5 Pernicious Marcos Myths

Thu, 02/25/2010 - 00:00
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Friendly Dictator
"I mean, how could I possibly be evil? Just look at this totally bogus painting of my face!" *Mwah* *mwah*

 

By Alan C. Robles

MYTH 1. UNDER MARCOS THE COUNTRY WAS PROSPEROUS

A few people were prosperous. People like Herminio Disini, Danding Cojuangco, Imelda Marcos. Ferdinand Marcos, junior -- Bongbong -- got his own island, Calauit -- as a hunting preserve. He demanded, and was handed, millions of pesos from a private company, Philcomsat. "What could we do," a company officer said later, "he was the president's son." Imelda turned the Philippine National Bank into her private piggy bank and Philippine Airlines into her personal air service. She bought condos in New York, ordered posh department stores to close their doors so she could shop inside in peace, handed out hundred dollar tips to Americans. Where'd all this money come from?

Marcos ruled unchecked for almost 14 years, free to write his own laws as he went along (after he was overthrown, investigators discovered dozens of secret decrees he'd kept handy for all possible contingencies). With those awesome powers, what progress did he bring to the country? In 1974, the poverty rate was 24%. By 1980 it was 40%. When Marcos assumed the presidency, the country's foreign debt was US$1 billion. By the time he fled, it was US$28 billion. Where'd all the money go? Investigators later estimated the Marcoses stole at least US$10 billion, most of it salted away abroad. Martial Law sustained a plunder economy run for the benefit of the Marcos family, its relatives and associates. Everyone else was just an afterthought.


MYTH 2. UNDER MARCOS THE COUNTRY WAS PEACEFUL

During Martial Law, not only did the Communist New People's Army increase in strength, from a few hundred to more than 20,000 soldiers, but crime in Manila became so bad that at one point Marcos actually ordered the deployment of "secret marshals." These were armed plainclothes military agents who pretended to be passengers in jeeps and buses, with orders to shoot and kill anybody they thought were criminals.

The worst threat to peace and order was none other than Marcos himself. Historian Alfred McCoy estimates the Martial Law regime killed more than 3,000 Filipinos and made hundreds disappear. Dinampot (picked up) entered the venacular to describe what happened to Marcos critics, who were usually labeled "subversives" or "dissidents." Another word coined under the dictatorship, "salvage" -- murder committed by the authorities -- acquired international notoriety. If there was "peace" in the country it was the graveyard silence produced by fear and repression.


MYTH 3. MARCOS BUILT MANY ROADS, SCHOOLHOUSES, DAMS, ETC

True. He could build and build because it wasn't his money that was being used, it was the taxpayers'. And of course, Marcos made sure he got a cut. The biggest, most famous construction project, the billion-dollar Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, was an overpriced, graft-ridden structure which paid Marcos millions of dollars in kickbacks. His crony Herminio Disini got such a large commission he could afford to flee to Austria, buy a castle and settle down. The country took years to pay off the BNPP. It still hasn't been used. Imelda also had an "edifice complex." She was in such a hurry to have the Film Palace in Roxas Boulevard finished, part of it collapsed, reportedly burying workers alive.

Imelda's idea of infrastructure for the poor was a high whitewashed concrete wall around Manila's squatter areas, the better to hide the poverty and misery, and so avoid depressing passing motorists and tourists.


MYTH 4. IN 1986 MARCOS COULD HAVE ORDERED HIS TROOPS TO RUN OVER THE CITIZENS ON EDSA BUT REFUSED TO DO SO, EVEN IF IT MEANT HE WOULD LOSE

Actually he was urging his generals to attack, but in front of the TV cameras made a big show of concern over civilian casualties. Reporter Sandra Burton, who was there, wrote: "Viewers had just witnessed another bit of play-acting, or moro-moro, between Marcos and (General Fabian) Ver, which seemed intended to impress upon his official US audience the president's concern for preventing bloodshed, even as the Americans' sensitive communications devices were intercepting his generals' orders to fire on rebel headquarters."

The truth was the dictator's generals were reluctant to attack. According to Beth Day Romulo, one general later said his huge amphibious assault vehicles could have "rammed through the crowds." However, "I didn't want to be known as the Butcher of Ortigas Avenue."

Marcos kept up the pretense. Burton wrote how: " Hyperventiliating again, Ver grew more and more excited. 'Just give me the order, sir and we will hit them.' Marcos, looking reasonable, compared to his bellicose chief of staff, refused. Yet even as he spoke, his generals were ordering Colonel Balbas to stop making excuses and fire the mortars he had positioned early that morning on the golf course inside Camp Aguinaldo." Marcos never let a few broken, maimed bodies stand in his way. He wasn't about to stop.


MYTH 5. MARCOS MEANT WELL, BUT IMELDA AND THE CRONIES RUINED EVERYTHING

He refused to share power. He kept a closet full of secret decrees. His word was law. The judiciary, legislative and military were his puppets. If Ferdinand Marcos could claim credit for all the nice buildings constructed during his regime, he should also take responsibility for everything else.

The truth was, Marcos was evil from the get-go. As a young man, he assassinated his father's political opponent -- through a coward's way, sniping from long range in the dark of night. He fabricated a record as an alleged guerrilla leader during World War II. He opened a secret Swiss bank account -- under the pseudonym "William Saunders" -- with Credit Suisse in 1968, years before he declared Martial Law.

Marcos was all of a piece. He intended to run the country purely for the benefit of his family and friends, and to set up a dynasty that would continue the plunder. He was prepared to do anything to hang on.

During the snap election campaign in 1985, he sneered that his opponent, Cory Aquino, was a mere housewife with no experience. Cory fired back with a statement that summed up the dictator: “I concede that I cannot match Mr. Marcos when it comes to experience. I admit that I have no experience in cheating, stealing, lying, or assassinating political opponents.”

 

Comments

Submitted by skorpyo (not verified) on
This is all history now. WE, Filipinos, should have learned from it. The problem is we let two more "ganid sa kapangyarihan" sit as president. We never learned from the past. Marcos brought suffering and disharmony to this country. After Cory and FVR we should have started going up the chart but we elected people who pushed us down further to the doldrums. Let us use our common sense and try not let this happen again. Pang ilang "take" na ba? Ok. Take 4!

Submitted by kaprik0rn (not verified) on
Anu ba ung l0ng term na ibubunga nung pamamahala ni Marcos? Nakabubuti ba o hindi. Baka puro ung mga kasalukuyang nangyayari noon ang lagi nyung tinitignan? Sino nagpagawa ng San Juanico Bridge? Kaya ba ni FVR yun? Kaya ba ni Cory un? C6 road nga lng ngaun antagal bago nagawa. Pinagbawal ni Marcos noon ung panonood ng Voltes V para mahalin natin sariling atin. Kahit mga Bakla ndi nya tinolerate. Kung marunong lng kasing sumunod ang Pinoy edi maayus ang bansa. Ngayun masyado ng malaya ang Pinas. Nagkaroon ng mga senador blabla pulitiko na wala nmn noon kay marcos. Mga drug pusher at drug user pala. Mga korupt lalong lumakas ang diskarte. Lalong dumame ang mga bakla. Dati nasa top 3 na tau saWorld kasama ung 2 asian country. Ang pangit kasi ndi natin tinignan ung long term na kagandahan ng pamahalaan ni Marcos. Diktador ba? Comunista ba? eh ngaung Demokratiko bansa natin, gumanda ba? lalong dumami lng ung rally. Pati ung UP na nakahubad pag nag rally eh kala mo magpapabago sa bansa eh. Mga Bakla nagdagsaan. Masyado taung nagmahal sa produkto ng ibang bansa kaysa sa atin. tumaas lalo piso. bumaba ekonomiya. Dahil sa dami ng mga pulitiko, nagulo ang bansa. Ang tuta kasi ng Amerikano ay si FVR at Enrile. Yan ang nag udyok sa pinoynoon para mag aklas. Ayaw ng Kano na may mas lalakas pa sa pamumuno nila noon kaya pinabagsak nila si Marcos. Ayaw nilang maging parang JAPAN ang pinas noon. -so many to say baka mahuli ako.

Submitted by alan on
kaprik0rn - obviously, you didn't read the article. You'll find the answers to most of your questions there. And did you really say "masyadong malaya ang Pinas" -- the Philippines is too free? You want what, more torture? More human rights abuse? More Ampatuans?

Submitted by scy (not verified) on
This is a one sided article, a point of view from someone with a simple glimpse of the past and seeing only the worst... Well we as people anyway remember more the hurt and the wrong other people do and most of the time fail to understand the underlying reasons.<br />Yes, Marcos was a dictator and the most despised president in Philippine history, but he was also the best and most intelligent president our country has ever had. He was the only president who had a vision of the country's future and acted upon it without hesitation. <br />He did not rely on any celebrity or publicity for him to win his first presidency, he was just a true leader. Not an army general, not an actor, not a martyr's wife, nor kid... He was a true leader, and that was why he got elected.<br />He wanted drastic changes, but he knew it wouldn’t ever last his whole term. He was smart enough to do what he had to do for the betterment of the country. He held an iron fist, he brought peace in his own way and economic progress. <br />He knew the Philippines was still young. To him it was a kid that needed to be brought up in a disciplined and educated way. But as all kids, we rebel in the end, we try to break free from what we think is oppression. This is what happened to the Philippines, we never really matured… Maybe in the end we regret, and accept that our parents were right all along, even how twisted they seem to be.

Submitted by alan on
Marcos was<br />(1) a treacherous scumbag assassin. He shot his father's political opponent when the man was helpless, in the dead of night, from concealment, using a rifle, using ROTC skills taught him by the government. He got off the murder conviction only because Laurel let him off<br />(2) a liar. He fabricated a war story for himself, complete with bogus medals, that was exposed by scholars such as Alfred McCoy<br />(3) possibly, the son of a Japanese collaborator. His father was shot by guerillas<br />(4) a thief. He set up illegal Swiss accounts for himself and for his wife as early as 1986<br />(5) a trapo who used guns, goons and gold to steal the 1968 election<br />(6) a dictator who declared martial law and grabbed power to extend his rule indefinitely<br />(7) a bandit who stole from the treasury on a colossal scale. Some of the payoff notes were found in Malacanang after he fled<br />(8) a failure as a statesman and leader. His industrialization plans all went bust, mired in corruption. The NPA grew in numbers. Even Lee Kwan Yew thought he was a crook<br />This is your best and most intelligent president? History passes

Submitted by lee (not verified) on
kapal ng mukha ng mga Marcos, Im sure they always dread the Edsa day,they want people to forget and this stupid Bong2 marcos,they should interview him frequently to show the country how stupid he is..yeah right!! Marcos was a great leader??..,you mean like satan in hell.?.

Submitted by the idiot prete... (not verified) on
who is this idiot above who pretends to know &quot;politics&quot; and &quot;history&quot;, let alone &quot;economics?&quot;<br />hey idiot, you want to make claims, cite a fact (not an unverified news tabloid). Fact is verified and proven. Where's your sources? tabloids? which investigators are you talking about? stupid people like you expecting people like us to simply buy your crap? PEOPLE, think and ask questions if any of this &quot;idiot's claim&quot; can be verified by hard facts. Unlikely, why? because all of his claims are &quot;moot&quot;. No bearing, no basis but pure &quot;rumors&quot; and make believe stories. He is holding on to this make believe stories because after 25 years, these anti-Marcos were PROVEN wrong. After 25 years, the Philippines are still poorer and not because of the DEBTS. All countries have debts, except that the &quot;idiot&quot; president that followed Marcos didn't know a thing about how to manage debts, let alone run a country. Heck, she probably doesn't know how to run her own household even if all she was was a housewife. Cory was a rich Cojuangco &quot;princess-brat&quot;, who knew nothing about the Filipino people. <br />Your analysis doesn't follow. You are one of the morons pretending to know something when you are nothing but an idiot who doesn't know how to make an argument. Once again, you are &quot;ridiculous&quot; and all those who think he makes sense are probably are idiots too.

Submitted by alan on
Yes, nothing like an article telling the truth about Ferdinand Marcos to flush the loyalists out of their roach holes, antenna waving furiously, mandibles clicking angrily as they scurry about the kitchen floor. Alas for them, due to the fact that their misbegotten benefactor's regime has fallen that's pretty much all they can do. In their version of the good old days Marcos critics would have been vanished and tortured. Now critics not only can tell the truth without fear, they can even garnish it with choice mockery, such as: did we forget to say that Ferdinand was so cowardly that when he was in exile in Hawaii and being summoned by the courts in the US, he kept pleading piteously that he was too sick to travel? But at the same time he was sending videotapes to his few supporters in the Philippines showing him working out with weights to prove he was still fit? What a slimeball

Submitted by scy (not verified) on
One thing about history is that the ones who make it are the ones who are left alive to write about it and manipulate it... No one can probably say that Marcos was a good man with a straight face, probably even his own son.<br />I myself am not saying that what he did was just and correct. I am just saying that if you look past the hate and the atrocities, there was a very intelligent person there. He was a dark and scheming idealist who became our president. <br />Yes he probably did kill someone when he was 18, but imagine someone who would defend himself, write his own 800+ page appeal, secure his own acquittal and a day later becomes a lawyer.<br />He was probably too smart for his own good that he tried to manipulate the law, the people, and everything else he could which brought about his downfall. Despite all of this, he put our country on the map, in level of all of our Asian counterparts. And despite of what he did in the end, he at least made more positive impact than any president we’ve had in the past 25 years. This mainly because he had at least had half a brain and a set of balls to lead this country. He put the fear of law to a people who have no discipline. <br />Anyway, here we are 25 years later, 5 presidents later, and now one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Okay fine let’s blame Marcos, he started it, but what did those after him do? All they have done is blame and blame the past and never did they do anything about it. Look at our president now? All he’s done is put to shame past governments and play the blame game. I mean this guy doesn’t have any balls! Or a vision of what the Philippines should be.<br />Enough said, there hasn’t really been a real Philippine president who’s stepped up since Marcos, Philippine elections are such joke, I’d rather have all these candidates take IQ tests first before they are ever elected or at least have real qualifications. What we have in the Philippines is nothing more than a popularity contest… celebrity politicians everywhere, politicians using celebrities, manipulating the media… politicians defaming other politicians…<br />I can’t really say we are better off now…<br />Looking back, it’s was probably better to have just one scumbag than have thousands…

Submitted by alan on
First of all, Marcos-humping commenters who insist they are in possession of the facts and the rest of the world is composed of idiots probably need to take their medication.<br />Second, commenters who don't even have enough imagination or courage to use an alias, and insist on using my name as their own will have a good chance of seeing their posts deleted. Toodles and adios little cucaracha!

Submitted by kathleen (not verified) on
pretty one-sided article. marcos is by far better than than all the other presidents after him.

Submitted by idea (not verified) on
Ewan ko lang ha. Kung nagrereklamo kayo sa mga tao na pinatay, kinidnap at tinorture nung panahon ni marcos, eh anong tawag dun sa nangyayari ngayon? Masaya ba na sasakay ka ng taxi pwede ka mamatay? Tatawid ka sa tamang tawiran pwede ka mamatay? Kumakain ka sa public resto pwede ka mamatay? Magaaral ka sa UP, mararape ka at mamamatay ka? Hindi ka na makatulog ng mahimbing dahil takot ka na may pumasok sa bahay nyo habang natutulog ka. Pagnakawan ka o gahasain ka. Oo, malaya tayo ngayon, sa sobrang kalayaan nagagawa mo na lahat ng bagay. Mangurakot, magnakaw, magdrugs, gumahasa, pumatay. Lahat ng sobra masama. Nasobrahan siguro sa diktatorya ang panahon noon na nasasakal ang mga tao. Pero letse, kung ako tatanungin mo, mas gusto ko ang taong bayan na may takot sa Diyos at sa batas, na may malasakit sa mga kababayan kesa sa kalayaan na tinatamasa ngayon.

Submitted by alan on
and we should believe you because....let's see, you're God? Small g or capital?

Submitted by Passerby (not verified) on
Yet more opinions passed off as facts by a rude writer. Please learn a few manners and a little history before writing something again.

Submitted by alan on
@Passerby: Alas, your advice comes too late to stop international<br />publications asking me to write many stories for them. BBC and al-Jazeera have also repeatedly interviewed me regarding your bf Marcos But wait! Tell me how YOUR writing career is com

Submitted by ohYeah? (not verified) on
show documented proofs. anybody can claim anything against the Marcoses. Post here true documents of such claims.

Submitted by alan on
@ohYeah? - How imperious! Should I rush to comply? What happens if I don't follow your command? will you declare Martial Law on this comments thread? oooohhh<br />HINT - try reading the other articles and clicking on the links. Oh, but I forget: you can't

Submitted by Carolina (not verified) on
Nako dapat ibulgar din ang 10 myths about Cory and the Cojuangco Aquino clan baka magulat tayo sa media hype heroes na mga ito

Submitted by alan on
@Carolina - sure, somebody should expose that! tell you what -- you do the Cory story, I'll keep my eye on this bastard scumbag Marcos

Submitted by nalokoakosayo (not verified) on
alan is doig this for a living.. it's aquino's era again and he has to ride with noynoy to get his supporters to buy his BOOK? or get speaking engagements? sorry but you're not getting what you want. people won't believe you. you have no proofs.....&quot;documented&quot; ones. just try doing something noble alan....the end of the world is near.... oh wait! by the way you make up stories... you don't believe in God

Submitted by alan on
@nalokoakosayo: nothing so mercenary as that! One reason I'm doing this is because I know it annoys the heck out of critters like you. I notice you're from the US, are you one of those Marcos cronies who had to suddenly flee the country? Did you manage to

Submitted by nalokoakosayo (not verified) on
ha ha i see you are upset alan.... calm down....don't get more twisted.. take your meds....esp the one for paranoia....

Submitted by alan on
@nalokoakosayo: see, it doesn't take you long to come back! You really DO love this site. Hey did you know Marcos's dad was a Japanese collaborator who was shot by guerrillas? True! And they hung him from a tree! Wotta father of a hero, eh? And Marcos him

Submitted by curiousone (not verified) on
@nalokoakosayo - so you believe the writer is nuts?I read this article out of curiosity..... and i really think it's very well written to get attention from both the marcos loyalists and the yellow zoombies as they call it. Mr Robles has brilliant mind

Submitted by alan on
Wow a double feature! @nalokoakosayo is now assuming another identity, @curiousone, and TALKING TO HIMSELF (or herself or itself). What were you saying about meds again? Two identities for the price of one...I bet you were a typical Marcos voter during elections am i right? Ha! Ha!

Submitted by Jhon Reymond (not verified) on
Former Pres. Marcos is one of The best President ever in the Republic of the Philippines..=)

Submitted by rajah humabon (not verified) on
your a good writer this could be a hit for a movie in a genre FICTION

Submitted by bulag (not verified) on
pagkatapos ng people power kuno naghari na ang uli ang mga oligarchs

Submitted by alan on
@bulag: tumpak! pinalitan ng oligarch yung mega murderer, mega bandit, super liar at ultra slimeball na si Marcos

Submitted by alan on
@rajah humabon i have a better idea for a work of pure fiction: i plan to call it &quot;The Genius and Intelligence of Rajah Humabon, the Commentard Who Can't Tell The Difference Between Your and You're&quot; -sounds good, no?

Submitted by ruth (not verified) on
thumbs up, Alan! funny and candid ... never fails to amaze me how there are still Pinoys that are audacious enough to climb out of their caves to defend marcos. ano ba talagang klaseng presidente ang gusto niyo para sa Pinas?? di na natuto. haaay.

Submitted by alan on
thanks ruth, glad you liked it -- although if you'll scroll through the comments, you'll see a lot of Ferdie fanboyz don't seem to appreciate the truth

Submitted by hailmary (not verified) on
yung mga marcos loyalist sana nasubkan niyong dukutin ng mga death squads ni marcos, sana naranasan niyo yung mawalan ng kamaganak at makita nalang na parang hayop ang pagpatay sa kanila, sana naransan niyong pasukan ng bote sa inyong ari, kuryentihin, patulugin sa bloke ng yelo, ipapatay ang sarili mong kapatid, gahasain, at lahat ng mga gawain ng dimonyo.

Submitted by cjcoro (not verified) on
(In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed&amp;#65279; of. <br />-- Confucius),,,, after 26years of democracy, reforms, and freedom of speech... what now?

Submitted by Nininkoy (not verified) on
The fact is, no matter how hard we all argue about Marcos, the country still needs a huge uplift. It is not a president who makes a country, but its people. We had the opportunity to turn things around and be great after Edsa 1 but its us Filipinos who wasted it. It is so convenient for us to blame someone for our misery than work hard to give the Philippines its needed boost.

Submitted by enbs (not verified) on
It's not about whether Pnoy's or previous governments are better than Marcos or not. It is not about if poverty, corruption, etc. has been eliminated or not. This article is all about the facts about Marcos and his place in history. Lest we forget there was once a tyrant who ruled our country and who totally abused his power to enrich himself and his cronies. Succeeding generations should not forget this. In this age of the media age and public relations campaigns, a.k.a propaganda, it so easy to manipulate facts to make people believe otherwise. Let us remember this so we will not allow it to happen again as a people.

Submitted by enbs (not verified) on
It's not about whether Pnoy's or previous governments are better than Marcos or not. It is not about if poverty, corruption, etc. has been eliminated or not. This article is all about the facts about Marcos and his place in history. Lest we forget there was once a tyrant who ruled our country and who totally abused his power to enrich himself and his cronies. Succeeding generations should not forget this. In this age of the media and public relations campaigns, a.k.a propaganda, it so easy to manipulate facts to make people believe otherwise. Let us remember this so we will not allow it to happen again as a people.

Submitted by andiel (not verified) on
Not really a Marcos fan but even if many declare that the country was not prosperous during his reign, there are also a lot of Filipinos, especially the old ones, who say that they experienced a more comfortable life during his era compared to the other presidents that followed him. And the mass that attended the people power revolution did not comprised 80-90% of the population in the country so I think it was still a mob rule. just an opinion from a 19 year old who likes history and reads the newspapers and tabloids everyday.

Submitted by nilo (not verified) on
@hailmary <br />true, dati dinudukot muna, kinukulong, papaamuhin at pag di napa-amo papatayin ng patago. Unlike ngayon, in broad day light papatayin ka na lang bigla.

Submitted by Bern (not verified) on
one question...are we better off today? It is that simple..the past may not be perfect but we have become worst

Submitted by mack (not verified) on
okay talaga panahon ni marcos! ang galit lang sa kanya mga mayayaman kasi hindi sila makadukot! hindi totoo na corrupt siya! 1php = 1$? wtf?! cmmon!

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