Imee’s self-serving version of the truth
“What then is truth? A movable host of metaphors, metonymies and anthropomorphisms: in short a sum of human relations which have been poetically and rhetorically intensified, transferred and embellished and which, after long usage, seem to a people to be fixed, canonical and binding.”—Friedrich Nietzsche
As if it’s not bad enough that she has the gall to run for senator in what appears to be a lineup of goons and ghouls equipped with gold, versus a near-impoverished opposition slate that needs more than a million Hail Marys to make a dent in the post-election count, Imee Marcos, the late dictator’s eldest child and Ilocos Norte governor, denies that there were human rights abuses committed during her father’s extended rule.
At the filing of her senatorial candidacy, she said: “Kung ang dine-demand ay admission [of guilt], ay palagay ko hindi pwede ’yun (If what they demand is admission of guilt, I think that cannot happen).”
It’s like rubbing salt on the wounds of the thousands of martial law survivors and victims. Forced disappearances, rape and other forms of torture, loss of homes and jobs, and loss of basic freedoms were among the many documented rights violations. For goodness’ sake, it’s why one of the first acts of the pro-democratic Cory Aquino administration was to put up a Commission on Human Rights, where victims could seek redress.
Last we heard, Imee was also lying through her well-polished teeth when she claimed that she and her two other siblings were too small and innocent to have known about what her father and his henchmen were doing to cow the country into submission. Photos belied her claim—she was in her late teens when martial law was imposed on the country.
An observer of the acts and pronouncements of the Marcos family noted that we have something to learn from the Chileans, Argentinians, Guatemalans and Cubans. They, like us, underwent the Calvary of military dictatorship. But, unlike us, they do not forget.
Senatorial aspirant Marcos wants us to conveniently forget the past, its traumas and repercussions that continue to stunt the country’s growth. Furthermore, she looks to the day when the family’s “side of the story” would be aired, saying in that same interview at the Comelec: “Palagay ko may pagbabago na rin ang pag-unawa ng nakalipas (I think there has been a change in the understanding of the past).”
To this I say, hogwash, or more pointedly, bullshit!
What change is this woman talking about, unless she means that Filipinos today are willing to forgive and forget her family’s wrongdoings? Doesn’t the sacrament of reconciliation teach that there can be no repentance, and therefore no forgiveness, without an admission of sin or wrongdoing?
But the former First Daughter, kicked out from the country in disgrace along with her other family members, would have us believe through their lying lips that there is nothing to forgive, because no wrong had been done in the first place.
It makes a bystander like me grind my teeth in frustration and pull my hair in disgust. No wonder the 16 million who voted a less-than-savory character from Davao into power in 2016 are enthralled by strongman rule, and its supposed effectivity in eliminating petty criminals and protesters through extrajudicial killings.
By repeatedly and blatantly claiming that the extended Marcos rule from 1972 to 1986 made up the best years in the country’s life, the “senatoriable” from Ilocos is dangerously brainwashing the new generation of voters into thinking that, with the right propaganda machine, what was once black can emerge white.
The revising of history is being done by a well-oiled machinery. It is not just the likes of lawyer Chel Diokno who have the duty to keep on harping about the blood on the Marcos family’s hands. Every teacher, every media person with an allegiance to truth, every martial law baby, every former Camp Crame or Bicutan political prisoner owe it to our people to never forget, and never repeat the errors of the past.
Elizabeth Lolarga is a freelance writer and painter. She works from home in Baguio City.
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