No way, Sen. Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., no way!
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2011-03-01
If it isn’t bad enough that the late unlamented Dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos brought us through a dark and bitter chapter of our history — now here comes his son, Senator Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., attempting to rewrite that story. No way, Sen. Marcos, absolutely no way!

When the young Marcos asserted with a straight face last week that our country would have been a Singapore by now if his father was not ousted by People Power in 1986 — thank God that I wasn’t seated as the impact of his wild imagination could have compelled me to wreck another chair. If there is anything I have consistently deplored about the sad state of affairs in our country, it is our very shallow appreciation of our real history.

Looking at the human side, a son trying to redeem the name of his father in history, I first tried seeing that assertion of Bongbong Marcos as a joke. I was thinking that Bongbong Marcos may have spoken the truth when he asserted that the Philippines would have been like Singapore if his father, the Dictator, wasn’t ousted — if what he meant was that after the looting, we will be left with only Metro Manila. Then that would make the Philippines no more than a City State like Singapore.

During a lunch my friend Peter Wallace hosted, we discussed how Filipinos have such a shallow knowledge of their country’s history. Peter commented that Filipinos cannot even remember yesterday. It may be an exaggeration but Peter was not very far from the truth. This national malady for quickly forgetting the past sets us up for another round of violations by our usual exploiters. This is also the reason why public officials who were already disgraced in the past are able to recycle themselves.

Now, here comes Sen. Marcos attempting to rewrite our recent past which also happens to be an extraordinary chapter in our history. What Bongbong Marcos is attempting to rewrite was the very turning point that transformed the once second best performing economy in Asia, before his father became president and dictator, into what is now a basket case of not just Asia but even of the ASEAN Region.

When ABS-CBN TV Patrol conducted another one of these questionable text polls on the issue of allowing the remains of the dictator to be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, there were more in favor although not by a big margin. Whether this quick poll is truly reflective of the national mood, we really do not know but we certainly hope it is not so.

The recent overwhelming public interest in the 25th anniversary of People Power — thanks to the masterful planning and handling of the celebrations by presidential cousin Maria V. Montelibano — lifted my spirit tremendously. I felt assured that Filipinos will no longer allow the historical truth to be forgotten. That the youth came out in great numbers for the 25th anniversary celebrations is our best assurance that there will always be Filipinos who will tell the truth about the damage that the US sponsored Marcos dictatorship exacted on our national psyche.

Here is a piece of unsolicited advice for Senator Bongbong Marcos:

There is nothing that you can do now about your family’s past, Bongbong Marcos, not in this generation and not in the Information Age. No doubt, your political prospects are weighed down by your family’s past. That’s why it took so long before one of you won in a national election after 1986. The sooner you extricate yourself from any further discussions about your father’s sins against our people and our country, the more your prospects will improve. Hopefully that break from your past will allow you to accomplish something that can make up for the negatives of your heavy baggage.

Bongbong Marcos, this nation might give a sincere son who wants to make up for the sins of his father a break. However, make no mistake about it — we will not allow you to erase the truth about our past because we know only too well how damaging that would be to future generations who will not learn our real history and cannot thus avoid reliving its bitter episodes.

Do not ever again underestimate the impact of the People Power Revolution or EDSA, as popularly called. We have attained a great deal of political maturity and EDSA is the best proof of that. Like many of the great revolutions, it takes decades to fulfill its greatest achievements. I read once that when Chairman Mao Zedong of China was asked by a foreign correspondent during the mid-1960s as to how he assessed the Chinese Revolution, Mao was said to have responded that he cannot assess yet the Chinese Revolution because he is still assessing the effects of the 18th century French Revolution. Mao was right. It was his successor, Deng Xiaoping, who finally brought China to its present towering stature.

Bongbong Marcos, our people may get impatient to feel the promise of EDSA but do not ever misconstrue that to mean that we will seek a restoration of the very evils that ruined this country during the Dictatorship.

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  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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