Beyond lolo's memory: Primitivo Mijares grandson to relaunch 'Conjugal Dictatorship'

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 21 2017 05:34 AM

MANILA — Months after Ferdinand Marcos was buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani, a book pillorying the former president is set to be relaunched by the desaparecido author's grandson.

Primitivo Mijares was the National Press Club president during the Martial Law era, but he turned his back against the Marcoses, exposed the scandals of the regime before the US Congress, and wrote about his experiences in his book, "The Conjugal Dictatorship of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos."

After the publication of "Conjugal Dictatorship," Mijares "disappeared" and, according to rumor, was thrown out of a helicopter by Marcos' men. Months after, his 16-year-old son Boyet was kidnapped, his body found later on with markings of torture.

Fast forward to 2016, the Marcoses kicked out of Malacañang 30 years prior, JC Mijares Gurango is relaunching the book believed to have led to his grandfather "Tibo" and tito Boyet's deaths.

Gurango said the relaunch of the book is "way beyond my grandfather’s memory."

For him, his grandfather and uncle were "just two people in a long list of many, many names whose lives were messed up by that time."

"It’s not about being vengeful and it’s not about being angry. If you ask my parents, they’ll tell you that they forgave the death of my grandfather and my tito long, long ago; but that doesn’t mean that they’ve forgotten," he said on ANC's "Headstart."

Gurango believes his family no longer seeks closure to what happened to his grandfather.

"I think some 10 years after my grandfather disappeared, my grandmother was holding on to hope that he just went into hiding for a while," he said in a separate interview with ABS-CBN's digital news media team. 

"But after the EDSA revolution, after the Marcoses got ousted, he never came back, so . . . they're not looking for closure anymore," he added.

The re-release of this book, Gurango said, is their family's contribution to the fight against the historical revisionism and whitewashing that is happening.

"The main reason why we’re doing this is that part of our history is under fire from not just historical revisionism, but from a lack of education," he said.

"I feel like having this book will be able to inform the people and educate the people and arm them with the knowledge that they need to fight this historical revisionism."

The fact that the 19-year-old Gurango wasn't born yet during the peak and the fall of the Marcos regime is an argument thrown at him sometimes, but he says being a millennial doesn't make him less credible speaking about the former president's alleged atrocities.

"Just because I was not alive during that time, doesn't mean that I couldn't say anything about it . . . It shouldn't be that I have nothing to say about it. Historians have something to say about it, and it always happens before their time," he said.

Instead, he said, this gives him a better point of view on the events that happened.

"If you're a millennial, you have a fresher perspective on things . . . Millennials are in an esteemed position of being able to look at evidence objectively rather than from their own experiences and nothing else," he added.

The relaunch of the book, "The Conjugal Dictatorship of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos," is on Tuesday at Bantayog ng mga Bayani.