HOW TO CRUSH A TWISTED MIND

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I saw this FB post on a friend’s wall the other day. I didn’t know if he wrote this himself or if he just copy-pasted this from his ka-DDS. What I knew for certain was that I couldn’t let this go unanswered. However, what was supposed to be a short comment to rebut his statement became a lengthy article –an article that’s only fit for a blog. Read on! 🙂

My Answers:

True, we apparently see different sides of the picture.

YOU CALL YOURSELVES SILENT MAJORITY, I ONLY SEE A LOUD MINORITY.

You see a loud minority, I see a group of courageous Filipinos who are willing to stand up, to go out into the streets, and to make their voices heard in the face of all these blatant attempts to twist, distort and revise our history. I see a group of fearless Filipinos who are trying to fight for truth and justice despite the fear of being bullied, harassed, threatened, humiliated, bashed, mobbed, badgered or stigmatized by online trolls, rabid Duterte apologists and Marcos loyalists. I see a group of dauntless Filipinos who will go to battle with everything that they’ve got to ensure that they will never again go through the same hell that they experienced under Marcos’ tyrannical rule.

YOU HATE MARTIAL LAW, WELL I LIKE THE MARCOS ERA.

You like the Marcos era, well I detest and loathe it. Marcos was a despot, a tyrant, a dictator. He plundered our coffers to the tune of $10 billion. Under his close watch and on his specific instructions (research about the Gen. Orders he issued), 70,000 were jailed, 35,000 were tortured, 3,257 were killed, and 769 were gone without a trace. He was an autocrat who abolished the Congress, destroyed our institutions, persecuted his critics, trampled over our most basic political and civil rights, clamped down on all media entities, and sequestered countless private companies to enrich his family and his cronies. He was an unrepentant liar who fabricated stories about his medals and his role during the WWII, the source of his massive wealth, his reason for declaring ML, the real socio-economic condition of the country, and his excesses and abuses during his reign of terror. He was an economic saboteur who left us with a jaw-dropping external debt of $28.3 billion (debt that we are all paying until year 2025) and the humiliating title, “The Sick Man of Asia.” He was a power-hungry oppressor who made a new Constitution to legitimize and accommodate his desire to take control over the country, beyond the constitutionally-mandated maximum of two 4-year terms in office.

YOU SEE VICTIMS, I SEE PEACE AND ORDER.

You see peace and order, I read and research and listen about the horrors and atrocities of ML. I know the agonizing stories of Primitivo Mijares, the author of The Conjugal Dictatorship of Ferdinand  and Imelda Marcos, (and his son, Boyet, who was tortured and killed in front of his father), of Archimedes Trajano who was severely tortured, mutilated and dumped on a roadside after he questioned Aimee Marcos about the latter’s appointment as the National Chairman of the Kabataang Barangay, of Hilda Narciso who was repeatedly raped by military men while in detention, of Liliosa Hilao who was raped and tortured in front of her 16-year-old sister (Her dead body bore cigarette burns on her lips, injection marks on her arms, bruises and gun barrel marks. Her internal organs were removed and her vagina was sawed off to cover signs of torture and sexual abuse). There are countless more (some remain faceless and nameless up to this day) who suffered water cure, electric shocks to genitals, Russian roulette, strangulation, cigar and flat iron burns, and other brutal torture methods at the hands of Marcos’ torture units.

YOU HAIL NINOY AS A HERO –A MARTYR, WELL HE IS A COMMUNIST SUPPORTER.

You see Ninoy as a communist supporter, yes I see him as a martyr whose assassination ignited the fire of Filipinos’ fury and upheaval against the Marcos’ regime. Any well-read and judicious Filipino knows that the murder, subversion and weapons possession charges hurled at him right after the declaration of ML were all fabricated. Now, if successfully negotiating with Hukbalahap’s Luis Taruc for the latter’s unconditional surrender is being a communist supporter; if consistently and brazenly criticizing Marcos for the latter’s tyrannical rule, corruption and other excesses is being a communist supporter; if exposing the summary execution of the 26 Muslim young men in what was to be known as the Jabidah Massacre is being a communist supporter; if deciding to come home against the advice of the people around him, because he believed that the Filipino is worth dying for, is being a communist supporter; if one’s death triggered a long-awaited transformation in many Filipinos –that they finally found the collective courage to rise against a dictatorship after years of shameful and fearful stupor—is being a communist supporter…. then, yes, I guess Ninoy was indeed a communist supporter.

YOU FLAUNT YOURSELVES IN THE STREETS BECAUSE OF THESE MARTIAL LAW VICTIMS, WELL WHY DON’T YOU DO THE SAME AND BLAME CORY AQUINO FOR THE MENDIOLA MASSACRE?

Yes, we flaunt ourselves in the streets because of these Martial Law victims, and we will continue to do so until the Marcoses’ attempts and efforts to crown the late dictator as a hero are completely thwarted. We also attacked the Cory administration for the Mendiola and the Hacienda Luisita massacres; the Ramos administration for its widespread militarization and its pro-imperialist, pro-bureaucratic and anti-people’s policies and programs; the Estrada administration for its shameless corruption and booty capitalism; the Arroyo administration for the Ampatuan Massacre and the plunder and graft and corruption cases filed against her; The PNoy administration for the Kidapawan Massacre and the Mamasapano Encounter; and now, the Duterte administration for the unabated extrajudicial killings, his inaction over the issue of China’s bullying and island-grabbing, his family’s alleged involvement in the Davao Death Squad and in the smuggling of illegal drugs in the country, his idolatry of the late dictator and his propensity to be a dictator himself, his support to the release of big-time plunderers and to the absolution of his erring allies, his refusal to divulge his bank and medical records, his potty mouth, controversial statements and humiliating behavior that have a damaging effect on our relationships with other nations and with each other, his political appointments based on patronage instead of merit, his promotion of a culture of violence and impunity, and his obstinate efforts to silence and thwart dissent. As Philippine-loving citizens, we will continue to be vigilant and clamorous and fierce watchdogs of this country —regardless of who is at its helm. I hope you do your share, too.

YOU BLAME BONGBONG FOR WHAT MARCOS DID, WHY NOT BLAME BIMBY FOR THE BUNGLES OF HIS GRANDMA AND UNCLE?

We blame Bongbong for many of the crimes committed during Martial Law, but we also hold him accountable for the sins he committed henceforth. He continues to whitewash the Marcos dictatorship’s crony capitalism, of which he had been a part. In 1985, when he was 26 years old, his father appointed him chairman of the board of the Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (Philcomsat). In 1986, after they were ousted, government auditors discovered that Philcomsat was one of the many corporations and organizations used to siphon ill-gotten wealth out of the country. To this day, he continues to shamelessly live off the fruits of the legendary Marcos plunder while arrogantly peddling the lie that his father’s unbelievable wealth is legitimate. He continues to commit a grave injustice to the Martial Law victims when he said, “Pera-pera lang ang habol ng mga ‘yan”, referring to the 9,539 human rights victims in the Hawaii class suit who won the case against the Marcos estate. He continues to play dumb and innocent, while we all know that he is hardly that.

YOU SEE EJK TODAY? WELL, ALL I SEE IS IT IS HIGH TIME SOMEBODY DID SOMETHING.

Yes, we see the state-sanctioned extrajudicial killings today. How can’t we? In just a span of more than a year, the death toll has already risen to 13,000! It is high time that somebody did something, you said? You are absolutely right. Our growing problem with illegal drugs is a menace that is adversely affecting every fiber of our society, and we all have to act now.  The drug lords, drug pushers, drug coddlers and narco-traffickers must be meted out with the most stringent penalty under the law, as they destroy the lives and future of their victims especially the youth and the most vulnerable. The drug users, on the other hand, should be considered as victims or, at the very least, as seriously ill members of society who need immediate treatment. Unless they commit crimes punishable by law, they should not be jailed. Nor killed. They should be rehabilitated.

DON’T EVER IMPOSE YOUR TWISTED MIND ON US.

The last time I checked, we are still living in a democratic country. And under the democracy we enjoy (which the Martial Law victims paid dearly for), we have the right to express ourselves freely. We have the right to speak — or in our present digital age, to voice our opinions, beliefs and convictions using our preferred online social medium. We also have the right to organize. We are not imposing our views on anyone because we know that we can only do so much, especially in as far as educating the open-minded is concerned. You might also want to write an article about your blind support of Duterte and Marcos and, I assure you, I won’t allege you of imposing YOUR twisted mind on us.

LENI ROBREDO, THE LAST (WO)MAN STANDING (An Open Letter for Congresswoman Leni)

Dear Madam Leni,

You are the only woman Vice-Presidential candidate, but that is not what sets you apart from the others aspiring for the same position.

What makes you stand out is your unique brand of tsinelas leadership.

Some people would ask,” Ano po ba ang tsinelas leadership?”

A legacy of your late husband, tsinelas leadership encapsulates your qualities of connecting with the poor and marginalized whom you serve, of keeping your close ties with the masses, and of breaking barriers through accessibility. It is the readiness to get your feet wet and dirty in doing your job. It stands for good governance and genuine public service.

It is the leadership quality that is conspicuously lacking in most of our government officials and politicians today.

While members of Congress are known for their opulent lifestyles, ostentatious display of wealth and power, and patent style of grandstanding, you have managed to stay simple, humble, unassuming and practical.

You take the public bus in going to and from Naga every week, you constantly visit your constituents, you live in the same apartment unit where you and Sec. Jesse started your family, you bring your youngest daughter to school each morning before you go to work, you do your own grocery, and you shun the limelight (you were even caught using the backdoor entrance of the Batasan plenary hall to avoid the SONA red carpet).

In an interview, you said that simplicity is a commitment for your family so you will “remain rooted and avoid getting tempted and becoming used to the perks and privileges that come with the job”.

If only all our politicians could be like you, Ma’am, corruption would now be a thing of the past.

But that’s just it.

You are not a politician.

You are a public servant.

Even before you were thrust into the chaotic world of politics by the untimely demise of Sec. Jesse, you were already serving the people. For free. As an advocate lawyer, you were helping the farmers through your affiliation with Saligan, and the oppressed and the indigent sectors through the Public Attorney’s Office.

Being a staunch champion of women’s empowerment and gender equality, you helped establish and chaired the Naga City Council for Women to give women a voice in governance and decision-making. You also founded the Lakas ng Kababaihan ng Naga to provide training and livelihood opportunities for the women of your beloved hometown.

When you got elected in 2013 as the representative of the 3rd district of Camarines Sur, you were able to author or co-author a total of 14 laws and 121 bills.

Ma’am, that was quite a feat for any political novice!

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According to one brilliant lawmaker, Filipinos should choose their next leaders based on three standards — academic excellence, professional excellence and moral excellence.

Please join me, Ma’am, in evaluating your five VP opponents with reference to these standards.

Alan Peter Cayetano

A graduate of the Ateneo Law School, Cayetano entered politics at a young age. Hardworking and passionate, he is known to espouse worthy causes. He fearlessly exposes and relentlessly investigates government officials involved in illegal activities.

I have always been a Cayetano supporter even if he is a member of a political dynasty — that is, until he made Mayor Duterte his running mate.

I don’t understand why a public servant of Cayetano’s caliber, academic background and integrity would condone, and even defend, someone who is prone to making reckless, malicious and callous statements; someone who has allegations of extra-judicial killings and, recently, unexplained wealth under his belt; someone who can’t present concrete, admirable and plausible plans of action for the country; someone who can incite, and revels in, a mob reaction from his supporters; and someone whose lifestyle is an insult to the very values we hold dear as Filipinos. Why would Cayetano throw away his moral compass and his father’s legacy of good governance? Why would he turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the glaring iniquities that he so dauntlessly fought against in the past?

I just don’t get it.

Francis “Chiz” Escudero

A graduate at the UP College of Law with a master’s degree in International and Comparative Law from the Georgetown University, Escudero impressed me with his dedication and intellect. In his eighteen years of public service (he served as Congressman from 1998-2007 and as Senator from 2007-present), he was able to file more than 500 bills and to pass 144 laws. I also admire the stance he assumed on certain issues (pro-impeachment charges against GMA, pro-RH bill, pro-FOI bill, pro-Corona impeachment, against divorce, against imposition of new taxes).

There are just three things that I take against the smooth-talking senator.

Firstly, he is in favor of a Marcos burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. But, then, I should have seen that coming. His father, after all, is the late Salvador Escudero III, a known Marcos crony.

Secondly, he is prone to support politicians of either questionable integrity or doubtful capability. Fernando Poe Jr., Joseph Estrada, Jejomar Binay — I have no idea what principle or guideline Escudero employs in choosing whom to give his loyalty to.

Thirdly, he is the second poorest senator but he was able to afford a lavish Balesin wedding (and another fancy reception in Manila) to actress Heart Evangelista. Escudero’s defence that they did not spend beyond their means only managed to rouse suspicion regarding two important points: the issues of propriety and conflict of interest. By the way, among their principal sponsors are Hans Sy (of the SM group of companies), Ramon Ang (of San Miguel Corporation), Fernando Zobel (of Ayala Corporation), Andrew Tan (of Megaworld Corporation), Lance Gokongwei (of Robinson’s Corporation, Cebu Pacific and JG Summit), Bobby Ongpin (of Alphaland), and Jerry Acuzar (of New San Jose Builders).

Quite impressive, huh?

Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV & Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan

Trillanes graduated cum laude in the Philippine Military Academy and later earned his master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of the Philippines. He is one of the most productive senators during the 15th and 16th Congress, with a total of 1,109 bills and resolutions filed, 56 of which have been passed into law.

Honasan, on the other hand, earned his Bachelor of Science degree, along with the academy’s highest leadership award, from the Philippine Military Academy. He was a highly decorated soldier and was one of the principal players in the 1986 EDSA revolution that toppled the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.  As a Senator, Honasan’s primary advocacies include environmental, military, police, and agrarian reform issues.

Trillanes led the 2003 Oakwood mutiny and the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege as a protest against the prevalence of social injustice and the rampant corruption during PGMA’s administration. Honasan, with the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) and allegedly under the tutelage of then Defense Sec. Enrile, staged a total of six coup attempts against the Cory administration. Two of these attempts became bloody – the Aug. 1987 coup left 53 dead while the Dec. 1989 coup left 99 dead (50 of which were civilians) and 570 wounded. He was also allegedly behind the Oakwood Mutiny and Feb 2006 coup attempt against PGMA.

While I understand their apparent discontent and resentment that compelled them to rebel against the government, they should have, in my opinion, upheld their constitutional mandate to enforce the law and to protect the people and the state. There are other ways — legal ways — to express one’s grievances, that could prove to be more effective and casualty-free. PGMA is now under hospital arrest, isn’t she?

Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.

I tried, really hard, to find any redeeming quality that could somehow humanize in my eyes this dictator’s heir. But to no avail.

All I can see when I look at Bongbong is the face of a chronic liar.

He presents his father’s dictatorial rule (what he fondly calls the Golden Years) “as the best thing that ever happened to this country.” That statement is, of course, in stark contrast with what the historians have to say, “The Marcos government appears, by any standard, exceptional for both the quantity and quality of its violence.” Under Martial Law, 70,000 were incarcerated; 35,000 were tortured; 882 went missing; and 3,257 were murdered.

In the comic booklet that Bongbong’s camp released late last year, he depicted his family as the clueless victims of the US soldiers who greeted them with guns when they landed in Hawaii in 1986. It is, again, in stark contrast with the personal accounts of the journalists who witnessed the Marcoses’s arrival at the Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii. According to them, the Marcos family “was greeted by high ranking US military officials and by the old friends of the ex-president and Madam Imelda, Hawaii’s governor and his wife, who both placed leis around their necks.

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Bongbong claims that it is the government that is blocking the compensation of Martial Law victims. Debunking that, the PCGG said that “court records would show that it was the senator who was hindering the return of his family’s ill-gotten funds to the people”.

He maintains that he has never been accused of abuse of power during his father’s presidency. However, “in 1985, when he was 26 years old, his father appointed him chairman of the board of the Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (Philcomsat), receiving a monthly salary of around US$9,700. This, despite that fact that he rarely went to the Philcomsat office. In 1986, government auditors discovered that Philcomsat was one of the many corporations and organizations used to siphon ill-gotten wealth out of the country.”

Bongbong has been arrogantly proclaiming that his father’s wealth came from legitimate sources. “In 2003, however, the Supreme Court defined the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos family as those in excess of their total legal income of around $304,000 only, earned from 1965 to 1986. So far, PCGG has managed to recover about $4 billion, less than half of the $10-billion fortune believed to have been amassed by the Marcoses through the years.

He also lied about his academic credentials by claiming to have an undergraduate degree at Oxford University, one of the world’s most prestigious and elite universities. However, Oxford confirmed that Bongbong definitely did not earn such degree. In his official resume’, he also claimed to have earned an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Wharton School records do not show any Marcos Jr. in their list of graduates.

Bongbong is emphatic in saying that he has never been implicated in anomalies involving corruption during all these years of his public service. He, however, figured in whistleblower Benhur Luy’s list of lawmakers involved in the multi-billion scam. P205 million of his PDAF is allegedly allocated to the six fake NGOs owned by Napoles. Wow, that’s a lot of money!

Lastly, he said that, “The sins of the father are not the sins of the son…..It is not my obligation to apologize for the sins of the past administrations.” But he and his entire family have been, for decades now, enjoying the fruits of those sins. His election funds may very well be coming from the legendary Marcos plunder. And, for goodness’ sake, he is just a heartbeat away from Malacanang should he win this coming election!

So, please, Congresswoman Leni. Do not let the dictator’s son win.

Do not let another Marcos rule the country.

Do not let Bongbong Marcos make fools of the Filipinos for the second time.

Rest assured that we, the enlightened and vigilant people of this country, are with you in this endeavor. You won’t be alone.

Now, let me end this letter with the words I shared in the Women For Leni page.

“Like every Filipino, I wish for a better Philippines.

I want to leave my children and my children’s children with a country that is lovingly steered by public servants with unquestionable integrity, uncompromising principles, stellar work ethics, fervent compassion for the underprivileged, and genuine concern for our beloved Luzviminda.

Leni, for me, is the embodiment of all that. And more.

Modest and unassuming, she hates to be in the limelight. She is a reluctant leader who was forced to dip her finger in the dirty waters of politics due to her passion to serve the people. She is a woman of action who does not hesitate to have her hands dirty in reaching out to the needy. She has a name that is untarnished by corruption and is synonymous with “tsinelas leadership.” She is the epitome of an empowered Filipina, the voice of the voiceless, the champion of the oppressed.

My conscience would never let me vote for anyone else.”

Respectfully yours,

Lorelei B. Aquino (Mom On A Mission)

 

Note: For a complete list of Leni Robredo’s accomplishments, click here.