I was in third year high school when Ninoy Aquino was murdered on the tarmac of the Manila International Airport. That heinous act plunged the country into a dark and dangerous time. I was previously aware of the Marcos dictatorship and its evils. I saw the press censorship. Saw some arrests and those caught breaking the midnight curfew. Rumours swirled of murders, disappearances, and other atrocities. Then brave newspapers began to publish the stories that were surpressed. There was even that Playboy article featuring Imelda Marcos that was banned by the government although copies made their way to people. I began to get involved, first with NAMFREL during the Batasang Pambansa Elections of 1984 and took to the streets afterwards joining rallies and demonstrations. By late 1985, I was heading the Ateneo and UP chapter of the Cory Aquino for President Movement. I was in EDSA during all those turbulent days in late February that led to the fall of the dictatorship. The governments that came after that were troubled, divided, and even ineffective. There have been gains, of course, lots, but somewhere along the way, in some ways, things got worse.
What I cannot take and will not do so is the revisionist history going on saying that the Marcos years were a golden age. NO. THEY WEREN'T. They were filled and fraught with lies, deception, murder, and greed. Many of today's problems began during those years. It is sad to see many people think that those years were good.
I am most glad that Raissa Robles published Marcos Martial Law: Never Again. It is something that should remind the generations before but inform today's millennials about the horrors of that era and while it is foolhardy and dangerous to think that Marcos' scion is the cure for our ills. The book is hardly the solution. There are others ways of disseminating the information. It does help. Boldly.
I attended the book launch at Balay Kalinaw in the University of the Philippines Diliman campus. I had the booked signed by Raissa Robles and attended the program; participating in the Q&A portion where I asked questions that weren't answered and offered ideas on what should be done.
By the program's start, the hall was packed (although there were under a hundred people in attendance).
|Noel Cabangon was on hand to sing "Bayan Ko".|
|The great Senator Rene Saguisag was on hand to lend his thoughts and share some war stories of those dark days.|
|With some fellow street parliamentarians of the 1980s -- Christine Carlos and Chito Gascon.|