Batas Militar: The Endless Issue

I have watched the video Batas Militar twice, but I am still confused. I still do not know who and what to believe. Although the video presented different sides of the story, it is still obviously very one sided. Batas Militar is a propaganda against the dictator Ferdinand Marcos. I do not know why, but I have this instinct that Marcos is not as bad as what he is being portrayed in the video, and in other media. There are many people who still support Marcos even if he is cursed by most.

The clash between pro and anti-Marcos is unending. Whose side is telling the truth? We, the young ones, are torn in between. Who should we believe? We have read our history books, and we have heard many different conflicting stories about Marcos and the Martial Law Period. What if we are being deceived by those pieces of information? What I want to emphasize here is that young people should be critical in accepting information. Youth should be aware of different social issues. We should analyze these issues, and try to relate or connect them with the other existing issues before accepting that the information given us is really true. It may not directly affect us, but in a way, it affects our way of thinking and outlook in life.

I would like to share that I am very disappointed with my batch mates in high school. My friend who is a Political Science Student in Baguio posted in our FaceBook group: “‎If there is anything to be thankful about martial law, it is the fact that it taught people to fight for their rights and to assert their interests.” And I commented that Filipinos still make the wrong decisions. They still vote or elect the wrong persons, and they always end up saying “we should fight for our rights.”

I just remembered something about a major actor during the Martial Law years. Juan Ponce Enrile, was once an ally of Marcos, but until now he is still in the government. Being a senate president, he is already one step closer to becoming the country’s president. Conrado de Quiros in his column said “this country has a history of turning blackguards into white knights by a sudden, desperate and completely self-(pre)serving act of grace.” He also said, “This country has the memory of an old XT computer (the kind that used floppies) and forgets villainy as easily as it forgives murderers.”

Filipinos may have gained freedom, but with that freedom also comes “the freedom to be stupid again.” I posted my reaction about the earlier post hoping that many of my batch mates would argue with me. That would be fun. Unfortunately, only one argued with me. I was not surprised with that, because she is also a UP student. I just observed that students from other schools, and many young people do not like arguing and talking about social issues. They’d rather talk about their favorite celebrities. It is just very disappointing. They are very passive when it comes to serious stuff.

Last month, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) published an article entitled, “A Different EDSA Story,” which featured the popular YouTube video “Ninoy + People Power: Hidden Truths the Media is not Telling Us!.” This video has become viral. I actually watched it first before I watched Batas Militar. The video is very convincing. In the article, the writer interviewed youth who have watched the video, and majority of them said that they were enlightened by the video. They said they were told about many negative stories about Marcos, but after they watched the video, they said they now see Marcos differently. The article continued by discussing the anonymity of the video maker who is only known by the pseudonym, Baron Buchokoy, and presenting different views of experts about this.

What if the said video is just intended to trick us? History is changed by whoever wins the game. We cannot be sure about the truth, but we can be critical before accepting relative truth.


One thought on “Batas Militar: The Endless Issue

  1. Hannah says:

    funny, i’ve read his (conrado de Quiros) column too. WATAKU.

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