Recognize the people’s sacrifices
It is said that the masses are the makers of history. But there are those who want us to believe that history is decided by a handful of “heroes” representing the interests of the economic elite. Unfortunately, it is this belief that keeps the poor and the toiling masses in bondage.
Here in the Philippines, the development of recent history is being attributed to two political clans: the Marcoses and the Aquinos. The Filipinos have every reason to believe in this fallacy though. For the past 50 years, these families dominated the political scene in the country while preserving the very same rotten system that favors foreign monopoly capitalists, big landlords and compradors.
On one hand, there are the Marcos loyalists who glorify and even worship the late dictator, deliberately whitewashing the crimes of the fascist regime. Then there are the “Yellow army” who wants to downplay the vital role of the mass movement and gives the Aquino family and its supporters full credit for the People Power Revolution that toppled the dictatorship.
On Sept. 21 as we look back at one of the darkest chapters of our history, it is important that we recognize the sacrifices of the Filipino people more than anyone else. Furthermore, we should realize that it is the collective struggle of the people against repression and exploitation that drives social progress, and not the political dynasties. Likewise, only those who struggled among the masses and fought for their rights and interests deserve to be called heroes—people’s heroes.
Contrary to popular opinion, martial law was not just about red vs. yellow (Marcos vs. Aquino). We should stop seeing it as merely a feud between two political families. Perhaps it’s time we learned other surnames, such as Hilao, Barros, Lacaba, Jopson, Ilagan, De la Paz, Escandor, and many more.
—DANIEL ALOC, [email protected]
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