Marcos’ time — in the last 30 years have not minced their words and have called them hypocrites and inveterate liars to their faces. They accused the motley crew of intellectual dishonesty and have exposed their self serving agendas and selective justice. We’ll spare them and not add to what’s already been said. We rest our case with the reprint of this report: “The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, at the time the country’s leading human rights group, recorded more than 1.2 million victims of dislocations due to military operations, 135 cases of massacres, 1,064 victims of summary executions, 816 disappearances, and 20,523 victims of illegal arrest and detention, during the six years of Cory’s regime.” In March 1987, in her commencement speech at the Philippine Military Academy, Cory Aquino unsheathed the sword of war and declared that “the answer to the terrorism of the Left and the Right is not social and economic reform but police and military action.” Far from being a saintly “prayer,” that became her administration’s policy, different from the earlier one of engagement with the Left when, immediately after she took power, she released dozens of political prisoners, among them the top leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed band of fighters, the National People’s Army.
Based on these figures, human rights abuses were, in fact, worse during those six years under Cory than the nine years under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her feared “butcher,” General Palparan. In addition, Benigno Aquino III, for his part, as President of the Philippines these last six years, has been taken to task repeatedly by international human rights watchdogs for his failure to address the human rights problem in the country. They simply called his record on human rights “a dismal failure.” Hello…motley crew…are you there?
Finally, in 2011, both houses of Congress passed a resolution to allow Marcos to be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Close to 200 members of the House of Representatives signed the resolution whose author, Congressman Sonny Escudero, said: “the fact that Marcos was a former president and soldier cannot be denied and based on these two things alone, he deserves to be buried at the Libingan.” The military itself has repeatedly stated that he is qualified based on the rules governing the cemetery for heroes. PNoy, as President, nixed it.
Our take: we agree with Joma Sison that the Libingan ng mga Bayani has not lived up to its name and not all buried there are true heroes. The issue of the Marcos burial has been useful in that it has brought out the hypocrisies, double talk, divisiveness, insincerity, and biases of our leaders within the entire Left to Right of the political spectrum, and the lack of “love of country” that is sorely missing in the hearts of our people in general. These days, there has been no lack of repetition in calling our OFW’s our “real heroes” and if there was any truthfulness and sincerity in, and respect for, those who we call “hero,” then we should be allowing all OFW’s to be likewise buried there. But, of course, our political leaders are merely condescending and patronizing them when in their speeches, with matching facial expressions of admiration and seriousness, they call the OFW’s our “real heroes.”
So, the Marcos family and their supporters should think twice about burying the late President at the LNB, vulnerable to desecration by unsavory characters. History will judge him similarly irrespective of where he is buried.
Find a nice hill in Ilocos Norte with an overlooking view that is serene and restful, erect a monument humble but fitting in size, a small library of memorabilia, plenty of parking space for the tourists it will attract, and let him, even in death, continue to help the Filipinos by being an official tourist destination (with government funds for upkeep)contributing to the Tourism industry of Ilocos Norte and the Philippines in general. Thank the current President (but no thanks) for allowing the burial at the LNB; give him a solemn burial on that hill at an appropriate date (Araw ng Kagitingan) with full military honors, and let him rest there, forever, in his beloved home province of Ilocos Norte.