Vice President Jejomar Binay recently recommended to President Aquino that former President Marcos be buried in Ilocos with full military honors. The recommendation comes after Representatives in Congress led by Salvador H. Escudero III filed House resolution 1135 urging Mr. Macros be buried in the Libigan ng mga Bayani, which is a cemetery for fallen soldiers.
Marcos was a soldier and a former president of the Republic. He deserves the entitlement of those offices. Doesn’t he?
Nation, Lest we forget what Mr. Marcos and his family have done for the Philippines, Charlie Avila graciously compiled the Macros Chronology report.
For example, Avila noted that in 1977, The Marcoses were patrons of education. They donated US$1.5 million to Tufts University in Boston, but the school rejected the donation, but were allowed to finance seminars and lectures.
Mrs. Marcos was a patron of Culture and shinny things. She brought fame to the Philippines. Mrs. Marcos according to Mr. Avila, spent US$2.181 million in a day in 1978. One of the things she bought were platinum and emerald bracelets with diamonds. Mr. Avila added, a Cartier representative admitted that Mrs. Marcos put together the largest collection of gems in 1978. Isn’t that a worthwhile achievement by the leader of a nation known for its slums, and garbage mountains?
EDSA didn’t happen over night. It took years and many tiny battles by the dissident opposition to take power from Marcos— who was the duly constituted authority. EDSA sparked because 29 Comelec controllers walked out, saying that Marcos doctored the results.
Juan Ponce Enrile and Fidel Ramos went to stab Marcos behind his back. Enrile was defense minister, and Ramos head of the Philippine Constabulary.
The Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Sin called on the people to take to the streets.
The Americans took Mr. Marcos to exile in Hawaii.
The world celebrated and recognized the revolutionary government led by Corazon Aquino, mother of current President Aquino, and wife of the slain Ninoy Aquino.
Mr. Binay joined EDSA. As did so many people.
What has EDSA done for us after 20 years? There is a culture of impunity in our country, as the Committee to Protect Journalists noted. We were subjected to nearly 10 years of Arroyo rule. We voted the actor Estrada into office, and ousted him. We elected Fidel Ramos, a hero of EDSA into public office. We braved several military coup d’tat attempts during Mrs. Aquino’s time.
In the last 20 years, what has happened? A group of people can gather on the Internet and talk about why our people are still poor. EDSA is a moon crater highway, but cars of from all over the world are cruising our streets. We have media publications all over. People can speak their mind, and sometimes too much. We have computers and iPhones, and even a lowly janitor has a mobile phone. The silver screen has the lovely Anne Curtis, and Gretchen Fullido gives us entertainment news on television. And Kris Aquino has kept us entertained even beyond her mother’s presidency.
Granted Mr. Marcos’ absence could never stop the world from introducing the mobile phone, and for some people, to be spared to see Kris Aquino’s growing pains would be a godsend. We’ve seen Egypt. Syria. And elsewhere, imaging what will and what was isn’t too hard to do.
And yes, Marcos or not, we still have people in abject poverty. Not just some, but a whole lot. Kids swim to go to school not for the thrill of it but because it is the only way to go. You think we could get Olympic class swimmers from them?
In the closing days of the Arroyo regime, the Ampatuan massacre occurred. Fifty seven people were killed. Not just killed but brutally murdered, and they were mutilated. The fifty-eight victim remains missing, with only his false teeth as evidence he was there. The massacre in Maguindanao is a prime example of the culture of impunity.
This sort of violence never did happen during Marcos’ time, right? People didn’t just go missing, and never to be heard of again. In 2010, Claimants 1081 won two rounds in their court battle with the Marcoses. Their damage claim, almost US$2 Billion. The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that a New York court took hold of US$35 million in Marcos deposits.
Saying Mr. Marcos should be given military honors as he is laid to rest is like Binay saying we should forget about EDSA. So yes, Mr. Binay is correct. We should forget about EDSA. It is full of potholes anyway. You don’t need EDSA to get to the Coconut Palace right? Let us give Mr. Marcos his twenty gun salute. Bury the old geezer. The worms have been waiting for him since 1989. Oh, and it could very well be Jejomar Binay versus Bongbong Marcos in 2016. We should think about that.
We’re down, down, down the rabbit hole now!
Image credit: John Tenniel, Some rights reserved.