Padilla: Seducing ghosts of martial law past

Obiter Dictum

I DO not instantly go Christmassy when the Ber months step in. November is Halloween, October is Mama’s death month, and September is all about Martial Law, make that Marcos’ martial law. My childhood was shaped by martial law and psychology will tell us that childhood pretty much shapes everything.

I eventually realized that if we did not spend 22 years of our lives under Martial Law, we could have had better education, better lives, and better everything. But my family and kin worked hard to open us to different realities so we were not spared from knowing the horrors of the Marcos regime. Thus, the lingering abhorrence for everything else Marcos.

Every year since 1986, September 21 has been commemorated to remind us, Martial Law babies and those who came after, of the dark age of Philippine history and that it should never happen again.

What made this year horrendous was the release of the interview of Juan Ponce Enrile by Bongbong Marcos where the 95-year old living artifact who has already been labeled as the implementor of Martial Law lied through his teeth. Enrile’s voice now has that rasp and thinness familiar among the elderly but the temerity to lie is unfading.

As the dead can no longer defend themselves, so the living repudiated against Enrile’s claims. This buried Enrile under a ton of data accumulated over the years by various local and international groups and Martial Law survivors. In social media, a DepEd book was chastised for reducing the number of victims of the Martial Law years.

Judy Taguiwalo, former DSWD Secretary who was arrested in 1984 pointed out in a TV interview that “The distortion actually comes from him and he himself revealed it in 1986 during the EDSA Revolution when he said publicly the assassination on him in 1971 in Shaw Boulevard near Wack Wack Golf, which was one of the reasons used by President Marcos to impose martial law, was actually a setup." A current appointee at DSWD, USec Luz Ilagan, posted on her FB account pictures of her late husband Atty. Laurente Ilagan being met at the airport by his sons after his release from Bicutan. Atty. Larry was jailed for being a fearless fighter of the Marcos dictatorship. Maoi Arroyo, daughter of Sen. Joker Arroyo, sarcastically wished Enrile would “deep throat a cactus” after he brushed off being detained as simply being “inconvenienced.” Edna Aquino also posted how her mother suffered profuse bleeding due to stress while she was detained through the powers of the ASSO signed by Enrile himself.

But on hindsight, Bongbong and Enrile in their efforts to revise history while seated in grey plush chairs have released thousands of ghosts of martial law past. Albeit, it has reopened scars but nothing can be sweeter than the truth it just exposed. Karma.


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