September is the birth month of Ferdinand “Bong Bong” Marcos, Jr., as it is that of his father Ferdinand Senior. Forty-nine years ago, the latter placed the entire Philippines under martial law in the same month and extended his term in office beyond 1973 when, by Constitutional decree, it was supposed to end.
Despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, the 14 years of Marcos’ one-man rule (1972-1986) are to this day still being described as a time of peace, progress, and prosperity compared to the terrible, supposedly “democratic” disasters of the decades that preceded and followed it. Implicit in that clueless view, and, in some instances, that deliberately misleading lie, is the dangerous notion that what this country needs is another tyranny.
As distressing as that patent absurdity already is, what should be of equal concern to pro-democracy forces is that the late dictator’s son, with the support of the oligarchy’s shrillest advocates of authoritarian rule, could end up in Malacañang Palace come July 2022. Once in power, he could quite possibly express in deeds the preference of the uninformed millions for the false glories of the martial law “golden age” that he has frequently celebrated in words.