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A hero’s burial for Marcos is a shameless attempt to rewrite history

About markpere2010

Mark Pere Madrona has worked as an editor for a book publishing company. A former intern for the Philippine Star, he has contributed articles and write-ups for Philippine Daily Inquirer, VERA Files, and Yahoo News Philippines as well as online media sites like AllVoices and Definitely Filipino. He received the Best Text Blog award during the 7th Annual PopDev Media Awards for his series of posts tackling migration, premarital pregnancies, and sex education.

A hero’s burial for Marcos is a shameless attempt to rewrite history Over 200 lawmakers in the Philippine Congress have signed House Resolution 1135. Introduced by Sorsogon Rep. Salvador Escudero III, HR 1135 urges President Benigno Aquino III to allow the burial of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani (National Heroes’ Cemetery). The essence of the resolution in itself is abhorrent, while the justifications cited in the “whereas” clauses betray either a sheer ignorance of established facts or a shameless attempt to twist history.

Among those who endorsed HR 1135 is former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, her sons Mikey and Dato, and brother-in-law Iggy (of Jose Pidal fame). Celebrities-turned-lawmakers Dan Fernandez, Lani Mercado-Revilla, and Lucy Torres-Gomez also backed the said resolution. Naturally, Imelda Marcos signed the move, together with Pangasinan Rep. Kimi Cojuangco (Danding’s daughter-in-law), San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor Ejercito, and Las Piñas Rep. Mark Villar . Ejercito’s father, former President Joseph Estrada, also moved for Marcos’ burial in Libingan ng mga Bayani during his presidency. Meanwhile, Sen. Manny Villar got the Marcoses’ endorsement for his 2010 presidential run*.

The resolution commended Marcos for being “a well-decorated soldier, a veteran of World War II, and a survivor of the Bataan Death March.” Official U.S Army records have quelled his tale of leading a guerilla unit named Ang Mga Maharlika as early as late 1940s. One of those who unearthed this damaging fact (as far as Marcos is concerned) is American historian Alfred McCoy from the University of Wisconsin. He detailed his research in the book Closer than Brothers. His findings were reported by New York Times in 1986. The front-page story was released merely two weeks before that year’s snap presidential elections between Marcos and Corazon Aquino. Some excerpts** :

“Throughout his political career, Mr. Marcos, now President of the Philippines, has portrayed himself as a heroic guerrilla leader, and the image has been central to his political appeal… Documents that had rested out of public view in United States Government archives for 35 years show that repeated Army investigations found no foundation for Mr. Marcos’s claims that he led a guerrilla force called Ang Mga Maharlika in military operations against Japanese forces from 1942 to 1944.”

HR 1135 noted that Marcos “built the modern foundations of the Philippines” as its “longest serving president.” “He was responsible for the construction of vast infrastructure, the utilization of our energy sources, and the strengthening of local governments.” No mention of the fact that these projects (e.g. the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant) were financed by foreign institutions like World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and that the bulk of these were pocketed by who else? In 2004, Transparency International ranked Marcos as the 2nd most corrupt leader in the world, next only to Indonesia’s Suharto*** . His loot was pegged at $10 billion. In fact, a government body was created to try to recover the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth.

“It can never be gainsaid that Ferdinand Marcos gave invaluable service to his country as soldier, writer, statesman, President, and commander-in-chief.” The effects of the Marcos dictatorship in many aspects of the Philippine society has been studied extensively the past decades by a wide array of scholars, journalists, political scientists, historians and many others. A cursory view of these would reveal a legacy of failure. I am not a big fan of the current president, I did not even vote for him. However, we cannot just allow this blatant attempt to sugarcoat reality. On the entrance of the Libingan ng mga Bayani, it is written: “I do not know the dignity of his birth, but I do know the glory of his death.” What is glorious in having 3,257 killed, 35,000 tortured, and 70,000 political dissidents incarcerated under your administration****?

 

[*] ______________. Does your representative approve of Marcos’ burial in Libingan? ABS-CBN News Online. http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/03/29/11/does-your-representative-approve-marcos-burial-libingan. Accessed March 29, 2011.

[**] Gerth, Jeff and Brinkley, J. Marcos Wartime Role Discredited in U.S. Files. New York Times Online. http://www.nytimes.com/1986/01/23/world/marcos-s-wartime-role-discredited-in-us-files.html?scp=2&sq=ferdinand+marcos+war+medals&st=nyt

[***] _____________. Suharto tops corruption rankings. BBC News Online.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/3567745.stm.  Article dated March 25
, 2004.

[****] McCoy, Alfred. Dark legacy: Human rights under the Marcos regime. World History Archives. http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/54a/062.html.


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  • ako ang iyong kunsensiya

    pag nilibing niyo si marcos sa libingan ng bayani, para niyo na rin binalewala ang pagiging bayani ni ninoy!

    tanong… bakit kaya tinutulungan ng mga polpolitiko sila marcos ngayon? sagot, siyempre kung mapapatupad ito, babango ang pangalan ng mga pumabor sa mga marcos, siyempre may kapalit ding pabor yun…

    mga tarantado talaga… mga sarili lang ang iniisip… suhestiyon ko, wag niyo na iboto ulit ang mga congressman na pumapabor dito sa kagaguhan nato…

    napakaganda ng pilipinas… pero napakabulok ng politika…

    siya nga pala, andami kong nabasa tungkol kay angelo reyes… kesyo si angelo reyes daw e nakalibing sa libingan ng mga bayani bakit di si marcos? ang tanong ko, sino ba kasing gago ang pumayag? ako hindi!

    saka, ngayon lng ako nakakita ng nagpakamatay na may pari. alam ko mortal sin ang pagpapakamatay a. kapal nga ng mukha ng pamilya na un e… feel na feel nila na bayani ang padre de pamilya nila…

    WoW! ngayon lng ako nakakita ng isang duwag na nailibing sa libingan ng mga bayani. mas ginusto pa niya mamatay kesa harapin ang mga kasalanan niya, kung hindi kaduwagan yun ewan ko na lang… :p

    • Ed

      Paano naman naging bayani si Ninoy? Wala naman syang nagawa sa Pilipinas ah?

      • Jess Reyes

        Ay engot si Ed

        • Ed

          Engot? i asked you nicely kung paano naging bayani si Ninoy? But you answered me wrong and in not a good word! Sino ang mas engot satin? What Ninoy did to our country? He just assassinated then he become hero? Well, you don’t know the story well. Look what the present government did. Another scam, exit to hacienda Luisita cost of million pesos by tax payer like me?So sino ang mas engot sating dalawa? Bastos ka ah? Mayabang at hambog na sobra ang katagasan sa katawan! Natuto ka lang magtype eh magaling ka na? Ano ba ang tinapos mong kurso? Pasado ka ba sa board exam? Ikaw ang Engot! Gago! Pinaka tanga sa mga tanga! Gumising kayo sa katotohanan! Pare pareho lang ang mga nasa gobyerno na may pansariling intensyon! Di ko intensyon na makipag diskusyon sayo pero ang pangit pangit pangit ng ugali mo at nanghuhusga ka agad ng kapwa mo na di mo naman kilala! Gunggong!!! Tanga! Ulele! Dungo!

  • Sus

    Walang bang karapatan ang mga teenagers magbigay ng opinion nila?? So ano to, para sa matatanda na lang? Ikaw atang pea brained Tanda!

    (Bongbong (what an immature name for a grown up!) who is accustomed to the lifestyle of the rich and famous being a Marcos, is surely following his father’s footsteps, and also on the sideline pulling the strings for him is Imelda, as she did to her husband. Undeniably, Bongbong’s name being a Marcos spells biased opinion in every way!)

    Ano to? gawa gawa na lang tayo ng storya? Kulang ka ata sa characters, ilagay mo na lang c Sponge Bob at c Naruto para masaya.. Boploks! Kaya nga ayoko na maniwala minsan sa mga matatanda at historians kuno. Nagiging bias yung storya.

    (What is glorious in having 3,257 killed, 35,000 tortured, and 70,000 political dissidents incarcerated under your administration)
    – Kung basehan lang naman pala to.. eh d lagay na lang tayo ng statistics para sa lahat ng president of the Philippines para kumpleto..

    (Here’s another thought. If he were “buried”, how humbling to realize that worms eat rich and famous people too!) – Ito ang isa sa mga example na dapat alisin sa mentality ng mga tao.. Ano ka? Naiinggit? Wala ka bang pera at d ka sikat? How this humbles anyone since it’s a fact of life?

    This issue is a 2 sides of a coin. Some consider him as the most evil person in the Philippines, some think of him as a misunderstood hero. But he’s still the president, I really believed that he should be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani for the fact that he once became a leader to the people. Huwag nyong lahatin ang mga desisyon as if kayo lang may say sa issue na to mga Marcos haters dahil ndi sa lahat naging masama ang nangyaring Martial Law.

    • ako ang iyong kunsensiya

      di ko maintindihan ang gusto mong sabihin bro… lahat ng sagot mo, pambabara lang…

      natawa ako sa sinabi mo na “hindi sa lahat naging masama ang martial law”..

      oo hindi sa lahat… kasi may porsiyento rin naman na nakinabang e… malamang isa ang pamilya mo sa nakinabang…

      bro, kung hindi ka nawalan ng kapamilya, mahal sa buhay na nalumpo dahil sa torture, mahal sa buhay na nakulong ng dahil sa political agenda, wag ka na lng magsalita dahil kitang kita na wala kang alam sa nangyari.

      sa argumento mo na dapat siya malibing sa libingan ng bayani sa kadahilanang naging leader xa ng pilipinas, eto ang tanong ko sayo… si hitler naging leader ng bansa,(sabihin na nating naitabi ang labi ng katawan niya) dapat ba xa ilibing sa libingan ng bayani?

  • Sheri

    Yes, Marcos was intelligent. He was too intelligent to fool and scam not only the Filipino people but also the foreign countries who abetted him by funding projects in the Philippines. Bongbong (what an immature name for a grown up!) who is accustomed to the lifestyle of the rich and famous being a Marcos, is surely following his father’s footsteps, and also on the sideline pulling the strings for him is Imelda, as she did to her husband. Undeniably, Bongbong’s name being a Marcos spells biased opinion in every way!

    Why are you asking a teenager? What do they know about the regime of the Marcoses? I am 55, I know!

    How typical to be so pea brained to compare prices of galunggong now to the Marcos era! Of course everything goes up in prices, and I mean worldwide! It has nothing to do with Marcos! How exasperating to hear them whine!

    Good grief, an Escudero from Sorsogon started the campaign to lobby that Marcos’ body be buried at the LNMB? I am ashamed! I grew up in Sorsogon and I’m sure my first husband is related to that Escudero! That’s it, I’m going into seclusion!

    No, keep Marcos in his mausoleum. It is a sweet revenge that he is not allowed the glory his family thinks he deserves. He is a mere tourist attraction now. Their stolen wealth can maintain the upkeep. When Imelda’s time will come, they can be together as always, in love, politics and crime.

    But wait! Did they expect that to be at the LNMB, the country will take over the upkeep of his glorious tomb and the salary of the guards? Maybe that is the reason why they want it sooo badly!

    Here’s another thought. If he were “buried”, how humbling to realize that worms eat rich and famous people too!