Shocking Facts about the Philippine Martial Law

Shocking Facts about the Philippine Martial Law

It’s been 43 years since former President Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law. We’ve learned some stuff about it during our history class at school but my further readings told me that there are many things we didn’t know about it and weren’t taught to us in class. Here are some of the most shocking facts about the Philippine Martial Law:

  • Former President Ferdinand Marcos was not the only president to declare martial law. In fact, it was Emilio Aguinaldo who first declared Martial Law making him not only the first president of the republic but also the country’s first dictator.
  • Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo also declared a Martial Law in Mindanao to investigate the Amputan Clan’s alleged private armies and weaponry.
  • Curfew was strictly imposed during the martial law and anyone who is caught walking the streets between 11pm-4am gets arrested and detained by the Metrocom or metropolitan.

Shocking Facts about the Philippine Martial Law

  • Little kids didn’t get to enjoy watching anime (Japanese animation) like Voltes V, Daimos or Mazinger Z. The government’s reason for banning these shows is that they’re too violent for little children to watch. Other says that it’s because the animes’ stories are about fighting an oppressive villain that’s why the Marcos regime didn’t want kids to watch it.
  • Theater became a potent vehicle for political expression. PETA (Philippine Educational Theater Association) used their shows to express their sympathies against the government. They also taught local communities about theater.

Shocking Facts about the Philippine Martial Law

  • Senator Jose Diokno was known to be one of Marcos’ formidable foes alongside Senator Ninoy Aquino. After the successful overthrow of the Marcos regime, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Human Rights. However, during Cory’s regime and the infamous Mendiola massacre where the military opened fire and killed 15 farmers, he resigned from his position, disappointed that even after the dictator is gone, not much has changed.
  • During Martial Law, Meralco was under the control of the government that’s why the electric bill during that time was incredibly lower than what’s written on our bills today. After the Cory regime got rid of the Marcoses, she gave back the company to the Lopez’ and completely out of the government’s hands.
  • Public schools were normally supplied with NutriBun. a high-vitamin bun which was supposedly a complete, all-in-one meal. It only costs five centavos.
  • Although his wife Imelda was credited for building some of the country’s finest monuments, she was criticized for personal extravagance. She was called the iron butterfly of Asia because of her ability to make connections with other powerful people fast. She’s also as strong willed as her late husband.

Shocking Facts about the Philippine Martial Law

  • Imelda Marcos came up with the Green Revolution program which required students to bring and plant seeds and take care of the environment. Aside from this, they are also required to attend news programs.
  • After the 1986 people power, not much has changed and the Philippines still remained one of the poorest countries in Asia as opposed to our former title, The Tiger of Asia during Marcos’ regime.

Shocking Facts about the Philippine Martial Law

We all have different views about the Martial but one thing is for sure, it did change the entire nation and affected the generation that came after it.

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How to be a Better Filipino

 

“You must be the change you want to see in the world”

                                                               – Mahatma Gandhi

                It’s so hard not to blame the government with all the difficulties our country is experiencing right now. Issues like the pork barrel scam, poverty, and China bullying us, the urge to yell profanity at the President is hard to resist. However, we fail to realize that running this country towards a better future is not just the job of the government. We are also responsible in making this country a better place to live in. And I believe that we can if we only allow the change to start within ourselves. You want a better Philippines? Then become a better Filipino!

But how does one become a better Filipino? As hard as that might sound, it’s actually pretty easy once we learn to admit our faults. All we have to do then is get rid of all our bad habits and follow these tips:

 

  • Teach yourself and everyone you know about the art of Discipline

 

                “Kaya di maunlad ang Pilipinas kasi walang disiplina ang mga Pilipino.” My grandfather used to say as he drank up his 5th bottle of beer. Discipline here in this country is very hard to see because most of us do not know what it means to be a disciplined person. It’s not just about following orders or not littering or behaving. Discipline is standing up against the wrong, the bad and the destructive. Discipline is knowing when something is appropriate or not. Discipline is knowing your place in the society and doing whatever you can to contribute to its progress.

 

  • Seriously, FOLLOW THE TRAFFIC RULES

 

                 What is the main cause of road accidents and road-related violence? It’s not what, it’s who. Car accidents happen because most drivers cannot follow simple rules or better yet, they don’t even know the first thing about road safety. What is so difficult about staying in your lane, no u-turn, one way only etc.? They’re not written in Chinese or Japanese, right? Plus, as a driver you should know your responsibilities when you’re behind the wheel because every time you drive, there are always lives at stake. If you cannot recognize the amount of responsibility you have, you should not drive. As for those who love to jaywalk and are too damn lazy to use the overpass, you’re gambling with your life every time you play hit or miss with fast vehicles. Avoiding the overpass just to make time is not worth dying for.

 

  • Complaining does not solve anything

              Every time I see statuses on Facebook condemning corrupt politicians,it makes me wonder if they truly care or at least know about the issue they’re complaining about. Too many people just join in on what’s trending and are just content with complaining online. If you’re going to complain, make sure that you’re doing something about it. Make sure you are worthy of your opinion. After all the government does not read your Facebook posts nor they care about your political statuses. What the country needs are people who, instead of complaining, are out there doing something to help instead of endlessly criticizing people that won’t even listen.

 

  • Be Positive About Your Country

 

           Our country had been down on the dumps way too many times and everyone knows it. We’re a third world country and most of the population is poor. Our government is stealing from us and bigger countries are bullying us. It’s hard to be proud and say that you’re happy to be a Filipino but do you really have to be so negative about it? Do you really have to wish the USA would just adopt us? Do you really believe that there’s no hope for us? Do you really have to kick your own country down just because you can’t take it anymore? That’s a typical Filipino attitude. Always ready to take the easiest way out. The truth is, we’re the only ones who can get ourselves out of poverty. Not the USA, not the government or the President, it’s just us. Imagine if every Filipino right now, rich or poor, suddenly realize that the only way to improve the economy is to improve ourselves first, things would change so fast! It is the lack of patriotism and optimism that’s keeping us poor.

 

                This country is not perfect and so are we but that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything to make our lives better. Our poverty and problems should push us to be better and not drown us in shame. We must be the change that we want to see in the Philippines and that change should start within us.

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A Jeepney on a Perpetual Traffic Jam

 

                The other day I got stuck in one of the most unbearable traffic jams in my years of being a commuter. I was inside this jeepney with six other people and we were all sweating like pigs because of the heat. Our jeepney barely moved at all. We’ve been on the same spot for 15 whole minutes and as a person who has a lot of experiences when it comes to heavy traffic jams, I kept my calm and tried not to worry so much. The heat was over 40 degrees and it was making all of us impatient. Another 15 minutes have passed when one passenger decided to just get off and walk. The driver then suggested the same thing to us since we were somewhere “near” the terminal anyway, according to him. I didn’t know the place that well enough to walk but I couldn’t stand the heat inside. Everyone alighted the jeepney so I did the same and I thought I’d see the terminal in 5 minutes tops like what the driver promised but I thought wrong.

                I didn’t know exactly how far I’ve walked but I finished listening to like, 15 songs before I reached the terminal. Anyway, as I was walking, All I can think about was WHY was I walking and WHY was the traffic heavy in this part of town and on a freaking Saturday night? If it was Friday, sure, I would understand but it was a Saturday and class hasn’t even started yet for most students. I thought of a lot of possible scenarios of what may have caused the jam. Maybe there was a collision? An accident? Or maybe there was a murder that took place on the far side of the road? Or maybe, some TV production was shooting a show or something and there was a famous actor there. I was  determined to find out the cause of the traffic jam so I kept on walking, looking forward for an answer. However, when I got to the place where all the cars seemed to get stuck, I saw nothing. There weren’t an accident, or an actor or dead bodies. There were just a bunch of cars who couldn’t get through because the other cars took two lanes instead of just one. None of the cars wouldn’t want to give way and everyone wanted to get ahead first. The source of the problem was non-existent. It was just the motorists and their unbelievable ability to be incredibly selfish. When I passed by that place of chaos, the road was incredibly wide. No traffic at all. You can even play hopscotch on it.

                I got angry because it was completely idiotic. I walked so far just because some idiot driver couldn’t stay on his lane and decided to make his own and others followed suit. That’s just so typical selfish Filipino attitude. Then as I was fuming, I realized something. The whole experience describes the present condition of our country. This is why the Philippines is not moving forward. This is the reason why we are STILL a third world country.

                We’re all inside this big jeepney and our driver, the President, though he’s trying, can’t do anything about it but sit and wait for the car in front of him to move a tiny inch. And we, the passengers resolve to complaining and getting angry for not knowing the reason why we’re stuck in traffic. The driver can’t even explain it either. There’s a car who’d take two lanes to get ahead and the others will follow his corrupt and wrong example with the goal of getting ahead too. We, the people who cannot afford cars, get stuck way behind. So, I realized that the more we stay in that jeepney, HOPING to move forward, the more we are dooming ourselves in poverty. Unless we gather our courage and strength to alight the jeepney and move forward by ourselves, we can never get away from that traffic jam. We’ll be stuck there for hours, cursing the government and the heavens for giving us such a hard time and never get anywhere.

                Our country is stuck in a perpetual traffic jam and we all need to get off the ride and start walking. We’ve been trudging on the wrong direction for too long, sitting and doing nothing but complain. We must make our own path to progress and not follow someone else’s. It’s going to be a long journey to success so we all better start walking right now.

 

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PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 2016: THE ASPIRING CANDIDATES

 

            Elections in the Philippines have been tagged as ‘colorful’ by other countries because we have a lot of characters to choose from all the time. Not to mention, a lot of gimmicks too. Unlike in the USA where there are only two parties, in our country, there happens to be a lot which makes it difficult to choose the best one out of the bunch. It gets even more difficult when political advertisements and scandals start to appear as the Election Day approaches. The best way to counter that is by being informed and conducting your own research. While it’s probably too early to pick a candidate now since the filing for candidacy hasn’t even started yet, it’s best to be well-informed so you can make a sound decision on 2016.

So to give you a bit of information, here are the aspiring candidates for Presidency:

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Jejomar Binay : From Vice to President

                                VP Jejomar Binay topped the Pulse Asia Survey where 1,200 citizens were asked who they will vote for President in 2016. However, that doesn’t mean a sure win because a lot can still happen within the next two years. What makes Binay a strong contender is of course, the fact that he has extensive experience in office. He has been after all, the mayor of Makati City for more than ten years. This is a man who handled the powerhouse city of business and commerce for years and is still being handled by a Binay in the form of his wife, Elenita. Being experienced and knowing how to closely work with the masses are Binay’s strongest suits however, what he doesn’t have is a wider media exposure, which is like a prerequisite in having more followers. He’s also not very popular, credibility-wise. His reputation for being the next Marcos might also cause his downfall as well.

Grace Poe

 

 

Grace Poe: The Next Female President?

                Senator Grace Poe was the lead during the 2010 elections and she’s doing a good job for a freshman senator for championing the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill. Poe is getting a lot of praise from it, especially from many netizens. When Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago expressed the need for the next woman president; everyone pointed at Poe who immediately said that she is not ready to become one. The reason is that she fears history might repeat itself, regarding the presidential campaign of her late father, Fernando Poe Jr. “Binabalik ko ang masamang puntong, masamang karanasan na, pinagdaanan ng tatay ko. Parang lahat ng tao sa paligid mo, sasabihin ‘Ikaw na lang.’ ’Pagsumubok ka na, paglingon mo, ilan nalang mga kasama mo sa likod. May takot talaga. ’Di ko ina-ambisyon. Sa akin, bonus na nga nakaupo ako dito,” Poe told reporters at the Senate last March 11. However, there’s a lot time left till the election period so who knows, she might lose that fear and run for the highest office in the land.

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Mar Roxas: Will Mr. Palengke become Mr. President?

We all know that Mar Roxas was supposed to run for presidency last election but he gave way to Pnoy, became his running mate for vice-president and lost to Binay. But since Roxas got appointed DILG Secretary by his Excellency, we’ve seen a lot of him on TV, on newspapers, everywhere. He works closer to the President than the VP ever did so I guess we can see who’s going to back him up on 2016. However, Mar Roxas hasn’t really spoken about running for presidency since he is ‘busy’ with work. But LP’s acting president Joseph Emilio Abaya said that the party is in ‘unison’ when it comes to their choice as their flag bearer and their choice is Mar Roxas. No one can deny that Roxas is always on the job when it comes to his work, however, being visible doesn’t always equal being effective. His mishaps during typhoon Yolanda relief is still being talked about. His reported outburst and hissy fits in public do not help boost his reputation either.

 

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Bongbong Marcos: Will the Son be like the Father?

One of the most talked about among the contenders for presidency is Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. of the Nacionalista Party. Despite his name being tied to the Pork Barrel Scam, he is still a favorable choice based on online surveys such as www.rankopedia.com where he’s currently number one and www.theranking.com where he placed second. Although Marcos did say he has plans for 2016, it is still not clear whether he will run for President or Vice President. One thing is for sure though; his experience as the Governor ofIlocos Norte for years, his impressive resume and his name might just be his ticket for presidency. However, because of the wounds that the Marcos regime left and the bad name the media gave to them, his surname might also lose him the trust of the voters. Who knows? If the senator proves himself worthy in the next two years, our next president might just be another Marcos.

These four are the top bets for presidency in 2016 according to polls and surveys. The other “presidentiables” include Senators Miriam Defensor Santiago, Alan Peter Cayetano, ChizEscudero and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

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CHECKLIST: What Makes a Good Leader?

 

                The 2016 Presidential Election is not for another 2 years but if the aspiring candidates are getting ready to woo the masses, we must get ready too. After all, the fate of this country lies in our hands and if we’re smart and knowledgeable enough, we might just pick the right person for presidency. So, before you pick a candidate make sure that he or she has all these qualities of a good political leader:

                     Honesty

                As cliche as that sounds, honesty will always be the top quality of a good leader. Given the country’s current state and the major political controversies we hear on the news every day, it’s getting difficult to trust politicians. But we have to when 2016 comes, so make sure you’re going to pick the most honest out of the bunch by looking at their profiles, achievements, failures and other relevant information.

                     People Builder

                                Good leaders work hard for the development of each member of their team. They share their knowledge and wisdom and they never leave the weak ones behind. Instead, they push them towards their goals. They don’t lead by telling people what they have to do. Instead, good leaders do it with them and guide them through the process.

                     A Visionary  

                                If your candidate’s platform doesn’t seem so clear to you, it is most likely to be unrealistic or impossible to achieve. Good leaders always have a clear vision of their goals and what they want for their people. They work towards a goal that is bigger than themselves and that’s why they are always able to achieve it no matter what.

                     Fair

                                You know a leader is capable of running a country if they encourage people to be accountable for their own actions. They do not favor their friends, relatives or former classmates over the truth. Leaders do not side with anyone and remain neutral until the issue is resolved.

                     Doesn’t Insult Others To Look Good

 

                We often see politicians bicker at each other in public. They usually put down other politicians, calling them names and creating scandals just to make themselves look good. Good leaders do the opposite. They make their work speak for them and they do not need to put others down to seem favorable. Seriously, if the candidate you’re betting on does nothing but blame and point fingers at his opponents, that’s a clear cut sign that he does not deserve your vote. Also, it makes them look uneducated and unprofessional.

                     Get Things Done

                Good leaders do not talk about doing things, they get things done instead. Browse carefully through your candidate’s resume and see for yourself if they’ve done enough and also if they can do more. Pick a leader who’s not afraid to do whatever it takes to get the job done and who doesn’t take too much time to finish anything. A leader always knows what his people need and how to get it.

                     Open-minded and Risk Taker

 

                                Pick a leader who’s not afraid to try new things and who’s ready to embrace change. We all know that our country is pretty traditional but if we do not renounce the old and never get in with the new, we might jeopardize our own progress. Good leaders recognize this problem easily and address them with the utmost respect. They are also risk takers and willing to take chances for the good of the many.

                     Passion for Service

                               

                                Perhaps the greatest quality that a political leader must possess is an enormous passion for public service. A leader with a sole purpose of helping his fellow people and lead them to greatness and prosperity. Someone with a heart for the weak and does not pity them but pushes them forward instead. If your candidate possesses this trait, it will totally reflect on the kind of people he had served, so look into that too.

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The Swindler’s List: Napoles Beginnings

 

                Ever since the Pork Barrel Scam exploded, the name Janet Lim Napoles has always been associated with thievery, deceit and fraud. It’s Ma’am Janet against the People of the Philippines. We see her as the mastermind of a multi-billion con. However,in her latest affidavit, she stated that she is the victim in this whole ordeal and that the real perpetrators are the politicians she has made business with. The initial reaction of Filipinos is probably within the context of “Ang kapal ng mukha mo!” (You’re shameless!). Who wouldn’t react that way after learning that she kept the people’s money in her bathtub, hosted lavish parties and enjoyed a super luxurious life while the most of us can’t even afford to eat three times a day? But that’s not the worst thing you’ll read from her affidavit. There are far worse claims that will make the creases on your forehead permanent.

                                According to her affidavit obtained by the Senate blue ribbon committee on May 26, she stated that she is also a victim of a system that she thought to be just. “Ako ay naging biktima ng isang maling sistema sa ating lipunan na akala ko noon ay tama at naaayon sa batas, dahil ito ay naging kalakaran na sa mahabang panahon,” She also said that the most guilty are the lawmakers who transacted with her through all those years and because they were government officials, she thought that those kind of deals are normal and allowed. It also hurts her to be called the mastermind and the Queen of the Pork Barrel Scam.That statement reeks of another attempt to gain sympathy which she will never get from the masses. The more she tries to wash her hands free of sins, the more it makes us angry.

                But before we all get heart attacks, let’s explore how the Queen of the Pork Barrel Scam came to be and how she climbed her way to the top of the criminal food chain:

“Bata pa lamang ako ay natuto na ‘kong maghanap-buhay. Sa biyaya ng Diyos, sa aking tiyaga, sipag at pawis, at sa tulong ng mga taong nakilala ko, ito ay aking napalago hanggang sa aking narating ngayon,”Napoles said in her signed extended affidavit obtained by The Blue Ribbon committee last May 26.

                Napoles didn’t finish high school but she did not let it hinder her chances of achieving great things when it comes to business. (Insert a very dramatic inspirational song here) She also said that her late mother, Magdalena Lim served as her inspiration and fueled her drive to work hard and help others. Her remains lay at The Heritage Park, in a mausoleum reported to be worth PhP 30 Million. Wherever Mrs. Magdalena Lim is right now, I’m sure she’s looking down on her daughter and shaking her head in disappointment.

                Entering small business ventures is where Napoles started. She specialized in Sales before she bought her first company. Philippines of Nutrigrowth, a manufacturer of liquid foliar fertilizers is one of her first business ventures followed by Dragon 1.5 Mega Philippines years later after the first one collapsed.

                As Napoles looked for ways to expand her fertilizer business, she was introduced to Batanes Rep. Florencio “Butch” Abad, now Budget secretary, circa 2000 and the rest is history. Abad offered her Php 10 Million for a livelihood budget and asked her if she has an NGO (Non-Government Organization), when she said no, Abad allegedly told her that he will take care of it. Thus, the project got implemented under the name Batanes Electric Cooperative based in Basco town. “That is when I started to transact using the PDAF,” Napoles said, referring to lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund allocation.

                Though questioning why the government implementing agencies do not grant projects to companies, but only to foundations, she continued doing business with NGOs that are controlled by officials who are offering them for “rent”. She feared that the NGOs for rent would be deemed fake so she associated herself with legitimate NGOs. She did not say whether she established a fake NGO herself even though she is allegedly the founder of over 70 fake NGOs involved in the PDAF scam.

                The money came pouring in when representatives of lawmakers began offering her deals in exchange for a guaranteed amount of commission. These representatives include the state witnesses Ruby Tuason and former Agrarian Reform Assistant Secretary Catherine May Santos, who Napoles said would demand 15 % for themselves and 40% in kickbacks from the requesting lawmakers.

                In her previous affidavits, Napoles claimed that she does not have the capacity to run this multi-billion scam without some help because she is “just a simple business woman” with a humble background. She also said that she does not have the power to command the release of any documents from the Department of Budget and Management. After the release of the infamous ‘Napolist’ (or as I like to call it,‘The Swindler’s List’), where over 100 congressmen and senators are listed, she fears that they might harm her family for speaking the truth.

                “Hindi po ako ang ‘mastermind’ ng pork barrel [scam], sapagkat hindi ako ang nagpasimula nito at matagal na ang ganitong kalakaran o sistema,”Napoles boldly stated in her extended affidavit.

                As of now, we still don’t know who’s telling the truth because even the Palace says that Napoles’ statements are not reliable. But since she’s the closest thing we got to finding out the truth, we must take her statements seriously and look into every detail of it. Now that we know how it all began, we might get close to knowing how it ends. Hopefully, with all the perpetrators in jail and our money recovered.