Did Villar, Erap, Teodoro and Gordon fight the Marcos dictatorship?
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star
Filipinos relive their national traumas owing to their shallow sense of history. Many Filipinos do not even know their real history – much less remember the lessons of it.
We were among the first in Asia to win national independence. We had practically won our independence from Spain when the United States of America invaded our shores and grabbed our islands from the Spaniards.
This American shadow continues to influence our national affairs to this day despite all the appearances that we have been given independence on July 4, 1946. Many Filipinos fault the US for not stopping the Marcos imposition of martial law. Very few Filipinos realized that it was the US who sponsored the imposition of martial law here.
Ferdinand Marcos could not have declared martial law if the US did not want it. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo tried to impose emergency rule after the February 24, 2006 military tension in Fort Bonifacio but was not able to because the US told her to recall the executive order.
Too inward looking, few Filipinos saw that during the early 1970s, the US was sponsoring dictatorships all over Central and South America and in Asia because of their great fear then of The Domino Theory – the collapse of states to the Communist global expansion. Communist victories in Cuba and Vietnam triggered the creation of all those dictatorships.
Filipino disunity, idiocy (not knowing the truth) and corruptibility allow the US to enforce its agenda. Like the Roman Caesars, the US can easily divide and rule us through our tribal mindset and our weak and corrupt leaders. Our Filipino idiocy manifested anew late last year when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was welcomed like a conquering hero even if her real objective was to rush the US agenda in Mindanao which would place us at the front line of a projected conflict between the US and China.
The EDSA event that we mark today was one of the most significant turning points in Philippine history. In EDSA, in 1986, Filipinos were united behind a good, honest leader and there we made the US shift its support from Marcos.
Contrary to what those who have personal agendas to promote have been saying, it’s not true that EDSA was a failure. The removal of the US-sponsored Marcos dictatorship and the restoration of democracy were the objectives of EDSA and both objectives were successfully accomplished. The return of the oligarchy and traditional dirty patronage politics is not a failure of EDSA but the failure of the Filipino people who did not know their history and elected the wrong leaders.
The challenges confronting our fragile democracy have worsened as we face a crucial election in May. Do we really want meaningful reform and change for the better or do we just want a cosmetic improvement of our present situation? If we want change and reform, then we better understand and recognize the real from the projected, the good from the evil, the factors for reform and those silently promoting the status quo.
Let’s go back to our one shining moment in history when we won world admiration and inspired other nations – EDSA 1986. Let’s renew our commitment to good versus evil and democracy versus a conscienceless oligarchy. By going back to our past, we will be able to get our bearings for embarking on the road to saving our country for our future generations.
Why don’t we begin by identifying who among the leading presidential candidates was not with us during the struggle against the US-sponsored Marcos dictatorship? How can we trust anyone who did not fight for freedom and democracy when nothing else counted more?
The Marcos era was a defining moment in our history which separated heroes from opportunists. It is one of the best standards for determining who we can trust to really extricate us from this deep desperate pit we’re in and guide us into the Filipino Promised Land.
Manny Villar belonged to the Aguilar political dynasty in Las Pinas. He married into it and represented Las Pinas as Congressman. They were with Marcos then just as many of the Marcos people are with Villar now.
Joseph “Erap” Estrada was also with Marcos. That was why he was removed when Officers in Charge replaced Marcos local government executives during the revolutionary period following EDSA 1986.
Gilbert Teodoro’s father served Marcos as head of the SSS (Social Security System) and Teodoro does not deny his Marcos links. In fact, just recently, he was quoted proposing a hero’s burial for Marcos.
Richard Gordon, a man who claims to appreciate the importance of knowing history and its impact on national development, also served as a local government official under Marcos. Gordon and Teodoro support the American line.
Bad episodes in history tend to have long term effects. World War I is a good example of that as it continues to shape world events up to this century. Those who say that we should stop blaming Marcos for many of our present problems are idiots – people who do not know the truth – or are guilty of having been with Marcos and now want to hide the truth.
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