At odds with Bongbong Marcos

They say the issue with Marcos Jr. is not Martial Law. Kasi nga naman, mahigit  40 years na daw yon. Tapos na daw yon. Golden years pa nga ng Pilipinas yon. Besides, Marcos Jr. is an embodiment of the failed Edsa Revolution, and so on.

The real issue with Marcos Jr. is his denial of the atrocities of Martial Law that his father ordered and presided over, thanks to the legal justification by his brilliant advisor Juan Ponce Enrile, who has revised himself so many times I’ve lost count already. Filipinos are naturally gifted with semantic ability minus the formal, rigid philosophical training. We love splitting hairs even. We don’t want to call Marcos Jr. a liar. He is a denier, period. And this is worst.

The young Bongbong Marcos during his days in Oxford.

On the failed Edsa Revolution, people thought that their share in nation building ended after the removal of Ferdinand Sr from Malacanang. No, sir, the Marcoses merely relocated to a more conducive environment that allowed them the privilege of untouchability of the long (and now shortened) reach of the law. People sleep for 33 years, about the same productive years of their beloved Christian triune God Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ!

On their 34th year, people woke up to mini-Marcoses, mini dictatorships sprouting like mushrooms after a soothing midday rain.

Like a malevolent virus, the Marcos dynasty has mutated. The once controlled ‘oligarchy’ has been unleashed, this time more virulent. And where were we in all of these? We’re busy remaking patronage, making beeline to this and that congressman. The others go on with their own interest, unmindful and uncaring for why should they be expected to contribute more when they already had marched along Edsa, gave flowers and sandwiches to rebellious officers, and pounded clenched fists in Manila’s polluted air.

To many of these people, democracy is a frozen delight, like your favorite Carmen’s artisanal ice cream (for the discerning class, sorry). Well, I have a bad news for them, as if they haven’t heard it yet: your brand of democracy died in 1986 the moment you believe you’re done with your share in making it work not only for you but for the rest of the Filipinos, including those who call Ayala Alabang home.

So, if you are voting for Marcos Jr. because your dumb textbooks did not inform you that the effective suspension of human rights in those years resulted in thousands of innocent civilian deaths, you are by no means less guilty for not seeking a more truthful account because you are dazzled by his accomplishments in Ilocos Norte, yes, that beautiful province that’s beautified even more to mask the ugly part of its history written by one of its own.

Marcos Jr. needs redemption and to him it was as it is to serve the public, minus the recognition of his own culpability. Own culpability? Miriam–yes, that once brilliant lady whose tandem with Marcos Jr. defies logic-says that the sins of the father cannot be inherited by the son. She is right. But the plunder of the father can be. It is. I now believe that Marcos Jr. has deep personal reason why he could not–not he did not–pursue his Philosophy, Politics, and Economics degree studies in Oxford: it is impossible to philosophize the unphilosophical; the unjust is never justifiable. That was probably the only remaining healthy cells in Marcos Jr at that time. Unfortunately, it is now consumed by “cancer cells that eats everything around it.” (That phrase is my Miriam Santiago, his running mate.)

It is tragic enough that people were denied access to history as it unfolded. But it is beyond humanity that many are comforted by their own, personal version of pragmatism over shared contempt for injustice Marcos-style.

It’s a stupid idea to send these people back to school; it is even costlier to lobotomize them. The most convenient way is to quit, go to some faraway place where you hear none of them chantimg BBM! BBM! BBM! But unlike many of them, we’re not hopeless. . . hopeless in adoration and adulation of the demigods and demagogues who dominate our political life as a nation of half-gullible.

So, let’s continue the memory-making with the young, the hopeful, those whose minds are open to criticism, to dialogue, to the theses and anti-theses and the eventual syntheses in our desire to finally break that bond of ignorance that imprisons this generation and the generation before us.

There is much hope around. I see it daily at a school near our place where I can hear teachers teaching inconvenient truth to sixth graders of the evils of Martial Law.

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