Filipino Bishop Rebukes Marcos Supporters

The head of the Episcopal Conference of the Philippines has condemned recent claims by supporters of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos that his imposition of martial law was a “golden era” in the country’s history.

The claims were made in social media posts as part of a campaign to boost the chances of the late strongman’s son, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., running for president in May.

Martial law was declared on September 23, 1972, and although officially lifted in 1981, it effectively lasted until the dictator’s ouster in 1986. The period saw numerous cases of human rights abuses against opponents of Marcos, who included students and political activists, religious workers and farmers.

Speaking to an online forum for Christian businessmen and professionals on January 15, Bishop Kalookan Pablo Virgilio David responded to the online campaign saying that Catholics should speak out when it comes to defend the truth.

“We cannot afford to remain silent when the candidates claim that the best government we ever had was the Marcos dictatorship… When they claim that martial law was only meant to discipline Filipinos. .. That it has actually improved our economy and provided jobs,” he said. said the gathering.

Bishop David blamed martial law for the diaspora of thousands of Filipinos who sought greener pastures by working overseas.

We must change this narrative that gives these dark years of dictatorship, loss of freedom and democracy, a semblance of legitimacy

“I wonder if we would have 10% of our population working overseas if the dictatorship hadn’t destroyed our economy and caused millions of Filipinos to try their luck abroad, even if it meant being separated from their families,” the bishop added.

Revisit historical accounts to learn the truth about the Marcos and martial law, he said.

He said martial law was simply about a democratically elected leader wishing to stay in power longer than the constitution allowed.

“Of course, to stay in power, he did what dictators normally do. He dissolved Congress, abolished the constitution, arrested opposition figures, imprisoned and summarily executed scores of protesters, all in an effort to stay in power for another 14 years. So how could you call this the golden age of Filipino society? said the bishop.

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He called on Catholics not to remain neutral in the face of lies that attempt to revise history.

“Neutrality allows the lie to thrive, thus letting the lie and the lie take over,” he said.

“We must change this narrative that gives these dark years of dictatorship, loss of freedom and democracy, a semblance of legitimacy. This is not just an alternate narrative, but a blatant lie, a misrepresentation of events. It is a falsification of history. This is completely morally reprehensible.

Victims of the late dictator expressed dismay at Marcos Jr.’s presidential candidacy and demanded his disqualification for his failure to file tax returns between 1982 and 1985.

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