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islander

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When a leader betrays his people
« on: August 22, 2016, 07:40:31 PM »

Commentary

When a leader betrays his people

By: Rex D. Lores
@inquirerdotnet
August 22nd, 2016

WITH THE controversial decision to bury the remains of Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, the truth is again under siege.

The sentiment behind the move, allegedly to allow the nation to move on, is both misguided and dangerous. By interring the dictator’s remains in the national cemetery for heroes, the first casualty will be the truth, or, more precisely, the historical truth: Marcos betrayed our people on a grand scale, and in the most cynical ways possible.

Truth in a democracy is sacred; it is the basic operating principle of our system of government. This is why truth is a core value at home and in school, church, and workplace. This is why it is a convention in our political and judicial proceedings to “tell the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” We live and die by the truth.

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islander

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Re: When a leader betrays his people
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2016, 07:41:29 PM »

To erect a shrine to the dictator’s memory on sacred ground will obliterate the historical truth. How do we teach our children not to steal when the greatest thief in Philippine history lies there in honored glory?

How do we nourish our moral life and sustain the majesty of our laws when we blur the lines between what is right and what is wrong, between what is virtue and what is evil?

How do we raise the younger generations to believe that honesty, hard work, and right conduct must be the cornerstones of everyday life when a disgraced leader who personified greed, dishonesty, and corruption is honored with a state funeral?

islander

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Re: When a leader betrays his people
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2016, 07:42:04 PM »

Truth as a social value flourishes among a people with a strong sense of morality. But morality is not innate; it is learned. A people cannot build the habits, civility and discipline without the skills of moral reasoning. And we cannot create a more civil national culture by belittling or avoiding what is morally required of us.

The power conveyed by the Marcoses’ infamous, unearned wealth enables them to adjust to political tides and currents. They will never account for that wealth which will provide them continuing access and influence in future governments. And so we still hear the refrain of “Marcos pa rin” (Marcos still) echoing faintly, the way fanatical Peronistas, ignoring the excesses of Argentina’s criminal in chief, chanted “Mujeriego y ladron, pero queremos a Peron!” (Philanderer and thief, we still want Peron!).

Burying Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani is the first step in his family members’ plot to perpetuate their outrageous claims. Once this step is accomplished, they can leisurely proceed to their endgame: to bury Imelda, when her time comes, beside her husband, reminiscent of Jacqueline Kennedy beside JFK at Arlington in the glow of an eternal flame.

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Re: When a leader betrays his people
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2016, 07:42:35 PM »

The historical truth will then be irrevocably distorted, and the supreme irony for Filipinos is that history will appear to sustain the side of the disgraced.

As the ranks of martial law victims and the anti-martial law opposition are decimated by attrition, the Marcoses calculate that the passions of the Edsa Revolution will soon fade.

After all, three decades since they fled Malacañang, the Marcoses and their cronies have not been found guilty of any crime in spite of the fact that the Presidential Commission on Good Government has recovered $3.7 billion of an estimated loot of $10 billion.

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Re: When a leader betrays his people
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2016, 07:43:05 PM »

What is deeply disturbing about President Duterte’s decision is the clear disconnect between his rhetoric and reality. On one hand, he is pursuing a devastating campaign against criminality and corruption; on the other, he is coddling the memory of a tyrant whose crimes and corruption stagger our imagination.

On one hand, he is attacking oligarchs who accumulated wealth over decades; on the other, he is praising a discredited leader who became the country’s greatest oligarch overnight by illegally seizing the assets of the elite.

Marcos’ rise to power started with a lie, and he prevailed for so long through the legislative and executive branches of government largely on his capacity to manipulate or conceal the truth. It started with his claims of heroic exploits as a soldier in World War II, claims found fraudulent and without a scintilla of evidence in US Army archives.

islander

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Re: When a leader betrays his people
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2016, 07:44:36 PM »

Employing these improbable claims, he captured the central seat of power. Thus, the disingenuous argument goes, Marcos is qualified to rest with our heroes. The trouble with this argument is that, bereft of moral reasoning, it is blind to the infinite harm Marcos inflicted on the social fabric.

It smirks at the historical truth: Marcos’ wanton violation of the Constitution, the brutality of his regime, the astronomical external debt he incurred, the collapse of our economy, and the stunning wealth he stole to become the world’s second most corrupt leader of all time.

As flagrant and unconscionable as these atrocities may be, they were not the worst. The most damning was that Marcos derailed the hopes and aspirations of at least three generations of Filipinos, deepening our despair and our desperation.

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Re: When a leader betrays his people
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2016, 07:44:52 PM »

Death cannot be a cleansing sacrament to alter Marcos’ sordid and bloody legacy. The impunity of Marcos’ long despotic rule will burden our sense of national dignity for generations to come. And how we reckon with this design to rehabilitate Marcos as a national hero has enormous implications on our values as a people, on the nature of our future, and on the efficacy of our political culture.

To bury Marcos in the heroes’ cemetery mocks the valor, dignity, and sacrifice of martyred Filipinos. But even more, it mocks our national esteem and our shared civic values as a democratic society.

http://opinion.inquirer.net/

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Re: When a leader betrays his people
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2016, 08:50:14 AM »


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