We are merely of the forgetful kind – Sunday Punch | WSN

By Al S. Mendoza


THE old, unlamented Marcos produced fake war medals that, when exposed, haunted him till his dying day in 1989 in faraway Hawaii.

Consumed by lupus, he didn’t even know he was in Hawaii.

All along, he knew he was in Paoay, a town in Ilocandia not far from his birthplace that is Sarrat in Ilocos Norte.

Upon orders of then American president Reagan, Marcos was flown to Hawaii for his forced exile—and to escape the wrath of a Filipino throng that was then storming the Palace gates.

That ignominious Marcos departure was on February 25, 1986, when a revolting mass of Filipinos were finally at the doorstep of Malacanang after a suppressed anger of 14 years was ready to explode four days to the day the Edsa People Power Revolt began on February 22.

They were finally a sight of celebrating gleeful folk when the choppers flew Marcos and his fleeing, grief-stricken family and close-in security out of the Palace grounds near noontime of February 25.

With the Marcoses’ banishment to Hawaii, rousingly ended was the forgettable Marcos reign of a brutal Martial Law regime from 1972 to 1986 that imprisoned 7,000 or so nationalists, harassed and red-tagged 4,000 or so patriots, and tortured, killed and caused the disappearances of 3,000 or so freedom fighters from across the archipelago.

But just when we thought the old, unlamented Marcos would completely sink to a mere footnote in history, the Marcos ghost would be resurrected somewhat when the entire Marcos clan was allowed back to the Philippines in 1991.

This time, Imelda, Marcos’ widow, would lead the lamented homecoming.

Ironically, it was the late president Cory Aquino who gave the green light for the Marcoses’ return that included the embalmed body of the dictator.

Ironic because it was under Marcos’ Martial Law reign that Cory’s husband, the great Ninoy Aquino, was murdered at the airport tarmac in 1983 while returning from exile in the US.

For Tita Cory, forgiving is divine, indeed?

She didn’t care that we shooed away the most destructive family that robbed the country blind, their billion-dollar loot deposited in several Swiss banks based on unassailable data from the Presidential Commission on Good Government that were unquestionably validated numerous times by US courts.

They even owe now the Filipino people close to P203 billion in estate taxes.

Other countries would have treated their wayward leaders differently.

As in the Bolsheviks wiping out the entire Tsarist family of Russia in a horrific firing squad massacre.

But we are not that barbaric.

We are merely of the forgetful kind.

So, we just dismissed the numerous atrocities committed against the Filipino people by the Marcoses as mere trespasses.

How kind and benevolent we have always been.

Yes, easily, we forget.

Yes, instantly, we forgive.

Just barely five years after we had driven the Marcoses out of our shores, we welcomed them back in 1991.

Thirty-one years later, a new Marcos is much-ballyhooed as having his one foot at the Palace door.

If that’s not abominable news at all, what is?

This new Marcos, who is already 64 years old but with a brain bereft of wisdom and wanting in sensitivity, is a real chip of the old block.

That’s because he also loves fakery: fake college diploma, fake Milo sports gold medal, fake certificate of candidacy arising from his conviction of tax evasion.

Like his old man, he also wants to be president.

The nerve.

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