Martial law made me well-known enough via name recall to be elected senator in 1987 without having to spend a single centavo of my own. A grateful people rewarded me for human rights lawyering. Candidate Cory Aquino had made me her spokesperson during the 1985-86 snap polls; in February 25, 1986, Prez Cory asked me to continue to speak for her. I looked down at my shoes a long, long time. I got chided. But, I have always believed that public service is its own reward. And we had two Prezs that dusk. Walang iwanan at a time of peril.
Martial law made many wives happy that their husbands would come home early because of curfew. But some machos might have claimed overtime work and spent the whole night in a motel with their instead.
Martial law made the society page vanish and that I appreciated personally. Good papers elsewhere have more substance.
“Sa ikauunlad ng bayan disiplina ang kailangan” was the slogan of the Bagong Lipunan. Ariel Urieta lampooned it by saying “bisikleta ang kailangan”; he had to do some explaining in a military camp, where even squabbling spouses and neighbors were summoned.
The military authority was superior to the civilian. Even sporting long hair could mean Camp Crame. Many were detained sans charges and for years, without trial, beginning with the most prominent victim of martial law, Ninoy Aquino, who never compromised, supported by a tough uncompromising wife.
At about the same time, Singapore was under Lee Kwan Yew who saw to it that Singaporeans had bread but no freedom. I was in Singapore in 1971. Very provincial. Today fantastic in modernity, greenness, cleanliness and discipline. Very prosperous. LKY sacrificed and did very well for his country, but now pleads with the native Singaporean to make babies, not a problem here, where we ended up with no bread and no freedom either. Babies, no problem here. Muslims, entitled to four wives. Christians, no limit.(?)
Marcos did very well for himself, his family and his cronies (our Good Pinoys; like Hitler’s Good Germans, including the lawyers who would salute as law any paper calling itself by that name and printed at public expense). Kakistocratic kleptocracy prevailed. No free press as we know it in Singapore but LKY is revered all over the world.
When People Power kicked out the Marcoses on February 25, 1986, the world applauded.
As we look back next week on September 23, 1972, we vow NEVER AGAIN! Like many of us said in boycotting Marcosian elections before the 1985-86 snap polls, “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” The Greek dissidents did not join plebiscites for that would be, in a dictatorship, like helping forge the links in one’s very own chains.
We cannot let anyone experiment again with our liberties, as many Filipinos, like the Good Germans in Hitler’s time—did, in 1972. Resist! Resist! Resist! – we should.
Now the Ilocanos ask that Macoy’s remains be moved to the Libingan ng Mga Bayani (LMB). It will be kicking us in the teeth. FVR told me he was double-crossed by the Marcoses when he allowed the return of the remains in 1993. Lied to, in that Macoy would immediately be buried underground. Now, it is being sought again to so move, to the LMB.
When Erap so decided in July 1998, Sonny Alvarez and I led the first demo ever in Mendiola against the popular red-hot lover. He and Gen. Abat backed off, given the widespread resistance. My wife Dulce had said on nationwide radio-TV that she would ask her family to consider moving out the remains of their father from LMB.
But, I have mellowed in my old age (75) using a HurryCane. In Northern Ireland, they compromised and settled a problem, from the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.
Why not rename the place as Libingan ng Mga Bayani At Iba Pa? Else, my Last Hurrah would be to kapit-bisig in LMB.
Bobbit Sanchez of MABINI can no longer march with us. Last week, I wrote about his youngest brother, Eddie, our Rizal Hi valedictorian, then in St. Luke’s. Discharged na. I also wrote about Eddie’s outstanding son, Edward.
Today, let me write about Ramon Santos, “new National Artist for Music,” featured in our magazine here last Sunday. He is the brother of Pyt, who made cartoons for us in our Pasig Weekly Post and the MABINI Newsletter. Truly, an outstanding clan. Ramon and Pyt are first cousins of MABINI Chair and Batasan Assemblyman Bobbit, residing less than a hundred meters apart from one another.
Meantime, Manny Pacquiao of the Batasan is inaugurating a new TV show leaving him no time for his sideline or hobby as the Great Pretender or Impostor as Sarangani Rep. Does he still remember where the House is? As the alleged Sarangani Congressman, he should be speaking out in and for the region on the BangsaMoro Basic Law, an experiment, as all life is an experiment, said Holmes. PNoy may yet succeed where Spain, the US, Japan and Imperial Manila failed.
Imperial Manila used to be the turf of Muslim Rajah Soliman.
We cannot Balkanize our country, like Yugoslavia. Scotland’s seceding? Catalan’s seceding? The US South tried to secede from the North in the 1860’s, but Lincoln kept the country together. United We Stand, Divided We Fall. What would have happened had secession happened? Tiny separatist fiefdoms instead of the United States of America?
Anyway, on the 28th, we again commemorate the Balangiga Massacre.
Nice to have those lovely Bells – I have seen them – in Fort Warren, just outside of Cheyenne, back where they belong, in Samar. On this issue, I’d like to hear from my Church.
Not on emergency powers.
In politics, the cacophony among laymen is deafening in itself. During martial law, the silence of the lambs, when there was danger, save for Bishop Claver & Co.