Blatant distortion of history
Juan Ponce Enrile said last June 17 that ABS-CBN was not seized by the Marcos government, that the Lopezes maintained their ownership of the TV network. But history tells otherwise.
On that terrible night of Sept. 23, 1972, armed military men stormed into the compound of ABS-CBN, forcibly shutting down its television and radio broadcast.
Many other companies, including the arch-rival network GMA-7, suffered a similar fate, simply because they were considered a threat to the government. It was a military takeover, contrary to the confident pronouncement of Ferdinand Marcos on national television.
That didn’t end there.
Marcos’ brother-in-law, Kokoy Romualdez, and a crony, Roberto Benedicto, competed for the total control of ABS-CBN, leaving the Lopezes powerless.
Eugenio H. Lopez Sr. was eventually forced to give up their business empire on the condition that his son, Geny Lopez, who was jailed on trumped-up charges for allegedly plotting an assassination against Marcos, be freed. ABS-CBN successfully fell into the hands of the dictatorship, but Geny remained in jail. A brilliant treachery it was.
In November 1973, ABS-CBN became BBC or Banahaw Broadcasting Corp., with Benedicto at the helm of its operations after getting ahead of Romualdez.
Since it was run by a crony, it became part of the propaganda machine of the dictatorship, not an independent media platform beholden to no one.
Had the Edsa revolution not happened, ABS-CBN would most likely not have been regained by the Lopezes. As an angry sea of people marched to Malacañang, the Marcoses, some of their cronies, and their most loyal followers were flown to Hawaii in order to prevent a civil war.
And so those that they had illegally put under their power, living and nonliving beings, were abandoned, not on purpose, but involuntarily.
Needless to say, history should be guarded against those who are trying to rewrite it for their own benefit. Remembered in the sacred grounds of the Bantayog ng mga Bayani are the heroes who sacrificed their lives to restore the freedom we have today. The distortion of history is an affront not just to us, but also to them.
The seizing of ABS-CBN is but among the many unspeakable horrors of martial law that should be brought to light, and it is but imperative that we look back at the past with an objective mind to have a good grasp of the present and to brace ourselves for the future.
It is an established fact that dictatorships are founded on lies. It is our challenge to know that the truth is real, and perception is not.
IAN CARLO L. ARAGON,
Niugan, Cabuyao, Laguna,
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.