The Manila Times
3,257: Fact checking the Marcos killings, 1975-1985
3,257 is the number of people alleged to have been killed by - dinand Marcos’ dictatorship, spe from 1975 to 1985. This widely to support the argument that the military under Marcos was guilty of committing gross human rights violations, and that terror and brutality distinguished martial rule. With the return to political prominence of key members of the dictator’s family, especially his son, Ferdinand ‘Bong Bong’ Marcos, who is currently seeking the vice-presidency, the accuracy has lately been cast on the sources the data on torture, killings and disappearances are denounced as fabricated or exaggerated.
How was this number reached and just how credible are the sources?
- is Alfred W. McCoy, an American historian. McCoy is an eminent - versity of Wisconsin-Madison. He has published extensively on the colonial and post-colonial history of state repression, the military, major books authored by McCoy - A Question of Torture (2006), and In the latter work, McCoy describes in detail how martial law enabled forces to operate with impunity and engage in systemic human murder was the apex of a pyramid of terror with 3,257 killed, an estimated 35,000 tortured, and some 70,000 arrested.”
Trained historians cite their sources. McCoy’s sources are referenced in note number 26 on page 618. They are: the New York Times dated 11/10/1986; Richard J. Kessler, Rebellion and Repres human rights violations(1986). In the note, McCoy explains the method by which he obtained the number. He writes: “To reach Marcos, Kessler’s enumeration for 1975-85 is supplemented by adding 93 more ‘extrajudicial killings’ in 1984 from data in Rev. La Verne D. Mercado and Sr. Mariani - monies…[page] 89.”
McCoy draws from a table that appears on page 137 in Kessler’s book.The table is titled ‘ Human - pines, 1975-1988’. The table has gives the years, the second shows the number of arrests, the third the number of disappearances, and the fourth the number of extrajudicial killings. The numbers shown under each category corresponds to each year in question.
of simple maths. He adds up the number of disappearances recorded each year from 1975 to 1985. This produces a total of 737. The same is done for extrajudicial killings. This gives a total of 2,427. He then turns to the Testimonies book which states that, in 1984, the number of “salvagings,” a word that came to - trajudicial execution of individuals by military or paramilitary forces of at 538 ie. 93 more than indicated in the table shown by Kessler for the same year. We are now ready to do the sum: 737 (disappearances) + 2,427 (salvagings) + 93 = 3,257
Skeptics accuse McCoy of using data from biased non-academics. But McCoy’s principal source -- Kessler in fact obtained his particular on the monthly issues of for the years covered.
1974 by the well- known and highly regarded Catholic body, the Association of Major Reli Among the Association’s many objectives is the promotion of good governance and the provision of “moral and spiritual support” to whistleblowers who stand up against the graft and corruption of amrsp.ph/what-we-do/).
The Testimonies book is composed of affidavits, testimonies, and witness accounts from who knew murdered and disappeared victims, or were victims themselves of torture and illegal arrest. These accounts were brought together by the Black - vened by the Reverend La Verne D. Mercado, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches Mariani C. Dimaranan, Chair of - pilation of the accounts were the result of a collaborative effort undertaken by several human rights organizations, including Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), Human Rights Desk of the National Coun and the Ecumenical Movement for
Any historian or journalist worth their salt questions and tests the veracity and accuracy of sources. However, it seems to me of 3,257, and aim to discredit the sources by which it was reached, have motives other than trying to get at the truth. Not only do they distort history, they insult the memory of those thousands of people who were savagely killed.
3,257 is a number that chills the blood.