Marcos Jr.: Learn from history

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
Marcos Jr.: Learn from history
People wave a Philippine flag in front of the People Power Monument on EDSA yesterday to commemorate the 1986 revolt.
Jesse Bustos

MANILA, Philippines — As the country commemorated the 38th anniversary of the EDSA people power revolution yesterday, President Marcos highlighted the importance of learning from history and called on Filipinos to rely on multiple sources before passing judgment.

In a video posted on YouTube, Marcos did not mention the popular revolt in 1986 that unseated his late father and namesake and forced his family into exile. He merely emphasized the need to be guided by past events and for politicians to serve the people, not their parties or their families.

“Your interest in history is very important because we have much to learn from history, and the history that has been made a long time ago and the history that is being made now, all of these are important,” Marcos said in response to a letter sender, a humanities student who claimed to be interested in history and politics.

Marcos said people must realize that politics is a constant, but because of technology, it has become more difficult to determine which is true and which is “fake news.”

“Do not just read one material. Read everything. My grandmother taught me to read anything and told me it would be up to me to gauge which is true and which is not. And that’s what you have to do. That’s what history can guide us with because we have experienced this before,” the President said.

Malacañang was silent on the commemoration of the EDSA Revolution yesterday, as the President has not issued an official statement on the event.

Critics have accused the Marcoses of attempting to distort history and of whitewashing the human rights violations and corruption under the administration of their patriarch, the late president Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

They also alleged that disinformation had helped Marcos win by landslide during the 2022 elections.

In an earlier interview, Marcos said he and his family have no reason to revise history and that they can prove all of what they have claimed. His sister, Sen. Imee Marcos, had said her family was only trying to tell their side of the story.

The President said politics “should be in the service of the people,” not be in the service of one party or one person.

Marcos claimed he entered politics because he was saddened by the sufferings of Filipinos.

“I thought I could do something to help. I think that is the right reason for someone to enter politics,” he added.

During the 37th anniversary of the popular revolt last year, Marcos called for reconciliation through a social media post.

“I once again offer my hand of reconciliation to those with different political persuasions to come together as one in forging a better society — one that will pursue progress and peace and a better life for all Filipinos,” Marcos said in a Facebook post on Feb. 25, 2023.

The President also said he was one with Filipinos in remembering “those times of tribulation” and how they emerged “united and stronger” as a nation.

History repeating itself?

At the 38th anniversary march Sunday, 21-year-old demonstrator Giu de Sagun told Agence France Presse he felt like he was “watching history repeat itself.”

Some protesters wore shirts and hats vowing “never again.”

At a small, official anniversary event in Manila, a group of government workers raised Philippine flags after laying a wreath in front of the People Power Monument. No senior government officials attended.

Marcos Jr. and his family returned to the Philippines after his father’s death in 1989, and began a remarkable political comeback.

His presidential victory was fuelled by a massive online misinformation campaign that portrayed his father’s time in office as a golden era.

He has since won praise for pivoting away from his predecessor Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal drug war, which left thousands dead.

Under the younger Marcos’ government, rights campaigner and vocal Duterte critic Leila de Lima was also freed after nearly seven years behind bars.

“Under (Marcos Jr.), we are given the opportunity to make use of a democratic space in transition from the authoritarian regime that was Duterte’s,” she told reporters last week.

“This is our breathing room from the seven years of nightmare that we thought was all over in 1986,” she added. – AFP

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