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After all these years, official recognition. The soon-to-be-signed Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 sets aside at least P10 billion as compensation for victims of human rights abuses committed by the Marcos dictatorship. Substantial as the amount is, however, the real import of the new measure is not accounting, but accountability. For the first time—and for all time—the state acknowledges its duty to fulfill a double act of recognition.
By Ma. Ceres P. Doyo
I think of Purificacion Viernes whom I interviewed and photographed in the early 1980s. She was in a hospital bed, her feet raised by strings and pulleys, the burned soles of her feet showing proof of torture. She recounted how soldiers strafed her home and killed members of her family. Wounded, Purificacion played dead. A soldier burned the soles of her feet with a lighter to find out if she was alive or dead….
Twenty-six years after Edsa I, the fabled treasure hoard of the late Ferdinand Marcos continues to dazzle and intrigue. During his 20 years in power, the strongman and his wife Imelda, as well as a number of their cronies, were believed to have moved billions of dollars of public funds to bank accounts and investments in Switzerland, the United States and other countries. So much wealth was taken from the country that no precise amount of the loot has been given to this day. And very little has been recovered so far.
By Juan L. Mercado
“COUNT ON Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything else,” Winston Churchill once joked. They did the right thing is what our e-mail traffic indicates, after Barack Obama trounced Mitt Romney with 303 Electoral College votes to win reelection.
About two weeks ago, human rights victims suing the Marcos dictatorship won another, important legal victory. Whether this will bring the victims closer to realizing the legal justice they have already received—in 1992, the United States District Court for Hawaii ordered the estate of Ferdinand Marcos to pay the victims nearly $2 billion in damages—remains to be seen. But the new judgment puts additional pressure on the Marcos family, undermines the estate’s legal strategy and allows the human rights claimants wider scope for collecting on the damages. For all these reasons, we join the many who hail the ruling as both just and necessary.
By Conrado de Quiros
I said it before: Juan Ponce Enrile has got to be one of the luckiest persons on earth. In at least two life-changing, or history-altering, situations, he was there at the right place at the right time.
Who did not hear of the name Herminio Disini in the 1970s and 1980s? A close associate and golfing buddy of the strongman Ferdinand Marcos, Disini finessed the eponymous Herdis Group until it acquired mythic proportions. Time magazine reported in 1978 that the man was able to transform a small cigarette filter manufacturing plant into an empire of 33 companies with total assets amounting to some $200 million in just six years. The companies were engaged in oil exploration, mining, textile manufacturing, and charter flights, among others. The empire was said to have peaked at $1 billion in total assets—then and now a mind-blowing sum.
By Conrado de Quiros
The Joker is still wild. He talks of spies and moles and handlers. He has been watching too many James Bond movies when he should really be preparing for the impeachment of Renato Corona. But then, why should he? He has already made up his mind on it.
Conrad De Quiros was a mole of the communists in the Marcos dictatorship. The most successful mole in the history of spy craft. So secret none of his handlers exists to testify to his, shall we say, “molecular” activity on behalf of the Left and contra the dictatorship in whose ranks he was formally enrolled and legally paid for work.
By Randy David
There was a time in the early ’80s when, having lived through a decade of authoritarian rule, Filipinos began to accept the possibility of remaining under the Marcos dictatorship for a long time. Many liked the sense of security that a controlled environment offered. Others who understood the system and felt violated by it fled [...]
By Amando Doronila
After 10 months of ambiguity, President Aquino announced at the foreign correspondents forum with the President on Oct. 12 that he had decided against the burial of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. With that, the president hoped to extinguish the most contentious issue that had confronted his administration. He failed. [...]
By Rina Jimenez-David
Events in Libya, with anti-Gadhafi forces already reaching Tripoli the capital, signaling the overthrow of the strongman, remind us once more of our People Power revolt some 25 years ago. This event heralded not just the end of the Marcos dictatorship but also the chain of popular uprisings around the world that have culminated in [...]