• The Yamashita standard


    Good morning, Mr. Tiglao.

    I am writing in reaction to your September 25 column in The Manila Times, “What Marcos prisons were really like.”

    You said in the article, “The crucial questions are whether there was a Marcos policy to undertake such horrific human rights abuses…”

    I find this very interesting, for I don’t remember someone who was against Ferdinand Marcos but who has lived through the regime asking such.

    Of course, I would not have enough exposure to people who lived back then for I was born in 1987.

    It is understandable if people supporting an idea, other people or a group would not extend generous tolerance to those from the opposing side.

    Our people, however, both the pro- and anti-Marcos groups, have spoken and stated a lot of exaggerations that it is getting difficult to tell which of their stories are worth keeping and even believing.

    A lot have become so “fanatical” of whatever they stand for or support. But those who do not care about the stand of either side but who are simply after the truth could have no unbiased references.

    What I mean is, like me, I acknowledge the good things built and accomplished during the time of Ferdinand Marcos but I also acknowledge the atrocities during his time.

    And based on the Yamashita standard, I also believe Marcos was accountable for the excesses of his administration. Of course.

    But going back to you question if there was a Marcos policy to undertake human rights violation, I found an unsigned copy of Letter of Instruction No. 772 of President Ferdinand Marcos dated November 27, 1978.

    Attached herewith is a copy but I am hoping to see the original copy complete with his signature.

    I believe this will help answer your question.

    And if this order was legitimate, as I assume it was, would it be possible to “free” Ferdinand Marcos from the Yamashita standard?

    It is interesting to know how those from the middle class reacted to their detention during Martial Law.

    It is obvious that they were not aware of the “simplicity of life” that those from the lower classes were used to. It helps me understand why some of the people I know from the upper middle class could not understand the sentiments of those from the lower classes who had to bear with inept public servants, for example.

    Thank you for sharing a part of your story during Martial Law.

    A fellow Filipino,
    Faith Aquino



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