By Felix ‘Boy’Espineda, Jr.
In life and in death, Ferdinand Edralin Marcos divides the nation. In his lifetime, the former dictator mastered the art of whimsical politics, without mercy to his enemies and in death the shadow of his corpse spoils our lives.
The tasked given by P-Noy to VP Binay is gargantuan. In essence this is a make or break formula to muster the cross-section of the country on what to do with the refrigerated corpse of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. For sure, his family wants a burial befitting his status as a former commander-in-chief, as a decorated war veteran, being a stateman. You ask them they will opt for Libingan ng mga Bayani as the final resting place of the former strongman. The other parties would hate to see his corpse buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani for thousands of reasons. Be they the most abused during the martial law years, the families of un-accounted missing persons would rather see his corpse floats near the banks of the Pasig River decorated by hyacinths symbolic of his excesses and greediness. And those who were hauled to jail with trump-up charges, the tortures, humiliations, the obfuscations of the press freedom, their numbers could not be appease.
The question remains for Binay either it is the best solution to the nagging issue of burying a refrigerated corpse with appropriate honor. Is it acceptable to everyone? Will P-Noy consider it as tops of his agenda knowing where his heart is with the issue? He hoped to address all inequities of the dictatorial regime commiserating the pain of his mother and siblings. He needs a deeper discernment. There now is the problem.
Moderate minds seek a closure where to bury the remains of the late strongman. Cross sectioning the country, Ilocandia wish that their once favorite son be accorded full respect and honor, Part of the Visayas may have the same sentiments, Central Luzon carries a painful note, for here lies history entertwined with the life and death of Ferdinand Marcos.
Not only the nation, Marcos divided families, cousins become strangers, children become orphans, wife without a husband, families losing a son or daughter. Lifetime savings were collared by cronies, oligarchs then becomes beggars, then nobody becomes somebody. Even names with honors once loudly heard in society are but whispered, the deafening power of abuse to silence the intellect was compounded.
How do we formulate the win-win formula of Binay? Can we be satisfied of its strangeness or are we ready to put a real closure to the issue.
The inglorious management of the economy by his cronies which bleeds the national treasury, saddling government owned and controlled corporations with behest loans, the unparalleled issuance by the central bank of letter of credits to their interest breach a new ceiling in the disparity of the rich and the poor among us Filipinos during his tenure are but few of the abuses of the Marcos regime.
The former dictator as his detractor surmised put a nail in their existence, their aspirations labeled them to be leftist, the liberals becomes socialist, the democrats becomes autocrats and the bastions of hope becomes a rubber stamp. The military becomes his private army, leveling a barrel of a gun to silence the howling of the crowds. Intriguingly, the lass from Leyte, upended her lifestyle, travelling far and wide, splurging left and right, creating an illusion by face lifting the thoroughfares. The press becomes oppressed, but many survived for they kowtow to the thieves at the banks of the Pasig River. Same with the politicos of old who still lords today.
The excesses surpassed his achievements, his genius leads him to greediness and his benevolence left more tables empty. This is the legacy of his dictatorship as seen by the people in the street. It gave rise to the appetite of the populace to lean on the leftist doctrine which he exploited more, that even the republic’s armory was sold. Hearing them talk makes you think that strongman Marcos has no place at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. But he coined a new ideologue, the New Society . . . of the thieves. the First Quarter Stormers would say.
There will be an endless litany of his sins and excesses by his detractors which is hard for his believers to cross-over. Yet, the vice-president took the task for the president cannot for his family is the most famous victim of his dictatorship. Will P-NOY give an erudite assessment after the collated truth, truth laced with pathetic respect, will it bind him to their families tragic past, but we Filipinos has very short memories, this is a hole where the Marcoses hope to sink.
For us whose lives were the object of manipulations during those years, are we ready to settle this history of tragedy? Are we obliged to bestow respect to a dead man more hated than respected? Or are we making a fool out of our history to put a garland to a man’s corpse? If not, then what?
Indeed Ferdinand Edralin Marcos divides the nation! This is his legacy. BicolToday.com