Filipinos go on book-buying spree to “preserve history” of Marcos family atrocities

Some Filipinos are in a rush to buy books documenting the divisive and savage 21 year reign of the former dictator Ferdinand Marcos as his son, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jnr, assumes office as the latest president of the Philippines after a landslide election victory in May.

They say they fear that the new Filipino president may try and whitewash the history of his father’s and families’ past and they want to preserve the ‘truth’.

For his part, the new Philippine president has never publicly acknowledged or apologised on behalf of his family for the human rights abuses, corruption, and monetary theft that is claimed to have taken place under his father’s tenure, most of it as a military-supported dictatorship, between 1965 to 1986.

Books, covering the stories of the Marcos family and their tenure running the Philippines, have nearly doubled in price and have become increasingly popular as Filipinos, many of who now live outside of the SE Asian country, want to ensure that the voices, talking about the Marcos years, are kept safe.

Their reaction follows comments made on the record by the new president. Back in 2020, when he was getting his presidential campaign together, Marcos Jnr made it clear that he wanted to revisit historic textbooks that documented his parent’s excesses and the regime they led. He accused those in power since his father’s demise of “teaching children lies.”

“We have been calling for that for years.”

But human rights groups claim that during the 21 years of the Marcos regime, tens of thousands of people were imprisoned, tortured, or killed for criticising or protesting the government.

Both Ferdinand Marcos (who died in exile in 1989), and his wife Imelda, now 93, were found guilty, in absentia, of widespread corruption. Amongst the most dramatic claims, the Marcos family were accused of stealing an estimated US$10 billion of public money from Filipinos.

Read more about the excesses of the former ‘First Lady’ of the Philippines HERE.

The family, and Marcos Jnr. denies using any tax-payer funds for their personal use, although their claims have been challenged and tested in multiple court cases as the evidence suggests otherwise.

There are at least 10 titles covering the years of martial law and the criminal past of the Marcos family. Many of them are now sold out and awaiting new printings, especially at universities around the Philippines.

Some of the titles include… “Some Are Smarter than Others: The History of Marcos’ Crony Capitalism” by Ricardo Manapat, “The Conjugal Dictatorship of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos” by Primitivo Mijares, “Canal de la Reina” by Liwayway Arceo Bautista.

Filipinos, who lived through the Marcos years, are also ensuring that their stories are recorded for prosperity by doing new blogs and vlogs that chronicle the violence and personal stories about the Marcos-led military.

New media are also being targeted by the new presidency. Just one day before Marcos Jnr. took office as the new Filipino president, Nobel laureate Maria Ressa says her news organisation, Rappler, was ordered to shut down.

She claimed that Rappler had been repeatedly targeted since 2016 by politically-led legal action and vexatious libel and tax evasion lawsuits.

“This is intimidation. These are political tactics. We refuse to succumb to them.”

As of today, the Rappler news website continues to be available.

Since the election of former President Rodrigo Duterte, she says that politicians and government officials have demonised publishers and journalists, “denouncing their credibility on social media and in public statements”.

World News

Tim Newton

Tim joined The Thaiger as one of its first employees in 2018 as an English news writer/editor and then began to present The Thaiger's Daily news show in 2020, Thailand News Today (or TNT for short). He has lived in Thailand since 2011, having relocated from Australia.

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