ONCE again the issue of burying Ferdinand E. Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery) dominates the social and political buzz in social media.
As a millennial-friendly backgrounder: Marcos was the president of the Philippines: elected in 1965, re-elected in 1969, declared martial law and suspended the writ of habeas corpus in 1972, changed the constitution in 1973, declared martial law officially over in 1981 and was reelected in that same year, declared a snap presidential election in 1985, declared winner and was subsequently booted out of the Palace by People Power revolt in 1986. He passed away under exile in Hawaii in 1989.
Now that’s the simplest, unbiased summary we could come up with, representing a statement of facts that probably – and I still say probably – both (or all) sides of the political spectrum will agree with. In between all those years mentioned there are many events and figures that are being contested by the highly charged and polarized factions attributed to the man personally and to his administration those 21 years. Things like military atrocities, warrantless arrests and jailing political enemies, war medals, economic performance, infrastructure development, hidden wealth, shopping sprees abroad amid massive poverty at home, the assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr…. a pretty heady list.