Never again

BREAKTHROUGH - Elfren S. Cruz - The Philippine Star

Historical revisionism is the reinterpretation of a historical account. In some cases, this can be harmless such as projecting a certain person as a hero in a battle that he did not even participate in.

There are cases when it becomes very controversial when it reverses moral findings. For example, in Europe, even in Germany, there are people who are trying to deny that the genocidal murder of six million Jews by the Nazis ever took place.

In the Philippines today, there is clearly a well coordinated campaign of historical revisionism to change the history of the Marcos years of martial law. There was a time when Marcos was included in the Guinness  Book of World Records as one of the world’s greatest thieves. In every historical list I have seen of corrupt leaders, the name Marcos is always included in the top ten. Today, I am reading stories that project him and Imelda as honest people who labored for the common people.

This is not the first time that there have been talks of a Marcos restoration. On Aug. 20, 1999, former President Corazon Aquino addressed a rally on Ayala Avenue, Makati protesting a Charter change attempt by then president Joseph Ejercito Estrada. There was a public perception that the call for Charter change was really to pave the way for a Marcos restoration.

Here are excerpts from Cory Aquino’s speech addressed to the public and more specifically to president Estrada:

“When Marcos men threatened me during my campaign rally for the snap election in Basilan – ‘Cory, isang bala ka lang’ – I stood my ground and answered, ‘Marcos, isang balota ka lang.’

“Mr. President, do not worry about us being afraid. We have been threatened by experts.

“We have faced bullets outside the silver screen and faced down tanks with only rosaries in our hands.

“But there are things of which we are afraid. We are afraid of the evils that may tear up the country again.

“Mr. President, you say, ‘Be not afraid of breaking loose from the past.’

“Mr. President, we are afraid of the past breaking loose in the present with a Marcos restoration.

“Mr. President, it is not just the future, but the present that calls for courage, clarity of vision and concord. It calls for vigilance against the return of a past this nation paid so high a price – in blood, sweat, toil and tears – to escape.”

President Corazon Aquino concluded her speech with the following words:

“We are a peaceful people, but a freedom loving and moral nation as well. Right and wrong are beyond political calculation.

“Our children must see that stealing does not cease to be wrong because the loot is successfully hidden. Our children must see that the mastermind is not innocent because his hired guns are afraid to linger him. Our children must see that might does not make right but that, given time and determination, right is irresistible.

“We will not surrender the guarantees and good government for which we paid dearly.

“We will not allow those who plundered our country to return to power no matter who they think their best friend is. The electoral mandate extends no farther than the candidate himself.

“We will not so easily allow the dismantling of what took the democratic resistance many years to recover under martial law, and succeeding years after EDSA to rebuild:

“Our democracy from the grip of tyranny;

“Our country from the pockets of thieves;

“Our economic wealth that was stolen and mortgaged by the people who are back in power today.

“President Estrada should not take this rally personally. This is not a fight against him. He has been president only one year. He was only mayor, not martial law administrator, during the Marcos regime.

“This is a fight against a 14-year dictatorship and a dark legacy that refuses to die.

“We are told to forgive and forget. Surely, the President understands why it is extremely difficult for us to just forgive and forget such deep wrongs done to our country, since he finds it hard to forgive and forget wrongs done to him.

“Let me say it now: There will never, never be a Marcos restoration, not by hook or by crook. This country will always be free and will always be the country of the People Power Revolution.”

Will there be more attempts at another Marcos trying to return to Malacañang? For as long as their resources are still in the billions, there will be talks of a Marcos restoration. But there will always be Filipino patriots who are ready and willing to publicly say: Never Again.

*      *      *

An Invitation for Writers of All Ages via Zoom:

Young Writers’ Hangouts for ages 8-15 on Sept. 12: Narrative Writing with teacher-writer Kim Derla; and on Sept. 26:  Poetry Writing with guest poet Mookie Katigbak Lacuesta. Both sessions are from 2-3 p.m.

Zoom, write and celebrate with us as Write Things marks its 7th birthday in September. Contact [email protected].  0945.2273216

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