IN THIS season of election campaigns, the first People Power held in Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (Edsa) had both served as a reminder and basis in determining who to vote.
This may not be true to some especially from the Marcos loyalists as well as the “Millennials,” and the “Marcos Millennials – those post EDSA youths claiming that Marcos was the “Best President Ever” because that was what they heard from their parents, grandparents, and relatives.
Until now, it remains a tug-of-war between two parallel truths from two parallel universes. The one “indoctrinated” (as the Marcos loyalists call it) in the public schools when Cory Aquino took the presidential seat, was the narrative of the dark and evil years of President Marcos the moment he imposed Martial Law, and the glorious day he was toppled from power two decades later.
The other one, the “untold story,” of how Marcos put the nation to safety – saving it from the chasms of communism and instilling discipline to the people – and yes, even once a upon a time that the country’s economy was richer than Singapore, Japan and other Asian countries.
And the biggest conspiracy was that it was Aquinos who orchestrated EDSA People Power; the thicker conspiracy plot was that the death of then Senator Ninoy Aquino was made by Aquino’s relatives themselves – from Cory’s Cojuangco side – to fuel the anger against the Marcoses.
That is why, the Philippines is living in two dimensional history, and these dimensions are clashing again as the late Marcos’ only son is seeking almost closer to the seat in Malacañang – the Vice President post, whose family remain in power even after EDSA, and now they are determined to “bring back the glory of the old (Marcos) days.”
And the other dimension whose people have had enough of any trace of Marcos (and their affiliates) in the government, continuing the call to “Never Again!” Recalling the deaths of thousands of people and blunders of human rights violations – worse was these remained unacknowledged by Marcos apologists and loyalists to the point of blaming the victims instead as law violators and communist rebels.
And we already have heard Bongbong Marcos in absolute: what was there to apologize for?
While it is true – after EDSA old habits remain the same and sometimes bred anew – we are still struggling to make our country better since the economic growth as they keep on telling to the people has yet to be felt by the poorest of the poor.
Political landscapes and partnerships appear to change constantly but the state of most Filipinos is hardly even moving up.
We are facing yet another election, and we are hearing the relatively same plea from politicians who want to win. The cycle continues and Mindanao is again finding itself on the crossroads between pity and self-determination; between putting an end to conflict, and being a guinea pig of armed enterprise.
Yes, we witnessed the historical presidential debates here in Mindanao, except that there was almost no Mindanao to talk about because everything was too broad.