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Reflections

“How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms, by truth when it is attacked by lies, by faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always, in the final act, by determination and faith.”

― Archibald MacLeish

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Only in The Philippines: A National Hero's Burial For A Corrupt Dictator.

"The difference lies in the culture of the Filipino people. It is a soft, forgiving culture. Only in the Philippines could a leader like Ferdinand Marcos, who pillaged his country for over 20 years, still be considered for a national burial." 
 From Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s book “From Third World to First”
Supreme CourtPH voted 9-5 in favor of giving hero's burial for the DICTATOR. CJ Sereno, Justices Carpio, Jardaleza,Leonen & Caguioa dissented.
Brion, Velasco Jr, Peralta,Bersamin,del Castillo, Perez, Teresita de Castro, Mendoza,& Perlas-Bernabe voted in favor of LNMB! Price is Right
“Ver, Marcos and the rest of the official family plunged the country into two decades of lies, torture, and plunder.
"From former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s book “From Third World to First”
From New York Times:
MANILA — The torture was more than 40 years ago, but Loretta Rosales remembers it vividly.
Twice during the dictatorship of Ferdinand E. Marcos she was arrested by his henchmen for leading street protests. During her detention, she said, she was sexually molested, choked with a belt, given electric shocks and subjected to Russian roulette.
So the news that President Rodrigo Duterte wants to transfer Mr. Marcos’s remains to a heroes’ cemetery in Manila hit her in the gut.
“Now they want to make him a hero,” Ms. Rosales, a leftist politician who is now 77, said in a recent interview. Doing so would betray Mr. Marcos’s victims, she said, and whitewash the past.
“We have a right to the truth,” she said, “and so, too, do the generations after us.”
The debate over the reburial of Mr. Marcos, 30 years after he was ousted in the People Power uprising, has forced a national reckoning over a wrenching period of Philippine history.
Protesters on both sides have taken to the streets, and several groups opposed to the reburial have petitioned the Supreme Court to block it. The court is expected to rule on the petition on Tuesday.
Mr. Marcos, whose two-decade rule was notorious for its brutality and extravagance, fled the country in 1986 and died in the United States three years later. His government is believed to have killed more than 3,000 political opponents, tortured tens of thousands more and plundered up to $10 billion in government funds.
But his reputation has softened over time, and his burial in the Cemetery of Heroes would mark the latest step in a posthumous political rehabilitation.
His widow, Imelda, best known for the more than 1,000 pairs of shoes she left behind at the presidential palace in 1986, is now a member of Congress. His daughter Imee is the governor of Ilocos Norte Province, and his son, Ferdinand Jr., is a senator who came within a hair of winning the vice presidency in elections in May. Supporters portray the Marcos era as a time of economic growth and low crime, despite increasing poverty.
The family has found a staunch ally in Mr. Duterte, who has expressed admiration for Mr. Marcos and first promised to allow his reburial in May, before Mr. Duterte even took office. “I will allow the burial of Marcos in the Heroes’ Cemetery, not because he was a hero but because he was a Filipino soldier,” he said then.
In a trip to the family’s stronghold of Ilocos Norte last month, Mr. Duterte again argued that Mr. Marcos’s military service made him eligible.
“That is the law,” he said. “It is very clear to me that my decision is right.”
The government’s lawyer in the case, Solicitor General Jose Calida, said the reburial would provide the country much-needed closure.
“As the father of this nation, President Duterte desires to begin the long overdue healing of our nation and to exorcise the ghost of enmity and bitterness that prevent us from moving forward,” Mr. Calida told the Supreme Court.
Since his family was allowed to repatriate Mr. Marcos’s remains in 1993, they have been kept on public view in a glass coffin in a refrigerated crypt at the Ferdinand E. Marcos Presidential Center in his hometown, Batac, in Ilocos Norte. Fidel Ramos, the president at the time, denied Ms. Marcos’s request for a hero’s burial, and all presidents until now sought to avoid touching a highly charged issue.
But Mr. Duterte has close ties with the Marcos family, possibly including financial dealings that have raised questions of motives beyond national healing.
Mr. Duterte has acknowledged receiving a campaign contribution from Imee Marcos. He has not said how much the contribution was, nor reported it publicly. She has denied giving him money, saying Mr. Duterte “likes to make jokes.”
Another murky transaction has also raised eyebrows. In August, Mr. Duterte attacked a billionaire casino magnate, Roberto Ongpin, as an oligarch and publicly promised to destroy him. Mr. Ongpin quietly resigned from his own company and ended up selling his shares to Gregorio Araneta III, the husband of another Marcos daughter, Irene.
Mr. Ongpin has not publicly commented on the sale, but critics see the deal as a favor by Mr. Duterte to the Marcos family.
The Coalition Against the Marcos Burial at the Cemetery of Heroes, one of seven groups that sought to block the burial, said the former dictator’s family had “bought and paid” for the privilege of his transfer to the Philippine equivalent of Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
“It’s all about a private transaction. It’s all about the money,” said Hilda Narciso, 70, a coalition member. “Heroism is not bought. It is earned.”
Ms. Narciso, then an unemployed teacher, was arrested in 1983 and was raped and tortured for six months inside a military camp in Davao City. She was kept in a small, dark room, she said, and fed a soup of worms and rotten fish.
Duterte has not further explained the campaign contribution. And the Marcos family and the government have not spoken publicly about the sale of the casino business.
There is potentially far greater money at stake, however. Of the estimated $10 billion the government says the Marcos family stole, the presidential commission charged with recovering it has recouped only $650 million.
Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has filed a protest at the Presidential Electoral Tribunal contesting his narrow loss, alleging vote-rigging. If he succeeds and becomes vice president, he could work to eliminate the commission, potentially leaving his family with more than $9 billion in ill-gotten gains.
Mr. Duterte has backed Senator Marcos’s election appeal.
In a state visit to China last month, Imee Marcos and her brother were part of Mr. Duterte’s entourage, and the president introduced Mr. Marcos as his potential vice president.
At a pro-Marcos demonstration outside the Supreme Court last month, Mr. Marcos said he expected a favorable ruling, even though the family’s patience was wearing thin.
“We have been patient for 23 years,” he said. “We can be patient for a few days more.”

Ferdinand Marcos : "He might have started as a hero 
but ended up as a crook.” 
Singapore's Former PM Lee Kuan Yew
Most people love getting freebies. In the case of this list, you get two corrupt Filipino dictators for the price of one. Arguably, Marcos was worse than the fellow who came later, Joseph Estrada, for a couple of reasons. He had his own cult of personality, and he used it to strong-arm the country into doing whatever he wanted.
As ruler of the Philippines for 14 years, he went with a patronage style of running the show. His cronies came on board, he awarded them big bonuses and posts of authority, which would, in time, further augment his family’s own wealth. He created monopolies in tobacco, banana, coconut, sugar and manufacturing industries, to which he tied the fellow Romauldez family.
 Just how rich were the Marcoses? No one really knows how many billions of dollars that the First Family and their stooges raked in, but it certainly hangs in the billions. Swiss banks have turned in $85 million since Marcos stepped down in 1986, but more is still unaccounted for.
And who could forget Imelda Marcos? Wealth breeds extravagance, but she went over the top. She had white sand from an Australian beach flown in for a resort. She also bought various properties around Manhattan, though she ‘declined to buy the Empire State Building for $750 mil’ because it seemed “too ostentatious.”
When criticized for her manner of buying everything in sight, she claimed that she was a beacon of light to which the poor could aspire. As though the poor have as little integrity as she did, and would aspire to hedonism. From BusinessPundit 
Head of Government: Ferdinand Marcos
 Country/Term of Office: President of Philippines, 1972-86
Allegedly Embezzled: $5 billion to $10 billion
GDP Per Capita: $912
Source: Transparency International, Global Corruption Report 2004
World's Ten Most Corrupt Leaders
"Their corruption has contributed to their countries' low economic status, placing them among the poorest on the planet"(Forbes magazine)
NamePositionFunds embezzled2
1. Mohamed SuhartoPresident of Indonesia (1967–1998)$15–35 billion
2. Ferdinand MarcosPresident of the Philippines (1972–1986)5–10 billion
3. Mobutu Sese SekoPresident of Zaire (1965–1997)5 billion
4. Sani AbachaPresident of Nigeria (1993–1998)2–5 billion
5. Slobodan MilosevicPresident of Serbia/Yugoslavia (1989–2000)1 billion
6. Jean-Claude DuvalierPresident of Haiti (1971–1986)300–800 million
7. Alberto FujimoriPresident of Peru (1990–2000)600 million
8. Pavlo LazarenkoPrime Minister of Ukraine (1996–1997)114–200 million
9. Arnoldo Alem├ínPresident of Nicaragua (1997–2002)100 million
10. Joseph EstradaPresident of the Philippines (1998–2001)78–80 million
1. Defined as former political leaders who have been accused of embezzling the most funds from their countries over the past two decades.
2. All sums are estimates of alleged embezzlement and appear in U.S. dollars.
Every lie is two lies — the lie we tell others and the lie we tell ourselves to justify it. ~Robert Brault
From Asian JournalUSA.com
Was Marcos a well-decorated soldier?
John Sharkey of the Washington Post who did an extensive research on the matter did not think so. Jeff Gerth and Joel Brinkley of the New York Times after perusing the War files in the National Archives found out that Marcos’ claims were “fraudulent” and “absurd”. Historian and scholar Dr. Alfred McCoy, while researching a book World War II in the Philippines, discovered the fraudulent Marcos files among hundreds of thousands of documents involving real heroes and fraudulent claimants during World War II.
Army Captain Ray C. Hunt who directed guerilla activities in Pangasinan said, “No way.” The “List of Recipients of Awards and Decorations issued from December 7, 1941 through June 30, 1945” was compiled by the General Douglas MacArthur’s headquarters in Tokyo after the end of the war. Another list of some 120 Americans and Filipinos who were awarded during the Bataan campaign was transmitted to the War Department by General Jonathan Wainwright on April 12 shortly before his surrender. MARCOS WAS NOT on any of the lists.
Many of Marcos’ medals were obtained for heroic actions in Kiangan, Mt. Province while serving in the 14th Infantry under the Command of Colonel Manriquez and Adjutant Captain Rivera. Both attested to fact that Marcos was a non-combatant and just a Civil Affairs officer. They knew of no award that Marcos could have received or had been entitled to.
After an exhaustive analysis of the medals which Marcos supposedly received, Gillego came up with the following conclusions:
Eleven awards were given in 1963:
Ten were given on the same day (12/20/1963);
Three awards were given in one AFP General Order (12/20/1963);
One award was given in 1972 when he was already President;
Eight are really campaign ribbons which everybody involved in Bataan and the resistance movement (including my barber’s uncle), is entitled to receive;
Awards are duplicated for the same action at the same place on the same day;One is a Special Award given by the Veterans Federation of the Philippines; and three for being wounded in actions which his own Commandant swore could not have happened.