‘…Power, not the truth…’ | Inquirer Opinion
Kris-Crossing Mindanao

‘…Power, not the truth…’

/ 05:05 AM November 19, 2018

We stand on the shoulders of giants, especially philosophical giants who, several centuries and decades ahead of us, have already provided templates and frameworks for understanding present-day realities.

Currently, powerful political families in the Philippines have conveniently used some of these philosophical gems to rationalize their unabated greed.

Friedrich Nietzsche has once said, “All things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a
given time is a function of power, and not the truth.” Some other unnamed scholars echo this Nietzsche perspective, articulating in many ways hegemonic forces dictate how the greater public perceives reality,
or the “truth.”

Whether or not these political families truly appreciate and understand such gems is not important at this moment. Their consciousness of intellectual gems could be contentious, given their proclivity to simplistic approaches in dealing with serious issues affecting governance in the country today. But this deserves another column.


At this point in our history what matters now is the tug of war between the truth, and what the powerful, abusive political families present as their truth, or interpretation of the truth.

We have already seen the frequent airing of Imee Marcos’ shameless claim of being “pro-farmers” in her television advertisement. (Just wondering whether this is early campaigning, violating our election laws.) But of course, her handlers can always claim she is not asking the people to “vote” for her. She is just expressing how farmers can become linchpins in our country’s development. But her motivation for running the ad is plain and simple manipulation of the truth.

Many victims of the martial law era under Ferdinand Marcos have expressed jubilation in the conviction of former first lady Imelda Marcos for stealing a whopping $200 million from government coffers.

It was considered a “breakthrough” in the history of the country’s snail-paced justice process. After more than 27 years, (the information to support the case against Imelda was presented in 1991), this is worth celebrating.


After all, this is a historical milestone.

The Marcos family did not waste time to do damage control; starting with conveniently using the former first lady’s advanced age as an excuse to escape from being put in prison. It is an excuse that many other convicted political felons like Marcos’ martial law architect Juan Ponce Enrile used to avoid serving time in jail.


Being chronologically gifted is not contestable in both Imelda’s and Johnny Enrile’s cases. The former is 89 while the latter is already at the ripe old age of 94. But instead of fading into the path toward their lives’ predeparture areas, they are already preparing for their continual stay in political power — maybe until nature will take a toll on their stem-cell-enhanced lives.

The Sandiganbayan decision on Imelda’s case is final, and demonstrates that the truth on the plunder of the country’s financial resources can no longer be hidden from the public. Yet the public is also bombarded with another truth that will prevent the conviction of this “high value” criminal. And this is the truth of her advanced age.

In the Bangsamoro, survivors of massacres and bombings during the dark years of Marcos’ martial law have not stopped grieving over the loss of their loved ones. This is also their truth. But unlike Imelda and Johnny, they are not offering another truth to ease their pain.

With President Duterte’s unabashed admiration of Ferdinand Marcos, it is easy to conclude what will prevail. It will be enough for the Marcoses to throw another ostentatious display of merrymaking, just like the good old days.

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TAGS: Imelda Marcos, Juan Ponce Enrile, Kris-Crossing Mindanao, political dynasties, Rodrigo Duterte, Rufa Cagoco-Guiam

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