Ombudsman blasts historical revisionism on Marcos

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 26 2016 02:22 AM

MANILA - Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on Friday expressed alarm over Filipinos' vulnerability to historical revisionism.

In a speech she delivered at an alumni homecoming event of the University of the Philippines College of Law, Morales pointed out that more than 40 years after the declaration of Martial Law, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos remains as "the subject of the most rabid of debates and divergent views in the country today."

She expressed alarm over people's attitude to ignore history.

"As it turns out nowadays, those who could not remember history have the tendency to write new ones," Morales said in allusion to British historian Lord Acton. "Much worse, there are a lot of people who simple do not want to read their history. Period."

According to Morales, this attitude leaves the society vulnerable to revisionism.

"This alarming attitude is appalling, which opens a large portion of society vulnerable to a revisionist-distortionist proclivity," she said.

Morales said that recent accounts celebrating Marcos and thus ignoring the fact that he was a dictator, adds insult to injury to the entire citizenry.

"It is an affront to our collective consciousness as a nation, aside from adding insult to injury to the entire citizenry, as collective victims of the kleptocratic act of stashing ill-gotten wealth as judicially ascertained," she stated.

"Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you super-add the tendency of certainty of corruption by authority," she added.


The Ombudsman expressed frustration that Filipinos entered an era wherein truth apparently does not matter anymore.

"Interestingly, this generation has entered the so-called 'post-truth' era where truth does not really matter anymore," she noted. "What happens then in a post-truth era when truth becomes irrelevant: discussions become irreverent."

She added that it is not only the truth that is lost in the new generation, but seemed that logic has escaped them as well.

"Now it is not only truth that has become elusive, even reason has escaped us," she said.

Asked if she condemns the interment of late strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, Morales said she was merely echoing what is stated in the newspapers and was quoting what was said in the Supreme Court decision allowing it.

Morales also criticized leaders who make no effort to set facts straight, saying a number of them fail to discern and distinguish facts. 

"People should be bothered when the leaders themselves equally could not figure out what is right or wrong," she said adding that people should merely go back to basics: "Thou shall not steal. Thou shall not kill."