OPINION: Duterte’s mockery and betrayal of martyrs’ memories

Buddy Gomez

Posted at Jun 16 2016 12:03 AM

There are many commendable well-meaning aspirational programs and projects that the incoming Duterte administration plans to achieve. Sincere wishes for beneficial achievement also abound and swell in the hearts of Filipinos that now include even those who did not vote for him. After all, we will have six Duterte years ahead, whatever that means, God willing! But more than just being critical, I join the vast majority of those who disliked Duterte during the elections (and who continue to do so) but nonetheless accept and respect the count, no matter how unwelcome. Pro patria!

The people have spoken. By the present Constitution, a mere plurality can afford to run roughshod and rule with hubris. Their celebratory commotion is evident. They have earned the right to enjoy victory. We wish for nothing else but the success of his administration. Unfortunately, his behavior does not seem to indicate cooperation. Did we not say he is his worst enemy?

Be that as it may, human kindness mandates that the undeserved serial mean-spiritedness, the unrelenting vicious vilification, the stoking of populist anger, the naysaying, the hating that attended the Presidency of the incumbent, PNoy, not be meted upon Duterte. He must be spared from the daily calvary that President Aquino was pilloried with. Duterte needs our help and support. Filipinos of goodwill will see to that. And because he is who he is, he also needs “tough love.” We intend to provide that, too. That means a running reality check! Kudos where apt and earned. Brickbats whenever deserved.


Just as Duterte fatigue is beginning to set in and his earlier vote-winning profanity losing its misguided popular cachet, (he is getting tiresome!) the President-elect continues to appear tireless with unabated, unabashed assault upon civility and human rights. How else do we regard his pronounced intent to honor that bloody dictator Marcos with a hero’s burial? And the seeming salivating bloodthirst in reviving the death penalty, and by hanging too, while the rest of the civilized world gasps in disbelief.

The newly reassembled subservient Congress as well as the newly minted Cabinet, an otherwise source of sober counsel, by their silence send a message of acquiescence. That is bad! Will they just sit and tweedle dumb their thumbs while “El Caudillo” Duterte leads the country towards the path of ill repute? A pariah state and an object of laughter and ridicule?

The irreducible and ineradicable history of Marcos’ Martial Law has long been succinctly encapsulated and bears repeating: “3,257 extra-judicial killings, 35,000 torture victims, 70,000 arrests and incarcerations.”

It is for this reason that the Philippine Constitution has mandated the creation of the Commission on Human Rights to pursue justice as this body continues to perform with honor and dedication. And who can ever forget that beyond the veil of Marcosian “constitutional authoritarianism,” beyond the smokescreen of Martial Law, twenty years of plunder and pillage, the thieving of at least US$10 billion of the nation’s wealth! 

As a matter of record, the Marcoses have never expressed remorse. Shamelessly, they wallow in untold pelf, ever maneuvering to return to political power while sponsoring blatant revisionism of the country’s contemporary history.

The final burial of Marcos’s paraffined, mummified cadaver at the military cemetery and conferring upon him honors befitting a hero is to be the crowning glory of the Marcos family’s gall. Duterte and Ferdinand Jr. call it “closure.” (Isn’t it, in fact, pay back for having garnered the winning votes in the Marcos backyard of Ilocos Norte? Duterte did promise a burial at the soldier heroes’ cemetery, did he not?) 

The judgment of history is now final and must not be blasphemed. Marcos is beyond ‘closure.’ A hero’s burial for Marcos is betrayal and mockery of the memory of the martyrs of Martial Law. Somebody has to tell the President-in-waiting that he is committing a colossal miscalculation that will have an impact upon his capacity to govern. And will disturb the peaceful rest of his mother, Nanay Soleng, who fought Marcos openly and defiantly during the dark days of Martial Law. 


Apart from all of the above, let me reprise Marcos as a soldier, for that is how Duterte wishes to memorialize the deposed dictator. (“I will allow Marcos burial in Libingan ng mga Bayani, not because he was a hero, but because he was a Filipino soldier.”) 

Of course, the world has already been made aware that apart from the well-documented heinous, horrifying and rapacious dictatorship, Ferdinand E. Marcos’ earlier rise to the apogee of national leadership was through deceit and fraud. Volumes have already been written about his fake war medals and bogus war exploits. These now form a remarkable legend of skulduggery!

READ: Marcos, according to Marcos

There is still one aspect, however, that has not quite been adequately ventilated. Let me revive it and reiterate. It is no small measure of a simple neglected detail because it will have to be etched in the man’s epitaph should Duterte persist in a military burial. It is monumental. And central to the character of the soldier Duterte wishes to honor. To this day it remains uncorrected in the government’s official records kept at the Department of National Defense. It says: “Major Ferdinand E. Marcos 0-41394 Infantry (Inact).”

READ: Marcos’ 'Major' Escapade

It is indeed possible, erudition not being his strong suit, that President-elect Duterte is unaware that the man he wants to honor is in fact without honor. Ferdinand E. Marcos is a military fraud and an impostor. A scoundrel.

READ: Marcos caught in a foxhole fraud

Beyond long after-the-fact affidavits of earlier affidavits from conned or coerced individuals long dead and some clippings of press releases, there is absolutely no record that Marcos was ever promoted beyond Third Lieutenant. His own tale of how he was promoted to Captain (by telephone three weeks into Bataan!) is incredibly whimsical. The truth is that his assumed rank of ‘Major” Marcos brazenly bestowed upon himself as supposedly a guerilla of the fairy tale “The Maharlikas,” an activity and an organization both of which have been debunked as fraudulent by a US Army investigative evaluation as early as 1945!

This is the ‘soldier’ President-elect Duterte wishes to honor. Only madness and amorality can dignify evil incarnated in the form of a military fraud and a shameless impostor. 

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.