Marcos was the worst


GLORIA ARROYO practiced what the Freedom from Debt Coalition called “fiscal dictatorship”—impounding allocations at will and realigning items in reenacted budgets without congressional authorization. (Those who visit her at the hospital where she is detained may continue to deny reality, but it was this control of the budget that allowed the pork barrel scam to flourish.) Joseph Estrada centralized  jueteng  operations right in Malacañang. (He also forced the Social Security System to buy stocks for which he received a P180-million commission.) Compared to Ferdinand Marcos, however, Arroyo and Estrada were rank amateurs.

Marcos institutionalized corruption on such a scale we continue to feel its effects today. In his 20 years in power, the country’s foreign debt metastasized from about $1 billion to over $25 billion; in a statement released last year, FDC repeats the estimate that as much as a third of all that debt, about $8 billion, went into his pockets or those of his cronies. The country will continue paying for all that debt until 2025.

I am of the opinion, however, that the money was secondary, even incidental, to Marcos: what he really wanted was power. He was among the brightest of his generation; he prided himself on his legal acumen; but it was his political skills that drove him, like a daemon.

Writing in November 1976, the eminent scholar David Wurfel described Marcos as a superlative Machiavellian. “His political skills are practically unequalled in Philippine history and, in fact, he must rank high among Asian power-holders today in the sophistication of his tactics—indeed one of Machiavelli’s most apt disciples. He is also, unlike Diem (Ngo Dinh Diem, the first president of South Vietnam), finely attuned to the nuances of Filipino behavior. Said Rafael Salas, his former Executive Secretary, who resigned before martial law, ‘He knows the average Filipino: to what degree [he] can be scared, what are the limits before he becomes violent. Within these limits, he will apply any sort of artifice.’”

The diaries Marcos kept, beginning with his second term, help throw light on the sophisticated artifices he fashioned and then applied. I haven’t read all of the diaries; I don’t know anyone who has. I have only managed to read the pages available online, especially those on the Philippine Diary Project. But even the investigative journalist William C. Rempels acknowledges, in his updated “Diary of a Dictator,” that the copies he received in the late 1980s were missing many pages. I am curious to know whether Manolo Quezon, now back in Malacañang as a one-man brain trust and resident historian, has had a chance to see the originals for himself.

There is also the fact that Marcos wrote his diaries with an eye on history; he was posing, and at times deliberately fabricating the record he assiduously committed to paper (which was, more often than not, official Malacañang stationery). Like almost everything else he did or had his name attached to (for instance: “Tadhana: A History of the Filipino People”) the Marcos diaries cannot be taken at face value.

But if even Spanish colonial chronicles can be read and studied profitably to shed light on the history of the colonized Filipino, then surely the Marcos diaries can be read and studied to good purpose, too.

If we do, we can then find out that the dictator kept exclusive, indeed divine, company.

On April 16, 1973, he wrote: “One of my advisors wrote to me of spiritual retreats that I should not be in the company of my subordinates. I must tell him when I see him one cannot call God a subordinate! For that is the company I keep.”

It is possible that Marcos was merely indulging in a bit of whimsy, perhaps rehearsing a quip in advance. But the pages of the Marcos diaries I read suggest that humor or wit was not his strong suit. Coupled with his innumerable references to Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte and Winston Churchill, this passage seems to me to strike the authentic note, of self-aggrandizement.

The diaries have the virtue of being written over a long period of time; it allows the reader to see that Marcos was preparing a “Contingency Plan” (Feb. 28, 1970), a “new plan of government and society” (Jan. 4, 1971), a “possible proclamation of martial law” (Sept. 9, 1972) not only weeks but years ahead of time.

And when he finally decides to strike, the self-deception is absolute. On Sept. 28, 1972, five days after imposing martial law, he writes: “The legitimate use of force on chosen targets is the incontestable secret of the reform movement.”

The Palace coup he has engineered is rationalized as a reform movement. (Indeed, he calls it the New Society.) Many other coup plotters or power grabbers in history have seen their task as social reform. But “chosen targets”? Set aside, for the moment, the startling fact that the first wave of arrests included three sitting senators (Ninoy Aquino, Pepe Diokno, Monching Mitra). What kind of democratic reform requires the “use of force”?

On Sept. 25, 1972, after listing several completed tasks (and indulging in a patently illegal consultation with two Supreme Court justices), he strikes a self-congratulatory note. “It is indeed gratifying that everyone now finds or discovers I am some kind of a hero!”

But what a hero. Even if we credit his repeated rationalizations that he declared martial law to save the Republic from the communist threat, he must be adjudged an abysmal failure. In 1972, his own estimate of the strength of the New People’s Army was 1,028 armed regulars. In 1986, the year the people finally chased him out of the Palace, the total had risen to some 22,500. His dictatorship was communism’s biggest recruiter.

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  • AguinaldoIsNotAHero

    So that everyone will know…

    World’s Ten Most Corrupt Leaders

    #1 Suharto (Indonesia)
    #2 FERDINAND E. MARCOS (Philippines)

    #10 Joseph ESTRADA (Philippines)

    Here’s the link for the complete list [replace commas (‘,’) with periods (‘.’)]

    • johndoe_phil

      Hey paid zombie!

      It all boils down to hanging the thieves, from Noynoying’s allies to the opposition involved with JLN. It shouldn’t be selective. Tell also your zombie master to go after the Marcoses :P

      And please Mr. Writer, stop diverting the issue by highlighting someone notorious. The real issue is, the pork barrel scam is still happening even if this current administration is espousing a daang matuwid slogan which made people believe him.

      • AguinaldoIsNotAHero

        I am not a paid zombie, you are.

        I thought first you’re one of the reds but I realized that you’re a Marcos loyalist, getting paid by Bongbong Marcos.

        Still denying that Marcos killed thousands of Filipinos and plundered our nation.

      • johndoe_phil

        Can’t reason well which is actually expected of a yellow zombie. :P Paid hack.

      • AguinaldoIsNotAHero

        You are the paid hack.

  • Kuya_Orot

    There was corruption during Marcos time alright. That’s is indisputable. But the difference then and now is how much was being asked. Five percent for the boss another five for the boys. That was the take then, ten percent. However, when Cory became president, it more than doubled, including our debts. Mga gutom ang mga Kamaganak Inc. at ang mga yellow allies nya, eh. Then it was Tabako’s turn to pillaged the treasury. Came the Womanizing Immoral Plunderer. After which was Pandak and Big Fat Mike Arroyo. In 2010, Abnoy boasted of “matuwid na daan”. It seems to be the long sought answer to our prayers for a progressive life for our countrymen. But unfortunately, it wasn’t so. We were lulled by their sweet promises and found ourselves in fool’s paradise. Kaya TUWAD na naman ang mga Pilipino. Ngayon ang SOPs are, 35-50% for the Boss, 12% for the agency, 3% for COA, 5% for the PBAC, sa Senado bigay agad 15% for the boys pag may SARO na, separate from the boss’s, pag nagmamadali ka upang lumabas agad ang nasabing SARO, 15% din hingian sa DBM, same sa Senado, bigay agad. Tawag nila, KALIWAAN. May matitira pa kaya para sa proyekto pag dinagdagan pa ng miscellaneous expenses like wining ang dining ng mga gov’t officials, pangsabong ni Governor, ni Congressman or ni Mayor, pabaon pa nila para sa kanilang trips abroad?? Contractor’s profit at para sa mga NGO is 15%. Resulta = GHOST PROJECTS!! Utas ang kaban ng bayan. GUTOM ANG INABOT NI JUAN DELA CRUZ!!

    • inquirercet

      8 billion dollars of 25 is almost a third. i do not know where you got the 10%. his greatest crime is not that he stole money, but that he made stealing the standard. he corrupted the judiciary, the military, the legislative, all with the stroke of his pen. so, no, i don’t care if he only took 10% or 30%. corruption used to be done in shameful secrecy, after marcos it became an inconvenient necessity. don’t you see? i’m not saying that all the presidents after him is without fault, but our real enemy — this culture of corruption — started under marcos. to slay this enemy we need to acknowledge and place blame where it is due.

      just try and research the quality of politicians we have before and after marcos. he dumbed down the level of political discourse in this country by killing anyone with half a brain cell. almost assuring that we never get out of this pit he pushed us into.

      to let the marcoses wash their hands of this mess we’re in is tantamount to accepting rape as a normal everyday activity we must endure.

      • DarkJustice

        May punto ka kabayan..Pero napapaisip lang ako,kung ang EDSA1 rebolusyon noon ay tunay na pagbabago sa gobyerno at Pilipinas, bakit hindi nalinis ang hanay ng gobyerno? Sa tingin ko,hindi din kasi ginawa ng mga lider noon mula sa Cory admin na maging ehemplo ng pagbabago,bagkus,sila ang nagpatuloy ng naputol na korapsyon sa gobyerno. Sino ba dapat ang sisihin?

      • inquirercet

        there is enough blame to go around but marcos clearly deserve the bulk of it. cory, for all her faults, did try her best. i do not know anyone at that point in history that could have united us like she did. i expected ramos, being a more experienced political player, to fix the system. pero we all know that didn’t happen, but he did bring us a little prosperity, albeit a short one. then the estrada and arroyo presidency set us back another 10 years in my opinion., for me a big chunk of the blame (post-marcos blame) belongs to these two. think about it. we have not lost sight of our goals as much as when these two idiots were in office. now comes aquino, to whom my verdict is not yet final. i don’t want to sound fascist, but revolutions without blood is useless. one side has to have a very decisive victory in order for the whole to go forward. we have to look at our path — past and future — in order to make the right decisions for the future. putting blame where it is due, and punishing erring people is as essential to progress as building moral ground rules are to raising a child. all this is my observation and opinion only, i am not an expert on the subject but i hoped i answered your question.

      • kay duterte kami

        100% agreed to you @ inquirercet! Wish others has the same calibre with you as I disagree with those who wants to post comment with bitterness with full of criticism without submitting alternatives. Filipinos had lost the basic moral values. We will never recover and progress unless every one contiribute their share of nation building starting from their home as the life of a nation depends upon the moral and civic virtue of its citizens.

      • inquirercet

        also try this:


        it’s very interesting perspective from lee kuan yew about the philippines kabayan. :)

    • lifedead28

      Kuya huwag mo masyadong ilabas ang katotohanan..magagalit ang mga Noytards dito.Sasabhin na naman ng mga yan na si Gloria, Corona at Marcos ang dahilan kung bakit ganito ang Pilipinas…Wala na ba kayong tamang Palusot? Ibahin nyo naman.hahahahah!

      • IntsikPwetPakantot

        Nabigla ka at kulang ang naporsyento mo! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a Marcos Fanatic, than for a Marcos Fanatic to pass an IQ Test sabi ni mad_as_hamlet, kaya kayo-kayo, naglolokohan! HAHAHAHA!!

      • lifedead28

        woi…nandito ka pa pala tamod boy!hahahahah

      • IntsikPwetPakantot

        Mahirap din ang tamad na bakla ano? Puro tamod ang sa nguso o sa pwet! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

      • lifedead28

        Palusot dot com…bow!hahahahah

      • IntsikPwetPakantot

        Baklang tamad @ hindotDOTcom…bash your face in…HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!

      • lifedead28

        palusto dot com….magsama kayo ng amo mong bading.!

      • IntsikPwetPakantot

        Ayaw pa kunyaring malaman e certified na! Nakapost na sa LOL!!

      • lifedead28

        hahahah..gaya gaya wala ka na bang magawa at pati pangongopya ng istilo ng pagkutya gingawa mo na. Kawawa ka!Shabu pa pre!

      • PunyeteroKa

        Si Zombiedad na aso ko, ama mo, galit nga sa pyutangina mo at nabigyan siya ng tutang gaya mo na baklang tamad, estapador pa. Posibleng ipinagbuntis ka raw sa lalamunan dahil mahilig sa tsupa ang nanay mo, kaya bago nya gamitin na naman, kakagatin raw at hiyang-hiya na sa trabaho mo! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

      • lifedead28

        yan ang nagagawa ng shabu sa utak kung ano ano na ang lumalabas sa bibig…hahahahah..kakaawa ka parang bagay ka sa mental.hahahahah.Shabu pa!

      • PunyeteroKa

        Manalamin ka, ikaw yan na lumabas sa bibig ng pohtangina mo kaya hiyang-hiya na ang aso kong si Zombiedad at nagkaroon siya ng tutang adik, bakla, estapador, etc. ROTFL!!

      • lifedead28

        hahahahah….dapat ba akong manalamin o ikaw eh sa tono ng mga pananalita mo may mga PI ka pa.It only means something is wrong with your mind.hahahahha.Nasobrahan sa hithit yan pre!hahahaha.Ipagpatuloy mo lng.Shabu pa pre!

      • PunyeteroKa

        Para makita mo ang pagkahawig mo kay Zombiedad, at di mo maikaila pohtangina mo, kaya pati lalamunan, suriin mo at doon ka ipinagbuntis! Gusto mo kasing remedyo lang, hitit ng shabu, kaso hanggang rugby ka na lang at tinakbuhan mo ang pusher mo. HAHAHAHA!!

      • lifedead28

        umuusok na sa galit si PK hahahha.yan ang nagagawa ng shabu sa utak, nagiging malanya sa pananalita, at nagiging baboy sa paguugali. Manang mana sa amo nyang panot na wla namang ginawa kundi manisi at mag palusot!hahahahah.Shabu pa pre!

      • PunyeteroKa

        Aba nagpayo ang mental case na hinahanap na takas sa Mandaluyong! Di makaila na pohtangina mo nga at pinagbuntis ka sa lalamunan! Sa susunod, huwag kang pa-troll troll ng hindi mo kabisado at malas mo lang, aso ko ang ama mo! HAHAHAHA!!

      • lifedead28

        ayan..kitang kita ang ebidensya isipin mo nagpayo daw ako.hahahahah.kawawang nilalang ka talga PK.talagang nalusaw na ang utak mo sa kaka shabu.Di mo na alam ang tama sa mali sa mga sinasabi mo.Ayan..sige pa.Shabu pa pre!hahahah

      • PunyeteroKa

        Payo mo sa lahat ng usapan dito, mag-shabu, di ba? Miss na miss mo at rugby ka na lang, mamaya niyan pati pohtangina mo kakantotin mo pa, kasama ang half-sisters mo at liban sa ibang diperensya mo, molester na bakla ka pa! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!

      • lifedead28

        hahahahah..di kita kailangang payuhan alam na naman ng marami na nalusaw na talaga ang utak mo sa shabu eh.kita naman.hahahaha.tingnan mo mga sagot mo, kundi sobrang malanya, eh maraming palusot, tsaka sgot ng may sira sa pagiisip ang mga post mo eh.hahahha.Huwag magagalit, Akoy nagsasabi ng totoo lamang. Tsaka ang sinabi ko shabu pa pre! Hindi pre magshabu ka na!hahahha.Sobrang engot ng bading na to!hahahaha.Lol!

      • PunyeteroKa

        Umiiling lang si Zombiedad sa inabutan ng tuta niya! Ni hindi raw binuhat ang legacy nila, pati pohtangina walang masabi at nagsasalita ng iba sa gustong sabihin, pag nabuko, kung ano-ano ang palusot o pambaliktad! Tingnan mo iyan, oras na magtrabaho, nakaistambay at nag-aantay ng maloko. Huwag kang ganyan at kami, me negosyo, me pension pa! Yang katamaran mo, babalik yan sa iyo pagtanda mo, pero sigurado hindi ka aabot ng gaya namin dahil dog years lang ang bibilangin mo! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!

    • AllaMo

      Ogag! Ikaw na naman ba yan, bongget? Ginawa nga’ng personal na ATM nang tatay at nanay mo yung kaban nang bayan noon – hanggang pati ikaw na ngayon. Buset!

    • mamerto

      It was during “Marcos-time” when, Corruption was “penny-ante”…, Before.
      Then gravitated to “grand-larceny” … After.
      It was those times that “corruption” became an occupation.
      It was those times your intelligence was gauge upon your astuteness in evil.

  • johndoe_phil

    It all boils down to hanging the thieves, from Noynoying’s allies to the opposition.
    It shouldn’t be selective.

    And please Mr. Writer, stop diverting the issue by highlighting someone notorious. The real issue is, the pork barrel scam is still happening even if this current administration is espousing a daang matuwid slogan which made people believe him.

    • inquirercet

      geez, what a lightweight.

      • AguinaldoIsNotAHero


    • johndoe_phil

      Oh let me add, as a challenge to Noynoying, please go after Gloria, Estrada and Marcos. I’d love to see you do the tricks and fast track everything the way you did to Corona.

      And to the comments below, thank you!

      You should guys continue to light candles and pray to your demi noynoying god zillish.

  • AllaMo

    Phuck all the impunity-living marcoses, all the enriles, all their thieving cohorts, and all their mindless remoras! And, phuck the memory of ferdinand edralin marcos!!

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