An Historiographers’ Take on Bongbong Marcos Request

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Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr wants nothing more than ask our historians or more aptly called “historiographers” to go back to their desks and rewrite that episode in our history where his father was once the stellar historical figure making all the decisions. He did this appeal after a series of legal successes his family got from the Sandiganbayan, the latest was the junking of a civil suit alleging that the Marcoses earned 1 billion pesos from Duty Free shops during martial law. With this newest dismissal, former First Lady Imelda Marcos can now heave a sigh of relief knowing that she does not have any criminal suit any longer filed in any court and is expecting just 20 pending civil suits and one archived at the Sandiganbayan. Twenty three civil and forfeiture cases against Mrs. Marcos and her family have been dismissed.

Why the request? Bongbong had this perception that the only thing that hinders people from voting for him as President is this perception that his family benefited from graft and corruption during his father’s time. Meaning–what he wants is for people to believe that no graft and corruption happened during the dictatorship.

Is it time for historians to re-write history basing history from the decisions made by the courts? Yes, provided that our good senator and his family would be able to tell us where they got their billions which they now use for financing their fantabulous life style—all these years.

Second, I hate to say this, but corruption even if we are to use its legal definition, did, indeed festered during the dictatorship and even Bongbong probably does admit that. Just scroll down the government directory during those times and one would definitely discover how nepotism was practiced liberally during Marcos time.

For historians to really dismiss that there was no corruption during Marcos time, the Marcoses must first demonstrate and show how they managed to get all those monies which they used in purchasing all those multi-million peso properties, how did they get those shares of stocks of blue-chip companies when the President was barred from even practicing his legal profession, etal.

As an historiographer, I can understand those photos of Imelda waltzing with Hollywood stars because at that time, she was the undisputed madame in Philippine society, being the wife of a strongman. Those parties were of course financed by public funds. I can understand how Bongbong managed to live a fairly good life in England because, again, those were the times that their family’s expenses are being shouldered by the state.

What I cannot seem to establish a connection are these photos of Imelda owning hundreds of paintings of the Masters, of the Marcoses owning properties in various states in the US, of the Marcoses owning shares of stocks of blue-chip companies and of the Marcoses having this and that.

In a latest auction, Imelda even wanted to question those auctions of bejeweled pieces even wanting to claim them as hers. My, oh my, where did Imelda managed to get the monies which she used in buying all these jewels, all these shoes, all these designer bags worth hundreds of thousands of pesos and this and that.

Former senator Marcos must first explain how, from the sixties up to 1986, his family managed to amass those billions of pesos which they used in purchasing all these things.

Just because the Sandiganbayan did not believe in the evidence presented by the government against the Marcoses to be true that no crime of plunder or anything happened.

The core question against the Marcoses which the public still holds true is simply based on a very simple equation:

accumulated salaries and wealth per annum until 1986 minus accumulated wealth declared by the Marcoses themselves

If all allowable salaries given by the government to Ferdinand Marcos during the time he was president and his wealth prior to his presidency justifies the enormous and fantabulous amount of wealth we see the Marcoses now use to finance themselves, then, by Heaven’s justice, historians should at least write in their history books a caveat stating that accusations of massive graft by the Marcoses with, say, the Tantocos, had been rendered “without legal proof” by the Sandiganbayan.

I hate to say this, but Bongbong’s request stating all accusations of graft against his family was just figments of the imagination by the Opposition and was used to justify their ouster was in itself, was by itself, a contrived claim.

The Marcoses was ousted from power because the people at that time, saw for themselves a clear disjunction between what the Marcoses claimed and what their very own eyes saw. They saw oppulence while the entire country suffered from lack of electricity, lack of water, red tape, and whole families suffering from extreme hunger and poverty.

As an historiographer myself, I will write what the people saw and described how they lived during those times and the figures don’t lie. I will write how the former strongman committed corruption when he appointed his very own relatives to sensitive posts in government foremost of them his wife and children, cousins and nephews.

Rebel ranks grew in direct proportion to the rise of nepotism in government, a practice now practically institutionalized in our governmental system and bureaucracy. The AFP itself admitted that the military institution suffered from its weakest state during martial law, especially when military officers were asked to occupy sensitive posts in the bureaucracy which exposed these fine gentlemen to graft and corruption.

Mr. Marcos did indeed committed corruption and did indeed promoted a crass form of corruption during his time because numerous historical events prove that. Granting for the sake of argument that the Marcosos did not benefit from the corrupt practices of their political and economic allies, the very fact that they failed to curb or even punish these corrupters during those times show that at the very least, they tolerated it.

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