Category: edsa

debunking tiglao  #EDSA #1986

i’m sure rigoberto bobi tiglao has a copy of my EDSA Uno book because he asked katrina for one when she was still with the manila times.  so, really, nakakataas ng kilay at medyo katawa-tawa ang kanyang Five facts about EDSA we didn’t know at the time.  napaka-selective and kind of twisted, in aid of putting down cory and EDSA and / while touching up the images, toning down the martial-law tainted vibes, of enrile and marcos in the time of EDSA.

historical revisionism to the max, with overtones of machismo.  all of thirty-three years later and these guys still can’t stop whining, and their tall tales get even taller.  hindi pa rin nila matanggap na naungusan sila, naisahan sila ni cory, fair and square, in those 10 shining days of the february boycott that saw the blooming of EDSA and the ousting of marcos.  get over it, guys.

TIGLAO:  Cory Aquino had little to do with EDSA 1.

CHAROT.  this is only a variation on enrile’s cory-was-not-even-in-EDSA line, and it’s also not true.  she was there for a while, in person, on the afternoon of day three 24 feb – long enough to pray the our father and sing bayan ko with the crowd in front of POEA  (reported by manila bulletin 25 feb).  thing is, she didn’t even need to make an appearance.

from the start, cory was all over EDSA in spirit – when the people trooped to EDSA they were wearing cory’s colors and waving her flags, and they were still on crony-boycott mode, demanding that marcos resign so cory could take over.

kung hindi kay cory na nilabanan si marcos sa snap election, kung saan dinaya siya ni marcos, kung kaya’t nagprotesta siya sa luneta at buong tapang na iginiit na siya ang tunay na nagwagi sa halalan, sabay tulak ng civil disobedience at crony boycott, na sinakyan nang todo ng mga coryistang sabik sa pagbabago… kung hindi kay cory at sa kanyang panawagan for non-violence a la ghandi and ninoy… kung hindi sa mga coryista na nanalig sa mapayapang pagbabago… walang naganap na EDSA.

kung hindi para sa ikauusad ng laban ni cory, walang coryistang pumunta sa EDSA maliban sa mga alipores nina enrile at ramos at RAM.  kung hindi nangumpisal si enrile na dinaya si cory sa cagayan by some 300,000 votes and that the september 22 1972 ambush on his convoy was staged, walang pumunta sa EDSA.

it was very smart of enrile, confirming in so many words that cheating indeed happened in the snap election and that martial law was declared under false pretenses.  ang dating sa people ay, uy!  biglang sinisiraan si marcos, baka cory na sila! — ang tindi at ang sigla ng kabig sa hearts and minds of the anti-marcos.

napaka-smart din of enrile to deny the aborted coup (set for 2:00 AM 23 feb, obviously hoping to preempt cory) that the vers discovered and marcos accused enrile and ramos of in a presscon later that saturday night.  admitting to the planned coup would have forced enrile to also admit that he had hoped to replace marcos as head of a ruling junta, which would have been the appropriate time to offer himself as an alternative to cory, in all honesty, except that it would surely have turned off the coryistas.  goodbye, human shields.   which could also be why enrile lied to the people, denied the aborted coup, all through the four days and beyond.

ika-pitong araw na ng boykot nang nag-defect sina enrile at ramos… kung hindi sila nag-defect, tuloy tuloy ang boykot, ipinapalaganap na nga ni cory sa visayas at mindanao (kaya siya nasa cebu, next stop davao).  kung hindi nagdramá sina enrile at ramos, tuloy tuloy ang crony boycott, tuloy tuloy ang panawagan ni cory at ng mga coryista na mag-resign na si marcos.

cory and marcos and, of course, enrile — all three camps — were “working” with a deadline.  the proclaimed winner had to take his/her oath within 10 days from proclamation.  marcos was proclaimed winner by the batasan on feb 15 and was preparing for a feb 25 oathtaking.  cory proclaimed herself winner in luneta on feb 16.

kung hindi nagdramá sina enrile at ramos, i imagine that cory would have been back in manila by the 24th and leading a humongous march to mendiola, if not the palace, demanding marcos’s resignation, and setting the stage for her oathtaking, preferably ahead of marcos.  given such a scenario, with the economy reeling from a nationwide crony boycott, it would not be far-fetched to assume that the military reformists would have defected anyway and fallen in line behind cory and the “will of the people.” wala nang drama-drama.  wala ring whining and tall tales post-marcos.

TIGLAO: Another brilliant move of Enrile was to call Cardinal Sin to ask his faithful to surround Camp Crame to form their human shield.  

CHARRRING!  hello?  iyan ba ang latest press release ni enrile to mark the 33rd anniv?  it was his bright idea that the people be asked to surround camp crame and shield the rebels??? — teka, tiglao can’t even get the camps straight: enrile was in aguinaldo when he phoned cardinal sin sometime before the 6:30 PM presscon (enrile didn’t move to crame until day two, when the tanks started rolling down EDSA); sa aguinaldo rin pinuntahan ni butz aquino si enrile, around 10 PM, after the presscon, and then butz spoke over radio veritas at 10:20 and made that first call for people and a peaceful solution, just before marcos appeared on TV, accusing enrile and ramos of a failed attempt to overthrow him.  according to radio veritas tapes of that night, cardinal sin seconded butz’s call for a peaceful solution at 10:40 while marcos was on tv, which means the cardinal did not exactly rush to do enrile’s bidding, if bidding it was.

ayon sa cardinal, humingi ng tulong si enrile, na ayaw pa daw niyang mamatay; it sounded to the cardinal daw like enrile was trembling, almost crying.  ayon kay enrile, puro kasinungalingan!  iyun nga lang, hindi malinaw kung alin ang kasinungalingan: na tinawagan niya si cardinal sin?  o, na nangingining ang boses niya sa takot at mangiyak-ngyiyak siya nung tawagan niya si cardinal?  kung yung una, e di wow, fake news, tiglao!

kung yung huli, wow pa rin.  so enrile wasn’t scared at all, he was so sure kasi that the people would come and save his skin if the cardinal asked them to?  but why would the cardinal even have entertained his request, unless maybe he offered to support cory in return?

ayon naman kay butz na nag-alok ng tulong, “we need all the support we can get” ang tugon ni enrile; ayon pa kay butz, enrile was “tense, perspiring, perhaps from the heat of his bullet-proof vest.”  a bullet-proof vest.  clearly enrile expected bullets to fly and could only think of staying alive.  but, again, who knows, he could have told butz exactly what tiglao alleges he told the cardinal, which might explain why butz was quick to go on radio and call on people to join him in a march to the EDSA camp?

but who’s to say that tiglao and/or enrile speak the truth on this matter at this point in time, with the cardinal and butz no longer around to confirm or deny.  too late the hero, di ba.  enrile should have claimed the bright idea while the two still lived, why didn’t he?  maybe because at some point during the four days he may have deceived himself into thinking that the people were in EDSA, not for cory, but for him?  LOLZ.

TIGLAO: The Marcos military succumbed to the EDSA forces because they realized that they were helpless facing the huge crowds. Marcos had given them the categorical order which was impossible to implement — “Disperse the crowds but do not shoot them.”  Isn’t it Marcos therefore that made it possible for EDSA to be a “peaceful revolution”?

CHAROOOOOT!  by the time marcos staged that piece of performance art on TV around 10 AM on day 3 Monday, ordering ver “not to attack” (were his words), it was AFTER he had earlier ordered an all out bomb attack on crame, but which orders were defied at around 6 AM by sotelo’s 15th strike wing that landed in crame instead and joined the rebels, and at around 9 AM by balbas’s marines who found all kinds of reasons not to fire on crame from aguinaldo’s golf course.  tapos na ang boksing.  marcos had lost control of the military, so nag-drama na lang sila ni ver, kunwari ay nagpipigil.

In fact, when Marcos had that exchange with Ver on nationwide TV, he was just being his wily old self, making the best of a bad situation by pretending to be the good guy, hoping to fool Washington D.C. and the Vatican, if not the Filipino people, a little while longer. [EDSA UNO (2013) page 206]

TIGLAO: The US betrayed Marcos, shanghaiing him to Hawaii.

TRULILI!  but marcos had no one to blame but himself for trusting that the americans would stand by him and risk the ire of cory who started calling the shots the moment bosworth phoned to inform her that marcos had left the palace.

… it was the Marcoses themselves who had called on the Americans for help. What if they had not so distrusted the pilots of the presidential helicopters who were prepared, since Monday morning, to fly them to anywhere in the islands; or what if Marcos had motored to Paoay in his fully-equipped ambulance. And then, again, perhaps Marcos was just too sick for a long road trip, which would render impressive the fact that he was able to walk out of the palace on his own two feet.

Still and all, if they had snubbed the American offer, if they had left under their own steam, chances are they would have made it to Paoay, and People Power would have had to regroup.

So do we owe the Americans a debt of gratitude for taking him away into exile? The better ending would have been if the Marcoses had taken the presidential choppers, and the pilots turned out to be reformists and took the First Couple to Crame instead. With Enrile in charge, no harm would have come to them, but they would have had to face the judgement of the people in a revolutionary court, and maybe, just maybe, People Power would have levelled up to the challenge of standing strong for the greater good vs. the elite and crony interests represented by Cory and Enrile.

That would have brought closure, and ushered in a new order. [EDSA UNO page 320]

TIGLAO: Under both the 1935 and 1973 Constitution, Corazon Aquino was not qualified to run for president in the 1986 “snap elections.”

MOOT AND ACADEMIC (AND ANEMIC).  a case “that ceases to present a justiciable controversy by virtue of supervening events, so that a declaration thereon would be of no practical value. As a rule, courts decline jurisdiction over such case, or dismiss it on ground of mootness.”

TIGLAO:  Cory’s 1986 electoral campaign was handled by a US PR firm.

SO WHAT.  marcos’s 1986 electoral campaign was handled, too, by a US PR firm: black, manafort, stone & kelly.  as for sawyer-miller, read tina arceo-dumlao’s British lord recalls Cory Aquino campaign.

LORD MARK MALLOCH-BROWN.  I remember that it was about two days after that article [on Cory knowing next to nothing about the US bases, bylined by then New York Times executive editor Abe Rosenthal] was published that I flew to Iloilo to meet her (Cory) as she was campaigning.

… I have never done a campaign in an environment like the Philippines. Thank God for the Inquirer and thank God for Radio Veritas, too. Literally, they were the only two who would fairly cover us.

…  the group’s strategy during the snap elections was to often challenge Marcos to a debate since they knew that he could not be separated long enough from the machine he needed to keep his kidneys going to attend a debate.

MULLOCH-BROWN. … (Cory’s) main thing was this willingness she had to overcome the media problem by just going and campaigning everywhere. I mean she was formidable. She was just out on the road every day going all over the country and I have done an awful lot of campaigns since but I still say I learned my whole business on Cory’s campaign.

… during that campaign she was very strategic and disciplined about what she was doing. It was a real privilege to watch her.

Exit poll 

He said his final outstanding accomplishment during the Cory campaign was to produce an exit poll that indicated that she had won. It landed on the front page of the Inquirer and had a profound impact as it planted the idea that Aquino had won over Marcos, 55 percent to 45 percent.  

her stint as prez left much to be desired, but I love cory anyway for her gift of EDSA.  I think she was at her most wonderful and dazzling in the 10 days of the crony boycott that climaxed in marcos’s ouster. I think she handled ninoy’s jailers, enrile and ramos, quite brilliantly — i doubt that we could have freaked marcos out just like that if not for cory.

so please, if you machos must diss her, diss her for refusing to repudiate marcos debts or for having to ask the US for help in quelling the 1989 coup attempt or for exempting certain haciendas from agrarian reform, but please not for EDSA, and not for the sake of enrile and marcos, because that says so much more about you guys than about cory, who was in another league altogether at that point in time.

tete-a-tete on EDSA

juan ponce enrile’s EDSA story has come in installments.  three (3) so far.  the first via presscons during EDSA and a lengthy interview soon after.  the second via his published memoir (2012).  and the third via that one-on-one with bongbong marcos on social media.

in the first installment in feb and march 1986, enrile consistently denied the RAM coup plot that marcos accused him of all through the 4 days, the one that would have installed him in the dictator’s place as head of a ruling junta.  enrile denied the coup plot because he knew that it would win him no sympathy from the public, given his architect-of-martial-law image, not to speak of marcos-crony tag.  instead the two bandidos slanted their statements to better call, vie for, the people’s attention.  there was cheating in cagayan, said enrile; they did not consider marcos a duly constituted authority any longer, said fvr.  at kiliting-kiliti naman ang mga coryista, who were already in the throes of non-violent revolution — the first day of EDSA was the 7th day of the crony boycott: banks were running, the economy was reeling.  the defection was icing on the cake, na parang hulog ng langit, wow, may armed force na si cory?!?  that he lied, and we believed him, is part of the EDSA story; if he had told the truth, that he sought to install himself in the place of marcos, coryistas would have left him to Ver’s tender mercies and ousted marcos without his help.

in the second installment 26 years later, enrile finally confessed to the failed coup plot, yes, he was all set to topple marcos, he really wanted to be president, kaya lang nabuking ni ver ang sabwatan, and fearing that orders for their arrest were out, he decided that, rather than run and hide, he and his men would hole up in aguinaldo, resist arrest, and die fighting — not that we didn’t know this already, thanks to historian alfred mccoy  and his research team whose exposey came out in 2 veritas extras in october 1986) — but then EDSA happened, umeksena at nangibabaw ang people power, and the “courageous and patriotic” rebel military was outshone, to enrile’s great chagrin.

in the third installment, enrile shares something “new”, sort of: that at the time he and the RAMboys plotted the (aborted) coup, it was to preempt “a group of generals who had also a political plan.”

ENRILE.  I’m sure your Father did not know, or your Mother, but they [the generals] had a political plan for the country.

actually it is quite likely that the father and the mother knew and were behind such plans, given facts such as this: (1) marcos started planning for the succession of imelda as early as june 1975 (the same month primitivo mijares testified in the u.s. congress on the conjugal dictatorship) when he wrote presidential decree no. 731 (never published): in case of his death or grave illness, he was to be succeeded by a commission headed by imelda [Waltzing with a Dictator 156], and (2) in august ’82, before leaving for the u.s. state visit, he had the batasan approve a law providing for a 15-member executive committee, including imelda, that would succeed him if he were to die or fall ill. [Marcos File 243]

ENRILE.  … to be truthful at that point [july 1985] we were organizing because I received an information that there was a military junta, and that I was supposed to be executed by that junta if something happens to the president.  I did not know that the president was sick at that time.

medyo hard to believe that he did not know marcos was sick.  it was kind of common knowledge even in 1983 when ninoy decided to come home, hoping to stop another military take-over, whether by imelda-ver or enrile-RAM.

E.  From my point of view, I had to do something about it at that point in our history because I was involved with the military, I was the head of the Department of Defense. I did not involve the generals of the military because they were involved, and so I had to work with young people in the military who were idealistic enough to agree to protect the interest of the country and the Filipino people without involving the people themselves. You see?

ah, yes, the young people in the military, the famous PMA’ers led by gringo honasan, I suppose?  this, from ninotchka rosca:  leftists, former political prisoners went to EDSA “only to be confronted by the faces of those who tortured them.” a heavy trip indeed.  [Endgame 144]

BONGBONG.  Why were you on the kill list of that junta?
E.  Probably because I was a hindrance to their political objective.
B.  So unbeknownst to many or most people, there was a plan for a military take over already?
E.  Correct.
B.  And the Junta was already organized?
E.  Yah.
B.  Can you tell us who the members of the Junta were?
E.  You will be surprised. The Chief of Staff, the head of the Philippine Army, the head of the Philippine Air Force, the head of the Philippine Navy, the head of the Philippine Coast Guard. Those were the members of the junta.

not surprising at all that it was afp chief of staff fabian ver’s cabal.  the head of the philippine army was josephus ramas whom ver appointed to lead the anti-EDSA ops in ’86.  the head of the philippine air force was vicente piccio whose son philip was married that saturday afternoon with ver and imelda standing as ninong and ninang.  the head of the philippine navy brillante ochoco was among the senior officers ver summoned to fort bonifacio for a tactical conference even while the enrile-ramos presscon was going on saturday evening.  can’t find anything on the head of the Philippine Coast Guard, not even a name.  twould be nice to hear from them all whether to corroborate and elaborate or to deny.  let’s hear it too from imelda.  what were ferdie’s instructions?  who else would have been asked to join that 15-member executive committee/ruling junta?

B.  How were they going to take over the reins of power?
E.  According to the information I received, if your Father died, they were not supposed to announce it at all.  They will keep it away from the knowledge of the public.  They will invite all the members of the cabinet in the name of your Father for a cabinet meeting.  And once we are in the Palace we will be quarantined, but in my case I will have to be executed.
B.  This is something that, again I don’t think… Maybe this is the first time that this information has seen the light of day.
E.  Well.
B.  So the uprising of what became EDSA was not a break with my Father, it was an opposition to this Junta.
E.  Correct.

hmm.  in the time of EDSA, maysakit si marcos pero alive and kicking pa, so to speak.  lumalabas pa sa TV, in-control pa rin daw, palaban pa rin.  ibig sabihin, imelda’s junta of generals was not yet operative, a non-entity to the end.

to my mind, enrile’s uprising that “became EDSA” was both a break with marcos whom he wanted to replace AND an attempt to preempt cory or, at the very least, to negotiate an end to the boycott (kahit hindi naman daw siya crony, wala siyang lll-gotten wealth, say niya sa memoir).  and to a certain extent he was successful.  he managed to get on the good side of cory, thanks to the people, and he helped freak the marcoses out of the palace, and that was the end of the boycott, mission accomplished.

B.  EDSA … this popular uprising has become already a part of the political narrative or the political methods of unseating a government or bringing a government down. In your view is that a good development? Should it be part of the narrative?  Should we choose our leaders this way?

E.  We cannot avoid prevent people from marching in the streets to peaceably assemble for redress of grievances, that’s constitutional.  But in the case of the first EDSA, the question is, why EDSA?  Who decided that the event must be in EDSA? Cory did not decide that, none of the Liberal Party people decided that. They were all gone, they were In Cebu. … It was there because we went to Camp Aguinaldo and that is where the confrontation took place.

this is enrile still laying a claim on EDSA.  the way he sees it, kung hindi sila nag-defect, walang EDSA.  totoo naman, to some extent.  kung hindi sila nag-defect, nag-people power pa rin tiyak, hindi nga lang sa EDSA, so we’d be calling it something else.

on that 7th day of the boycott, cory was in cebu rallying the people to join her civil disobedience campaign and adding to the list of crony products and services to boycott.  next stop davao.  the clamor for marcos’s resignation would have spread nationwide by the 10th day, and marcos’s inauguration would have brought out the people marching to mendiola, most likely, if not into the palace mismo, there to face tanks and the Marines as bravely, to stop the oathtaking.

if anything, the military defectors owed their lives and status, post-EDSA, to the people who not only saved their lives but also prevailed upon cory to avail of their armed services.

B.  Tito, All this time since 1986 I have been wanting to ask you a question and I have never found the opportunity to do it, and I think this is a good time.  After all that happened in EDSA, after all this uprising etc. … bakit hindi kayo ang nag-Presidente? You knew the characters that were involved and you were much more qualified than any of them.

E.  You know, your Dad was giving me the government in the morning of Tuesday February 25.

B.  I remember, Tito, I was there when he made the phone call to you.

E.  Corrrect.  He was asking me to ask Cory to postpone her oathtaking.  I told him I will try.

uy.  bago yang “I told him I will try.”  in earlier accounts it was more like, it’s too late, ang say niya kay marcos.  day 4 na iyon noong tawagan siya ni makoy; papunta na siya sa inagurasyon ni cory sa club filipino.

E.  You know, Bongbong, I did not intend to take over power, in the first place.  But while I was inside Camp Aguinaldo, and Camp Crame, I was thinking about what will happen.  I said if the military will take over, I will involve the country into a possible civil war.  Because the election was just finished. There was a big block of votes that voted for Cory, there was a big block of votes that voted for your Father, and I was not exposed to the electoral process at that point. I’m sure that if I did, if the military took over and I assumed power, I will have enemies inside my military organization also, then I will… There is a possibility that the two forces that fought in that election will combine. … And then you have the bulk of the military at that point who did not know where to where they will situate themselves. All of that I thought about it.

that is enrile being noble-kuno about giving way to cory to avoid bloodshed.  in fact, he had no choice, the people gave him no choice.  he didn’t even get a chance – there was simply no opening – to offer himself to the coryistas as the one better equipped to replace marcos.   and if he had dared, cory’s people would have withdrawn their support, i think, and watched him and ver wipe each other out.

E.  By the way Monday night I called for Jimmy Ongpin to come to Camp Crame and I said, with this event that is happening now, will be a protracted event, let us organize a provisional government to handle the running of our revolutionary government. I proposed five cabinet positions.  Defense, Finance, Local Govt, Justice and Foreign Affairs.  Sa inyo yung apat kako na posisyon, sa amin yung Defense. Because I wanted to balance their political forces against the military forces.  Alam mo ang ginawa nila, that night?  That is where I started to suspect them.  They filled all the positions in the Cabinet, they organized their own Cabinet.

B.  But you had an agreement previous to that.

E.  Yah, I had an agreement with Jimmy Ongpin. Eh kako hindi pala totoo na tao itong kausap ko.

this is enrile most unclear.  what kind of revolutionary government was he thinking of?  on day 2 he is said to have proposed to doy laurel a military-civilian junta that would include cory and doy and other civilians.  cory, of course, would not hear of it.  a junta arrangement was always more military than civilian.  why should cory allow herself to be sidelined when she had won the votes of 10 million pinoys, and enrile had not.

B.  It’s always been a mystery to me, because you were positioned perfectly to take over the reins of power and we were all a little surprised, watching this again from far away, and we were saying for sure I’m sure si Minister Enrile…

E.  I was afraid not for myself but for the country, that it will cause a bloodbath.

B.  I think you were similar in thinking to my Father because one of the reasons, and I asked him this directly: Why were you so hesitant to use force in 1986? Nung talagang papasukin na yung palasyo, binobomba na tayo, binabaril na tayo, ganon, marami naman kaming tropa, we were very well prepared, because as I said we received the information about imminent attack to on the Palace one week before you and General Ramos went to Crame and made your stand in Crame, so we had the chance to prepare.  So we were wondering why did we not fight back with force.  And he said, that would have been the beginning of a civil war.  Which I think is exactly the way you saw it.

E.  … GOD was with us because that event turned out to be bloodless because your father restrained himself.

no no no.  EDSA turned out to be bloodless not because marcos restrained himself but because certain officers defied, refused to follow, orders that would have harmed innocent civilians.  read untrue story, unsung heroes, of EDSA.

towards the end, enrile alleges that history was “totally distorted to favor one group.”  i submit that that’s exactly what enrile and bongbong are doing, totally distorting history to favor the memory of marcos.  i look forward to bongbong’s next, hopefully a tete-a-tete with imelda herself.  that would be one for the books.

enrile’s endgame

in my last blog i opined, in a spirit of reconciliation, that martial law was not all bad, and EDSA was not all good.  let me qualify that.  martial law was not all bad but it was mostly bad.  EDSA was not all good but it was mostly good.

i came out of the enrile-bongbong tete-a-tete feeling a little dirty, complicit, because i stayed to listen kahit obvious naman that it was more of the same spin, painting marcos a super know-all president and cory a wicked know-nothing witch.  i had been hoping against hope that the old man, for the sake of nation, would level up the discourse a little, get beyond insisting that everyone had a wonderful time noong martial law and finally admit that many gross mistakes were made on every front that continue to fester and rankle the body politic.

alas, the old man continues to disappoint (as does the silent FVR).  read randy david‘s An interview in quest of an audience.

It …  comes as no surprise that he would willingly lend himself to a project to rehabilitate Marcos in the public memory. Perhaps he thought he owed the Marcos family something for contributing to their downfall. Without sounding as though he regretted his participation at Edsa, it was obvious he was trying to patch up his relations with the family by praising the regime of which, after all, he had been very much a part. With the passage of more than four decades, many of his contemporaries who might convincingly contradict his recollection of events have passed on.

… This particular interview, videotaped and posted on social media to coincide with the 46th anniversary of the imposition of martial law, is barefaced propaganda aimed at “millennials,” who, having been born long after the actual events, are presumed to accept without question so-called eyewitness accounts of historical events. As a teacher, I would not take it seriously.  Still, propaganda like this, formatted as public affairs material, offers important lessons on what to avoid in the teaching of history.

The impact could have been different, however, if an interview like this were to be conducted by a panel of respectable historians and journalists, and the principal subjects were individuals who had been detained and tortured or stripped of their properties by the regime but never allowed their sordid experience to cloud their view of events.  I’m not saying that their accounts would be entirely free of bias. But a good impartial interviewer would have had greater success in teasing out the truth from personal narratives.

it was therefore a joy running into pop historian lourd de veyra‘s sept 20 special on my facebook feed.  watch and listen and share Martial Law Myths Busted | History, exactly the kind of martial law info and assessment that i was wishing for from historians of the academe.  de veyra should do a series, let’s hear what the economists and political and social scientists, the lawyers and the military, the artists, the communists, have to say.  let’s not ask the trapos, of course.

EPISODE 2 of the tete a tete, like episode 1, was obviously edited down — time constraints? or did the old man tend to wander and say things inconsistent with, or unsupportive of, the official story?  whatever, the EDSA episode is worth transcribing.  it’s the first time ever that bongbong has said anything about the four days.  the first time, too, (correct me if i’m wrong) that enrile has spoken up and rubber-stamped the claim that marcos did not give orders to shoot.  sabay show ng TV footage of marcos forbidding ver from attacking crame.

it would be great if de veyra could focus on that question in a special episode for EDSA 2019.  as far as i can tell from my own research for the EDSA books, marcos issued 3 kill-orders, as in, never mind kung madamay ang civilians — feb 23 tanks were ordered to ram through the crowd in ortigas (tadiar refused), feb 24 air force strike-wing gunships were ordered to bomb crame (sotelo defected instead); a few hours later marines positioned in aguinaldo were ordered to bomb crame with howitzers and other hardware (balbas managed not to, his family was among the people in EDSA) — this last around the time that  marcos was on tv telling ver not to attack.

my theory is, marcos was just being his wily old self, making the best of a bad situation by pretending to be the good guy to ver’s bad cop, hoping to fool washington dc and the vatican, if not the filipino people, a little while longer.

and then, again, is it possible that the orders did not issue from marcos himself?  then who issued them?  ver?  imelda?  bongbong?  all of the above?

time to get the story straight.  #HindiPaTaposAngLaban

whiffs of fiction, “public history” 2018

kakaiba ang timpla ng pro-marcos discourse, mas maanghang, mas palaban, mas mayabang.  para kaya maipaabot sa, and impress upon the, supremes where (they think) public sentiments lie, in aid of bongbong winning his PET case and taking over as veep?  next stop, the presidency?

sa social media, kaabang-abang ang tete-a-tete nina juan ponce enrile at ferdinand “bongbong” marcos.  on sept 20 tungkol sa martial law, on sept 22 tungkol sa EDSA.

i expect that the exercise is meant to glorify martial law and to villify EDSA.  it would be nice though if the two could be a little more candid and and even-handed. just as we, who are all set to scream revisionism!!! need to get a better handle on martial law and EDSA.  martial law was not all bad just as EDSA was not all good.

a question i hope is addressed in da tete-a-tete:  so, anong nangyari?  bakit pabagsak na ang ekonomiya by 1982, even before ninoy’s assassination?

sabihin pa natin, for the sake of argument, that marcos did all the right things re infrastructure (except for a lemon or two) and he was able to electrify almost half the archipelago (not all of it, not even close) and he got uncle sam to pay rent for the US bases (kahit binarat tayo nang katakut-takot) atbp, not to speak of how culture and the arts kinda blossomed because of (and despite) imelda:  bakit hindi na-sustain ang “progress”?  bakit biglang ayaw nang magpautang ng mga bangko?  bakit di tayo nakabayad ng mga utang?  bakit ba talaga hindi naging isang singapore ang pinas?

it would be great to hear nationalists in the academe — the historians, the political scientists, the economists — having tv tete-a-tetes with the populace and sharing their findings on questions like these.  we need answers based on facts, figures, records, documents.  so we all — the elected and the electorate alike — can learn the lessons we need to learn, so we can correct our mistakes, so we can move forward.

the last thing we need is a conference of historians perorating on a notion of “public history” (now ongoing 20-22 sept) that i fear would legitimize, validate fictional (partisan, and/or “creative”) accounts of historical events, among other historical and cultural horrors.

bakit wala silang criteria of any kind?  ano ito, let’s just be glad that we’re talking history, even if reeking of fiction and propaganda?  i would sit in judgment: is the opinion sound and balanced?  is it based on facts?  the slightest whiff of fiction should be red-flagged and merit automatic rejection from the annals of public history.

it’s not as if our historians have nothing else to do.  every september and february we hear it repeated that marcos did not give shoot orders that would have harmed civilians in EDSA.  credible eyewitness and first-person accounts say he did.  so who’s revising history?  our historians, academic or “public”, should be weighing in.  otherwise, anong silbi nila?

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