Contempt

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IN ADDITION TO the actuality of Marcos’s burial, what grieved me yesterday was the ignorant arrogance that rolled in droves off social media. I avoided my Facebook newsfeed precisely so I wouldn’t see them, but they jumped at me from the live feeds of the metro-wide rallies I was watching. I’m appalled at this social media generation’s capacity for disdain. Pinoys snidely dis fellow Pinoys, many of whom are their elders, several of whom are their betters. It’s lamentable, but I’m not surprised. They are merely following their leaders.

What this government has expressed in allowing this travesty –
what the Marcos family has shown with its unholy pursuit of this hero’s burial –
what their unthinking supporters and apologists dish up with every taunt and jibe and trite appeal to “move on” is absolute, unadulterated contempt.

Duterte and his minions not only machinated this burial, they even had the gall to dissemble and have us believe that they were ignorant of its implementation. After wounding us, Duterte rubbed salt in it by proposing that we find “space in our hearts for forgiveness.” I find this ironic, coming from the man who vowed to “destroy” his arch-enemy Leila de Lima. He holds against her the “gross sins” of “libeling” and “slandering” him back when she was chair of the Commission on Human Rights and he, a mayor under investigation. He has not forgotten and is bent on bringing her down. Their collision has caused intense friction and national tension, aggravated by de Lima’s probe into the extrajudicial killings reportedly encouraged by Duterte.  Mr. President, your anger is ripping up the country; please find space in your heart to forgive her; let us unite and together build the nation.  If I said that to him, I think he would reply, “P____ina mo!” So much for forgiveness.

As for the Marcoses – the PNP says it was Imee Marcos who “informed” them late Thursday afternoon that the burial would take place the next day. They expect us to believe that by then, the Marcoses had arranged for the rental of two army helicopters, had the granite tombstone made complete with metal calligraphy, arranged for full military honors, contrived a horse-drawn carriage, finalized and even landscaped the grave, all without any executive officials knowing. Imagine that. What powers these Marcoses still have.

Granting they could make that happen, the question really is, should they have? Knowing that the petitioners had the right of appeal and that their motion for the restoration of the status quo ante order was pending before the Supreme Court, had the Marcoses any decency at all they would have desisted from pressing their advantage and observed the proper judicial processes. But no. They had to grab the bull by the horns and force it through that loophole, just as they did all those years ago when they were tenants of Malacañang. Old habits are hard to break, and once an autocrat, always an autocrat.

Then Imee rubbed salt in the same wound by asking for “understanding” that they had to keep the burial “private,”  saying –

“[A]ko po’y humihingi ng dispensa at pang-unawa sa naging pasya ng aking pamilya na gawing payak, pribado at taimtim ang paglibing sa aking ama upang hindi na masaling ang mga nagdaramdam.” – Imee Marcos

Really.

And then there are their supporters – yes, I mean those one-chorus bashers and omniscient revisionists whose persistent refrain is “move on.” Their wretched irrationality and misunderstanding of history would be entertaining were it not so danged painful to read. I am distressed by how they take such delight at their opponents’ “defeat.” (Talo na kayo mga dilawan! Wala na kayong magagawa! LOL!) They gleefully hyuk-hyuk-hyuk at the genuine grief of their fellow Pinoys in a way I have not seen before nor comprehend now. From their cynical, gloating comments I get the impression that they think society is a reality show where “tribes” pit themselves against each other in a winner-take-all bid and the survivors get to stab their rivals in the back. Maybe that is why they voted for Duterte. They all want to be in Big Brother’s house.

All these that I have listed are guilty of unbridled contempt for the cause of freedom, contempt for the martial law victims’ plaintive cry for justice, contempt for the past generations’ struggle against the iniquitous regime that enslaved them, contempt for the rule of law, contempt for history, contempt for truth. Most horrifically, they pour out contempt for the profound pain and trauma we experienced during the Marcos dictatorship and cast our entreaties to “remember! like pearls before swine.

This is not the Filipino I believed in and fought for; this is not who we are. This is a mutant version of my beloved race and if need be, I and others – for there are many of us – will once more stand kapit-bisig to demand the resurgence of honor and values. We shall sue for the emancipation of the national spirit that is once more being deliberately, gradually shackled and is even now yearning to be set free. We will never forget; and we will ensure that the nightmare of the dictatorship will happen never, ever again.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it in all its fullness. – John 10:10

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