In opposing the burial of Marcos remains at the Libingan ng mg Bayani, fomer President Fidel Ramos said things that are so absurd that these border on the surreal.
Ramos’ First Claim. “I felt very bad especially for the veterans, as well as the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, as well as members of the PNP which I commanded then,” Ramos said in the press conference. “It was an insult, [a]trivialization of the sacrifices of our Armed Forces, PNP, Coast Guard, veterans – retired and active.”
How could Marcos’ burial insult men in uniform, alive or dead, when the strongman’s rule for 13 years had been based on the support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Constabulary, with so many soldiers and police killed in firefights (or by assassination) by the communist New People’s Army and the Moro insurgents? It wasn’t called “martial law” for nothing.
Cleverly demonized by the Yellow Cult when it was dubbed the “Rolex 12” who planned and executed martial law, the group’s members were the top brass of the military and police, including Ramos who commanded the Philippine Constabulary, AFP Chief of Staff Romeo Espino, and all the commanders of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. (“Rolex,” as they were reportedly given Rolex watches on their last meeting before martial law was declared. Gen. Espino was later to claim that they were nothing but the cheapest Rados.)
The alleged human rights abuses during martial law—the issue that has roused melodramatic millennials at elite colleges against Marcos’ burial—were not committed by vigilantes, or by the civilian National Intelligence Security Authority, but by the military and mostly by the police, such as the dreaded Constabulary Anti-Narcotics Unit and the 5th Constabulary Security Unit that were all under Ramos.
Isn’t the burial of their commander in chief for 20 years (1965-1985) in the official military cemetery a way of honoring those buried there, as well as living veterans?
Of course, a faction of the military led by Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramos rebelled in 1986 against Marcos to oust him with the help of the US. But it’s certainly very inaccurate to say that the entire AFP and PC were against Marcos even at that time. From the highest-ranking general to the lowest ranking soldier, the military were ecstatic over martial law. Hasn’t Ramos noticed that not a single retired general, or military or police of any rank has protested Marcos’ burial at the Libingan?
Second Claim. Responding to Marcos’ eldest daughter Imee’s exhortation that he should also apologize for the human rights abuses during martial law because he headed the PC all those years, Ramos said: “My atonement was leading the military and the police during the EDSA People Power Revolution. From the 22nd to the 25th of February 1986 and I stand by that record. It’s there in history books.”
For that of course, Ramos demonstrated heroism of the highest order. But just as valid though would be a claim that he abandoned his cousin whom he supported for 13 years, after realizing—perhaps even through leaks from his West Point classmates in the Pentagon—that the US, the world’s superpower had made a decision to remove Marcos, and would in fact be intervening to oust him, as it in fact did.
For whatever reason though, the real point is that he has not really bothered to explain to the nation whether the accusations of human rights abuses mostly undertaken by the PC, were true or not.
His refusal to do so of course was because of his political opportunism: Cory Aquino and her Yellow Cult would not have supported him to become president in 1992, if even just a hint came from his mouth that much of alleged human rights allegations are exaggerated or were the usual expected casualties of war. The network of secret police during martial law— if we may call it that —was the PC’s Constabulary Security Units (CSU) which had units in all regions of the country, under the command of Ramos.
Pick any instance of horrific alleged human rights abuses, those that the Left have been presenting as their exhibits, and the chances are that it was PC units that were involved.
A few examples: Liliosa Hilao raped and murdered by the Constabulary Anti-Narcotics Unit; anti-burial coalition leader Bonifacio Ilagan’s sister Rizalina’s killing, by the 2nd Constabulary Unit; congressman Edsel Lagman’s brother Hermon’s kidnapping and killing, by the PC’s Metropolitan Command; and congressman Neri Colmenares arrest and torture, by a PC unit he hasn’t identified. These horrific abuses all happened when Ramos was head of the PC: Did he ever bother to investigate these cases? If he did, what did he do about it?
There hasn’t been a single case of human rights abuses filed against Gen. Romeo Espino, who was AFP Chief of Staff for almost the whole duration of martial law.
In order to bolster his accusation that the military and police had not received orders from their superiors to allow the burial, Ramos blurted out in his press conference:
“‘Di ganyan ang Armed Forces noong panahon namin. Meron kaming chain of command, di langpara sa military at police, pati intelligence service,” he said. “Higher ups knew everything their subordinates were doing.” (The Armed Forces during our time was nothing like that. We had a chain of command, not just for the military and the police, but also for the intelligence service.)
Isn’t that a confirmation from Ramos himself, that he knew about the human rights abuses committed by the PC during martial law, and that he had command responsibility over the PC units accused of these crimes?
Third Claim. Ramos painted the Marcos family as cheats when he distributed copies in his press briefing of the signed agreement between him and the Marcos family in 1993, in which they agreed that the strongman’s remains be buried in his home province. But Ramos seems to believe, as Louis XIV of France did (“L’Etat, c’est moi”, “I am the State”) that he is the Philippine state. The agreement though was between the Marcos family and him, when he was president at the time. Obviously, as it is their right to do, the Marcoses got another agreement from the present president, Rodrigo Duterte.
Ramos may believe that he is opposing what he claims is an insult to the military that the Marcos burial at the Libingan is.
But as I argued in my column on Monday, Marcos’ burial at the Libingan where three other presidents of the Republic lie, shatters the narrative of an evil, ruthless dictator that ruled the country who killed “thousands of Filipinos.” And with that fiction unraveled, thrown to the garbage are the self-righteousness of the Yellow Cult, the mythology of Cory Aquino as Philippine democracy’s saint, and the legitimacy of the Communist Party as the vanguard party that fought a ruthless dictator.
That is the reason why the Yellows and the Reds have been apoplectic over the burial. If Marcos’ demonization ends, which will happen if his remains are buried at the Libingan, who would be blamed for the human rights abuses during martial law?
How could we have missed that Ramos, after all, has been a pillar, the hidden High Priest of the Yellow Cult?
How could we have missed the reason why Cory junked Ramon Mitra, the candidate of the ruling party that supported her regime, and instead chose Marcos’ cousin Ramos? How could we have missed the fact that if not for the “Black Swan” that was Joseph Estrada,Ramos’ candidate in 1998 would have won the presidency, starting an unending era of Yellow Rule? Was Ramos’ support of Duterte the Yellow Cult’s Plan B?
FB: Rigoberto Tiglao and Bobi Tiglao