Marcos in real life Marcos, loyalist version
What do you call a despot who murdered, tortured, kidnapped, looted without limit for 16 sordid years? How about... "missed"?
Five years ago, in one survey conducted in the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos was rated the best president since Satan. Just kidding. Actually he was the highest ranked in a list which included Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
This year, Marcos was rated the second "most loved" President. True, his rating was a long way behind that of Cory Aquino. But still: most loved?
This week, presidential candidates Gilberto Teodoro and Manny Villar announced they wanted Ferdinand Marcos buried in the national heroes' cemetery.
Best president. Loved. National hero. Who would have thought the malevolent slaughter n'plunder swine known as Ferdinand Marcos was actually such an adorable LOLkat?
|Hello kiddies! Miss me yet? I have candy! Nom nom|
Granted, it's a historical truism that there'll always be people who'll miss even the most evil, spittle-flecked, psychopathic leader conceivable. Loyalists typically include family members, province mates, cronies and deranged creatures. For instance, within a decade of Marcos' being chased out, a loyalist general's daughter, writing for a vapid lifestyle magazine, wondered why people were making such a big fuss about Martial Law, In a blasé manner, she affected not to notice anything wrong with the dictatorship.
It probably never occurred to Little Miss Gormless Twit -- in the same way it skipped, say, the mind of a child of a slimy Marcos crony dummy banker -- that her cosmopolitan, mansion-filled gilded life was made possible by bits and pieces of Filipinos' stolen wealth, and possibly bits and pieces of Filipinos as well.
Apart from these vampiric beneficiaries, other types yearn for the late dictator. Trawl online discussion groups and you'll inevitably find young outspoken Filipinos denouncing the government while prating what a great leader Ferdie was. Maybe these youths feel they're being edgy and expressing unconventional opinions. Truth is, they wouldn't have survived very long under Marcos. Anybody who dared to loudly criticize the dictatorship was inviting a quick military pickup, followed by a brutal beating (electrodes to genitals optional), indefinite detention, or outright disappearance. It happened to thousands.
There are people who actually lived through Martial Law and hanker for its return. If you ride taxis -- in other words if you're not a Marcos general's daughter -- you've probably encountered the occasional cabbie who moans things were so much better under Marcos. His rule was peaceful, he built plenty of schools and roads, he made Filipinos disciplined. There's a small spark of versimilitude in each of those claims - not enough to amount to truth, but enough to convince minds fallen into desuetude that Marcos was a cool dude.
Three things are at work here: forgetfulness, ignorance and the absence of justice. Nearly a quarter of a century has blurred the wretchedness, brutality and iniquity of Martial Law. In the meantime a new generation of Filipinos has grown up totally un- or misinformed about what happened. Finally, the fact that not one of the oppressors, bandits, killers and torturers has been punished has shown that crime pays - nothing worth remembering here, folks. It's not a new process -- in a few years you should expect the Ampatuan Massacre to be described as an unfortunate misunderstanding, if it's recalled at all.
Thankfully, if you're one of those who DO remember what Marcos was all about, you should know there are others who haven't forgotten as well. This columnists lists 10 things "nice" things to say about Marcos. You can also go to Am I Annoying and give Ferdinand the rating he deserves.
And if we can't have justice we can at least have fun. During Martial Law, ridiculing the dictator, his family and cronies meant certain death. Now, fully aware that dictators hate being made fun of, we can -- should -- mock freely, and mock often. Here is Uncyclopedia's biography of Imelda Marcos. The Marcos military tortured and killed dissidents for milder insults. And here's something that, five years ago, someone who perhaps wasn't too happy about the Marcos bio managed to sneak into Wikipedia. It lingered for a few minutes before taken down. Of COURSE we took a screenshot. It's NSFW, delightfully so
As for cabbies who wistfully recall Marcos? Remind them that all those benefits came at a hefty salary -- we had to "pay" the Marcoses US$10 billion, money which promptly went to Switzerland
If you need more detailed help, next page we've listed the Five Pernicious Myths his loyalists like mouthing, and the truth behind them.