Category: money

100 years of ferdinand marcos

BATAC CITY—Opening a forum here on the legacies of Marcos, whose 100th birthday on Sept. 11 had been declared by Malacañang as public holiday in Ilocos Norte province, Imee referred to her late father’s comment when they landed at the Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu after their ouster following the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution.

“We were all in tears and everyone said, ‘The end is nigh, it is finished, we are dead and doomed,’” Imee narrated.

“My father said, ‘No, children. To my family and to everyone, history is not done with me yet.”

… Imee said some people had described the Marcos 100 Forum as “very disappointing because it is very simple.” But the family organized a “humble celebration for an extremely austere and simple almost monkish man like my father,” she said.

She said: “There will be no parade, like what my mother [former first lady and now Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos] wants. No concert, like what [former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.] wants, and there will be no shows and dancing, like what I want.”

Instead, the family and the Ilocos Norte government organized debates, storytelling sessions, and a lecture series “that will define Marcos 100 in this very reflective effort, the Marcos legacy,” she said.

hard naman to fault the wife and children, family and friends, for celebrating the centennial of ferdinand marcos in as big a way as possible.  ferdinand marcos, after all, was, truly, unlike any other president we have had. 

The forum, hosted at the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) Teatro Ilocandia from September 8-9, is an effort of the Marcos family to make this year’s commemoration of their patriarch’s birthday mirror his character: “very cerebral, reflective, and mindful.”

It contrasts previous celebrations of FEM’s birthday every September 11, which had involved parades, flash mobs, concerts, and other festivities. Governor Marcos explained, “Gawin natin ang gusto ng tanging ama ko: simple, diretsuhin, payak, intelektwal, at palaisipan.”

The North remembers,” she said, “Ferdinand E. Marcos is, after all, every Ilocano. The story of every Filipino is embedded in that biography of being born of an arid and harsh landscape, struggling through life and every adversity, and finally coming out triumphant.”

Gracing the forum as lecturers are De La Salle University (DLSU) Professor Antonio P. Contreras; Former Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) President Dr. Raul M. Sunico; UP Prof. Clarita R. Carlos; lawyer Estelito P. Mendoza, solicitor-general during the FEM presidency; Marcos’ former Budget and Education Secretary Dr. Jaime C. Laya; and the former president’s namesake, Former Senator Ferdinand “Bong Bong” R. Marcos Jr.

Discussions revolve around Marcos’ sense and narrative of nationalism; the “Golden Era” of arts and culture during his administration; his foreign policy; FEM’s martial law; the Philippine economy during that time; and the barangay in institution-building.

“Why is it that this debate, this argument about who President Marcos is, continues to burn, unabated, a hundred years after his birth? What is his legacy? What do we bear today that bears his mark and will have changed the Filipino people forever and made the Ilocanos what they are today?”

the non-ilocanos remember, too.  i look forward to transcripts or videos posted online.  it could be enlightening to read / hear what some of our public intellectuals are saying about the marcos dictatorship these days, 28 years after his death, 31 years after his ouster.  palaisipan naman talaga.

Ang problema kasi noon, ang dami-daming trabaho ng papa ko na lahat umaasa sa kanya. Sa bandang huli, noong nagkasakit, nagkaloko-loko na kasi. Either talagang nakikinabang, o nag-abuso, o hindi alam ang ginagawa yung mga nasa baba. Kasi everybody, for years and years, siya ang inaasahan (The problem then was that my father was loaded with work that everyone relied on him. Towards the end, when he was sick, things got crazy. People below him either gained, abused or didn’t know what they were doing because everyone relied on him for so long),” the governor pointed out.

it can’t be easy spinning marcos history, especially now that they’ve offered to return some of the wealth that imelda had always claimed to be rightfully all theirs. i wonder now if duterte wasn’t supposed to announce it until after the centennial fiesta, but he couldn’t wait, needed to distract us from all the killings?

marcos was right, history is not done with him yet.  or with imelda and kids.  heto nga’t magsosoli daw ng yaman na hindi daw nila sadyang natangay.  kaloka.

by the way, it is not the first time such an offer has been made.  back in ’89, said vp doy laurel, marcos’s dying wish was to come home and be buried beside his mother, and he was prepared to donate 90% of his wealth to the philippine government and the filipino people via some foundation, except that imelda was willing to donate only 75 to 80%, and anyway cory didn’t even want to hear of it.

so this is a take two.  90% sounds good to me, actually.  that is, 90% of ALL the wealth, found AND unfound.  time to come clean.  may the spirit of the “monkish” father so inspire.

and then maybe let’s put it all in a trust fund of sorts, waiting for a visionary kind of president who truly cares, and actually knows what to do, to make the economy, and the politics, work not just for the few rich but for the many, many, many more who are poor.

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.

andy agonizes, to resign or not to resign

now that the impeachment process has started rolling in the House despite the majority leader’ objections, and now that his fellow commissioners have publicly asked him to resign or take a leave so he can attend to his troubles with family, SALN, atbp., comelec chief andy bautista has to decide soon, and he says he will, in the next few days.

In a radio interview, Bautista admitted that he has reached a crossroad in his life where [he] is now weighing the interests of his family, the Comelec, democracy, and the 2016 elections.

clearly, family is not the primary consideration or he would have resigned already. so it must be the 2016 elections.  the grapevine has always alleged that it was rigged, that comelec and smartmatic connived to make LP win (mar, leni, the senate slate) except that in mar’s case, duterte was so far ahead, naging imposible nang talunin, which of course puts leni’s win, and our so-called democracy, into question, along with: how many votes did every one get ba talaga?

andy bautista has always denied it: no evidence or proof of cheating daw.  if that is so, then what is it about the comelec and democracy and 2016 that weighs on his mind more heavily than family?

can it be na totoo ang chismis, there was cheating?  which could mean that andy has been hoping that the beneficiaries of the cheating would could move heaven and earth to foil an impeachment attempt dahil sasabit din sila?  and / or maybe andy has been hoping to strike a deal with the duterte admin — leave me be and i will make sure you win the plebiscite on charter change and federalism?  is that too wild a thought?

alas for andy, an impeachment complaint was filed august 23 by former negros oriental rep jacinto paras and lawyer ferdinand topacio.

Apart from alleged misdeclaration in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth, the complainants also cited as ground for the criminal liability of Bautista the hacking of the Comelec website that led to the leakage of voters’ database as found by the National Privacy Commission.

They accused him of culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust in the complaint, which was immediately endorsed by three representatives… Gwen Garcia of Cebu, Abraham Tolentino of Cavite and Harry Roque of Kabayan.

the very next day, august 24, the house of reps’ secretary-general transmitted the complaint to the office of the speaker who has 10 session days to refer it to the rules committee that has three session days to refer it to the justice committee that has sole jurisdiction over impeachment cases.    

majority leader rudy fariñas, however, is being difficult.  puro hearsay lang daw, absent the personal knowledge of the complainants.

Fariñas underscored the importance of the verification portion of an impeachment document, which states that complainants must have evidence of their “own personal knowledge and/or culled from authentic documents”.

also, kailangan daw munang tapusin ng House ang budget deliberations, which he says wlll be around mid-september pa.  hmmm.  back in the time of corona, fariñas was part of a minority that didn’t sign the impeachment complaint.  today, it is said that it is he, not speaker alvarez, who calls the shots in the House.  read manolo quezon’s A Congress of cats

Today, the point person in the House is Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, arguably one of the most powerful holders of that position in living memory. This is because Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, even in his previous stint as a representative, was never a major mover or shaker and, aside from his closeness to President Duterte, lacks a track record of leadership or camaraderie, or a party franchise and independent means to quickly assert personal dominance in the House (in contrast to his predecessors and successors who were active party men before they assumed the speakership, like Manuel Villar Jr. who compensated for his lack of political ties with an immense personal fortune and by taking over the Nacionalista Party franchise).

in the year 2000 it took just 11 days from the chavit exposé that tagged erap as a jueteng lord (oct 7) for the house of reps to file a motion to impeach (oct 18).  in less than a month (nov 13) senate prez manny villar, upon obtaining the minimum one-third (73 of 218) votes, declared erap impeached and ordered the complaint transmitted to the senate without delay.  trial started dec 7 and abruptlly ended jan 17 2001.

in 2011 it took just six days since the PNoy speech (dec 6) savaging chief justice renato corona (seated just two meters away) for being beholden to former prez gma and for his foiled attempt to allow her to leave the country against the new admin’s wishes.  dec 12 iloilo rep niel tupas of the justice committee presented an impeachment complaint that a few hours later was signed by 188 of 284 reps and transmitted at once to the senate.  the trial began jan 16, ended may 29  2012.

in 2017 it’s taken 16 days for tish’s exposé to elicit an impeachment complaint. despite fariñas.  quick enough, considering that so much else is going on.  feels like a confluence of events coming up, and then again maybe not, yet.  the only thing i’m sure of is that we’re being asked to multi-task, to be vigilant on multiple fronts.  it’s a test.

no documents, no proof

now that paolo duterte’s name has come up as, allegedly, a player of sorts in the illegal drugs market, the senate hearing on the huge shabu smuggling under faeldon’s watch seems to be going nowhere remarkable, except maybe to demonstrate how impossible it is to get names named and personalities shamed and charged, puro “hearsay” kasi, walang dokumento.  and so when the prez says about the pagkakadawit of his son: show me the evidence, give me an affidavit, and i will resign (cool na cool), eh wala na, tapos na ang boksing.

imagine if comelec chief andy bautista were as cool-na-cool re wife tish’s allegations. instead he looks, seems, gets hot under the collar, the same with his kuya martin.  i suppose because nga of all those documents that tish found and that are now under scrutiny by the authorities.  even if he were innocent, he has a lot of explaining to do, and really he has no one to blame but himself.  given the animosity pala between him and his wife, it’s hard to believe how careless he was with such important documents, atbp.  it tells me that he became too sure of himself (hubris) and of his power over his wife (money).

anyway manolo quezon raises a good point.

…it’s not as if the common-sense solution for anyone desiring to exonerate themselves isn’t clear. With so many officials, elected or not, weighing in, the obvious solution seems curiously absent so far: Bautista signing a waiver to all his bank accounts.

the yellow camp believes, hopes, prays that chief andy will be found innocent, of course.  unless he’s guilty beyond reasonable doubt.  then, next we pray that duterte finds and appoints a rare one who is relatively beyond reproach, both at home and at work, and who will get us out of the pocket of smartmatic.