Back­lash over bid to white­wash Mar­cos

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE Philip­pine gov­ern­ment faced a back­lash yes­ter­day over claims it was try­ing to white­wash the his­tory of late dic­ta­tor Fer­di­nand Mar­cos.

Crit­ics said a se­ries of edits to the Face­book page of the coun­try’s of­fi­cial gov­ern­ment record were an at­tempt to put a pos­i­tive gloss on years of au­thor­i­tar­ian rule.

Among changes that sparked fury was the claim that Mar­cos im­posed mar­tial law in 1972 to deal with Mus­lim se­ces­sion­ists and a com­mu­nist in­sur­gency.

Op­po­nents charge Mar­cos de­clared mar­tial law to keep him­self in power. They also say he threw op­po­si­tion fig­ures in jail and plun­dered state cof­fers.

The gazette also said he gave up his role in 1986 to “avoid blood­shed”; his­to­ri­ans agree he re­luc­tantly fled in the face of massive pop­u­lar op­po­si­tion.

“The cap­tion should have been ‘Fer­di­nand Mar­cos stole US$10 bil­lion from Filipinos, had 34,000 tor­tured, 3240 mur­dered, and was so hun­gry for power he tried to stay dic­ta­tor for life,’” one an­gry com­men­ta­tor said.

Con­tro­ver­sial Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte – a Mar­cos ally – has reignited squab­bles over Mar­cos’ legacy with a plan to bury his em­balmed body in the Ceme­tery of He­roes.

His­to­ri­ans agree that Mar­cos’ 21year rule was a dark pe­riod for the Philip­pines – a time when ex­tra-ju­di­cial killings, dis­ap­pear­ances and cor­rup­tion were the norm.

“We are not in the busi­ness of re­vis­ing his­tory,” press sec­re­tary Ra­mon Cualop­ing in­sisted yes­ter­day in re­sponse to the out­cry. –

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