I was recently turned on to the following letter, which had been found in one of the local media archives. First written in 1992.[*] It strangely feels as if it were written just the other day. The way it makes mention of issues still hounding the nation today. Of keen interest, is the mention of particular dog. One whose presence, I believe, was intended as more of an insult. Rather than for any other reason possible. You be the judge.
The upcoming arrival of the remains of the late President Ferdinand Marcos has triggered a lot of reaction from the masses. Most of them noticeably opposed to giving him state honours when he gets laid to his rest.
I do not agree with them. I believe that he should be honoured just because of the fact that he is a human being. Former President Cory Aquino’s dog was reportedly given a 21-gun salute when it was buried. Why should we treat a human being as if he’s no better than a dog?
The dead have always been respected in this country, whether or not he has been a good person. The late President should be given rightful honours because of the good things he has done for this country. He was a hero, and we should not let that go unnoticed.
I’m not saying he should be absolved of his crimes. That’s another topic, but nobody can disprove the fact that his administration had its fair share of accomplishments. At least there weren’t frequent brownouts during his time. All men are basically good; It’s just too bad Marcos succumbed to one of our weaknesses.
We’re just mortals, and we’re not good enough to judge him too harshly and let him suffer at our puny little hands for all eternity. We should stop blaming him for everything that’s happening to us because we are responsible for ourselves and it only gives our present officials the excuse to explain all the ongoing anomalies in the government.
We can forgive. But that doesn’t mean we will forget.
[*] Originally written by: Maricris Pahate . St Scholastica’s College . Malate, Manila. And published in The Manila Standard on September 16th, 1992