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Why Can’t Bongbong Just Tell the Truth?

Why can’t Bongbong Marcos just tell the truth about what his father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos, did during the latter’s years of dictatorial rule? The truth after all, though it hurts, matters.

Recently, Bongbong had sought to revise textbooks and change what he claimed to be lies about his late father, citing as basis the recent court decisions that dismissed ill-gotten wealth cases against him.

The problem with Bongbong is he is suffering from ‘selective memory’, where he deliberately remembers what he wants to remember and forgets what he wants to forget. That’s when reckless imprudence becomes the norm, resulting in more forgetfulness.

It appears that he has deliberately forgotten that the Swiss Federal Supreme Court affirmed that the Marcoses hid $356 million in Swiss banks through dubious foundations during their two-decade rule.

It also appears that he has deliberately forgotten that the Sandiganbayan found his mom, Imelda Marcos, guilty of 7 counts of violating an anti-corruption law when she illegally funneled about $200 million to Swiss foundations as Metropolitan Manila governor and where her children were named as beneficiaries.

Also, according to source documents provided by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), the Marcos family stole US$5-10 billion from the government coffers.

And how about the documented human rights violations during the Martial Law years numbering around 100,000, including salvaging and enforced disappearances? Has he also forgotten them?

I see Bongbong’s recent attempt to revise textbooks as a way of changing history by erasing the horrific Martial Law years from the consciousness of the Filipinos. This could very well be a part of his strategy as he prepares to run for a national position. Bongbong’s continuous denial of his father’s transgressions is what makes me view him as a threat to democracy despite his attempts to sanitize the truth.

The truth seems to be anathema to Bongbong. It appears that Bongbong, whom his mom wants to be president someday, is unprepared to accept the hard truth about what his father had done, and he has failed miserably in recognizing historical realities.

Instead, Bongbong has to portray himself as the hope of the disgraced Marcos family, fighting to revise history to redeem his family.

Having a sister as a senator is not enough. Having a mother as a former congresswoman is not enough. Being a former governor and senator himself is not enough. He cannot even bear to think of himself as apologizing to the victims of human rights violations.

Nothing is enough for Bongbong. Nothing is enough for him even if historical facts compellingly disprove the assertion that the Martial Law era was the “golden age” for the country. He will continue to dig in his heels when presented with facts that cause him to feel bad about himself and the legacy of his family.

But the more ominous problems here are the lies and the deceptiveness that Bongbong and his team will resort to in revising textbooks. This will have the potential of convincing the uninformed and uncritical and our young students.

Bongbong is a man who cannot accept defeat, even when the facts are obviously not on his side. Remember his ongoing protest against Leni Robredo? This deficit of character is bad enough in a single person, but when it is reflected in thousands of textbooks that the present and future generations will read, it becomes a recipe for national disaster. It is much worse than the evils of Martial Law because the lies become an integral part of the Filipino consciousness.

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