Memory As Diary
“The “Editorial That Never Was “ (Sept 22) recalled that the first unprecedented pooled editorial ever, by the Philippine press, skewered “Compartmentalized Justice” in the decaying New Society”. Newly-published entries in Ferdinand Marcos’ diaries, however, revealed he derailed a second pooled editorial by exploiting weaknesses of some Manila publishers.
“Today, an overwhelming number of Filipinos, outside Ilocandia, abhor martial law, the kleptocracy of its administrators, human rights violations, etc”, emailed Ben Arcinas of Retiro, Quezon City. Yet ”this vast majority is compelled to honor its “bete noir” by retention of self-serving ”Marcos Highway”, “Imelda Avenue”etc.
(Until stopped in their tracks by President Benigno Aquino III, Marcos heirs badgered for a Libingan Ng Mga Bayani tomb for the dictator.) “At the same time there seems to be difficulty even in finding a street to name after Corazon Aquino. Funny?”
Or tragic? “The continuing hubris of the Marcos family, in the face of all documented sins’, rewarding his successors with important positions, suggest a contrary message to those who never experienced martial law
“This shows again the forgetfulness culture among some Filipinos who should know better. In media, some keep reminding us not to forget. But others have not shown same consistency.
“Anybody willing willing to start the ball rolling in a campaign erase the “honors which the Marcoses do not deserve at all?. They inflict on us, meanwhile, a daily dose of what is aptly called “nakakinis.”
From New York, UP mass communication graduate Angioline Loredo emailed to recall: “You were mimeographing foreign press clippings then. And I remember helping to distribute them. We thought martial law would end in a matter of weeks, maybe months. But not 14 years!. How naïve we were.
“Those years seem surreal now. .Some of the journalists we used to admire, in those UP Institute of Mass Communication days, turned out to have feet of clay after all. What a downer the awakening was. I guess in a way we grew up soon enough”. Indeed, “there were also journalists people wish to forget after fall from grace,” emails Tinimbang Ngunit Kulang.
“Those infamous “assos” or “arrest-and-seizure orders” dominate Edgar Loresa’s recall; of martial law. ?I remember those infamous “assos”. In my mind, they are irretrievably linked to dogs. There are many kinds of dogs. Dogs who bark but do not bite. Dogs who would protect their masters. Dogs who bark to warn of danger. The danger, in the case of martial law, was the master.”
Our column “Curators of Nightmares” ( Sept 11 ) pointed out that national amnesia, over martial law abuses comes “at the cost of betrayal.” Former Evening News reporter Melodia Santos-Drexler, who now lives in Caifornia with her family, responded: “I remember, no matter that physical distance can blur a memory. “I remember at a time of numbness.”
“I recall wearing a yellow dress to the office the day after Ninoy Aquino was murdered. I remember dialing the home number of Senator Manglapus three times and hanging up, not really expecting someone to pick up the phone, simply trying to reach out
“In time, distance fades the realities of unbearable hurt. But in the back of my mind, as far removed as I had been then, still am, from that then oppressed land of the martial law of the morning sun, I retain the incomplete recollection. I honor the memory because that helps build hope”.
“Every now and then, I share stories about martial law to my children so that they too can tell their children, when the time comes,” blogged Pilipino Ako6. “All of us, who were old enough to understand what was going on, can keep those moments alive by doing the same thing. We do not have to wait for the schools to do this for us. We, the martial law victims, can tell the story much better….”
“Don’t we have a subject of the history of 1972 to 1981 martial Law in Philippine high school?, asked tra6Gpeche.” If there is none, Congress should make a law making it compulsory for high school students to learn what happened during martial law years. Without this, you can not blame the young Filipinos for not knowing anything about it.”
“Martial law evolved a new vocabulary for summary execution,” emailed Virgo Yap. “And it was called “salvage or salvaging Philip added : “Stolen money helped a lot in erasing past misdeeds. Part of the stolen money is now at the hands of those trusted to right the wrong. Most of the stolen money is being enjoyed by the heirs. The robbed are still suffering. “
“Since then, Fidel Ramos became president, having been laundered in EDSA,” emailed NY Pinoy. “Chief implementer of martial aw, Juan Ponce Enrile is now senate president. He charmed voters with his brilliance such that his son and namesake is now shoo-in to become senatorial candidate. His star cadet, Panfilo Lacson, is now a “principled” senator of the Republic. The Marcoses are still with us. Imelda is in Congress. Bongbong in the Senate and Imee s governor. And the stolen billions remain hidden, perhaps slowly laundered to be used by future generations of heirs.
What has happened to us all? AntiKo asked. And in the swift interactive channel of Internet, Endo Dontics replied: “Amnesia. That’s what. “
By: Juan Mercado
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