Debunking the #Ateneo's pompous statements about Martial Law 'revisionism'

"We are not blind to the darkness" and our eyes are wide open to the light!
(an answer to the Ateneans)

"We must start with the truth." And so you pompously declared.

And so what is the truth? That EDSA was a "truly a genuine popular uprising and triumph against dictatorship"? Truth? How about Enrile and Honasan and their men planned a coup against Marcos to take over the government but was discovered which Cardinal Sin and the foes of Marcos saw as a chance for his ouster thus the call for people power?

How about the Armed Forces of the Philippines holding the nation together by refusing to shoot at each other regardless of political leanings? How about 2 million or so people, by sheer noise and protest charted the next 30 years for the rest of the 60 million plus Filipinos at that time? How about the snap election being won by Marcos in spite of the cheating by both sides?

How about EDSA being hijacked by the displaced oligarchs who roared to power hungrier than ever? How about the yellow governance fueled by revenge yet unable up to now to finger the mastermind behind Ninoy's murder even with the wife and the son being president? And yet, you claim "Any call for unity, most especially from the heirs of the Marcos regime which bitterly divided the country, will be empty and meaningless unless truth and justice are upheld." Justice? You can not even render justice to your supposed icon of heroism, how can you demand such?

History must be written by non-partisan minds who lived Martial Law: before, during and after. It must come from ordinary citizens who shouldered the impact of day to day living. Those who toiled and struggled. Those who walked the troubled streets and endured the lawlessness. Those who survived the crumbling state of affairs and was driven to the brink of despair. No. History should not come from the immaculate pen of the learned who were perched on their mighty academic towers watching over the people like Olympus' gods. No. Not those whose interests lie in regaining back their powers, their influence, their importance. No. Not from different masters of the same slaves.

If the Filipinos must condemn Martial Law's abuses, they must in all fairness applaud its accomplishments. If Marcos must be condemned, so should the presidents who came after him and damned the "spirit of EDSA". Today, the Filipino people are no better compared to 30 years ago. It is time to stop blaming Marcos. It is time to reclaim one country, one people. It is time for leaders and patriots to work for the Filipinos. The color yellow is not the country's present nor should it be its future.

With the Divine Providence, the truth is, the Filipinos' fate lie on their hands. Regardless of history. Regardless of the past.

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  1. Your attempt at "debunking" the Ateneo's professors are feeble at best.

    1. The participation of the Armed Forces, Honasan, Enrile, et al does not take away from the fact that common people, the ones you so lionize, willingly took up the call to mass at EDSA at that fateful time. Moreover, EDSA was merely the tipping point of long years of discontent and resistance against the Marcos regime - people do not suddenly go to the streets to endanger their lives if not for some greater cause that is worth the risk.

    2. These two million people you speak of stood up to the Marcos regime for its grave abuses. To the extent that they were successful in kicking him out, yes, the lives of all the rest of the 60 million plus were made better because of it.

    3. Marcos "won" the snap elections that had no legitimacy. Remember the COMELEC itself walking out in protest of the supposed "win" of Marcos and seeking sanctuary in Baclaran church for doing so?

    4. It is true that the fundamental problems of the Philippines (oligarchy, income inequality, etc.) were not magically solved by the revolution. To claim that this is the fault of the revolution is to forget how entrenched these oligarchs and favored ones were during the Marcos regime, all those cronies openly benefiting from public funds.

    5. Seriously? You would equate the inability to find Ninoy's assassin with the years-long human rights abuses perpetrated during the Marcos regime? That because justice was eluded in that one case, then those who call out Marcos for his injustices should remain silent? What kind of logic is that?

    6. You forget that some of these professors are themselves among those "ordinary citizens" who lived Martial Law.

    7. You challenge the legitimacy of the "immaculate pen of the learned perched on ivory towers" to comment on the nation's history, yet these scholars are the ones who devote their lives to study and remembering and analysis. They have no "influence, powers or importance" that they are trying to "regain" as they are academicians, not politicians. If there is a master here, it is your blind partisan vindictiveness, and you are a slave to it.

    8. Sure, the Marcos regime should be commended for its accomplishments. Tell me, which of these accomplishments would be enough to justify the rampant, systematic and grave abuses it perpetrated?

    9. Stop blaming Marcos? Of course we all should hold accountable all those who had and have power, which includes all of us. To forget how Marcos fractured the economy with his unwise policies such as taking on too much debt, killing all those people and damaging our institutions, his role in weakening the State and the country and thus burdening the next generations with the consequences of his errors, should not be forgotten.

    Indeed, the Filipinos' fate is in our hands. And we can only chart a bright future for ourselves if we remember well the lessons of the past.

    1. Bottom line is, did EDSA 1 peoples power changed the Philippines for the better? NO, so their should be no debate that it was, meaning the EDSA Peoples Power was a total failure, making the country in a far worse situation today.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Of course EDSA 1 changed the Philippines for the better.

      For example, are you able to criticize the government without fearing for your life? Was the economic suicide of borrowing too much in a short period of time (which is what Marcos did) stopped, leading to eventual recovery? Did the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses partially recovered and given to human rights victims?


      Therefore, in many ways, the Philippines is in a much better position now thanks to EDSA and the removal of Marcos from power.

    4. 1. The people who went to Edsa 1 were not "common people." They were middle-class Catholics who only represented a small part of the country. A very small part.

      2. The rest of the 60 million lives were not made necessarily better, as afterwards, prices rose, brownouts were common and other problems happened.

      3. Some say the walkout was staged. Or perhaps the staff who walked out were ill-informed. But for now, that walkout seems open for debate.

      4. And the same cronyism exists today, only it has the oligarchs in place doing it, and it's doing more damage to the economy than Marcos' cronies did.

      5. Simply put, why can't they name Ninoy's assassin? They should name him for transparency and clarity.

      6. Both pro- and anti-Marcos people lived during martial law. Perhaps it depends on which side of the fence you're on.

      7. It's the academicians in question who displayed partisan vindictiveness, by calling out one person's perceived abuses, but remaining silent on another person's more obvious abuses.

      8. Accomplishments are not there to justify brutality. They are just an unfortunate coincidence. But where they exist, they at least must be recognized.

      9. We cannot blame Marcos for the problems today, because the causers of today's problems are a different camp from his.

      Edsa 1 didn't change the country for the better. It just changed the old regime with a new one, one that gives us the illusion of freedom, but took it away from us in another way, without declaring Martial Law or any similar move.

    5. 1. You claim there were no members of the poor who were at EDSA 1? And do you claim that because they were a "very small part" of the entire Philippine population, their cause was necessarily wrong?

      2. Prices rose because they had been kept artificially low by the Marcos regime through government price control, a foolish, populist strategy that was paid for by huge debts that succeeding administrations and generations had to pay for. The brownouts came about because of the coups that were attempted, if I remember correctly.

      3. The walkout happened. Sure, there are claims that it was staged and/or ill-informed. But words are cheap. Walking out at that time meant going against the dictatorship, which meant endangering one's life. Do people regularly put their lives on the line if they do not think that a higher cause merited it?

      4. You claim that the oligarchs are doing MORE damage to the economy now. The oligarchs will always be there. You will notice thought the economy has been steadily strengthening the past years? :)

      5. Identifying the assassin is irrelevant to the issue of whether Marcos should be held accountable for the systematic, widespread and grave abuses perpetrated under his regime.

      6. On the contrary, the truth does not change depending on one's politics. These scholars present data - testimonies from torture victims, economic metrics that show how ravaged the economy was thanks to Marcos, documentation of the loot the Marcos family left in Malacanang when they fled and the loot they took with them when they arrived in Hawaii.

      7. The abuses of the Marcos regime are not merely "perceived" but are factual, as documented by the data I mention in #6. And these same academicians call out the abuses of all administrations, not just Marcos'. It's just that Marcos' regime deserves special mention for how bloody and brutal it was, and its long-lasting effects on the country.

      8. Fair enough.

      9. The past affects the present. Of course we should accountable all holders of power for how they use that power, from the politicians to we the people ourselves. However, with greater power comes greater responsibility. Marcos had so much power over such a long period of time, and he used that power to plunder the nation and weaken our institutions, leading to long-lasting damage to the nation. This weakened the State, thereby limiting what succeeding administrations could accomplish. So though current holders of power have responsibility, to the extent that what they could do was diminished because of Marcos' errors, this should not be forgotten.

      EDSA 1 ended a dark and brutal dictatorship. Fundamental problems - oligarchy, income inequality, etc. - present since Spanish times and continue up to know - are still present. But EDSA was not meant to be a cure-all, and to claim that it was ineffective because it did not solve all problems is to misunderstand its purpose.


  2. In summation, the country never moved forward after EDSA 1, because it was hijacked and kept backward by the same people who kept it backward in the first place.


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