Category: culture

a marcos milestone: an admission of “questionable wealth”

so, is it to distract us from the alleged links of paolo duterte to smuggling and shabu, this startling revelation by the president that the marcoses are offering to return some of the “questionable wealth” to help the economy?

“The Marcoses, I will not name the spokesman, sabi nila (they said), ‘we’ll open everything and hopefully return yung mga nakita na talaga (those that had been discovered),’” he added. The President said the Marcoses are also willing to return a “few gold bars.”

“Sabi nila na, malaki ang deficit mo, maybe the (sic) projected spending pero hindi ito malaki baka makatulong, but we are ready to open and bring back, sabi niya, pati yung a few gold bars (They said that, your deficit is high, maybe the projected spending but this is not big, maybe it will help, but we are ready to open and bring back, they said, even a few gold bars),” he said. 

in barely coherent sentences, but yeah, we get the drift even if  the president was very careful to say just enough so we get it that there is an offer, and he is open to the offer.  gov imee marcos, for her part, does not deny it, though parang she was caught unprepared, parang the prez didn’t warn them that he would be making it public when he did?

Imee pins hopes on Duterte to end all charges vs Marcoses
MANILA – Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos on Tuesday kept mum about the possible return of the family’s ill-gotten wealth to the government, saying there are no formal negotiations about the matter.

“Wala pa, wala pa. Tiwala kami sa President na siya ang makakapagtapos ng deka-dekadang kaso at yung pamilya nag-uusap pa pero nasa kamay ng mga abogado,” she said when asked if negotiations have started about the return of the Marcos wealth.  Asked if there was an intention to return, the governor said: “Pag-usapan na lang ng mga abogado.”

The governor refused to take any more questions, advising media to instead wait for the statement of their legal counsel.

this distraction is up there as the most distractive of recent times.  because this is the first time ever that the marcoses are conceding that some plundering of the nation’s wealth did happen under ferdinand’s watch.  there is even a justification offered, acc to duterte:

“Sabi nila, isauli nila para walang ano—and the only reason, sabi nila, was the father was just protecting the economy for the [eventuality] na umalis siya. He thought of regaining the Malacañang, that is why ganito ang lumabas na parang naitago,” he added.

ferdinand and fabian did plan to recapture the palace.  the story is, marcos and ver meant to regroup and set up government in paoay kaya lang the marcoses made the mistake of asking the americans, and not the presidential pilots with choppers on standby, to fly them out of the palace.  upon cory’s request and reagan’s instructions, the americans flew him to hawaii instead.  which is why imelda and bongbong insist that they were kidnapped.

this is not to say that if marcos had made it to paoay, naisoli sana agad o nagamit nang maayos para sa bayan ang questionable wealth.  the only thing that’s clear is that if he had made it to paoay and managed to regroup and challenge the legitimacy of the cory aquino government, it would have meant civil war.  at ibinato pa rin sa kanya tiyak ang isyu ng nakaw na yaman, nadiskubre pa rin tiyak ang mga secret $ accounts at ang tone-toneladang ginto, at kung ano-ano pa.

it is quite conceivable, actually, that this is a sign na suko na, give up na, si imelda at ang magkakapatid.  maaaring ngayon lang nila na-realize o natanggap na hindi bibitawan ever ang isyung plunder in the time of marcos, and they’re finally tired of being the bad guys, still the kontravidas in the current telenovela of nation.  i imagine that they must really really like to be done with this three decades old case and wipe away the stain on the marcos name if only for the sake of the grandchildren and, sige na nga, ferdinand in his centennial year.  why not indeed.  in effect, this is a win for nation, panalo ang bayan — the marcoses blinked first.

save the nation movement‘s butch valdes thinks it’s a real offer.

Butch Valdes : … but it would need the cooperation of Duterte to make official requests to intl banks holding the gold. Their previous condition was that the Marcoses are exonerated from all cases against them by the Phil govt. FM’s will indicated that 90% be given to the filipino people thru acceptable foundations. I think Imelda wants it implemented before she goes.

siyempre galit na galit ang mga anti-marcos sa parteng ito: …”we’ll open everything and hopefully return yung mga nakita na talaga (those that had been discovered),” at dito rin: ‘The President said the Marcoses are also willing to return a “few gold bars.”’  dapat daw ay isauli LAHAT ng ninakaw.  at ang tanong nila ay, ano ang kapalit, ano ang ex-deal with the marcoses.  exoneration from all cases din kaya, as with international banks?  read  Palace vows return of Marcos wealth will adhere to laws.

it would be naive to think that the marcoses would ever give up EVERYTHING.  no doubt imelda has documents galore to prove that some of the wealth is legally theirs.  and they will surely quote from the bible: the child will not be punished for the parent’s sins; nor the wife for the husband’s, yes?  heto nga’t gusto na nilang magsauli ng hindi sa kanila.

kung magmamatigasan, negotiations could take another decade before a final settlement.  but because duterte needs the money now na, who knows, baka ma-fast-track nang katakut-takot, and next thing we know, done deal na.  according to justice sec vitaliano aguirre:

The president is authorized and has the power to make compromise or any agreement with the Marcoses. If there will be a new agreement, there should be enabling law or initiative law to be issued by the President himself,” he said.

top off my mind:  if imelda and the children are now admitting that ferdinand was guilty of some plunder, is he now still deserving of the burial as bayani?  what about imelda’s jewels?  will she continue to claim them as legally hers?  sana ibalato na niya sa taong-bayan.  she can spin it anyway she likes, basta she gives up her claim on condition that the jewels are showcased along with her shoes and ternos, soaps and perfumes, as artifacts of a time when she was quite the queen.  as tourist attraction, this would be a gift that won’t stop giving.

Lizaso at CCP: Death of culture

Katrina S.S.

THE problems of the arts and culture sectors in this country are multifarious, and there is no doubt that those of us cultural workers who are at the bottom of the totem pole can only believe in the possibilities of change, and look forward to it, too. Many of us try and work towards that change, but if cultural work is your bread and butter – and you’re not one of the lucky ones who comes from privilege to begin with – then you have no choice but to compromise along the way, work with institutions and hope to change these, be critical of the ways in which our creative freedoms (usually all we have) are disrespected or abused.

Read on…

Towards A Culturally Evolved Alternative

JORGE ARAGO
(1943 – 2011)

People power in 1986 restored to Philippine society the “democratic space” which had been previously occupied by the running dogs of martial law.

But as in previous turnovers of power in our society, that space has been hogged by the elite and its own running dogs, to the exclusion of particular groups: the teacher-student, the art-media and the scientific communities.

This is a call for these sectors to come together and identify their choices as the unacknowledged advance guard of modern development in our society. These groups have a significant role to play in the context of the evolutionary path that the Filipinos have taken. They reject the revolution proposed by the Left, the divisive fundamentalism in the South, the chronic opportunism of traditional politics, and the apathy of an unknown number. They have not lifted us from poverty and are not likely to do so in the context of the environmental degradation that backdrops all human activity today.

Artists and media practitioners, teachers and their students on all levels, scientists and research-and-development teams in academe and the private sector have the skills, training and intellectual apparatus to cope with the effects of globalization. For far too long now they have been non-entities lumped under so-called “civil society”, their voices lost or without effect in the competition among NGO‟s fighting for a proliferation of uncoordinated interests.

They also have the potential to counter the entry in the political arena of forces which threaten to bring us back to dark times. These are the many religious groups who propose themselves as alternatives to corrupt leaderships. Swept up by disaffection with the so-called higher moral concerns of the traditional church, they betray origins in the same configuration of exploitation in conditions that existed before.

Now is the time for artists and scientists and academe to come together and create a concrete democratic and unifying basis for mutuality in our society that will guide development that is in step with the development of the rest of the global community, while using distinct Filipino methods, skills and talents we have painstakingly evolved through all the regimes under which we have worked.

Good news, bad news for culture

Katrina S.S.

Ever since President Duterte came into power, the only time(s) we’ve ever had a sense of what he thinks of arts and culture is when he appoints people to cultural institutions.

And then there are those instances when we just hear people speaking as supporters of the President.

Say, Freddie Aguilar saying he had been promised a Department of Culture and in place of that, the chairmanship of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

Read on…