Branding support for Marcos burial

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YEN MAKABENTA

YEN MAKABENTA

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OMBUDSMAN Conchita Carpio-Morales made her revisions during her speech before the UP College of Law reunion in Makati last Friday. One wishes they could be dismissed as just a blunder, but coming from a former associate Justice of the Supreme Court and the Ombudsman, they are egregious.

I wish the Ombudsman was more circumspect in throwing the weight of her office to bear on the debate about the Marcos burial, because she compromises not just herself but her office.

I wish also that she did not wander away from the field of law into the fields of history, philosophy and literature, for these disciplines are beyond her competence.

In wagging a finger against those who favor the Marcos burial and showing her usual supercilious manner, she invites scrutiny of her words, her thinking and her understanding of the issue of historical revisionism.

Having expressed in writing my own support for the burial and my opposition to exhuming the Marcos remains, I feel obligated to point out the glaring errors in her opinion. Alas, they cannot be ascribed to the frailties of womanhood or to old age.

Not knowing what/whom she was quoting
First, Ombudsman Morales does not appear to know the quotation that served as the core of her argument in her speech at the law reunion.

The quotation is: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

While quoting it correctly enough, Morales attributed it to the wrong author. She has no clue where it comes from.

She declared that she was quoting 19th century historian and Cambridge professor Lord Acton; and then she went, wink-wink, to her big point:

“As it turns out nowadays, those who could not remember history have the tendency to write a new one.”

The big problem is, it was not Lord Acton who wrote the words she so proudly parades.

The words belong rather to the Spanish-American philosopher-writer, George Santayana, a major figure in philosophy and letters, and a noted exponent of the philosophy of pragmatism and naturalism. Santayana curiously has a Philippine connection in his ancestry. Santayana’s mother was the daughter of an official of the Spanish colonial government in the Philippines in the 19th century. His stepfather also served in the country for a time.

Ombudsman Morales got the personages confused probably because Lord Acton (John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton) is famous for one cliché quotation: “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” He is remembered for nothing else.

Santayana in contrast is huge. The quote on history from Santayana is to be found in his 1905 book Reason in Common Sense. The full quote reads:

“Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Students of Santayana’s work complain that the maxim has been taken out of context: originally it formed part of a theory about how knowledge is acquired rather than being a moral exhortation to pay attention to history, and it has a didactic quality that is foreign to the subtle, paradoxical, and occasionally humorous quality of Santayana’s thought.

The elegant little sentence is typical of Santayana; he is noted among philosophers as an elegant writer. He believed philosophy is literature.

His other memorable aphorisms show the depth of his thinking and the liveliness of his style. Consider the following:

• That life is worth living is the most necessary of assumptions and, were it not assumed, the most impossible of conclusions.

• Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim.

• There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.

• Only the dead have seen the end of war.

• Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect.

• The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool.

Lifeblood of historical scholarship
Ombudsman Morales is guilty also of revising history in rejecting offhand historical revisionism in historical scholarship and writing. She shows only superficial understanding of the concept.

Morales lamented in Makati the “lack of demand for truthful and honest discourse,” saying people nowadays easily believe lies and half-truths spread by propagandists and fake news sites.

Morales does not allow for a second the possibility that historical revisionism is necessary in the writing and reconstruction of a people‘s history.

Yet in fact, historical revisionism has long been recognized as necessary in historical studies.

Historical revisionism is the means by which the historical record — the history of a society, as understood in its collective memory — continually integrates new facts and interpretations of the events commonly understood as history. The American historian and former president of the American Historical Association (AHA) James M. McPherson writes of the practice as follows:

“The fourteen-thousand members of this Association (AHA) know that revision is the lifeblood of historical scholarship. History is a continuing dialogue, between the present and the past. Interpretations of the past are subject to change in response to new evidence, new questions asked of the evidence, new perspectives gained by the passage of time. There is no single, eternal, and immutable “truth” about past events and their meaning.

“The unending quest of historians for understanding the past — that is, revisionism — is what makes history vital and meaningful.”

Gaps in scholarship and knowledge
It bears noting finally that Ombudsman Morales is challenging the decision of the Supreme Court on the legality of the Marcos burial at the Libingan. She questions the judgment of her former colleagues.

Having committed gross errors in scholarship and shown serious gaps in her knowledge, Morales is hardly in a position to fault the scholarship of others, who may have a different view than her of the Marcos record. Having rejected the value of historical revisionism, she has no competence to dismiss the work of historians who seek new facts and seek to interpret the events that constitute Marcos’s leadership of the Philippines from 1966 to 1986.

In subscribing to the immutable interpretation of the Marcos era supplied by the Yellow Cult, Morales shows that she is more interested in politics than in history.

yenmakabenta@yahoo.com

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22 Comments

  1. bravo sir! bull’s eye! history is a science. historical narratives are based on facts and evidence. these narratives evolve as new evidence emerge. the yellows want the Filipino people to stick with the old, beat antimarcos and anti martial law narrative concocted by the yellows, the oligarchs and the left. this is not history or science. this is dogma. with new data on the plaza miranda bombing, the assassination of ninoy, etc it’s about time that we rectify our history. and breath new life to our people, history being the soul of a nation. remember galileo??

  2. Kudos to you sir. What a brilliant riposte. You utterly destroyed the credibility of such a pretentious charlatan like Morales, another notorious member of the yellow whisperers.

  3. cristina macabenta on

    Nice article, getting something newmin this reading. I think we shall revise some part of our history as it is not all events has written.

  4. It is not a revision of history but more of a correction, when time allows for truth to surface slowly but surely. Pieces of the puzzle starts to come together and we realize there is more to the story that meets the eye. We have seen where our leaders of the past have led us, there is pain in the realization that we never moved forward at all. History is about making sense of the past as facts and reason are starting to surface, what was once hidden from our view.

  5. Wow! this is a very good article to read and absorb! And most of the comments! The ombudsman morales shows ignorance at its rawest form….”Never Again”…..happened during the PNOY administration…with corruption and plunder with DAP and PDAF…and she has not done anything to put those responsible to justice…the allegation on PNoys corruption of the cabinet secretaries like alcala, abaya, etc… which are very recent and that evidences can be easily obtained…have none or only token investigation have been undertaken!

  6. Just like her relative Justice Carpio, they said that the Presidency of Marcos was already rejected by the Filipinos during the so-called EDSA Revolution. What these funny people are not mentioning is that this is a program planned and hatched by the US. This very evident when Pres Marcos at the very end did not negotiate with either Enrile, Ramos nor Cory. It was the reverse, Enrile and Ramos are pleading not to be fired upon by artillery which was already in place and Cory by that time has already hidden in safe place. Pres Marcos was negotiating with Washington and even sending Minister Ople to personally do the negotiation. So, this is all a US operation to the very end. The people that gathered in EDSA and elsewhere are mere decoration to justify the US ousting of Pres Marcos.

    Another justification that this is wholly a US operation just like what they did in Ukraine, is that after installing their puppet Cory as President, there were seven Coup-de-etats that happen in which two almost ousted Cory had not US intervened. The last one, US has to send its warplanes to give noticed to the coup that they are serious to fight to protect Cory. This is a complete mockery of our laws as a sovereign nation where the US has interfered in our domestic affair. In all these instances, all the said people who Justice Carpio and Ombudsman Morales claimed to have rejected Pres Marcos did not go out in the street to protect the leader Cory which they allegedly installed as claimed by their controlled vested interest media. So what Filipino people are these two cousins Carpio and Morales are talking about. These semantics are nothing but a propaganda line to make it appear that the whole nation abhor Pres Marcos. THE TRUTH IS WITHOUT THE AMERICANS THERE IS NO EDSA REVOLT.

  7. Congratulations on your scholastic piece. You really researched a lot to logically destroy the Wisdom of the Ombudsman. I think you were successful in adapting legalistic gobbledygook to your very own journalistic gobbledygook.

    Thank you for pointing out that she erred in ascribing words to the British Lord Acton which rightfully belonged to the Spanish George Santayana. And wow, you made a lengthy discourse on the works of Santayana. But what is more important? The source of the thought so the substance of the thought and it’s relevance to the issue at hand.

    You talked about historical revisionism and that it is necessary in the rewriting and reconstruction of a people’s history. I totally agree that the history of a society continually integrates new facts and interpretations of the events commonly understood as history. But isn’t it true that there is positive and truthful revisionism and there is negative and outright false revisionism? I believe that the discourse should not be just on revisionism per se, but the quality and the motive of the revisionism itself.

    You mentioned some other journalistic gobbledygook but in summary, I think the Wisdom of Conchita Carpio Morales, at least in the case of the Marcos burial, compared to yours is parang “Aguila” kumpara sa “Sisiw”.

  8. vagoneto rieles on

    Recent back-to-back incidents… the surreptitious burial of Ferdinand Marcos, and the death of the legendary Cuban dictator Fidel Castro… were rather fortuitous, if contrasting. On one hand, a public had to be kept in the dark as the 27-year old cadaver of one dictator was slyly and furtively being put in the ground. On the other hand, a solemn and respectful celebration, (albeit with controversy in the US), of the life and death of another dictator, took place. To further contrast the reigns and deaths of both dictators; one had to engineer a scenario of anarchy and chaos…while already in power…to justify perpetuating his corrupt and repressive government. The other had to topple a corrupt and ruthlessly repressive sitting dictator, in a long and bloody ‘guerilla war’, so as to institute draconian reform measures…as a dictator himself. Finally, one confiscated and appropriated businesses for family and friends, and had the support and funding from the US for projects that he and his cronies monopolized; while the other opposed and fought the US and its monopolies in his country, nationalizing all foreign businesses.

    Both leaders were dictators; but, the contrast couldn’t be more stark. The progeny of Ferdinand Marcos insist in reinventing the life of their patriarch. I don’t expect, nor do I see a need, for any historical/biographical revision to the Cuban’s legacy.

  9. If you are in the judiciary – you should be neutral. But ConCHEATa Moral-LESS is truly subservient to Yellow Cults. Nagka-NANA (naninilaw) na talaga ang utak nya.

  10. Experience and learning from the past is the basis of the development civilization, mankind’s progress and downfall, whatever.

    Looking back to what really happened to the country, by simple comparison of the conditions of living and peace and order conditions then and now, what the ordinary pilipino has found out is something else, plainly and clearly enough.

    What good there is to learn and apply, what bad things to reject and change, what needs to be done? These lessons from our experience in governance, on the receiving side, has prompted the people to demand what the government should be doing.

    Understandably on the ruling side, the elites, oligarchs, greedy business thru their hirelings: media, the judiciary and government institutions will try to suppress the truth at any cost. Their ultimate aim to maintain their stranglehold on the masses – to keep preying on a weak, stupid populace. Feed them drugs, corrupt them, misinform them, weaken them with vises and bad education – the chain of ignorance, in order to perpetually to enslave and bleed them.

  11. Morales is irrelevant. Having stayed in Government jobs to long she has shown herself to be Aquino’s CUR. The man she maligns (PMarcos) yet he is responsible for the creation of Ombudsman. He probably never dreamed that an
    Incompent, vindictive, Aquino lick Asher would be appointed. This senile old goat should be sacked by the President now.

  12. Maribel A. Calanda on

    What can I say but Conchita is really conceited. She is an over-staying Ombudsman. She should be replaced by a lieutenant of PDigong. Otherwise, the cases against Pnoy and his cohort Abad, including De Lima will just sleep in her office a thousand years.

  13. Rodan Guerrero on

    As a keen observer, I first saw and learned Morales` true personality during the Corona impeachment trial. Her testimony which qualified as a hearsay, made a fatal blow that it created a belief, Corona was keeping a hidden dollar account, an unimpeacheable offence since it is allowed that corrections could be made. You can just imagine how futile such a woman, a former magistrate of the SC and incumbent Ombudsman throwing blows from behind to a former colleague who heads the highest court of the land. How much BRIBE did Morales get in testifying against her former boss in favor of her current boss at that time who bribed Congressmen and Senators just to oust the man who made the right decision to distribute Hacienda Luisita? She committed series of abuses in discharging her duties as Ombudsman, to GMA where she is acquitted, and the 3 Senators, were among her victims and of course many more government officials suffered from her futility.
    Talking of history, many do not accept Marcos is the best President we ever had but many believe Noynoy Aquino must be the MOST STUPID, while Morales will surely be the Ombudsman who is not fit, even as an SC magistrate of the Supreme Court. History really keeps repeating that unscrupulous and unfit people are appointed to positions they dont deserve. How many more MORALES will gate-crash the JUDICIARY?

    • They are already there. All those appointed by Noynoy Aquino are in the mold of Morales. They were appointed by a non-thinking President who had no business being in Malacanang save for the sympathy of the Yellow cult who considered his mom a saint.

  14. supercilious, adj., coolly and patronizingly haughty. In a word, Yen, you have captured the essential weakness and handicap of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales. I think she can be forgiven for her inadequate intellectual depth and her grossly wrongheaded historical revisionism, but not for that, not for that.

    • Leodegardo Pruna on

      Her, Ombudsman Morales, position derived out of patronage from the yellows specifically P-Noy, thinks that her brain is beyond reproach. That hers is unquestionably perfect and its perfection can manipulate and distort the truth. But, the truth is, she thinks and specks just like her boss (P-Noy) who showed nothing in his six years of administration added to another six years of incompetent administration in 1986-92. All the wasted years being blamed to FEM. History is dynamic and not static. To put the blame on one is not fair. We have ourselves, the way we think and behave, to blame. God bless the Philippines.

  15. She also said, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” Kung ganun, bakit ka sumasawsaw ngayon sa politika, eh Ombudsman ka ? Ang mga dilaw, talagang double standard palagi.

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