by Alan Robles
September 11 marks the birth anniversary of the worst excuse for a president this country ever had: Ferdinand Marcos. He was a murderous, thieving, deceitful dictator whose regime brutally slaughtered at least 3,200 Filipinos and tortured tens of thousands more. He and his family stole up to US$10 billion, stashing the plunder abroad.
His record of crimes is well known to the whole world.
Apparently though, the Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) didn't get the memo.
In its website, the DND offers a biography of Marcos that's only one soft lingering sweet kiss short of suck. The entry on the dictator, who once served as defense secretary, is so dirt-free even his own (also dead) mother would never recognize the whitewashed monster. "Ayy naku, sino yan", you can almost hear her screech in alarm.
Consider: "Ferdinand E. Marcos was a former President and prime Minister, statesman, war hero, author, poet and parliamentarian. " This will come as a surprise to those who never knew the bandit was a poet. It's succint, achieving brevity by leaving out the bits where Marcos grabbed power, padlocked congress, cowed the judiciary and instituted one man rule for the benefit of himself, his family and cronies; where his regime killed and tortured opponents and critics and where he crushed the free press, replacing it with toady media.
How about this paragraph: "During the outbreak of the Second World War, Marcos joined the military, fought in Bataan and later joined the guerilla forces. He was a major when the war ended." The writer left out Marcos' own description of his war record (fabricated) and his long list of medals (fake). Also the info that his own father might have been a Japanese collaborator.
Burbling with delight, the DND bio also sings: "As a lawyer and a master politician, Marcos led a most interesting and controversial political career both before and after his term as Senate President." True, if by "interesting" the writer means "one of the most corrupt politicians ever, who spent a fortune to buy his reelection and then stayed on by imposing military rule for fake reasons." Lee Kwan Yew called Marcos a pillager, but what would he know, right?
The DND article sums up two decades of Marcos in this sentence: "He became Prime Minister in June 12, 1978 and ruled the country for 20 years till February 25, 1986 during the EDSA People Power revolution which ousted him from power." Well, that's certainly economical. Nothing about repression, wholesale plunder and corruption that finally triggered an uprising that chased the dictator right out of the country.
Here are some points for the DND to consider. During martial law, Marcos used the military and police as instruments of terror and repression. Apart from persecuting and massacring citizens who they accused of being "communists", soldiers and officers (under the DND) censored news, books and movies. They ran government companies. Generals became millionaires and important people, rewarded by Marcos with high positions and lucrative contracts. They also murdered and tortured thousands of citizens, and most of the perpetrators have yet to be held to account.
Perhaps that's a messy unsightful record. After all bloodstains and gristle do leave a mess, so the writer probably decided to clean it up. If "No Remorse" isn't already part of the DND motto, then it should be.
Reading this bio, nobody would ever imagine dictator Marcos was one of the worst catastrophes to happen to the Philippines.
Unless that was really the objective, in which case snap to attention and take a sharp salute DND, because mission accomplished.
Operation "Clean Up The Dictator" is a success.
* * *