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Distortion of history must end

/ 12:14 AM February 25, 2017

Only the most insensitive of Filipinos can look upon the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution without feeling some deep emotion of resistance and triumph.

Like small fry the world over, younger Filipinos are pushed into historical hobble due to lack of teachers who can educate them well. This situation can’t be saved by mere political slogans to elect ambitious leaders who mislead and create more tensions among the people. The youth, instead, must be made to feel the agonizing, lingering emotion as fierce as pain that seizes victims of martial law and of atrocities of the dictatorship.

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Let them hear the myths propounded by the Marcos trolls and loyalists every now and then, against the hard facts:

Ferdinand Marcos was the best Philippine president ever. The Supreme Court decisions GR No. 152154 (7/15/03;4/25/12)
affirmed that $658 million and $40 million, in separate Swiss bank deposits, were Marcos ill-gotten wealth and forfeited the same in favor of the Philippines.

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National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose, in his “A memoir of martial law and Edsa 1, 2013,” asked why Imelda Marcos, her children, and their cronies are back. He wrote that what little good Marcos did was nullified by his abuses: plundered billions that the family stashed abroad, destroyed many businesses, caused the imprisonment, torture and killing of thousands,
aggravated by moral decay.

Marcos made the Philippines more progressive. The multiawarded UST Varsitarian said the infrastructure built by Marcos used taxpayer money and foreign loans that went to Marcos pockets. The family brought the Philippines to near-bankruptcy. This generation and the next are shouldering the $13-billion loot and $28.3-billion debt legacy that we have to pay until 2025.

By the end of the Marcos years the Philippines had become “the sick man of Asia,” as documented in “An Analysis of the Philippine Economic Crisis.” Marcos left a legacy of a culture of impunity and world-class corruption unparalleled in history (Solita Collas-Monsod, Get Real, Opinion, 2/27/16). The number of communist insurgents grew to 22,500, proving that peace and order during Marcos’ reign was just a dubious claim of his apologists.

Marcos’ sins are not his son’s. Bongbong Marcos asks remorselessly, “What is there to be sorry for?” in the 20 years his tyrant-father ruled the roost.
According to Ruben Carranza of the Presidential Commission on Good Government, Marcos’ heirs can’t set foot on US soil because they refuse to pay the $2-billion judgment against them won by 10,000 victims of human rights violations during the Marcos dictatorship. They were cited for contempt by a US court and ordered to pay a fine of $100,000 per day for the 10 years between 1995 and 2005.

And according to Carmma, or the Campaign against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang, Philcomsat, which Bongbong Marcos chaired, receiving a monthly salary of between $9,700 and $97,000, was one of the corporations and organizations used to siphon ill-gotten wealth out of the country.

Marcos is a hero. Jeff Gerth and Joel Brinkley wrote that the US Army’s 35-year investigation concluded that Marcos’ alleged guerilla unit “Maharlika” during World War II was “fraudulent.” Hartzell Spence wrote about Marcos’ fake heroism and war medals.

The truth sets us free. The last-ditch help for our threatened history is for teachers to put on the truth table the real picture of the evils of martial law, in order to goad students on what may be called an “impact response” to nationalism. “We are teaching children to be critical so that they won’t cooperate, won’t be a part of dictatorship,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones was quoted as saying in 2016. “This really is a responsibility not only of [the Department of Education] but of the entire Philippine society.”

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We owe it to the present and future generations, the guardians and bellwethers of democracy, and our great heroes and martyrs to set our history records straight.

Pit M. Maliksi was Most Outstanding Professor for 10 years at PUP-Santo Tomas, Batangas. He is the founder of Mga Apo ni Tomas, a civic society of 1,000 young professionals.

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