The Allies, after World War I and with it the defeat and demise of Hitler, went after the generals and executioners who had survived their leader. The search took several years and spanned the globe but search they did. Found, those individuals were made accountable even if they were already bent and aging. Same in Cambodia with Pol Pot’s generals.
In the Philippines, not that Marcos was like Hitler or Pol Pot, far from them, but the surviving leaders during Martial Law pro and anti-government are in contrast still at large and horror of horrors some were actually elected to venerable positions over the people! And now we have these protests for “national unity and rage” against what protesters see as “the evil”.
National unity? This country is a nation of 100M citizens over 7100 islands. Protesters number 5000 at most. That’s .005% of total population.
Rage of what precisely? Details and statistics, please. I remember that travel in the late 70s and early 80s was not restricted. In fact, the expat community thrived then. We were stationed abroad (Africa) and came back summers for vacation. We kids spent it with our grandparents in the province and some time with relatives in Metro Manila. These times were my happiest. Were we or our communities restricted? No. As I mentioned in my previous post, Martial Law targeted enemies of the State. By enemies I mean those who insist on what they wanted and go toe to toe against the legitimate / elected leader (by the way, anywhere you go in the world such act is traitorous because not only does the act violate the individual but the people/majority whom the leader represents. Cross the line against the King in Saudi and the penalty is practically, off with the head (guillotined)! Do that to the President of the United States and you’ll probably be shipped off naked to the farthest star in outer space. Openly confrontating the authority of State leaders is like trespassing- the Constitution provides for the protection of the property owner and the trespasser goes against this at his own risk. We’re lenient here compared to most countries. We should be thankful for this everyday.) So, yes, rage against what? The leaders during Martial Law who are still here? Then we don’t have to go to the Lady at EDSA or to Rizal at Luneta to say that.
And these exclusive schools! Were you closed down during Martial Law? Did the State then prohibit you from practising your religion? Were you rounded up and disrobed of your habits? Were you not thankful that the Communists were not sucessful in taking over the State (because then you’d really have to go underground)? So what are you against during that time? The attitude the leaders of these schools have adopted does not mirror the intelligence and wisdom of their founders.Their example partly explains why there’s a dearth in the religious vocation. Personally, it scandalizes me to see these days religious in their habits shopping in the malls! Their public support of individual elites while remaining silent about the unmoneyed ignorant in inhuman shelters near them brings back to our collective memory those centuries of captivity when Church leaders were our oppressors (for keeping the Indios in their place, ignorant of the whole truth).
It is the young who are being recruited into extremism, globally, because of their formability and also culpability. They are the ones sent out with fire in their heads and explosives on their bodies (while the adults secure themselves at base camp, feasting). Shame on their recruiters and teachers who feed them self serving half baked truths! It scares parents around the country observing this happening right in their backyatds. Is institutionalized hatred really here already? How can we entrust formation of our children’s minds to such institutions?
These show how shortsighted and little the protesters now of the Martial Law period, or if they do, continue to protest in order to protect vested interests. Popular knowledge is not necessarily the truth. The complexity and intricacy of history cannot be summarized in just one hashtag #neveragain or #neverforget. Which part of that history are we referring to? Never again the good infrastructures that were built then and we’re using until now? Never forget that because of Martial Law we were saved from the Communists and other questionable factions that want entry into our hallowed grounds? Never forget that it is this generation who let them in? Never forget that while they were given a chance they did nothing to uplift the masa? What? We say if only we have a Lee Kwan Yew to manage our country. But when there’s actually one in our midst we quickly push him down the ravine. Parroting and readily embracing popular knowledge that’s obviously one-sided is a mockery of (blind) Justice and Truth itself. Also our history of electing our leaders tells us that as a people we have not matured in our ability to discern who are true and sincere from those who are charmers or mere whisperers of sweet nothings. Somebody who’s always smiling, polite, and open is readily judged an angel and who’s austere, foul mouthed, and unsociable the devil. Experience tells us this is often not the case. We still put a premium on form than substance so that we have always missed the train.
If we want to protest let’s at least do some research or investigation on that period of our national history. Who? What? Where? Why? How? I’m sure in the process as long as we go by it truthfully we’ll find that there is more to the case than just one vested interest and the name or person, Marcos.