Forgetting the past is an unforgiveable pitfall ever to befall a nation or a race. It provides certainty to a repetition of past errors or wrongs—a repetition that allows for even more serious and far-reaching consequences.
We have been reminded from time to time of the exhortation of our ancestors that Ang di lumilingon sa pina nggalingan ay di makararating sa paroroonan. (Whoever does not look back to where he starts from shall not be able to reach his destination.)
So we need to consign to its appropriate space in the annals of our nation the grievous wrong committed by the late Dictator Ferdinand Marcos. It is only righteous to put to closure the judgment rendered by the Filipino people in throwing him out of power via the historic EDSA Revolt. It was a mandate that proceeds from the fountainhead of democracy, namely that “sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them”.
Therefrom we can attribute to the dictator various forms of characterization bearing expressions of indignation, anger, rancor, vengeful wrath and hatred—feelings and emotions shaped up out of the unspeakably terrible abuses experienced by the people during the martial law period. It can be figuratively summarized that the entire martial law era was an orgy of tyrannical violence and maniacal greedof the conjugal dictatorship for power and wealth. For truly, it was no joke that tens of thousands underwent indefinite incarceration while countless others suffered tortures, abductions, disappearances, ma ssacres, rapes and all other forms of human rights violation and deprivation, even as the national coffers were emptied of billions of pesos in a rampage of thievery that served but the whimsical drives of the conjugal dictatorship.
But it must satisfy our cerebral curiosity and scrutiny to consider that the terrifying conditions that befell on the Filipino people under the dictator Marcos was the apical consummation of a whole narrative of betrayals of the people’s trust by the succession of national leaderships ever since the birth of the Philippine Republic in 1946.
This unfortunate period of our history clearly manifests the utterly fascist character of the Marcos dictatorship. However, it will not suffice to tag Marcos with various evil-laden names witho ut tracing the paths whereupon he dramatically trod in his climb to absolute power. Albeit he seemed to have risen singly to the throne of pelf on his own political acumen and clever d evices, fortunately for him he enjoyed the endorsement and all-out support of the United States of America whose own interests demonstrated itsdece itful nature as an imperialist power. American imperialism after all was the source of ideological props th at served to justify the systematic attacks of our domestic leaders against their own people’s freedom and wellbeing.
It will be recalled that through all the clever inducements coupled with blackmail, Manuel A. Roxas perpetrated the “first act of treachery” against the Filipino people as soon as he was installed as the first President of the Republic. And this treasonous act had its twin offsprings— puppetry and corruption, exercised by a supposedlynational leader of our race and handed down as a despicable legacy to subsequent leaders f rom Quirino to Marcos down to Noynoy Aquino.
Roxas was the first Filipino president to succumb to foreign domination of our supposedly newly born independent republican state. He deftly maneuvered the adoption of the US imperialist design to have the “parity rights” appended to the Philippine Constitution. This was the parent of all bureaucratic corruption in our political system through the century.
Every Filipino must realize that the American policymakers were the mentors of the first batch of Filipino politicians in the Islands. They taught these pseudo-leaders how to betray the Filipino people. They were the trainors of Manuel L Quezon, Manuel A. Roxas, Sergio Osmena, Elpidio Quiirin o and all the other emergent politicians in mastering the “art of puppetry and chicanery”. And our pseudo-leaders were only too glad in embracing the system so that they soon became merchants of deceit adept in the ways of unbridled political swindling at the expense of the great majority of the people.
However, this realization of the sinister role of American imperialism in crafting the political direction of the Philippine State does not at all exculpate Marcos of his grievous crimes against the Filipino nation. His unequalled treachery in imposing terror, pain, suffering and death on the people is inexcusable and warrants the most vehement denunciation and condemnation and, above all, conclusively disqualifies him from being buried at the LNMB.
Marcos should not have been buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. It is a big historical injustice and a great insult to the victims of human rights violations during martial law. His interment at the LNMB could only serve as a “symbolic act” meant to delete the historical injustice from the people’s memory and revise the narrative of truth that the Marcos dictatorial rule was the most dishonorable episode in our country’s history. This is anathema to the judgment rendered by the Filipino people who drove him away from Malakanyang through the EDSA Revolt of 1986. Such action was a clear historic verdict that carries the essential element of ”dishonorable discharge”. By that he has been stripped of all honor and rights to be considered a hero that deserves a burial at the LNMB.
In allowing the burial of the dictator Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, President Duterte has poked a finger hard on a delicate spot on the Filipino people’s collective memory. He mistakenly believed that such act would heal the wounds of disunity among the various sectors in our society.
On the contrary, it has opened anew the deep historical wounds caused by the Marcos dictatorial rule. It has dug up new cleavages of disunity and bleeds the nation anew to acts that only presages violence and anarchy.
In the final analysis, what ought to be the main preoccupation of the present generation of Filipinos is to forge all human and material resources to embark on the imperative of freeing ourselves from the shackles of US Imperialism. We must assert our sovereign will as a people, cement our national unity towards genuine national sovereignty. In short, we must adopt and chart an independent foreign policy.