MANILA - Marcos' martial rule regime was "built on a structure of falsehoods," a journalist said Monday, as the Philippines' marked the 48th anniversary of the declaration of martial law.
Journalist John Nery, who is also convenor of the Consortium on Democracy and Disinformation, cited as an example the actual anniversary of the imposition of martial law which was on Sep. 23, 1972, contrary to popular belief that it was imposed on Sep. 21, 1972.
"Today is a fake anniversary, like almost everything about Marcos, we are remembering the imposition of martial law on the wrong date...From the very start this Martial Law regime was built on a structure of falsehoods. I think its important to stress that," he told ANC.
Nery also rejected a statement from Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, dean of the San Beda College Graduate School of Law, who earlier drew flak on social media for saying that "the present generation that is loud in its condemnation of Marcos never experienced Marcos."
"So that rant is directed at their construct of Marcos. Shouldn't they be studying Derrida and Lyotard more," Aquino said in a tweet.
Aquino said his tweet was "in no way an apology for Marcos" and denied that he was pushing for historical revision.
"We should do more remembering but our remembering should also be comprehensive," he said.
"My only point is that when anybody comes out with a narrative that seems to lean in their favor, he gets a beating from the public. I would like the public to have a more intellectual approach and say 'We have told our story, we have the facts to back it up, anyway let’s hear him and what he has to say.'"
Nery, however, said there is "room for updating what we know about history" but it would not be accurate to say Marcos' version has not been included.
"When Fr. Aquino talked about grand and petty narratives, I think he was mistaken that the Marcos version is not already included in our grand narrative as we are living through it today," he said.
"It’s unfortunate for the Marcoses that their main spokesperson is the former first lady who goes off on tangents. She’s made herself available to all sorts of documentary filmmakers."
Aquino added that his tweet should be read with his explanations on Facebook.
"What I hoped to achieve was a more complete picture. You know that’s exactly the hope of all of those who are involved in the deconstructive movement. The dominance of one narrative alone is not exactly ideal."
"So at one time the narrative of males prevailed over decision. The narrative now is there has to be equality."
Aquino's tweet, however, came across as "patronizing," Nery said, as he pointed out that the generation Aquino was describing was one who learns from them as educators.
"It came across as someone from that generation saying ‘You don’t really know anything'...The present generation who’s vilifying Marcos, in your words, do not know what they’re doing but in fact they are also learning from people like you and me. Their learning is also a form of experience so it’s not fair to say it’s all based on construct," he said.
"I think the tweet also creates the false impression that only the present generation is condemning Marcos. There are still survivors of the Martial Law generation who are protesting the continued power and influence of the Marcoses."
Nery added that it was the obligation of Aquino's fellow educators to "set him right" if he was wrong.
"I think that’s fraternal correction," he said.
ANC, Matters of Fact, Martial Law, Ferdinand Marcos, historical revisionism, Ranhilio Aquino, John Nery