Back in 1986-87, Marcos loyalists were small groups of thugs, goons and simpletons who held violent rallies in Luneta and were always dispersed by police. In 2014, things are a bit different: Marcos loyalists are coarse thugs, goons and simpletons with Facebook accounts.
By staying on Facebook, the loyalists avoid being hit with a ruler by their angry school teachers for inventing facts, using warped logic and murdering English and Pilipino grammar.
The problem is, loyalists aren't happy just staying in their own loony zones, they also like going out and infesting other sites. Last week, a Facebook friend of mine put a picture of a Marcos human rights victim tearfully holding up a check he'd received as compensation. Immediately the page was swarmed by loyalists who offered the following observations about the victim: he faked his case to get money; he was a communist; he probably did something bad during Martial Law or lacked discipline, so he was tortured.
History and the world know Marcos was a loathsome dictator whose brutal military regime murdered at least 3,000 people, tortured easily 37,000 and illegally jailed more than 70,000. Marcos also suppressed constitutional rights and crushed the free press. He and his family stole at least US$10 billion and - together with cronies - looted the treasury, destroyed Philippine institutions, fostered widespread corruption and torched the economy.
This is all very inconvenient for loyalists, who feel their idol, the putrescent Marcos, is perfect. So they've developed various sophisticated responses. The main one is, it's all propaganda. Those reports and records from the US, Swiss and Philippine governments showing Marcos' barbarity, greed and stolen wealth? Propaganda! Reports from the media? Propaganda! From New York Times, Washington Post, Time magazine? Propaganda! Books? Propaganda! Financial reports? Propaganda! Human rights victims? Give me the names of 10,000 of them, NOW. You can't? Propaganda!
Although "propaganda" has four syllables, it's still just one word, so I suppose it is easy for any idiot to remember and helps loyalists stay on message.
Loyalists have very deep counter-arguments to make against Marcos critics, namely "you're a Noytard", "you're a yellowtard", "you're a "communist" and "you don't know anything you should do more research." If you happen to be someone who actually experienced Martial Law, they will say you must imagined everything. It's surprising how many loyalists believe that, just by being on Facebook, they are suddenly expert academics, economists, historians, analysts, lawyers, etc. Especially when you see from the way they write and argue that they would fail a basic high school assignment. And they also love passing around bogus documents and statistics, but this is understandable considering their master Marcos was a prince of fakes: fake war record, fake medals, fake economic progress...
One more thing: on Facebook, people will start off by telling you "I'm no Marcos loyalist but..." and then a few minutes later their mouths will start bubbling and foaming as they howl their love for their decomposing dictator. Later, when you check their pages, you'll find them plastered wall-to-wall with adoring posters of Marcos.
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.