Can gas prices go any higher Vol 6 No. 4 April 2022 - Page 4

Marcos Jr . gave no apology , showed no remorse and offered no restitution . And why would he ? Maybe no one remembers after all . He has been rewarded many times , repeatedly elected to various positions . And now as president ?

FROM THE PUBLISHER ’ S DESK

A ghost of the dark years

I remember that day — Feb . 25 , 1986 . My family stood outside the iron gates of Malacañang Palace amid a massive wave of people armed with yellow ribbons , flowers and rosaries . After a four-day uprising , we heard on the radio that the dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his family had fled the country .

Ramming through the gates of the now forlorn presidential palace , people found signs of a hurtled retreat . Hundreds of pairs of shoes , gowns and other evidence of the Marcoses ’ profligacy had been abandoned . Documents and bullets scattered on the floor . They ’ re gone !
People burst into song . The poignant “ Bayan Ko ” ( My Country )— the metaphor of a caged bird that yearns to be free — was the anthem of the EDSA revolution .
The Marcoses had been obliterated from our lives .
Or so we thought .
My generation — we were called “ The Martial Laws Babies ”— is beginning to realize now that only the glorious part of the Philippine history is being obliterated .
Ferdinand “ Bongbong ” Marcos Jr ., only son and namesake of the late dictator , is the frontrunner in the Philippines ’ upcoming presidential election in May . Consecutive polls in January and February show the junior Marcos winning with a staggering 60 percent of the national vote .
He was 29 when the family was ousted and sent in exile in Hawaii .
He had since returned to the Philippines , where he served as governor of Ilocos Norte , as congressman and senator . Now he is aiming to go back to his childhood playground — the Malacanang Palace .
His campaign has revived “ Bagong
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Lipunan ” ( The New Society ), the anthem of martial law . I shudder . It summoned the dark years .
Watching how North Koreans live now gives me a perspective of how we were brainwashed into subservience during the martial period when the media was controlled by the regime . Political opinions had no place in the public sphere .
My generation lived through different political eras . We grew up watching the spectacle of the Marcos family , who acted like royalty . Imelda Marcos paraded in her extravagant gowns and glittering jewelry , suffocating Filipinos with her absolute vanity . “ People say I ' m extravagant because I want to be surrounded by beauty . But tell me , who wants to be surrounded by garbage ?” she said .
“ Bagong Lipunan ” was played on the radio , on TV and in public places . Marcos created a fiction , depicting his purported greatness , that fueled his tyranny .
During the two decades of media control , the brainwashing propaganda concealed what the regime represented — world-class plunderers , murderers and torturers . None of the Marcoses or their cronies ever went to jail for their transgressions .
Marcos Jr . gave no apology , showed no remorse and offered no restitution . And why would he ? Maybe no one remembers after all . He has been rewarded many times , repeatedly elected to various positions . And now as president ?
Marcos Jr . gave no apology , showed no remorse and offered no restitution . And why would he ? Maybe no one remembers after all . He has been rewarded many times , repeatedly elected to various positions . And now as president ?
It ’ s perplexing . It ’ s appalling . And for people who were tortured and the families of those killed , it ’ s revolting .
Marcos Jr . appeals to a fresh generation that doesn ’ t hear the shuddering beat of “ Bagong Lipunan ” the way my generation does . The Philippines ’ median age is 25 . Their lack of personal link to the history of martial law perhaps explains their political oblivion .
But history is still being written . Pre-election polls are just polls . The May 9 ballot will decide a new chapter in history .
As Filipino journalist Sheila Coronel said , ‘ A Marcos return is inevitable only if we believe it to be .”
Publisher / Editor-in-Chief Mar-Vic Cagurangan publisher @ pacificislandtimes . com
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