The Crimson Stain

That’s not a scarlet terno that Imee Marcos is wearing. Rather, it stands for the mountains where Macliing Dulag was killed. His blood ran down the slopes of the Cordillera in much the same way he wanted the Chico River to flow. To his dying breath—and years thereafter—Dulag fought against the hydroelectric power that threatened the survival of his people, in the hands of a dictator named Ferdinand Marcos.

That’s not Imee Marcos gracefully crossing her well-formed, tanned legs. Emmanuel Lacaba’s legs were found in the same way, tied and chained, as his corpse was dragged to an unmarked grave. In 1976, Lacaba was captured with a pregnant 18-year-old comrade in the underground, and was shot with a .45 caliber bullet not once, but twice. His crime was to write literature in opposition to a dictator named Ferdinand Marcos.

That’s not a tasteful bodice that highlights Imee Marcos’s ample curves. That bodice conceals how forces of the constabulary killed Edgar Jopson in 1982. He was found alive in Davao, but was still executed. It took nine bullets to murder Edjop: chest wounds, arm wounds, leg wounds. This son of a grocer became another statistic in a very long list of human rights abuses in the 70s and 80s, and personally earned the ire of a dictator named Ferdinand Marcos.

Those are not the features of Imee Marcos, carefully airbrushed. Those were the walls put up along the routes whenever any foreign dignitary or visitor passed by to visit Malacañang Palace. Entire edifices were built around the Philippines to celebrate and commemorate the “New Society,” all the while those displaced are kept hidden from view. For one cannot be seen poor and starving when guests come by to entertain—and be entertained by—a dictator named Imelda Marcos.

*****

We’re not aristocrats or aficionados of high fashion: we’re not the intended audience of a magazine that represents the core of the upper crust. We have our broadsheets and our news sites, maybe the occasional glossy magazine in waiting areas: none of us have to read the Philippine Tatler.

Maybe we’re overreacting, too: who’s to say that Imee Marcos isn’t a beautiful woman at the age of 60? To be fair, the Governor of Ilocos exudes more style at her age than quite a few women half her age. In recent memory, Imee has always represented that sort of fashionable élan with minimum effort, never mind airbrushing and cosmetic enhancements.

Just a few days ago, Sen. Bongbong Marcos—who found the gall to run for the Vice Presidency just a few weeks ago—claimed that Filipinos are not concerned about the past, but are more concerned about their lives today. Never mind that we’re still paying off debts from the Marcos era, and vestiges of Marcosian kleptocracy are found in almost every public institution in the Philippines. The same can be said, I guess, for Imee Marcos: just because she’s a Marcos doesn’t mean she can’t indulge in the fantasy of being a “style icon” or whatever. At least to the Marcoses, what’s done is done.

But is it? In any other sane situation, the Marcoses would be nowhere near magazine photo shoots or lecterns in Manila. The Marcoses would be languishing in prison, impoverished in much the same way they impoverished the Filipino people in decades of tyrannical rule. That period of conjugal dictatorship would have been an instructive case in how and why tyranny and oppression will never triumph. But every waking moment that the Marcoses are free to flaunt themselves in public is an excuse for amnesia: that it’s okay to cast them as oppressed heroes, that the “glory days under Marcos” become facts, and that they become free to be part of that very public institution that they corrupted for decades.

*****

We use the word “impunity” a lot these days as a catch-all term to the foibles and failings of government, but no political entity captures that more than the Marcoses. One cannot talk about impunity without talking about callousness: the kind of arrogance and swagger that comes with getting away with perpetrating injustices, human rights abuses, and institutionalizing cronyism and corruption in Philippine democratic institutions.

And it’s this arrogance and swagger that keeps the Marcoses thriving in the Philippines. In any other situation, dictators are usually consigned to the dustbin of history. But not the Marcoses: without justice, Bongbong Marcos can still saunter up to a lectern in Intramuros and pretend to capture some semblance of eloquence from his father, calling for a “revolution” while blithely ignoring the fact that it was revolution that brought his family’s grasp on the country down. Without justice, Imee Marcos can pretend to have a “public service record,” and the “shadow of her parents” become footnotes to her being a generation’s “style icon.” Without justice, the Marcoses can sweep all their abuses and discretions under the rug, and woo the electorate with celebrities and a whitewashed, revised history. They want us to think that discipline is needed. They want us to think that life under Marcos was a “golden era.” They want us to think that rebuilding democratic institutions is useless unless we have strong leaders out front: preferably ones named Marcos.

*****

There is probably no democratic country out there that has given the same measure of forgiveness, leniency, and acceptance to a former oppressor than the Philippines. Perhaps it is because of our forgiving nature. Perhaps it’s in the way we are taught history: more of rote memory work than a careful analysis of facts. Perhaps it’s in our impatience—or inefficiency—at repairing and rebuilding our democratic institutions. Perhaps it’s in the penchant of politicians to cling on to any sort of political capital, no matter how ironic or hypocritical it is (like Bongbong Marcos advocating for the SAF 44 or Imee Marcos advocating for the arts). Or maybe it’s because for the lot of those who admire Marcos, we prefer the in-your-face kleptocracy than ones disguised as democratic projects.

And maybe—just maybe—there are idiots in our midst, in the same way we have dictators running the show from somewhere.

The road to 2016 saddles us with tasks more important than just voting: we have the task of ensuring that history advances. We have the task of seeing beyond the glitz and the glamor of images, and seeing to it that history—for all its faults and successes—does not repeat itself. History shows us that there is just no way that Imee Marcos should be seen as a “style icon,” but as the scion of a dictator complicit to the abuses of power. History shows us that there is no way that Bongbong Marcos can bring back the “glory days” under his father, when we all know that the only glory found there was in the Marcos bank accounts and the gun-barrels of government assassins. No thing—not from the ruling class, not from Marcos supporters, not from those harebrained enough to support Martial Law on Twitter as if no politically-motivated death happened under Martial Law—should ever get in the way of us understanding why we should reject the Marcoses, and purge them from our political life.

*****

Because that isn’t Imee Marcos sitting on that cover, with her bare feet dangling elegantly by the folds of her scandalously-long terno. Those are the very bare feet of the millions of Filipinos who suffered from famine in Negros and other parts of the Philippines. Under the “glory days” of Marcos, they starved, subsisting on “fortified” grain, and walked barefoot on ground parched and left fallow. All this happened while Imelda was entertaining concert pianists and Hollywood actresses in Malacañang, while Ferdinand was wheelin’ and dealin’ with the cronies that made up the government. All this happened while Imelda started collecting thousands of shoes, and built her socialite dreams on the backs of the barefoot children of famine, who walked the dry ground to bury the baby that died.

That infant—like Apo Macliing, Edjop, Eman Lacaba, Liliosa Hilao, Lorena Barros, Juan Escandor, and so many others—all left a crimson stain in the ground, in a hue no different from the cloth of Imee Marcos’ gown.

*****

SOME SOURCES

UCAN Special Report, “What’s Behind the Negros Famine Crisis,” 9/11/1985 

Caroline Kennedy’s blog, on articles tagged “Imelda Marcos” 

Xiao Chua, “TORTYUR: Human Rights Violations Under the Marcos Regime” 

Alfred McCoy, “Dark Legacy: Human rights under the Marcos Regime,” 9/20/1989 

Alan Robles, “What Martial Law Was Like,” 3/27/2000

Pacifiqa, “Never Again: six stories that recount the dark days of Martial Law” 

Alexander Martin Remollino, “Torture Methods and Torturers of Martial Law,” in Bulatlat.com

Image sourced from the Philippine Tatler’s Facebook page

187 thoughts on “The Crimson Stain

    1. Yes, but yes. We “failed” to ‘historicalize’ martial rule with, to and for the young ones, those who could not relate to the evils, horrors, pains, anguish, bestiality and terror of martial rule, we who could. IS it too late then? No, there is always time for everything. Yes, we can. With technology, let us do our homework. First venue is social media, then the print media AND broadcast media, all in our own small, simple ways. CONNECT and once again expose the evils that martial law imposed on us then. THE TARGET – THE YOUNG ONES.

        1. Or we simply do not love our country and our countrymen. We are in a good place where we don’t worry about unemployment, day-to-day economics (aka survival). Perhaps, except for a fleeting sadness, we generally do not empathize. Words and commentaries abound (just like this one). Actions do speaks louder than words. Ano po ang next step?

      1. Filipinos are not tanga, majority of Ilocanos are … and I hope they wake up to the reality that the Marcoses may have built and developed Ilocandia not out of their own pockets but from ill-gotten wealth. That in the grand scheme of things, beautiful Ilocandia is part of the Philippines — bankrupted, stolen from, and the Marcos regime started the culture of cronyism, corruption, plundering from which the country is still desperately trying to recover. I hope they wake up to that reality soon. I am sure there are more, but there is only one Ilocana I know who is anti-Marcos, my mother — God rest her soul. When the whole solid North has opted to close its collected eyes and still remain “loyalist” supporting and electing the Marcoses and even electing the antiquated and old as dinosaur Imelda as Representative from Ilocandia, my Mom had her eyes open and I heard her strong arguments against Marcos so many times; she opened my eyes to the atrocities of Marcos era. God bless her soul. Unlike the rest of Ilocandia, her loyalty was not not misplaced nor misguided. She loved the land, proud to be from Ilocos Sur but was not tanga to what the Marcoses stand for. I am proud of her.

        1. What a shame that you put down your own kind , how about those politicians who had run the country to the ground let alone stole billion of dollars. The description you came up with doesn’t ring true in comparison to what they have accomplished. I pity your mom for such misinformation and for programing your moronic brain.
          I hope this is a wake up call for and all Filipinos, regardless or race creed.

          1. I agree With your comments sir Why do they focus on the Marcos regime while the present government is doing worst It’s so political motivated. If we are better off after the Marcos regime, we can justify this accusations But presently ,the way I see economically we are not doing well. During martial law as a common citizen I feel safe. I did not even vote for Marcos then.

          2. What a shame that you put down your fellow human being just for making a comment you dislike. So easy to do that online as opposed to in-person, isn’t it?

            Even Hitler (yes, I know Godwin’s law) accomplished some things, yet generations of Germans despise him for his actions that harmed many people.

          3. If you want to be educated read the Marcos Dynasty. Marcos really popularized and brought to a new and high level the word corruption. Add to that the word plunder. Filipinos you need to read and educate yourselves and stop voting for corrupt politicians.

        2. Ahahha…woohh…the extent of ur comments goes beyond the real meaning of the picture..well..we dont have the same eyes that connects to our hypothalamus….but simply….this picture DEPICS ART…. it means you can age gracefully as long as u take care of urself as a woman as a personn..nothing else…. pitty she grew up with all the scruitinity of the people and her family was bullied for a long time ..down from her parents to her as a mother her children and her family as a whole…but amidst all those negative comments..shes still standing with beauty and grace which i believe its an art…..for all the women in this world….that includes your mothers….

      2. I tend to agree, despite the horrors caused by that horrible family, meron pa silang tapang tumakbo, sana ay papalayo sa atin at di maging opisyal ng pamahalaan.

      3. i am a Filipino and i will not accept that i am tanga… the author opens a window for us to ponder not for you to generalize that all Filipinos are tanga. it may be you but not me and others more… be careful with your word…

    2. How young are you Ma’am may Angelique Dayag? I was among those who were holding placards against the Marcos regime and at my youthful age, I was there unaware of what was really happening. When I started to grow old, I realized that I was wrong!

      1. you were wrong in what sense? in the sense that you were holding placards against the Marcos regime and you regret having done that because you didn’t believe in what you were doing or you were wrong because you could have done some more?

      1. MRT, LRT, South Diversion, North Diversion, and the Nuclear Power plant that was stopped by Cory Aquino which could have helped the electric company keep up with demands. Yes, you’re right about his family and cronies stealing from the loans to build these things, but he has these to show. What about the past presidents(especially Arroyo and Estrada, even Cory) ? Don’t get me wrong, I think Noynoy Aquino is doing a good job and hopefully, the next one too. But, are the Filipinos’ economy really better off now than during Marcos’ time? Just asking.

        1. what economy are you talking about mr joe? during marcos the philippines was ripe for revolution because the economy is in shambles—never had we been in such deep foreign debt, export deficit, rice shortage, malnutrition, etc. you name every malaise and we had it. but where were the money? where were the big foreign loans? maybe you should ask imelda and the marcoses, danding and the rest of the cronies, or maybe you should ask yourself. forget the past and move on..? nobody moves on without just closure of any past—pag-ibig man o pagnanakaw sa bayan!

  1. Even God forgives. Why shall we let the marcos kids pay for their parents’ faults. These kids have been trying their best to serve. If you don’t like them, just support your candidate.

    1. You know how the sins of the father are visited upon the children?

      Or how complicit they were with the conjugal dictatorship?

      Right. Maybe we should just forget everything that happened and move on. But that’s why we don’t have a lot of nice things.

      1. There’s a reason why it’s called history. We learn fr it BUT it’s a choice how we see things…u be bitter of the past or move forward & make a change. It is your opinion to share your sentiments but not dictate how others should have a take on your side of the truth of your so called history. They are not forgotten.

        1. I agree, the son is not the father or the mother. We are not fruits for crying out loud. And besides, the father is not that bad as a president. The aquinos killed a lot of farmers during their time also. CORY, at one point even asked the help of the US to bomb her countrymen
          .
          The country’s debt also even increased after martial law. Bec it was the oligarchs who started to rule.

          So why did noynoy became president? Because Filipinos are tanga.

          1. Wer did u learn that cory ask the US to bomb his countrymen? From the coup of gringo who nearly toppled the cory govt, she requested the help of the US if only to ensure her survival but never to bomb but just to fly over. Wat kind of history do u read. Falsus in onus, falsus in omnibus.

        2. If someone wronged you and that person’s heirs benefited, then what will you do about them?

          Besides, who’s dictating what on others when you can always ignore them?

    2. I agree with you. The sins of the father cannot be inherited by his children. Are we to say that the Aquinos do not have that CRIMSON STAIN? Maybe much stronger than we imagined.

      1. Aquinos and Marcoses are two distinct separate entities, or political families. The Aquinos would have their own days of reckoning.. but it should not mean that because we are not talking about the excesses of the Aquinos we should also just forget the abuses of the Marcoses. Pretty dumb for an argument.

        1. This is always the counter argument of the Marcos loyalists. As if another persons mistakes justifies the wrong-doings of this family. Madami ba talagang bulag na bulag para sa mga Marcos o bayaran ang mga yan para ipaglaban sila sa social media? Kawawang Pilipinas

          1. Then, Dark Kamote, don’t vote for any of the Aquinos and good luck convincing others to do the same. Problem solved.

            Incidentally, Bam Aquino has (co)authored six bills that became laws in just his three years as senator. He has also been pushing for better internet service, the some one that allowed you to comment against his family namesake. Currently, he has no corruption case or anything of the sort against him.

            Disclaimer: I voted for Bam in 2013. I voted for Gordon in 2010, despite knowing he’d lose.

            To borrow someone’s comment: a problem with some people is they only see either Red (Marcos) or Yellow (Aquino). The world is full of every color and every hue, represented by me and you (corny, I know). Go beyond red and yellow by looking for other, better colors and hues.

    3. Forgiveness comes with repentance. These scions continue to enjoy the spoils of their parents’ megalomania. Filipinos must be martyrs, indeed, for welcoming, allowing and even cheering the transgressors rubbing salt on wounds that haven’t fully healed.

    4. You could forgive the killer of your family?? Ang kawatan ng bayan?? Think.. Think.. Don’t fool & lie to yourself..ang Mga anak ni Marcos at matured na at during martial law.. alam nila ang lahat.

    5. These “kids” as you say, sees no fault in their father. They glorify a man who oppressed a whole country. These “kids” lived a world of lies, and they are now trying to spread more lies to very same people their father oppressed. And I don’t think God would forgive a man who murdered the rights of a whole nation; and that is one reason why hell exists.

    6. The problem is NONE of the Marcos kids acknowledge a single wrong doing from the past.. As they say: “Anyone who refuses to acknowledge atrocities done in the past is on the path to doing it all over again..”

    7. I agree, di naman marcos family ang may kasalanan. Mga Cojuancos, mga cronies ni Lakay, yung mga balimbing…enrile,ramos at iba pa…weeeeee.

    8. Yes give the kids a chance. So far they are doing their best ever since they were elected. If there is a stain as you describe this issue should have been publish before. Not now

      1. Before when? If not now, kelan pa? It’s presidential campaign fiesta, one would expect this healthy exchange of opinions, hopefully all respectful nonetheless honest.

      2. The “stain” has been published various times. Just that people ignore or disregard that, or even ridicule others as being “bitter” or tell them to move on.

  2. Marcos blood money is what sustains the extravagance and affluent lifestyles that the Marcos widow and progeny enjoy in the midst of abject poverty and unrectified injustice caused by the Marcos regime. Let us not forget the atrocities of Martial Law. We have to keep on retelling the stories which tens of thousands dead men and desaparecidos can no longer tell. The Marcoses. Never Again!

    1. And you never said about the blood money of the Aquinos either. What happened to poor of Hda Luisita?
      We should never cast the first stone if we are not saints.
      Are we to continue this worst state of the country just because you , like others refused to give the Marcos family to prove themselves fit to serve the country.

      1. you should stop propping up the sins of the aquinos to defend the atrocities of your beloved marcoses… are you crazy????

        1. Gago you are one fucking troll bayaran either aquino side or binay side bobotante ka! Ngayon hindi na natin kailangan ang kadramahan mo masyado ka kasi naka focus sa telanovela putang inang bakla ka.

          1. Your comment shows how smart you are popoy. You are the very definition of bobotante. Doesn’t mean that you do not support the Marcoses, that you are pro-Aquino/Binay/whoever. The opinions of others are not always based on their support for another candidates/politicians. Hindi pwedeng masama lang talaga ang ginawa ng pamilya nila kaya ayaw sa kanila? Yes may nagawa sila, nakakahiya naman kung wala diba 21 yrs silang naka-pwesto? Kung sa tingin mo e napakabuti ng mga Marcos, dun ka magpaliwanag sa puntod ng libo-libong human rights victims nung panahon nila. Traydor!

    2. Tens of thousands died? Really. I believe more massacres happened during Cory’s time. We were taught lies and exaggerations in school. They used history books to rewrite history.

  3. Black propaganda again. You guys need to chill. Imelda Marcos’ shoes were made in Marikina. Imelda was meant to showcase the Philippine made shoes to the world that’s why she had thousands of them.

  4. Marcus did the right thing to do..we dont know the real story… those history books about politics are foolish….parang magulang lang yan kapag may kasalanan ka pinaparusahan para matotu..

  5. I agree that despicable things happened during the Marcos Era and we should continue to tell our children stories so we as a people should never forget. But your logic made it possible for an incompetent haciendero rise up to be the president of the Republic. If there is Marcos hatred, there is also the other extreme; Aquino worship. Marcos’ sins will never be forgotten, but should hatred be poured on Bong bong sons and daughters?

    Parang lolo ko hanggang ngayon galit pa sa hapon. I never forgot the stories of Japanese atrocities, but I feel no hatred towards present day japanese. These article has been written as if hatred is still fresh and the writer was born when this evil happened.

    1. Right… coz in the same way anyone born after 1945 shouldn’t feel any animosity toward Hitler coz that person wasn’t personally shipped off to Auschwitz on board a cattle-train, right?

    2. And forget that shades of Marcos kleptocracy are still there when you retrieve a license or process things with Customs? Or your taxes go to onerous debts that enriched the conjugal dictatorship and the family?

        1. As I commented earlier:

          http://www.up.edu.ph/evolution-of-the-pork-barrel-system-in-the-philippines/

          In the Philippines, the pork barrel system was first introduced in 1922 with the passing of the Public Works Act separately from the General Appropriations Act (GAA). The first pork barrel was legitimized under Public Works Act 3044 which divided public works into two types: (1) national and other buildings, roads and bridges in provinces, buoys and beacons, necessary mechanical equipment of lighthouses and (2) police barracks, normal school and other public buildings, certain types of roads and bridges, artesian wells, wharves, piers, and other shore protection works, cable telegraph and telephone lines. The latter is the forerunner of the infamous pork barrel.

          As for the Yolanda funds:

          http://www.gov.ph/2015/09/14/yolanda-donations-for-aid-and-rehabilitation/

          http://www.dswd.gov.ph/2015/09/yolanda-donations-are-used-as-intended-dswd/

          You could’ve spent time checking for those, rather than waste it essentially insulting someone who did no wrong to you. Unless checking, more so verifying, is so incredibly difficult?

          To paraphrase someone’s comment: stupidity, especially the anonymous and vulgar kind, is a gift that one must not share so generously.

        2. And oh yeah, I forgot to share this with you:

          http://www.gov.ph/faith/

          Rather than waste your time here, you can always use it to check that link for discrepancies. Then, share your findings—factual at that—for people to then criticize the government even more.

          Unless, of course, that’s so incredibly difficult as well. Ewan.

  6. Let’s give the kids their due chance. Yes, we don’t forget the faults of their parents though. The kids are also victims and they deserve respect, not hatred. They suffered enough from anti-marcoses. Don’t forget. But let’s move on and give everyone a chance no matter what their surname is.
    (*try to put your feet on their shoes. What if you are a marcos)

    1. Victims? Yeah, the way they walk around pretending nothing happened, that the country’s glory days didn’t involve torture and plunder? The way they were really living it up before, during, after exile? The chances we gave: like Bongbong’s Senate seat? Imee governing Ilocos? What’s there to forgive when they deny what is suggested?

    2. If i were a Marcos, I would just enjoy the loots the dictatorship have collected and stayed out of politics, as my family had the chance to rule the country and have failed miserably

    3. I don’t feel a thread of pity for this family who got away with so many atrocities and pretend like nothing happened. I do feel pity for those they have murdered. Ikaw, sino sa tingin mo ang mas dapat kaawaan?

  7. Kung may kasalanan ang magulang, un kasalanan ba na un e magiging kasalanan din ng anak? Nasa batas ng Pilipinas po ba un? Nasa bible po ba un?

    1. Gayon din, ang hinagpis, paghirap, pagkalungkot ng mga anak dahil sa ang mga magulang ay nawala o pinatay ng rehimeng marcos, ay kasalan ba kanilang mga magulang???

    2. VERY EXPLICIT ANG BIBLE: CONSEQUENCES OF THE FATHER’S SINS WILL BE VISITED UPON THE CHILDREN UNTIL WHICH (FILL IN THE BLANK _________________________) GENERATION … PAKITURO NYO NA LANG ANG REFERENCE. MY LEFT EYE TOO TIRED TO LOOK IT UP NOW …

      1. Did you know…

        BS Aquino’s lolo, was a Japanese corroborator and was sentenced to death after world war II? What was it you’re saying again about generations paying for the father’s sins? Oh, Ninoy corroboratated with the CPP-NPA btw.

        1. Maybe Ninoy paid for all that with his life as he consistently said “The Filipino is worth dying for”? Think you can do that as well, if ever? Even I can’t — without a damn good reason, maybe.

          Ninoy was no saint, but he was no fool either. Too bad the same can’t be said of some people, especially those who cowardly hide under aliases to avoid being called out for their words.

          1. Perhaps those people used aliases because their lives were threatened by the targets of their criticisms, unlike today?

  8. Namamana ba ang kasalanang ginawa ng mga magulang ng mga anak? ORIGINAL SIN lang ang namamana… I am against any form if abuse and dictatorship but I will not allow myself to be influenced without weighing in on facts.

    1. Oh, those are a bunch of facts up there. Bunch of nice links, too.

      Also, somewhere in Exodus, there’s the whole thing about the “sins of the father.”

          1. Right! Care to add mendiola massacre and pork barrel there?

            While people can criticize Cory for not having done enough about the Mendiola Massacre, the pork barrel thing is another matter:

            http://www.up.edu.ph/evolution-of-the-pork-barrel-system-in-the-philippines/

            In the Philippines, the pork barrel system was first introduced in 1922 with the passing of the Public Works Act separately from the General Appropriations Act (GAA). The first pork barrel was legitimized under Public Works Act 3044 which divided public works into two types: (1) national and other buildings, roads and bridges in provinces, buoys and beacons, necessary mechanical equipment of lighthouses and (2) police barracks, normal school and other public buildings, certain types of roads and bridges, artesian wells, wharves, piers, and other shore protection works, cable telegraph and telephone lines. The latter is the forerunner of the infamous pork barrel. It was under the control and supervision of the Secretary of Commerce and Communications.

  9. Reading the comments, it’s so disturbing how “educated” people are so blind or at least pretend to be blind about the atrocities that the Marcoses have committed…sick!

    1. And it is also disturbing to note that “educated people ” are quick to jump into conclusion without also verifying the facts. The then President Marcos wad the president . You are referring to the Marcoses, wherein Bongbong and Aimee were not a part of those so called atrocities.
      So what do you call the slaughter of the farmers of Hda. Luisita ? Aren’t they atrocities too.?
      How old were you when Martial Law was proclaimed? Did you live in that era? Because I did. And there was a reason why Martial Law was proclaimed. Go back to your Phil government history. Before we judge someone, just make sure we are saints. FOR THE SINS OF THENFATHERS CANNOT BE INHERITED BY THE OFFSPRINGS, UNLESS WE ARE TALKING OF THE ORIGINAL SIN INHERITED FROM ADAM & EVE.

    2. THEY NEVER HAD ANY FAMILY OR FRIENDS INVOLVED: WENT UP THE MOUNTAINS, KILLED IN COLD BLOOD, FOUND FLOATING IN THE RIVER, RUNNING & HIDING, DISAPPEARED W/O TRACE… IF THEY DIDN’T TOUCH YOU PERSONALLY, WHAT WAS IT TO DO WITH THEM ???

      SO GO AHEAD AND BRING BACK THE SHHHMART IDIOTS … BECOME IDIOTS ALL OVER AGAIN. AND START ANOTHER DIASPORA AGAIN … AND LET THE OFWs BE THE PROVERBIAL HEROES ALL OVER AGAIN …

      BOW !!!

  10. Myopic. The angst and pain. How about the blood of soldiers, policemen, and civilians who were killed because of the communist attacks? Somehow, they have been relegated to obscurity and irrelevancy. How can we value one human life over another?
    The Communist threat was real then, it cannot be downplayed anymore.

    The youth/students then, whose minds were programmed by propaganda of hate inside their campuses and up to even in their own classrooms were used. They shed their blood needlessly as they were egged on to believe they were fighting for something. Sadly, they were used as pawns of a self-serving movement. Their idealism was taken advantaged of by those who taught nothing but hate and false nationalism. These students then are the adults now who still carry with them the lifelong angst and hate programmed deep in their hearts.

    Now, the millenials have already seen through this programming. They hold no emotional bias and prejudices. Information be it for or against Marcos or Aquino are readily available to them. They are branded as gullible and as those who know nothing. Fact is, these millenials are objective, inquisitive and tech savvy. Their reality now in their daily lives are so different from the realities 3-4 decades ago. The programming then is obsolete to the minds of today’s youth. These millenials know we are not any better then than we are now. This is a bitter pill to swallow for the students in the pre-Cory presidency whose mind programming has evidently stood the test of time. Unfortunately for those who hate Marcos, the millenials time is at hand, the old will always yield to the new.

    Our history is almost full circle. Until when do we teach the kids’ to hate?

    1. @Jigs you do know that the Communist insurgencies back then were fueled and escalated by martial law, right?

      And as far as information being readily available to quite a few tech-savvy millennials, the information about Marcos atrocities and loot is readily available there, too. Maybe some of them just don’t want to see it. Or read it. I just had to dwell on the torture scenes a bit coz it’s prolly more real than the threats to Marcos. And those things can’t be downplayed anymore.

      And maybe that’s the irony: for people who stand by Marcos, the “old yields to the new” is just so incredibly ironic.

      1. The Communist threat is one of the triggers that caused martial Law. There is evidence against the NPA for the bombing in Plaza Miranda.

        As told by former NPA agents Victor Corpuz.

        http://philippinecommentary.blogspot.com/2007/08/ninoy-aquino-plaza-miranda-bombing-and.html

        http://www.nytimes.com/1987/01/16/world/manila-journal-the-rebel-soldier-who-s-never-without-a-cause.html

        He has an entire book that details the account called “Silent War” which became handy when the AFP needed to find ways of counter insurgency.

        1. When you can, look up the Marcos diaries. You might surprise yourself on Marcos’ reasons for having declared Martial Law.

  11. You sure love kissing Aquino’s ass. The sins of their parents should not transfer to their children. The Aquino/Cojuangco family aren’t saints for your information. They have blood on their hands also. Stop with this marcos is evil smear campaign it makes you look pathetic and bitter.

      1. I am not a fan of the Aquinos. But I can objectively see the merits of this article. Because the Marcoses remain unrepentant for their family’s sins. Yes, that swagger. If they had chosen to live in excile, humbly regretting their parents’ crimes and sins, we probably would just let them be, believing in a higher justice. But they’ve chosen to come back, using their money to regain power. And more people should write more articles like this, because we shouldn’t allow another Marcos to lead this country.

  12. There is a well-placed kleptomaniac now wanting to rule the country, an expatriate banking on necropolitics, another oligarch riding on haciendero’s endorsement, and who knows another idiot joining the parade.. Are they lesser evils and we should be less worried? We haven’t really moved forward since 1986 and we keep blaming the past generation. Let’s move on and decide on each candidate’s own merits.

    1. Okay now I’m starting to get confused… You do know that there isn’t any way forward since 1986 coz not a whit of justice was served to the very reason for that uprising, right?

        1. IDK, think of it this way: we’re still paying off onerous Marcos debts after 30 years. Vestiges of Marcos’s kleptocracy are still around: it’s there when you redeem your driver’s license, when you use the airport, when you pay taxes. Democratic institutions—like voting, speaking out, etc. —have been perverted and disfigured so much by Martial Law, the fear of being salvaged, getting strong armed by Macoy himself, etc. To this day, thousands of people who disappeared during the Marcos regime have yet to be accounted for.

          And we should move on? Get up? Dude, we’ve been beaten up, raped, tortured, forced to pay debt and tribute for decades. And the Marcoses are posing for fashion magazines and make speeches in Intramuros. There’s something wrong with that.

          1. The Marcos era ended almost 30 years ago, followed by a series of inept or equally corrupt managers. In your line of argument, its the Marcoses fault we aren’t getting up these days, and tomorrow its the Erap, GMA’s turn to be blamed for next 3 decades, and so forth. We are doomed?!

          2. Sad to see what happens when bad political choices are made, when bad people run, and when anything but the good of the people is considered in running governments, right?

            That’s why in 2016, we should all make our choices wisely.

          3. marck ,I can sense a feeling of envy and jealousy. I bet you ,you’ve never been a happy camper so grow and smell the coffee.

  13. Hello! This is one of the greatest things I have read regarding thoughts on Marcoses and Martial Law. If you would please, may we have a Filipino translation? If there’s none, I would be willing to do it, given your permission. Thank you!

      1. Marck, Sana na nga ay maipaabot mo rin ang mensahe mo sa lahat ng ating kababayan sa sariling wika. Marami sa atin ang nakalimot na sa ating pinanggalingan. Sabi nga “Ang taong hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan, ay hindi makararating sa patutunguhan”. Salamat sa iyong pagpapahalaga sa ating bansa at kababayan. Ang ating kaapihan ay Hindi nagsimula sa rehimen in Marcos ..tumingin pa tayo ng malayo sa ating nakaraan ang mga Puwersang naglagay Kay Marcos .. Ito pa rin mga anino na gumagalaw at nagpapatakbo sa ating bansa.

      2. Yes, Marck it is a good idea to have ur article translated to Pilipino to reach a wider audience, the masa. Ur article is brilliant and objective. We r still paying the huge debts incurred by the atrocities not only to our bayan but also to the kaban ng bayan, W/c unfortunately will be fully paid by 2025.

  14. Well this isnt matter. we should be united until we fix our country. All of our country men already tired to be devoted by each other. We need to change. Our country’s laws! No one knows our vission and mission if they dont retell the panatang makabayan. They stating it again and over again while their heart is not there and their mind is in money for their luho.

  15. nice piece.. you should never stop writing.. and never get intimidated by people with big minds full of holes.. godspeed..

  16. Nice piece, but do we really need to focus on the negative? Can’t we count the good things and not the bad ones? We are now in a new genaration and I am sure every Filipino contributed to whatever situation we are experiencing right now. Can we just stop blaming the leaders of the past and move on with our lives? We all know that every Filipino can make a difference if we will start with our own selves. We all have good and bad characteristics and perspectives that we need to change for a better future. We need to remember that making our country beautiful is a job not only for our leaders but for all of us. It is every Filipino’s responsibility to care for our country and to make a move to make it a better place.

  17. Beautiful article.

    And yes, they should still pay for the sins of the parents because they have not shown remorse. In fact, they are saying that none of the atrocities and theft happened. They are complicit to most of the crimes committed because they know. They were there. And to think, even for just a second, that they shouldn’t pay means you are reopening old wounds. You are spitting on the souls of the murdered.

  18. This made me want to vomit, not because of the martial law atrocities, but the illogical reasoning of the author. Too much emotions. Must have gotten that from the yellow-wearing rosary-praying president.

  19. I totally agree with this well-researched article.
    And let’s face it. The acorn does not fall far from the tree.

  20. Alas, what has been said will just be blown in the wind. The public’s memory is short, very very short indeed. And this is what will be exploited by people without conscience.

  21. The article is written to help us open our eyes and make smart and better choices for the future of our country. THE MARCOS’ IS NOT THE BEST CHOICE !

  22. When Imee Marcos agreed to have the PAL flights used to transport her breastmilk while she was wasting the people’s money to enjoy the luxuries of the world, and when her dear brother made a fool out of Filipinos by saying they have amnesia, they cease all rights to not be guilty by extension to their parents’ crimes

  23. elaborately written and remembered.. ..so nostalgic..i cried reading it from top to bottom…yes some remained mum about what the marcoses did to our country..some have that continued
    heroic affinity for the marcoses..ahhh..too sad .a pity for those who has no deep and honest love and concern for our country.

  24. See for us who lived through a Marcos regime we understand this. The younger generation of today however needs lots of pictures to illustrate a point. A verbose article will not capture attention of a generation so used to sending their thoughts in 140 characters or less. Just saying.

  25. Tumahimik na kayo. Think about infrastructure. What have the presidents after Marcos built? Not even a single power plant, solar or wind operated generators, schools, hospitals, etc. No improvement done with the MRT, sa China pa bumili ng trains, prototype pa. Why not from Czechoslovakia, the original supplier of the trains? New trains were needed a long time ago. How about the Hda Luisita, land distribution is long overdue. The SAF 44, who is principally accountable for that? During Marcos’ time walang kidnappers, rapists, riding in tandem criminals, holduppers. Now, prohibited drugs are sold anywhere. Ibalik ang death penalty. Si Ninoy ang pinakamalaking alimango, aka, king crab. Si, cory naman ang black out, brown out queen, walang ginawa sa malacanang kundi mag mahjong. Tama ang sinabi ni Binay manhid, pero i am not pro binay.

  26. Lahat tayo walang kasigjruhan na magjging mabuting at sinsirong pag hahawak ng ating pamahalaan kahit sino pa man sa kanila. Meron diyan mga tinaguriang walang alam sa pamamalakad, mahina sa kaalaman, walang masyadong experiensya, naging masyadong matakaw sa puesto, mamatay tao, sobrang magnanakaw. Lahat ng mga kandidato ay may kanya kanyang ugali, pati na ng kanilang mga pamilya. Hindi natin alam dahil wala tayo sa kanilang kinalalagyan pero ang karamihan sa kanila pag nadiyan na ayaw na bumaba sa puesto at siguradong idepensa ang kanilang intereses sa ibat ibang posisyon kahit na ikakabuwis pa ng buhay ng iba o maraming tao. Hindi natin alam yun dahil wala tayo dun. Siguro masarap ang buhay ng mga politiko. May pera, kapangyarihan, sikat at ang pinaka huli ay paninilbihan sa bayan (yan ay sa mga iilan lamang na handa mag bigay ng kanilang buhay sa bayan na walang kapalit na karangyaan galing sa pera ng bayan). Tayo ay may pag pipilian sa kanila gaya ng mga mababait daw na walang bahid ng sama ang pangalan ngunit wala namang nagawa masyado sa bayan(siguro hindi magnanakaw kaya wala naman na ipagawa masyado para sa bayan), mayroon naman diyan na hinuhusgahan o nahusgahan na na mag nanakaw ngunit may na ipatayo naman para sa kanilang distrito o napakinabangan ng taong bayan na., kung puedi nalang masuring mabuti kung ano ano nga bang mga prohektong nakatulong talaga sa ating lahat.at kung sino sinong mga politiko o angkan nila ang nakagawa nito. Dahil kung sa akin lang ang mabuti (kuno?) At mabait na wala naman nagawa sa ating buhay ay mas nais ko pa ang magnanakaw na ang kanyang nakaw ay may nakita kang konkretang nakatayo na ginagalawan ng mga taong bayan, at tinutulong sa mga kababayang mahirap. Puedi na kayong mamili ng kandidato nyo.

    1. So you’re saying we should settle for a family who has a history of stealing and killing people? I agree Emy Lubos, nakakadismaya. Ferdie, wag kang magbabasa pag hating gabi ha? Baka dumami pa katulad mo

  27. None of the Marcoses will return the loots. None of them should be in the goverment. Since they still are voters should be blamed…

  28. The Marcoses will never apologize and own up to the Senior Marcos’ crime. It’s like Hitler saying that the Holocaust never happened to the Jews.

  29. I really can’t comprehend how people are quick reduce the rape of human rights during the Marcos dictatorship as mere myths or collateral damage to achieving the joke that was his “new society”, and sing praises to the monster that started it all. Just because it didn’t happen to you doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen at all. Archimedes Trajano is dead, and so are many others who dared to fight for and take back what Marcos shamelessly took from them. They died for a future of which they were brutally deprived and one which you very much enjoy today, what with your sprouting ridiculous opinions anywhere and everywhere, every chance you get. They died so that you may be free. How dare you denigrate their sacrifice and insult their STILL grieving families? How can you find it in your conscience to deny the reality behind the tortures and disappearance of many others? Forgive, you say? How can you forgive the family who still, even to this day, reject the truth behind the atrocities of those dark days? Forgive the family living living in luxury from milking your and my country dry, while the rest of us slave ourselves with work to pay for the debt they doomed on us even before we were born? Until they account for those crimes, and I suspect they never will, there should be no room for forgiveness. Wag tanga, please. #NeverAgain #NoToMarcos

  30. This is my take on all of these comments in here pros or cons not even reading them all because it’s giving me a heartache ,but I will say this as an experience …I was born in 1951 so I was too old to know and understand what was going on .”DO NOT FORGET TO LOOK BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM SO YOU KNOW WHERE TO GO “. Somehow translating my kan kana ey native tongue ,it lost its punch line so I’ll write , “wingi em San napu am tap no am mom nan emeyam ” you already know what happened in the past ,do you want it repeated again? Japan for example ,stripped the powers of the emperor ,now only existing as a window dressing ,Germany completely changed ,thank goodness no heirs of hitler that he left .We humans are subjected to CHOICES and 64 million $ questions all the time and my rule of thumb to simplify my life is this like playing baseball …Strike one ….you still have a chance to redeem yourself,no big deal…Strike two…this is getting serious ,better change strategy ,think ,go back to the board ,study ,do everything … You can even write a contract ,one more fault ,your out …. Strike three ….here comes the choice …to give another chance ,if yes then it’s never going to end after this …..if no ,then the game stops …… So when do we say no more ….As far as I’m concern their strike 3 already got all used up during martial law for over 20 years ….whatever infrastructure or things they did for the country within that time did not or cannot compare to the progress made by Japan or South Korea for that matter ….they both manufacture cars, televisions,cellphones,ships,railways, creators ,researchers ,manufacturers,etc they have it . Filipinos have tricycles , riding in tandem cellphone snatchers ,old delapidated roros ,mass transit that belongs to smithsonian , and OFWS , I admit I’m one of them sending dollar to my home country so it can pay its debt to world bank and who got that money ….guess guys and give me a wise answer .

  31. Very nicely written. I too was jailed on that day along with my friends. but, it is done, it has been done. Like others say let’s learn from it and move on. To date, I am and will still vote for BBM for VP a better and brighter future for Filipinos if he becomes our VP.

  32. After reading all the comments here, I am dumbfounded. I can’t believe how ignorant these people are. Not once did the author mention Aquino, nor did he say he was pro-Aquino. Why do you people think that way?

    “Kung hindi ka kapamilya, eh di kapuso ka.”
    “Ayaw mo ng Coke, siguro maka-Pepsi ka.”

    And using bible quotes to prove a point? Why not quote LOTR while you’re at it? Separate church and state, please. We’re not all catholics. (That doesn’t mean I worship Satan, which I’m sure you’re already thinking)

    Sadly, this country is going nowhere without a radical change and a major reform in the education sector.

  33. Pwede ba, mas malala ang nangyari after the marcos regime! idilat nyo mga mata ninyo; mas maraming pagnanakaw at pang aabuso sa mga maiikling termino ng mga sumunod na administrasyon!

    1. Because the Marcoses democratized graft and corruption …he made it as natural as drinking water or brushing your teeth …intiende ???

  34. Eloquently written, masterfully laid out, quite a moving piece.
    The genius is in the intertwining of a glossy magazine cover with the ugly truth of a brutal and corrupt regime.
    Marck, we need more of this informative powerful article. Perhaps Imelda will pose for a cover picture too.

  35. Who are you???? I’ve never read an article so moving and gut-wrenching . Maybe it is because I was a child of martial law and I felt everything you wrote instead of knew what you wrote. The juxtaposition of a beautiful, albeit photoshopped cover with the reality and brutality of an era is pure genius. This is an awesome piece!

  36. “How far can the apple fall from the tree?” we may as well ask. Given the obvious and painful lack of a political expectation from a geographically defined Filipino “people,” should the Marcoses even bother to express any remorse to the few that dare ask for satisfaction? Not likely.

    To the few who have expectations of a better run government, the fulfilment of their dream will not come anytime soon. That is why they just leave.

  37. In response to connier who wrote/posted:connir says:
    October 13, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    I agree With your comments sir Why do they focus on the Marcos regime while the present government is doing worst It’s so political motivated. If we are better off after the Marcos regime, we can justify this accusations But presently ,the way I see economically we are not doing well. During martial law as a common citizen I feel safe. I did not even vote for Marcos then.

    ————
    After martial law was declared, there was the writ of habeas corpus, no elections, therefore the collective voice and right of the Filipino people aka voting was muted. And that’s how the legacy of a 20year dynastical rule was born. We were coralled into silence for fear of retaliation, or simply out of perceived bruised ego, or worst, kasi the I-am-in-power so I can syndrome prevailed. And handed down to the next generation. So here we are standing in front of a forked road again. Have our values changed, our priorities re-arranged? Do we truly not love our country and our countrymen? Is it serve me and my interests before serving my countrymen (if at all) once elected?

    1. Question: would you forget the past if a loved one was murdered? disappeared? raped? beaten & tortured? Forgiveness rather than forgetting for in forgetting, we forget that we are human and cannot purge ourselves of atrocities committed under martial law. Moving forward, positively for our sakes but not forgetting that from ugliness, we face the truth.

      1. Everything comes at the right time – justice to have peace. People will always search equal justice under the law despite of the rich can pay great sums of money for legal assistance and that puts them at an advantage over the poor victims. “For us, universal values such as justice, morality and peace cannot be disputed and it is for this reason that we pursue the restoration of historical truth.” ~ Robert Kocharian ~

  38. Excellent. A carefully-crafted frame on the portrait seen through a prism of sin; inside it, tragic stories of a generation that parented you (seeing you’re now 30ish). Smart work, smart devices. The Tagalog translation sends the message well but only to the fluent, the inclined, and the patient; if synced a few notches nearer conversing, it would make it a truly more powerful piece.

    As your readership is practically Ph-based (94%, rated on Alexa.com), and their comments show polarization 3-ways – a) Marcos haters, b) Aquino haters, c) amnesiacs, might you be persuaded to do a similar take on Kris?

    Barthes, Cake, Monk, Piaf, Keane – – you’re cool, man.

  39. Thanks for this article. It is not about which regime in our history was better or worse. It’s about remembering history as it was, not sugarcoated, and learning from our mistakes.

  40. Whatever!!! Ano ba meron ngayon sa Pinas? Gulo parin diba?? Nakailang presidente na ang nakaupo after Marcos, may angat na ba sa ekonomiya? At teka… Lahat ba ng politiko malinis at hindi corrupt ngayon??? Ang daming masasamang salita wala naman naaayos! Nagkakasiraan ang lahat dahil sa gutom sa posisyon! ngayong administration ni Noynoy puro sisi sa Marcos ang ginagawa.. Eh kung inayos sana ang SAF, kung inayos sana mga nabiktima ng Yolanda, at kung inaayos sana ang gulo dahil sa bigas, at kung inayos sana ang laglag bala at marami pang ibang kabalastugan na nangyayari sa Pinas e di kanyang kanya na ang trono at Mawawala na talaga ang compyansa ng mga ibang tao para sa mga Marcos.. E kaso wala…. Wala pa sya nagagawa. Sana yung susunod na Presidente may magagawa na. Kaso nga may nakalatag nang PLAN B, PLAN C etc ang administrasyong Aquino… Goodluck nalang Pinas. Good luck Filipinos. Tayo ay nakakaawa na. Ipagdasal nalang natin ang mga sarili natin at ang ating bansa.

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