Philippines: SELDA – On Macli-ing Dulag’s 41st death anniversary: SELDA vows to resist fascism and tyranny of Duterte regime (24.04.2021)

On the 41st death anniversary and martyrdom of Macli-ing Dulag, Cordillera hero, former martial law victims under the human rights group Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) lambasted the Duterte administration for its “desperate efforts to twist history and for its continuous attacks against the Filipino people.”

“Today, we honor the bravery and leadership of Macli-ing Dulag against the evil schemes of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Together with the indigenous communities of Cordillera, he had shown that a fascist dictator is no match against the united people fighting for their rights,” said Danilo dela Fuente, the group’s vice chairperson.

Dulag led the collective opposition of the Kalinga and Bontoc tribes against the Chico River Dam Project, a flagship project of the Marcos dictatorship during Martial Law. Estimates suggested that had it been built, it would have destroyed 1,400 square kilometers of rice terraces, communal forests and sacred burial grounds and displaced through flooding an estimated 100,000 people living along the river. He was assassinated on April 24, 1980 by military elements from the 4th Infantry Division, and his murder was considered as a watershed moment in the coverage of killings and other human rights violations under the Martial Law.

However, last January 7, the heroes monument erected by the people was desecrated by the Kalinga Philippine National Police forces. It was later put up again by the people of Kalinga on the Day of Valor, April 9.

“By putting up the heroes’ monument again, the people of Cordillera victoriously frustrated Duterte’s futile attempt to revise history and erase the indigenous people’s rich history of courage against the atrocities during Martial Law. His legacy – resisting fascism and uniting the people to assert their rights – lives on to this day, “ Dela Fuente added.

The SELDA official also noted that such legacy is also reflected in the community pantries set up all over the country, and is also feared by another fascist regime under Rodrigo Duterte.

“The resistance against the Chico Dam Project and the creation of different community pantries have both shown the Filipino people’s indomitable spirit in relation to their economic rights and needs, albeit in different forms. The fascist Marcosian tyrant Rodrigo Duterte, in his desperate attempt to hide his political impotence, is currently using his minions in the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to harass these organizers through spreading malicious lies and blatant red-tagging. However, such smear campaigns expose the administration’s inefficacy to address the pandemic and the economic slump and strengthen the people’s clamor for genuine social change,” he stressed.

“As we remember Dulag’s martyrdom and the Cordillera people’s heroic resistance against the Marcos’ martial rule, we are also reminded to continuously resist all forms of historical lies, tyranny and fascism. We vow to strengthen our assertion of people’s rights, and continue in demanding for accountability and justice in all forms. We will never forget,” he ended.

Opinion: Marcos Day shouldn’t be a thing

To celebrate the former President and the Dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos doesn’t make sense to me. The Filipino Nation, the Philippines has such great heroes that deserves dedication and get their credit. They are all deceased and gone, but their memory can live on. The most recent dictator doesn’t need a day or be celebrated in glory.

It makes sense that the dynasty, the family and the remaining family members wants to clear its name. However, the name will be remembered for the looting, the martial law and the oppression. Which let the republic revolt and had their EDSA, the People Power Revolution of the Philippines, which removed Marcos from power in 1986, who had been in power since 1965.

The man kept the republic under a control with an iron fist. With 1st and 2nd Term, the second martial law period from September 1972 to January 1981 and the final “Fourth Republic” from January 1981 to February 1986.

Therefore, I have hard time to see people celebrate a thief, a kingpin and a grand dictator. People shouldn’t forget the man and his whims. They should never forgot who he controlled and misused the government to his benefit. No, that should be remembered. So, that it doesn’t happen again and get repeated by someone else. That is how you can remember Marcos.

Instead of celebrate Marcos, the state could instead give days to the like Andrés Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo and Jose Rizal. They could even celebrate a man who got assassinated by Marcos. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. a man who stood up against the Marcos regime and lost his life doing so. He deserves praise and being important in the revolt against Marcos.

This is why Marcos shouldn’t be celebrated. There are so many victims, families hurt and people who lived under the tyranny. This man doesn’t deserve the honour of a day in his name. A public holiday. He deserves to be part of history as a warning to what power can do to you and how it can corrupt you. However, not be a celebration of his persona and his life.

That is make glitz and glamour for a man who misused his office and took the Republic for granted. Used the seal and the good faith of the Filipino to his advantage. A man who used the military forces to keep a hold on the public and not allow them their freedoms.

Marcos doesn’t deserve this. If so, then why celebrate the EDSA every year? Why remember the People Power Revolution? When you remember the man who caused the need to revolt?

EDSA is celebrated every 25th February 2020 and rightfully so. A reminder of the power of the people, but also the popular demonstrations against Marcos.

Even if this is supposed to only be celebrated in the province of Ilocos Norte and Laoag City. It is still a reminder of what Marcos did for the whole Republic. It is a travesty to celebrate this every 11th September somewhere. While also celebrating the revolution who toppled him.

Marcos Day shouldn’t be a thing. Rather celebrate countless others who sacrificed themselves for the Republic. The ones who lost their lives for a democratic Filipino Nation. Not celebrate the men who took away. Peace.

Opinion: Sen. Imee Marcos cannot revise the plunder history of her family!

If we cannot punish old plunderers, we should stop pretending that we are out to punish the plunderers who came after them. If our people do see punishment for plunder past and present, then “plunder” would become a meaningless word added to our vocabulary” (Ruben Carranza – The Meaning of Plunder Past and Present, 2001)

Well, today was a special day, that the truth about the verdict about one court case against the family of Marcos in the Philippines. However, even if this is botched and dismissed court case because of lack of evidence. There is still plenty out there proving that this family has ill-gotten gains, has stolen and plundered. Just that they got away with it this time. That doesn’t revise nor free the legacy of the family, which became stupid-rich while being in power.

Today’s Botched Court:

MANILA, Philippines— It might have taken more than 30 years “to prove our innocence” but Senator Imee Marcos was grateful just the same. For lack of evidence, the Sandiganbayan has junked a civil case involving an alleged Marcos ill-gotten wealth worth P1.052 billion” (Malia Ager – ‘Imee Marcos: It took over 30 years to prove our innocence’ 08.10.2019, Inquirer.net).

Imee Marcos thinks she can revise history and suddenly take away the past of her family. It is natural that someone want their relatives to get a better legacy. However, the senator here is far off. If she thinks the botched plunder case now is freeing the history of Ferdinand Marcos or Imelda Marcos self. It is just a misstep in the courts. There is plenty of other cases and also foreign evidence of the actions done by her parents.

I’ll be dropping the titbits of information from Chaikin and the SARI, whose been investigating the money laundering, the illicit transfer of funds from the Philippines to Switzerland/Lichtenstein and elsewhere. To show what the Family Marcos did in their hey-day. Also, end with the court case, where the Marcos was deemed guilty of doing so in 1993 in a similar case. Therefore, the Marcos are far from “innocent” in the manner.

Like David Chaikin reported this in 2000: “A RICO claim brought in 1989 in California in the United States sets out in some 100 pages the details of how Ferdinand Marcos, Imelda Marcos and others conspired to loot, divert and launder public assets for their personal use and benefit. The RICO claim estimated that $5 billion in ill-gotten wealth was taken by the Marcoses, their associates and accomplices. But there is other material suggesting that Marcos took even greater amounts of money” (…) “The significance of the Malacanang documents is that they established investigatory leads concerning the secret Marcos assets in Switzerland. They provided the starting point for any analysis of the size of the Marcos’s Swiss wealth. Indeed, based on the Malacanang documentation and from other sources, in April 1986 the Philippines Government asserted that the Marcoses had accumulated illicit wealth of over $5 billion dollars, and that at least $1 billion had been transferred to Swiss bank account” (David Chaikin – ‘TRACKING THE PROCEEDS OF ORGANISED CRIME – THE MARCOS CASE, March 2000).

The Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative – Asset Recovery Watch updated on 20th July 2017 on the case of Ferdinand Marcos and Imelda Marcos (United States) or the ARW-63. The asset case that started in 1986 and ended in 2006. Which stated this: “According to a 2007 case study by Merceditas Gutierrez, Ombudsman of the Republic of Philippines, from 1986 to 2006, the total value of the assets recovered in the U.S. is less than $50 million. They include: (1) in New Jersey, funds in a bank account and two residences at Princeton Pike and Cherry Hill used by Marcos children (amount not given); (2) administrative settlement relating to four New York buildings (40 Wall Street, Crown Building, Herald Center, and at 200 Madison Avenue); (3) settlement agreements that led to recovery of properties such as the Olympic Tower Apartment, Pendleton Drive property, the Cedars, Summit Drive Beverly Hills, Lindenmere estate and the Makiki Heights property; (4) seizure of various jewelry, art, and other valuables; and (5) funds in Sanwa Bank and shares in California Overseas Bank and Redwood Bank” (StAR Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative – Asset Recovery Watch, 20.07.2017).

That is something from abroad, but if I go back into history in the year of 1993. This sort of case went differently: “Imelda R. Marcos was found guilty of corruption this morning and sentenced to 18 to 24 years in prison. The conviction came seven years after she and her husband, Ferdinand Marcos, were hounded out of the Philippines in a popular uprising. Mrs. Marcos clutched a rosary as her sentence was read in a special anti-corruption court. Outside the packed courtroom, crowds of her supporters held a vigil; opposite them, hundreds of anti-Marcos protesters cheered the former First Lady’s conviction” (New York Times – ‘MARCOS CONVICTED OF GRAFT IN MANILA’ 24.09.1993).

So, in another time, the courts would have done something else today. Still, the history of the Marcos will linger on. It will not be forgotten and the family is not vindicated like she claims. It is a reason why the previous Presidents have tried to recover funds from the plunder. That shouldn’t be forgotten in this matter.

It might been lack of evidence today, but if someone seriously wanted to follow the money. They might have gone to the other authorities that has kept things on file. Where they could have seen the accounts, the spending and even the estates in question. Still, the senator want to look innocent. Even if she knows perfectly well what happened. Peace.