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From ‘great again’ to ‘never again’

12:09 AM December 01, 2015

CAN WHAT never happened happen again? The country was never great or had never been great before Ferdinand E. Marcos’ regime. And so, how could have Marcos boasted that he would make the country great again? Or was Marcos just making a figure of speech or creating a political fiction as most politicians are wont to do?

I do wonder why Marcos said so. Unless, of course, we consider our country a great country because of its history of colonization under Spain for 377 years, after which it was surrendered and sold by Spain to the Americans at the price of only $20 million in 1898; then ruled by the Americans for nearly 50 years, during which it was supposedly turned over to the first Filipino president of the Philippine Commonwealth, Manuel L. Quezon, who proudly announced that he would rather have a Philippines run like hell by Filipinos than a Philippines run like heaven by the Americans (Indeed, another political boast!); invaded and subjugated by the Japanese during World War II for four years from 1941 to 1945; liberated and finally granted independence by the US government on July 4, 1946.

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Moreover, our political history also includes Emilio Aguinaldo, who is officially recognized as the first president of the Philippines from 1899 to 1901 but who isalleged to have ordered the execution of the first Filipino katipunero, Andres Bonifacio, and is also suspected to have ordered the brutal execution of another Filipino revolutionary, Gen. Antonio Luna.

When Marcos was deposed because of massive corruption, abuse of power and cruelty toward his political opponents during his dictatorial rule, the

Edsa people power shouted:

NEVER AGAIN!

And now, the only son of the late President Marcos, bearing his father’s name Ferdinand, and nicknamed Bongbong, wants to be the next vice president of the country in 2016, earnestly hoping at the urging of his mother Imelda to run for president in 2022. Once again and perhaps with a louder voice, the surviving victims of martial law and their relatives and friends will be shouting “NEVER AGAIN!”

The only problem is history tends to repeat itself because the people also tend to forget the past.

—AMAY P. ONG VAÑO, [email protected]

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