Posted by Batas Internet Media on Thursday, March 3, 2011
Under: JGL Eye
By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA
25 YEARS AGO
U.S. Envoy Tells Marcos: “Abdicate or Kill Yourself!”
CHICAGO (jGLi) – At about 4 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 1986 (Manila time) (3 p.m. EST, Feb. 24, Monday), President Marcos had just hanged up his phone after taking a call from Nevada Sen. Paul Laxalt (Rep.).
Mr. Marcos must not have returned to bed anymore because three and a half hours later at 7:30 a.m., Philip Habib, President Reagan’s special envoy, arrived at Malacanang Palace.
The close-in members of the Presidential Security Group that guarded the First Family were surprised by the very early arrival of Ambassador Habib seeking an audience with Mr. Marcos, who usually held office starting at 9:00 a.m.
It seemed that there was no need to wake Mr. Marcos up because the Philippine president was able to receive Mr. Habib that early.
According to one of the PSG security officers, he was few steps away from Messrs. Marcos and Habib when Mr. Habib bluntly told Mr. Marcos: “Abdicate or Kill Yourself!”
The eyewitness, who was a major and a Philippine Military Academy graduate, said he was stunned by Habib’s remarks. But “Mr. Marcos was very cool and had responded – ‘What kind of statement is that?’ – You cannot dictate to us on what to do. This is the country of the Filipino people. And Mr. Marcos turned around to return to his study room.”
After delivering the message, Mr. Habib left.
The security officers were about to gang up on Habib. But one of them hesitated, saying the U.S. 7th Fleet was moored nearby and it could spell trouble.
The eyewitness and other Malacanang guards would cross several hours later the Pasig river to flee from angry Filipino people who were rushing to retake Malacanang Palace.
The eyewitness, who refused to be identified, left the military service and went to the United States as a tourist in 1987. He stayed in the U.S. for good after marrying his girlfriend in the U.S.. He now works at the Public Utilities Commission of San Francisco, California.
DID VER TELL MARCOS OF IRAN-CONTRA ARMS?
If only Mr. Marcos was properly briefed by his military Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Fabian C. Ver of some secret information that could be damaging to President Reagan, he could have put Mr. Habib on a defensive. It could have changed the course of history.
Maybe instead of flying the Marcos party to Hawaii, the U.S. Air Force C-130 would have brought the Marcoses to Laoag, Ilocos Norte as Marcos was originally told.
According to a source, who refused to be identified, the late General Ver had authorized the stockpiling in the Philippines of weapons involved in the “Iran-Contra” scandal that rocked the Reagan Administration.
Around the time that Marcos was being besieged by the Filipino people following the assassination of Sen. Benigno Aquino, Lt. Col. Oliver North of the U.S. National Security Council was secretly delivering thousands of TOW antitank missiles to Iran in violation of U.S. Administration and the U.S. Congress policies.
Because General Ver had knowledge of the arms shipment, the U.S. government did not allow him to join the Marcos party to go to Hawaii. It was a premeditated step to prevent Ver from testifying on the Iran-Contra scandal in the U.S. Congress.
Instead, Ver was exiled to Thailand, where he later died.
BONGBONG IN STATE OF DENIAL
In his Facebook blog, “Musings of 25 years ago, plus and minus 25 years: the generation that can unify,” forwarded to me by his friend, Filipino American Marcos voice impressionist and Journal Group Link International stringer, Fernando “Ronnie” M. Estrada of San Jose, California, Marcos’ son and namesake, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. argues that only “trained historians” could render “the verdict or judgment on the 20-year rule of my father in general, and if one so wishes, on Martial Law in particular.”
Bongbong added that he couldn’t be faulted for that fateful decision of his father to declare Martial Law because in 1972, he was only 15 years old. “(A)t that age, frankly, neither was I particularly interested in it.”
I give Bongbong the benefit of washing his hands on decision on the Martial Law declaration. Although the Catholic Church believes that after a child attended a catechism class, when he reaches seven years old, the child can already tell right from wrong.
But on Aug. 21, 1983, when Sen. Benigno Aquino, Jr. was assassinated, Bongbong was 25 years old. Did Bongbong ever ask his father that under command responsibility, his father was also to blame for being negligent in allowing the assassination to happen under his watch?
By being on a state of denial of the lapses of his father, Bongbong is courting the harsh judgment of history against his father.
REPENTANCE AND REDEMPTION KEY TO REHABILITATION
Only by accepting mistakes, like admitting the looting of millions and the violations of human rights, and by returning the loot and apologizing for the mistakes and bowing not to repeat the same mistakes can Bongbong rehabilitate the tattered image of his father.
By doing so, Vice President Jejomar Binay can probably get a favorable approval rating from the Filipino people by submitting to a referendum the question if President Marcos deserves a heroes burial or not.
Even President Reagan, whose approval rating hobbled from 64% to 46% following the expose of the Iran-Contra Scandal, was able to recover his nickname as “Teflon President” after telling the American people with this:
"First, let me say I take full responsibility for my own actions and for those of my administration. As angry as I may be about activities undertaken without my knowledge, I am still accountable for those activities. As disappointed as I may be in some who served me, I'm still the one who must answer to the American people for this behavior."
If Bongbong will take the lead in public flogging, I am sure other dictators, who followed the footsteps of his father, who overstayed in power, will not stay any minute loooonger if he shows them the way.
If he had done so early enough, probably, we would not have witnessed the children of EDSA People Power Revolution in Haiti, South Korea, Germany, Czechoslovakia and Thailand. And lately, it is sweeping the world in Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya and other autocratic countries. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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