Marcos Jr.’s fictions

Ferdinand Marcos’ imposition of martial law in September 1972 is a dark memory that has afflicted certain Filipinos for 49 years. Sept. 23 was actually when they awoke to a strangely grim silence — no radio or TV, no newspapers — although Marcos, yoked to a fetish, had slyly moved the fateful date back by two days. The grievous memory should be constantly refreshed in the face of persistent attempts by the dictator’s heirs and their minions to reshape the martial law era into something less sinister but utterly false: a gift to the country they had terrorized and plundered. They have inexhaustible resources to carry out the deceit with the end in view of regaining lost power, to the extent of believing their own fictions.

It’s been a year shy of half a century, yet the Marcos heirs are nowhere near to expressing remorse for the 3,200 victims of extrajudicial killings, the 77,000 detained, the 3,500 tortured, and the more than 700 disappeared, as recorded by Amnesty International and others during the period 1972-1985. In the reckoning of that dark period, which also saw the collapse of the Philippine economy, leaving many mired in poverty and indebtedness, the people behind those numbers should matter still.


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