5 Pernicious Marcos Myths

Thu, 02/25/2010 - 00:00
page 2

 

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 momof2 (not verified) on
OMG, I can't believe I'm hearing this from this generation of young people... don't you really see what our parents saw in 1986?? Do you honestly believe that if he weren't forced out of office then that we could have stood a much better society/economy now?? Haven't you realized it yet, that all the crimes he did during his dictatorship will be borne by the hardship of your generation, your children's generation well into your great-grandchildren's even if your parents toil with sweat and blood for a government other than his. We have fought people power with the cry of change running through our hearts but it is up to the new and coming generations to uplift that change and carry on with the fight against what Marcos' dictatorship have started with the vow that someday the ripple effects will end.

Submitted by bullshit (not verified) on
this bullshit argument wont solve anything. kaya tayo di umuunlad nyan eh. dahil sa ugali nating mga pinoy. sala sa int sala sa lamig. tulad ngayon sa sitwasyon natin kay pnoy. sa totoo lang maayos naman yung pamamalakad nya eh, pero ano nanaman? puro mali ang naiisip natin sa kanya. kaya rally nanamn dito rally doon. nagagalit tayo pag yung mga politikong may mga maling nagawa ay napapabayaan, tapos ngayung inaasikaso na ni pnoy yung pagpapakulong sa mga kurakot na pulitikong yan eh nagagalit parin kayo. eh putangina nyo naman ano ba talaga gusto nyong mangyare?

Submitted by alan on
@bullshit - your name sums you and your arguments up perfectly. No need to respond. Btw, as an alternative nick, might I suggest "imbecile"?

Submitted by alan on
@Matter of factly your handle is all wrong, should be matter of stupidity. And your advice - "wag maging ignorante" is undercut by everything you say before that. Maybe you can get a refund on your tuition. Assuming you went to school

Submitted by Joe (not verified) on
COMPARING Marcos to Other President is like comparing Day and Night..<br />Each President has its own Pros and Cons but Marcos is way Ahead on Pros on any President Before and After..<br />Marcos Plundered Billions of Pesos but now President to Baranggay tanod Plundered Trillions of Pesos.. I will choose marcos anytime anyday..

Submitted by not busted (not verified) on
how is it a myth when there's no evidence that's its not a myth? source please!

Submitted by concerned (not verified) on
When Marcos was in power only a few of the government officials were corrupt , why because everybody else was scared of Marcos. Now the Most of our government officials again I say Most is corrupt. At that time we were also ahead of South Korea , Singapore and even Vietnam in the sense of developing countries, where are we now ? Pretty much bottom of the ladder. I'm not saying what Marcos did was right, but we have gone from bad to worse.

Submitted by Josemaria Martin (not verified) on
I am NOT Pro-Marcos,but Only good thing he did for Me was when He scolded the MPD Leadership for Extortion(according to Mon Tulfo

Submitted by alan on
@Joseph - your'e entitled to your moronic opinion<br />@concerned - you're entitled to your delusions<br />@not busted - what a waste of education, assuming you got any<br />@Joe - did you finish kindergarten? No, seriously?

Submitted by vivian (not verified) on
i believed in all of these...much more i have known and was experienced by my family...i dont know what made those writers writes about his goodness and this generation seems to agree.

Submitted by Aurora Pascua (not verified) on
I suddenly beleive all of these .....and truly believe it.is ...I saw and heard step of horses picking up people to damp them ....in a remote area ..... Every day , everynite ... I experience for no rice to buy.. If there is ,it's like a sand hard to swallow ... More sadness during that time and will never forget nor forgive the Marcoses greedy family

Submitted by Aurora Pascua (not verified) on
I suddenly beleive all of these .....and truly believe it.is ...I saw and heard step of horses picking up people to damp them ....in a remote area ..... Every day , everynite ... I experience for no rice to buy.. If there is ,it's like a sand hard to swallow ... More sadness during that time and will never forget nor forgive the Marcoses greedy family

Submitted by Paul Farol (not verified) on
Hello, it's Troll Farol again! I'm glad to see you have renovated your site! it looks terrifice! This looks like a wonderful place to nest for a cockroach like me who is trying to earn respectability by doing a BOOK PROJECT. sshhh. I need it to pay for my drugs

Submitted by maya (not verified) on
I am not yet human during Martial Law. It is part of our history. That once we have a president like Marcos, there were victims, witnesses, some are documented and recorded that those things REALLY happened under his term as president. Good for others who benefitted and who is on his side, bad for others who are not on his side. We know that it is natural for people to form alliance to achieve his or their interests. Either for themselves or for some selfless, honest to goodness, service to his fellowmen who entrusted the reign of power to him. But I was just curious, since I do not know these people personally, how they became a great part of the history of our country. Nowadays, we are lucky to find any information on-line, whether they true propaganda bad or good about certain people. And I find it easier to see who the real person is when you know what he valued most. I just so happen to find a video on youtube, an interview on Imelda Marcos in the US. I knew what kind of person Imelda right there. She is intelligent, and now has been really good in answering the questions thrown at her about her family, their wealth, and atrocities but the things was what she valued the most in this life are just things.

Submitted by lucahehe (not verified) on
why is it called myths when they can actually tell the truth behind it (if they have the evidence of course)? Myths are half-truths or unproven and usually when someone presented myths, they usually tell truth behind it. Its the same as the myth about Dracula sucking blood, but in history he didnt suck even a single drop of blood rather he killed people by inserting a stick through their anus. just another confusing article to gain traffic, which I dont find appealing!

Submitted by Alexander (not verified) on
This page made me think outside of the box and look for real facts. Marcos isn't really the best philippine president ever. However some filipino teens take him as a hero now. shame on our youth (not all)

Submitted by Mike Acuña (not verified) on
I just found out that 53% of Filipinos are 24 years old and below. Most of these young people don't have enough information about what happened during martial law and the marcos years. This is why bongbong marcos is a sitting senator. Over half of Filipinos don't know the truth and there is an online stealth campaign to deodorize the marcos name to clear the path for bongbong marcos to set his sights on the presidency of this country. It's up to those of us who know or are aware of the trutht to expose it.

Submitted by Mary (not verified) on
For those who were around during the FM regime, read and recall.. For those who were just young-ones during the FM regime, read and reflect... For those who were not yet born during the FM regime, read and be aware... And for those (regardless of the era you were born in) who are convinced that FM is the best (or even just "a good") leader, read and see a doctor (choose the best Psychiatrist in town) because you are totally insane!

Submitted by rene (not verified) on
About a few years ago, I had the chance to go back home to the Philippines after migrating and staying in the US since 1986. I had an occasion to go shopping at Mega Mall along EDSA one day when the group of Imelda arrived. People came swarming around the group like some movie fans laughing, shoving each other and kept shouting " Imelda, Imelda" ! I said to myself, " these are the same people who marched at EDSA and drove the Marcoses out of Malacanang. What's wrong with us Filipinos? Do we have such a forgiving heart or a short memory as a people to have acted as such?

Submitted by Ben (not verified) on
Something I noticed the following about pro-Marcos people: 1. They always relate any anti-Marcos sentiment as being pro-Aquino 2. All the studies/data/reports about the oppresion and systematic plunder during the Marcos regime are propaganda 3. Conversely, any data supporting Marcos is gospel truth 4. For every post you will make against the Marcoses, they will put perhaps 5 pro-Marcos comments for every 1 anti-Marcos comment 5. Some are real FB pages, some are doubtful (when you check walang mga post or pics or whatever) 6. Most of the pro-Marcos posts come from kids too young to know, but allegedly heard the stories from their parents, grandparents, etc... about martial law & the Marcos regime 8. All presidents that followed Marcos failed to uplift the status of living in the country. Hence, Marcos was the best president ever. 9. Corruption persists to this day. Hence, the time of Marcos is better since at least he was able to build SLEX & NLEX, PHIL. HEART CENTER, NKTI, LUNG CENTER, etc... -- The entire point is - THE FAILURE OF ANY PRESIDENT AFTER MARCOS TO UPLIFT THE PHILIPPINES DOES NOT, CAN NOT AND WILL NEVER MEAN THAT MARCOS WAS A GOOD PRESIDENT. Because whether you accept it or not, it was during Marcos' time that the downfall of the Philippines started. The lesson perhaps is that we should choose wisely next time.

Submitted by sylvia (not verified) on
pls make youtube videos,too

Submitted by Justinechua (not verified) on
Considering what we have right now. I'd say Mracos' regime was the golden age of the phillipine history! Bar none. After almost 30 years ano na ba tayo ngayon? Umunlad na ba bansa natin o lalong nalugmok. Nagtataka naman ako lahat nang nakausap ko. Magulang ko tiser ko si manong driver pati ung matandang nagwawalis sa lansanagan lahat sila nagsasabi na during sa panahon ni macoy mas maunlad mas tahimik ang Pilipinas. Nagtataka ako daming hater ni macoy siguro sila yung mga nasa kabilang side yung mga kaalyado ng mga makakaliwa. Kasi sabi nga ni manong driver kung ang buhay mo nun eh gusto mo lang mamuhay ng tahimik tahimik naman daw ang buhay mo. Dati daw kulang pa ang manggagawa sa dami ng trabaho. Yung nga factory worker nga daw kinukulang pa ng tao eh at nauubligang maghire ng tao sa labas ng metro manila kaya madaming waray at mga cebuano noon ang lumiwas sa manila pero ngayon? Kamusta naman ang employement rate natin? Kamusta naman ang peace in order? Takot nyo lang siguro sa mga magnanakae at riding in tandem noh? Eto ba pinagmamalaki nyo? Aba rh kung noong panahon ni makoy lahat ng tao desiplinado dahil sabihin na nating takot sa gobyerno aba eh mas mabuti pa pala noon kesa ngayon na nasa demokrasya nga tayo eh takot ka naman lumabas ng bahay sa dami ng krimen. Batang hamog nga lang di masiwata ng kapulisan eh. Anong pinagmamalaki nyo? Lumaki utang noong panahon ni makoy? Malamang dami nyang napatayo eh. Kesa naman ngayon kay noynoy trillion na ata utang natin pero anong nakita nyong naipatayo? Unasenso ba tayo o bumagsak?

Submitted by Ferdie (not verified) on
Yung gumawa nito nakakatawa! Kung marunong kang sumunod sa batas wala kang ipangangaba. Yung mga senior citizen dito apsa taguig makoy pa din. From a meralco worker sa era ni marcos "kung may dapat patayin ang sambayanan, dapat si imelda at ang pamilya romualdez."

Submitted by alan on
Yung si Ferdie da Loyalist troll, mas nakakataw. Kasi tanga na, akala pa niya matalino siya. Biruin mo ang tanging dipensa senior citizen ng Taguig.

Submitted by wtf (not verified) on
every "myth" in this article is so biased.... where's the sources? does this guy hate marcos? this country was a lot CLEANER during the marcos regime. the taxes were LOWER during the Marcos regime. Marcos DID build many roads and projects. Don't you dare say he didn't and make Aquino the innocent clean hero ignoring EVERYTHING Marcos built that people STILL use......

Submitted by Chris (not verified) on
You listen to historians... you listen to media's sensationalism and bandwagon... the question is... have you listen to you grandpa's and granny's comments? have you listen to their friends? Historians and media recent politics is all nothing but business. Money,power and sex. But your granpa and granma are the ones who needs no cash this time. Masusurpresa ka nalang... lahat nang pipost mo will go against you. We need a new Marcos my friend. Ang sarap ng buhay nang lolo't lola natin sa panahon ni marcos nung di pa ginulo ni ninoy yung pilipinas kasi nga gusto niyang palitan si marcos bilang presidente. eh kaya yun, pumunta si ninoy sa malaysia, isiniwalat lahat ng magagandang balak ni marcos na bawiin muli yung sabah kasi nga part ng pinas yun eh/..sa atin yun eh. eh xempre na-alarma yung malaysia kaya sinupurtahan nila si ninoy na maghasik ng lagim sa regime ni marcos. at dito na papasok yung sinasabi mong insurgency na nagbunga naman ng pagdedeklara ng martial law ni marcos. ito isipin mo pre ha, if di nagpabilib si ninoy nuon, dalawa lang mangyayari.. milyunaryo ka ngayon at... di rin siya pinapatay ni "Danding coquangco" sa airport. Eh prinotectahan nga siya ni marcos nun eh. Eh di niya alam, Bayaw niya pala yung magpapapatay sa kanya. Ito ang mga bagay na dapat mong malaman pre. Ito ang mga bagay na nangmula sa mga taong nabuhay sa panahon niya...

Submitted by alan on
Dear Christ moron, we don't just listen to historians -- btw where are yours? - we also LIVED through the period. It was the worst disaster to happen in the Philippines since the Japanese Occupation. It was a reign of greed and terror and banditry on an epic scale. Ikaw ay isant tangang loyalist. Period.

Submitted by jd (not verified) on
what people should understand is that they ARE the ones who weld the real power to change this country just by shear numbers. the president. no matter who it is, has very limited powers to what people believe they have. The people of the philippines should stop hiding behind the mantra of religion and their "hospitality" and realize it is their OWN corrupt way of thinking that keeps this country from flourishing. You need to press your politicians for change because if you dont stand for something, you will most certainly fall for everything. Only in the Philippines does a son of the biggest thief ever flourish to even run for office on his own, a president who is kicked out of office, given amnesty later on with the promise he will not ever run for public office again only to be the mayor of the largest city in the Philippines. I live in the most corrupt city in the Philippines, that of Mandaluyong under the abalos pieces of shit and hate every minute of it. PEOPLE NEED TO STAND UP FOR THEMSELVES BECAUSE IF THEY DON'T. WHO WILL? STOP SELLING YOUR INTEGRITY AND VOTE FOR PHP100 and 2 KG OF RICE.

Submitted by Carlo devera (not verified) on
BUILDING THE NATION (A PRESIDENT FERDINAND EDRALIN MARCOS PROJECT FOR THE FILIPINOS) Douchetator Deadinand Marcos killed democracy, killed Filipinos and looted the countryh The end bow bow wow bow wow wow bow wow wow wow

Pages

Add new comment