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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.


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