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July 28, 2014

The remnants of the anti-Marcos forces which remain a multitude are astir these days, gritting their teeth and pulling their hair.   Ever since Imelda stated her wish that her son, Bongbong, would run for the Presidency in 2016, and with any luck wins, something came alive and they don’t like it.  Pro-Marcos groups, earlier taking shape mostly below the radar, seemed to have mushroomed fast in the social media.   Most surprisingly they turned up through the initiative—not by the usual loyalist suspects—but of a grouping least expected: the current youth and the rest of the post 1986 babies.  What’s more, it is gaining momentum!

No wonder the old guardians of the faith are up in arms and summoning the devotees to the barricades, invoking as it were the wrath of heavens.

Whaddahell happened?   How come the youth— of all sectors— be in the frontlines spearheading the renaissance of the one most evil: dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos?  Whatever happened to the values of them hope and future of the Motherland? Have they lost their minds?  How could they easily discard everything studiously instilled in them since they learned how to read and write?   These stupid kids!

The panic is palpable.  It must be the Marcoses, with their plundered wealth-funded propaganda blitz in their latest bid to revive the sullied name of the dictator, bewitching the mind of the impressionable youth.

But wonder if the Marcoses even need propaganda.  If anything, this could very well be but a validation of the old maxim that time heals and revises perspectives.

Murder of Ninoy

The shift in thinking could have come about rather gradually with the fading of the long-held view that Ferdinand Marcos was the real brains behind one of the most dastardly crimes ever committed in current history: the murder of Ninoy Aquino.  Who but few still believes to this day that Marcos killed Ninoy?   To be sure, the one issue that truly enraged the people culminating as it did in his ouster from office less than three years later was the persistent and widespread conviction that Marcos using his vast powers as President indeed masterminded the assassination.   A barefaced murder, done in broad daylight yet, while Ninoy, escorted by soldiers, was disembarking from a plane full of passengers, in the tarmac of our busy main international airport, where thousand supporters just outside were waiting purposely for him— who could have done that if not one utterly wicked and one with the power to brazen it through with total impunity?

Thirty years since, anger is mostly gone, so do most suspicions about his involvement.

How did this come about?  For one, not a shred of evidence has surfaced to this day to point to his involvement.   He was in fact on his sickbed gravely ill that fateful day, or so it is said.  As it was, the suspicion he was the mastermind hanged on his being Ninoy’s main political foe and that nobody else had a motive and means.    Alas, even the most dogged investigation yielded not a hint of any link.  Indeed, the most desperate, if comical, attempt to come out to connect him to the murder was an imagined incident.  Marcos, must have gotten so mad at Ninoy one time, they speculated, and could have uttered a wish that Ninoy be dead; and a loyal aide overhearing this had set in motion a no-deadline plan on his own to murder Ninoy, to get into the good graces of the President, or so the story goes.   Well, anything at all it seems to prop up the legend of villainy of one and the heroism of the other.

Over the years, question marks kept popping out with new clues emerging.   Oddly,  Cory and Noynoy, wife and son of the victim, who would both later become President, resisted all calls for a reopening of the case to get to the real mastermind.  Cory, the President, said, no, it is no longer important, the people already know who he is anyway.  Pnoy, the President, said much the same thing.    Yet, any which way one looks, something’s not quite right, something’s just so out of place, especially when viewed with the eagerness of the Marcos wife and children to have the case reopened.   Many were hoping of course that with the powers of their office, the mysteries behind the murder would be finally solved, but more mysterious still, mother and son would not lift a finger.

Anyhow, how does the post ‘86 generation, given the clues it has picked up from the rubles of the past so far, yet take the line Marcos killed Ninoy?

Public opinion is a tricky beast.  The suspicion that Marcos was guilty doomed him.  The suspicion he is innocent might as yet do the opposite.    It is well to remember that all history look kindly and sympathetically to men accused wrongly.



July 22, 2014

A little girl with a magnificent voice.



July 14, 2014

Talks have it that the Marcoses are about to release a book containing the complete diaries of the late President Ferdinand Marcos written over many years, starting in the late 60s to the end of his life.

My guess is September 11 at the earliest, coinciding with the old man’s birthday, if at all.  It should help explain many of the controversies and questions left unanswered up to now.

For some reason though, several pages have long ago landed in private hands like the collection of Manuel L. Quezon III (MLQ3) published in his The Philippine Diary Project,which I have been perusing lately.

This entry dated January 1, 1970 picked my curiosity.

marcos foundation 1Marcos foundation 2Marcos foundation 3Marcos foundation 4Marcos foundation 5

We should be asking about the Ferdinand Marcos Foundation.  Was it fiction or real?


April 4, 2014

National Geographic takes on the paranormal.


March 24, 2014

There’s nothing like hearing it from one who was once a committed, dyed-in-the-wool communist.


There is the tragedy of the Left in the Philippines. What it tried to wipe out in our country, poverty and inequality, have become worse after three decades. The Left hadn’t changed that a bit.

The Left has even made us poorer…


March 21, 2014

This is certain to raise the hackles of the Marcos haters while the Marcos loyalists would surely be overjoyed.



March 17, 2014

Here is one of the more interesting exchanges I have in one of the forums using Disqus.

A Philstar columnist, Ana Marie Pamintuan, writes wondering out loud why there is loot but there is no looter.

A newly arrived expat has an interesting question: why is it that the Philippine government has confiscated billions of pesos officially classified as ill-gotten wealth, but no one has gone to prison for illegally amassing the fortune?

The incongruity was lost to us Filipinos a long time ago, when the Marcoses returned one by one to the country, restarted their lives – toned down but still opulent – and quickly won elective office.

Today, while the nation still hasn’t completed the recovery of all the wealth that Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos are believed to have stashed away, Pinoy taxpayers continue to foot the bill for the perks and upkeep of public offices held by Imeldific and two of her children. The word “honorable” is appended to their official titles.

I commented:

Loot, but no looter.

Because we convicted the money not the person.

Ideally, the suspect is first convicted then properties confiscated. We did it the other way around.

Because the Swiss imposed a conditionality in the release of suspect deposits and we salivated on the money but was nowhere near convicting the Marcoses, the Supreme Court came up with a formula which was to compute the legal income of Marcos based on his declared income tax return and declaring that anything beyond is ill-gotten.

So there, we have a loot but no looter.

The Supreme Court decision after all was merely a summary judgment declaring the Swiss deposits prima facie evidence of ill-gotten wealth and must therefore be confiscated in favor of the government.  Did it pronounce anyone guilty of looting?  No!

Down the line, someone who goes by the handle Juanaguanta2 made this long comment:

“The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.”=Act 3, Scene II of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare= In fairness to F. Marcos, he did not invent corruption in the Philippines. He only expanded it into a colossal criminal enterprise. It is fair to say that the beneficiaries of this culture of corruption under his regime were his immediate families, friends, and cronies. When he became president, the Philippines external debt was almost zero. When he left, it was a staggering USD 28 Billion. In October 1976, the Philippines hosted an IMF-WB conference in Manila. Early in 1975 there were 14 applications for hotel projects. The builders were all Marcos cronies who received government guaranteed loans at an average of USD 100 million each. Most deposited about USD 60 million in Switzerland and the remaining 40 million were used to fund their hotel projects. This includes Imelda’s Philippine Plaza Hotel. All these under false pretense to build a 5 Star Hotel. Since they were underfunded, they turned out to be just a mediocre 2 or 3 star hotels. They were not even completed by the time the conference started. Eventually, these hotel operators became insolvent and the Philippine Government took over ownership including about 400 money loser corporations. All these cronies got away with about 60 million or more in hidden money in Swiss Banks. Losses by these corporations came to about 3 billion USD. ==

By Constantine Von Hoffman, CBS Money Watch: “The offshore tax havens of @ least 30 Americans accused of fraud, money laundering, or other financial crimes have been unearthed in a groundbreaking report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalist (ICIJ) and Global Consortium of News outlets. A cache of 2.5 million files were published on 4/4/13 exposing secrets of more than 120,000 offshore entities including Shell Corporations and legal structures known as Trusts… used to hide to finances of politicians, crooks, and others from 170 nations. Estimated value of as high as 32 Trillion about the size of US/Japan economies combined. The documents reveal among others, MARIA IMELDA MARCOS MANOTOC, daughter of the late Philippine Dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Speculations abound if this is part of the legendary 5B or more, her father amassed through corruption.

My reply:

“When he became president, the Philippines external debt was almost zero. When he left, it was a staggering USD 28 Billion.” 

This is evidence of plunder? Why, is anybody stopping anyone to use this as evidence in court in the many cases against the Marcoses?

“Speculations abound if this is part of the legendary 5B or more, her father amassed through corruption.”

If speculations could convict, then go ahead.

Her retort was swift and harsh:

Go figure!! if that’s to hard for you, then crawl back under the pile of excrement where you belong.

You have to wonder why some people could become so emotional and ‘excremental’ when discussing the issue of Marcos wealth.  But hey I could be as cool as a cat:

Typical reaction. But I am being patient. Conviction by public opinion is one thing. All you need is a rant similar to yours and a public which agrees. Conviction through a court ruling that will send one to jail with appropriate penalty is another. You need specific, detailed charges with specific evidence that will prove the charges and will establish without doubt that the accused is guilty. If you go to court and tell the judge Marcos is a plunderer and must be convicted as such because when he left national debt is $28B whereas there was virtually none when he started, the judge will probably die laughing.

The rejoinder was more mellowed this time:

I know you are just playing a devil’s advocate, given the archaic and corrupt nature of our judicial system. But the more relevant question is: why after 28 billion was borrowed, they have nothing to show for it except a damaged nation, a sick, hungry and poverty stricken people?? Perhaps the statute of limitations should be a part of any reforms given we have the political will to do it. Otherwise the Philippines is doomed if business as usual prevails.

I responded:

“…they have nothing to show for it…”

There are those hundreds of infrastructure projects costing billions of pesos, the most expensive of which was the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. ****

“… nothing to show for it except a damaged nation, a sick, hungry and poverty stricken people?…”

Now, that calls for a more complicated study. What went wrong? What policies brought us here? Why has our national productivity gone down?

I would point to the BNPP as one of the major reasons. Tens of billions of pesos of government fund paid over twenty five years, and not a single watt produced for absolutely zero returns (negative if you consider maintenance and other accompanying costs)– a perfect recipe for bankruptcy.

No more replies after that.

(BTW, I stand corrected: thirty years, not twenty five, $2.3 not $2.1).

Indeed, debt repayment on the plant was the country’s single biggest debt obligation for thirty years, devouring much of the entire annual national budget year after year.  Yet, there is very little attention paid to it and its contribution to the eventual financial bankruptcy of the Philippines, to our continuing problem with astronomical power cost, to intermittent power interruptions, and subsequently to our poverty.

How much eventually did we pay for the BNPP? I would estimate that the entire bill must have gone over P150,000,000,000. over thirty years.  Now, because it did not produce any returns, it meant that all that precious taxpayer’s money was literally and figuratively flushed down the drain all that time.

Still wondering whatever happened?!

Now, who’s to blame?  The President who had it built or the President who had it mothballed?


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