[In the Web] Bust by Conrado De Quiros





Remembering Martial law. Photo from bulatlat.com

September 11 wasn’t just a day of infamy in the United States, it was a day of infamy in the Philippines. It was the day Ferdinand Marcos was born, which the family he left behind celebrated by demanding once again that he be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

I recall that during martial law (a world that must now seem as distant to the post-martial-law babies the way the Japanese Occupation seemed to us in the 1970s), Sept. 11 was something that was marked by much fanfare by government. Most everybody else of course cursed the day, but not so the martial-law custodians. The day became a precursor to Sept. 21, the date when Marcos imposed martial law, which the country was made to celebrate, not without humongous irony or sadism, as “Thanksgiving Day.”

The ways of the father are visited upon the children. They continue to want to foist their father on us as a hero. Not without humongous irony or sadism.

Nothing less than that will do, they say. They reject completely Jojo Binay’s offer of burying their father in Ilocos with full honors. Their father was a soldier, they say, and a true hero. There are his medals to speak for it. It’s Libingan ng mga Bayani or bust. They would rather P-Noy himself decreed which once and for all.

Well, Binay’s compromise solution was a sorry one, proving yet again that when you try to please everyone, you’ll please no one. It hasn’t pleased the public which continues to vilify Marcos’ memory, and it hasn’t pleased the Marcoses who continue to extol it. Why on earth would you want to have Marcos buried with honors in Ilocos? It is not a matter of geography, it is a matter of principle. As far as we know, Ilocos has not yet become a “substate” of the Republic, free to make its own rules, its own laws, its own interpretation of history. That may be so in Hawaii, where there are Filipinos and Ilocanos, but that may not be so in the Philippines.

In fact, it’s what the Marcoses claim as the source of their father’s heroism—his being a soldier—that constitutes his damnation. If Marcos committed his biggest crime against anyone, it was against the soldier. He did not raise the soldier to the pinnacle of glory, though he did raise him a level of power that enabled him to terrorize the citizenry, he plunged him to the depths of shame.

Read full article at http://opinion.inquirer.net/11979/bust


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