IT is not uncommon these days to listen to people saying that Ferdinand Marcos’ years as President were the best years of our country. It was during the Marcos administration that infrastructures such as the buildings in the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex were developed. It was also during this time that specialty hospitals such as the Philippine Heart, Lung, and Kidney Centers were established. Pro-Marcos loyalists would even go to the extent of saying that the Philippine economy during the Marcos era was second in Asia right behind economic powerhouse Japan.
The Filipino youth of today obviously didn’t experience the Marcos years. The best we can do is to read the facts in history books and listen to experiences shared by older generations. As the present moves farther away from the Marcos years, it seems that the trend has been for the youth to justify and even glorify the Marcos years, to excuse the atrocities, the deprivation of fundamental human rights, and the pain and suffering that older generations had to go through. It has even come to a point where some Filipinos are actually open to the idea of another Martial Law (but of course minus the human rights violations!). It has come to a point wherein the Filipinos of today have slowly but surely learned to excuse and even forgive Ferdinand Marcos.
Can we blame Ferdinand Marcos for the human rights violations committed during his stint as Chief Executive? Maybe, but surely we must look at the “bigger picture”. Surely his imposition of Martial Law was done only with good intentions given that it was to quell the Communist movement at the time. In fact, Marcos should be viewed as the best President we’ve ever had because Martial Law is just what the Philippines needed and still needs today, and that the Philippine economy was in a better state, and that he should be excused from all the wrong decisions he made as Chief Executive, because he was “only influenced” to abuse the system he envisioned possibly by his wife Imelda, or by his advisers. But surely he is not to blame, as he was the perfect President. Sayang! The New Society should have been maintained, and the Philippines should have been in a much better condition than it really is.
Forgive and forget, as they say. P