September 28, 2023

I am inclined to agree with Manila Mayor Isko Moreno when he said that the issue regarding Martial Law and the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos is a thing of the past and we should move on.
He made the statement in reply to the oft repeated issue every time a Marcos descendant seeks for an elective office. This time, it is Bongbong Marcos who is fighting for the right to be president.
Staunch Marcos critics oppose his candidacy insisting that he does not have the moral character to run considering the past transgressions of his family to the Filipino people. He must, according to them, first own up to the crimes of his father and/or mother and apologize on their behalf for their sins against the nation.
Not for Moreno. The younger Marcos need not apologize because the past is past and it is time to move on. He is of the view that we cannot continue living in the past and make it as a reason to further divide our country. It is time to move on and look at the future with fervent hope of unity. With that, he is being flaked as a pro-Marcos, a tolerant candidate who is not compassionate and does not commiserate with the plight of the thousands of victims of the Martial Law era. To them, he is nothing more than a pretender who is willing to consign the truth and forget the political repressions perpetuated by the Marcos regime.
To me, the statement of Moreno is not pro-Marcos. Neither it is an attempt to distort history. It is a realistic opinion that finds significance in his attempt to heal the Philippines. After all, Moreno brands himself to be a healing president. If he is to achieve this, he must, as a matter of course, unite all warring factions and make a cohesive unit out of them. Be they the administration or the opposition, it is important that all must lead toward a common goal. And the way to attain this is not really to forget the past, but to live the future.
Look, Martial Law is a bygone era. It is 40 years removed when the election takes place on May 2022. Are we to live and debate about an event that transpired so long ago and make it as a qualification for the incoming president? There are more important problems to deal with than insisting to impose upon the Marcoses the obligation to confess to their past faults that not all Filipinos have a clear understanding anyway. It is like forcing upon us a common hatred against Magellan for killing Lapu-Lapu.
Sure, there is truth to the Filipino adage that “Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makakarating sa patutunguhan.” We have done that.
The Marcos dictatorship had been demonized to the fullest that to invoke any further evil in it is an overkill. Is it not enough that Ferdinand Marcos had been branded as the biggest thief? Is it not enough that Imelda Marcos had been publicly shamed to perdition? Is it not enough that the dictator died an ignominious death? Is it not enough that history judged them unkindly by putting a blot in the Marcos name forever? Is it not enough that multiple criminal and civil cases were filed against them?
But wait. Despite all that was done to them, the Marcoses remain in power. Why? It is because they have done some good for the people.
A significant number of our people, Moreno included, do not share the view of those who do not want to bury the past and move on to the future. The repeated and constant victories of the Marcos children in any national elections are a testimony that only a minority had an inherent hatred against them. Their hatred is consuming them and with it, they continue to live miserably. Not us who want to move on.
Granted that Marcos and his cronies, including his wife, robbed the country poor and persecuted their political rivals, there are proper venues where they can be prosecuted. And, prosecuted they were.
In fact, the Presidential Commission on Good Governance was principally created for this purpose. What results has it to show? There are more acquittals than convictions. What does this say? That in the bar of justice, the Marcoses are innocent.
Of course, those who hate the Marcoses to the bones do not agree. If they do not agree to the verdicts that were rendered by the various courts finding the Marcoses innocent, it follows that they also do not trust the justice system in this country. If they do not trust the justice system, do they have the moral ascendancy to rule us? I think it is only logical that when a court of law acquits an accused, the accused is freed from guilt. This is what happened to the Marcoses, so far.
So, in the end, those who persist in questioning the integrity of Moreno in suggesting that we should move on are more vindictive than realistic. If Bongbong Marcos wants to cast his lot into the presidency, let him do so without fear of reprisal and with a clear conscience. At the end of the day, it is the people who will decide if he is worth it or not. For all we know, he may come out the winner.