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October 10, 2014

One clear day, I went straight to the lion’s den, so to speak, hoping to test my views and reasoning power.

The following exchanges were made over several days:


I’m actually elated at this year’s amount of pushback exerted in resisting the revisionist thinking on the anniversary of Martial Law and about the Marcoses. The dailies, blogs, TV and radio stations and even artists’ groups all exerted effort to set the record straight.

In prior years, there was very little, and the neo-Marcos loyalists were quietly garnering support. This year, they barely made any noise and did not get into debates.

Now, as for those Ateneans who selfied with Imelda….. buti nga talo Ateneo sa UAAP… ha ha ha ha


ang pagbalik ng pamilya ay nagbadya ng bad omen sa ating bansa. subalit ang mga mamamayan ay tahimik lang dahil halos walang ipinakitang reaksyon. bgkus ay naghalal pa ng isang kilalang marcos ally. ang pandarambong ng mag-asawang dorobo ay pinahintulutan din ng mga heneral dahil sa pasalubong at pabaon at ng mga mitshubishops. ngayon na namimingit na maulit ang kadilimang inihasik ng bangkay, dapat magsilbi itong aral sa atin na hindi dapat magwalambahala sa mga mumunting senyales ng pang-uuto at ng mga maling palabas at pakulo na mabuti ang rehimen ni makoy sa pamamagitan ng mga pilipit na pahayag sa media at websites.

Here, I came in on one main vile issue against Marcos:

I have been puzzling over this: Marcos’ brutalities, Marcos’ human rights violations. I think, at best, yes, by virtue of command responsibility as commander in chief.

But then, human rights violations did not stop after his ouster. In fact, some claim that the number of human rights violations cases, went up during the time of Cory, correct me if I’m wrong. But no one is claiming Cory’s human rights violations on account of command responsibility. Or Ramos’ brutalities for that matter, Erap’s human rights violations, GMAs human rights abuses… why is that? Saka bakit kay Marcos lang kayo galit?

I think the younger generation of historians will puzzle over that one too. By what principle is Marcos being blamed and cursed for these so-called atrocities?


because cory did not have control of the military the way marcos did. remember that cory was constantly harassed by the military by way of their bloody coup d’ etat.

I replied:

You could be correct with respect to Cory. What about the rest.

The question is to what degree is Marcos— or any commander in chief, for that matter— responsible for the acts of the soldiers and the field commanders? Did Marcos control the military to the extent that abuses are his personal responsibility rather than the uniformed men on the field and their superiors. He was commander in chief, alright (but) (w)as there a policy to be brutal and merciless or were these natural consequences of war?

You somehow get the feeling that Marcos was personally directing the conduct of those abuses in gleeful abandon or at least had given coldblooded consent to all forms of cruelties.

That is why I am in favor of collating records of those so-called abuses so that an honest review be done one by one and prosecute those who were directly responsible if they are still alive. By laying all the blame directly on Marcos, those who should be made to account have effectively escaped punishment.


thing is, the marcoses never admitted anything. even if everything is so obvious already. too bad, we really have a bad justice system at that time (up until now actually).

that’s why those people who were supposedly accountable for any undesirable deeds roamed free and got back here ala arnold s. terminator.

closest we have today is to at least learn from what history gave us. and yes, #NeverAgain.

I wrote to expand the point I wanted to make:

Likewise, have we heard the side of the soldiers who were fighting the insurgency? We are only willing it seems to listen to the so-called victims. Were they truly innocent bystanders or freedom fighters. Or communist combatants fighting to take over the government? In the old days, human rights victims denied any connection with the communist movement. Recently, to make a case for Marcos savagery, the Inquirer featured the suffering of four human rights violations ‘victims’: they are Satur Ocampo and three former ranking communist leaders turned corporate ceos. Do you know that the claimants to billions of dollars in human rights reparations in the Hawaii case are mostly members of SELDA, a communist front organization, to include top communist leader Joma Sison?

A distinction must be made between genuine victims and those who are not. 

You could sense the emotion in the answer:


so what if majority of the claimants are commies? are commies not human beings? you’re becoming more of a fascist defender each time you post.

Quickly, he adds:

marcos egged on the military to trample upon the people’s rights. without the military, marcos would not have lasted for a day after his constitutional term ended in january 30, 1973. marcos and the military during the martial law years were indispensable to one another.

I ended the exchange:

Nothing further. I rest my case.

I could have replied, how exactly did marcos egg the military to “trample upon the people’s rights”?  But I did not sense it could lead to a healthy debate.  I could have explained why in my view Marcos declared Martial law but you could feel he is the kind who has made up his mind that Marcos declared Martial law due to his greed for power and wealth.

I was waiting for Andrew Lim, who himself  started the stream, to come back and say something more intelligent and cutting but he did not.  Or maybe even the host, Raissa Robles, who comes from the same mold.  Or anyone else among the other dedicated anti-Marcos posters.   It’s probably just me, but I have yet to encounter any compelling argument against my line of contention.   Just some recycled, tiresome lines of  angry retort that do not pass for decent argument.   I thought going straight to where the anti-Marcos forces congregate would make them come out in full force to wreck into pieces my line of thinking, but only one or two showed up.  I am not worth their time, maybe.   Still, I could change my mind.   If a stronger argument comes, why not?

It could well be a difference in perspective: where I am coming from and where they are.

I come from the perspective that sees the threat of communism as very real, and taking over the reins of government by force  of violence as part of the communist plot.  This, combined with the massive devastation and the deaths of millions  in neighboring  countries like Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos at about the same time following the takeover of communists.  Not to mention the scale of wreckage Communism has inflicted elsewhere around the world since its inception.

They come from another perspective, where communism is viewed as an insignificant force, a benign, non-threatening ideology whose only purpose is to correct the social inequities, nothing more, and Marcos was using it only as an excuse to prolong his hold of power and means to enrich himself.

Still, I think if you want to preserve your version of history, and keep “revisionists” at bay, you must endeavor to leave forceful arguments, along with particulars, that could stand the test of time against contrary views, not rants, not bombast, not outbursts.  Think of the younger generation of historians who will dissect the details and will write history long after you are gone and only your written and recorded arguments are left on their own to carry the flame for you and your conviction.

To an earlier post I reacted:

“For various reasons, no post-Marcos administration made it a point to keep the memory of the atrocities and the greed alive and pass this on to the next generation.”


There’s the EDSA monument. There’s the Shrine at Ortigas. There’s the Ninoy monument at Ayala. There’s the tarmac marked with Ninoy’s body. I think there’s also a museum dedicated for that purpose. There’s the law compensating so-called human rights victims. There are the annual celebrations of the February uprising, Ninoy’s death anniversary, Martial law declaration, etc all dedicated for remembering the dark days and bashing evil Marcos. There are the hundreds of cases filed against the family You can inventory all articles written on magazines and newspapers on the Marcoses since 1986, probably 97% were either bashing, parodying, making fun of the Marcoses. Same in other mediums.

So what else do you need “to keep the memory of atrocities and the greed alive”?. Just this week, show me something written that was praiseful of the Marcoses?

If anything, it is overkill. Something faintly suggesting positive about Marcos and here comes a horde screaming “revisionists!!”

It is about substance.  Without substance the entire argument will collapse inevitably on the thinness of its framework and weakness of foundation no matter what props you put to keep it up.  Ultimately, Truth is its own defense.  If you are on its side, you need not even say or do anything.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Razul permalink
    October 15, 2014 7:25 am

    This is just my speculation without any evidence to present to you. I think one of the reasons why he declared Martial Law is to assume a quick strategic stance in battle with the most options/control in his hand. This enabled him to quickly reorganize the government forces, resume or enforce order rapidly which can only happen under one iron clad rule. This will quickly counter the threat of communism which presents a facade of fairness but hides its true nature underneath. Many kept arguing that this is just an excuse that Marcos made so he could prolong his tenure, it maybe true, but you can never know a true person’s intention until you see the end result. It is said that transformation/revolution will not happen without any form of conflict/stimulus to act as catalyst for change or movement, a fact that you can find anywhere. Luckily, the edsa revolution is the effect of that catalyst which pushed us further to fully establish a democratic country, defeating the advance of communist influence creeping slowly in our government.

    • October 16, 2014 3:42 am

      You are right: how do you really know an individual’s intention? We can only speculate, indeed, on the basis of our own biases and how we read the environment within which an action was taken. For instance, there is another theory which says he declared Martial Law to avoid being killed, as his enemies were sure to descend upon him once out of power.

      But the threat of communism was real. The anti- Marcos forces assert it was not, using mostly the advisory of US intel as basis. You have to ask though, how did the US intel perform in Cambodia and Vietnam and Laos? It is not so much how large or potent the NPA was at the time as how tantalized and attracted so many people were by the ideology as a means to cure grinding poverty, for the masses, and as a force to reform society, for the intelligensia. That it had bagged the support of the most popular politician at that time, Ninoy Aquino, and some of the most influential and intelligent personalities in many sectors, should give idea what sort of blinding, compelling force it came with. To be sure, only a few were yet familiar then with the killing fields where millions were murdered as with the unimaginable social disaster Communism brought to some nations.

      Here, you see the bleeding hearts cry over the hurt and pains that communist combatants and ideologues went through in the ensuing conflict, while applauding over the billions of dollars they won as human rights victims. Do they care about the struggles of the soldiers who fought them? We’ll see how the future historians take this.

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