When Cory Aquino was at the height of her popularity, adored by millions not just in the country but in the whole world, no one would dare speak against her because her loyal supporters would consider it as sacrilege.
But things have changed! Who would have imagined that on Cory Aquino’s 10th death anniversary, Senator Kiko Pangilinan would use the occasion to drum up support for the dying Liberal Party. But instead of getting positive response, Pangilinan got mocked by DDS blogger RJ Nieto aka “Thinking Pinoy”.
On Cory’s 10th death anniv., Senator Pangilinan urged Filipinos to resist Historical Revisionism, saying, we won our freedom in EDSA.
TP or Thinking Pinoy remarked on Facebook, that this kind of drama is precisely why the Liberal Party suffered a shut out in the 2019 Senatorial elections.
TP quickly dismissed Pangilinan’s statement, saying the senator cannot dictate Filipinos to only believe their own version of PH history because PH history taught in our schools since 1986 were written by Cory’s allies.
In other words, TP told Pangilinan Filipinos no longer buy their own narrative that the Marcoses are evil and the Aquinos are saints because thanks largely to the internet, having destroyed the monopoly of academics over information, made possible the discovery and widespread dissemination of historical documents showing that the Aquinos are not as virtuous as our teachers described.
TP then went to cite 3 historical facts that our history books post-EDSA didn’t tell us. For example, Ninoy and Joma Sison’s alliance to bring down Marcos.
TP lectured Pangilinan what a truly consistent historical narrative should be, and that is, it can withstand any degree of scrutiny.
TP said no political camp has the monopoly over virtue, which he even recognized that the Aquinos couldn’t possibly be totally bad leaders, in the same way that the Marcoses couldn’t possibly be totally virtuous.
TP confessed that International Relations scholar Sass Sasot taught him that Politics, instead of being a battle between Good and Evil, is a battle between competing political interests.
TP believed the time is ripe for Filipinos to look at the events of the past several decades from this perspective.
You may read TP’s full FB post below.
CORAZON AQUINO AND HISTORICAL REVISIONISM
On the occasion of the late President Corazon Aquino’s death anniversary, Senator Kiko Pangilinan earlier urged Filipinos to resist Historical Revisionism, saying that we “won our freedom in Edsa”.
This kind of drama is precisely why Pangilinan’s Liberal Party is in its death throes, as it suffered a total defeat in the 2019 Senatorial Elections.
Much of contemporary Philippine History taught in schools since 1986 were written by the victors of 1986, most of whom are political allies and supporters of the late President Aquino.
Filipino millenials, or those born between 1981 and 1996 like me, were thus taught that Edsa was a black-and-white battle between good and evil, with the Aquinos side being the paragons of virtue and Marcoses being the epitome of evil.
Nuance was not an option for these historians… but the chain of events in this Aquino-led Grand Narrative is just as strong as its weakest link.
The Internet, having destroyed the monopoly of academics over information, made possible the discovery and widespread dissemination of historical documents showing that the Aquinos are not as virtuous as our teachers described.
Schools didn’t teach us what we are slowly but surely learning today.
FIRST, NINOY AND JOMA SISON
I was taught that Ninoy was the catalyst of our quest against dictatorial rule, but the textbooks didn’t tell me what lengths Ninoy took to achieve that goal.
Textbooks didn’t tell me that Ninoy didn’t mind forging an unholy alliance with the Jose Maria Sison and his communist CPP-NPA-NDF just to bring Marcos down, and nobody also told us that his wife Corazon allowed the government to be infiltrated by Sison’s cadres right after she ascended to the Presidency.
SECOND, CORY AND DOY
School textbooks didn’t tell me that Corazon Aquino double-crossed her vice-president Salvador Laurel. Laurel hoped for a New Philippines post-Edsa, only to witness a replacement of the old oligarchy with Aquino-aligned elites.
Textbooks didn’t tell me that a dying Ferdinand Marcos asked Laurel to speak to Cory with an offer give the government 90% of Marcos’ wealth, and all the old Marcos asked in return was to be allowed to die in his country and be buried beside his mother.
Cory rejected Marcos’ offer, and we are witness to decades worth’ of futile government efforts to get the wealth, the same wealth that the country should’ve enjoyed had Cory, the Chief Executive, been a more reasonable creature.
THIRD, ON FREEDOM THANKS TO CORY
Cory was said to be the champion of freedom and human rights and some of her supporters even push for her canonization at the Vatican.
What we weren’t taught, however, was when Cory was so vindictive that she, while still the sitting president, sued Philippine Star journalist Louie Beltran for libel over a metaphor… and she even sat on the witness stand during a trial where the presiding judge is her appointee.
If Cory indeed help us gain our Freedom, the Beltran Libel Case is proof that Cory can also whimsically take it away from us, just like that.
A CONSISTENT NARRATIVE
A truly consistent historical narrative should be able to withstand any degree of scrutiny.
Suffice it to say, the post-Edsa narrative peddled every day in our schools fail to meet that criterion. As years go by, we discover cracks that make us question whether our history teachers, wittingly or unwittingly, have been pulling our legs all along.
This is not to say that the post-Edsa story should take a 180-degree turn, where the Marcoses suddenly become the good and the Aquinos the evil.
Instead, these cracks should allow us as a People to cease deifying National Figures and start seeing them not as absolutely altruistic players but human beings who are susceptible to succumb to their personal desires.
No political camp has the monopoly over virtue, and even I recognize that the Aquinos couldn’t possibly be totally bad leaders, in the same way that the Marcoses couldn’t possibly be totally virtuous.
My good friend and International Relations scholar Sass Sasot taught me that Politics, instead of being a battle between Good and Evil, is a battle between competing political interests… and I think it’s high time for us to evaluate the events of the past several decades using this lens.
I am sick and tired of seeing those in power treated as gods, when the fact of the matter is that they are human beings just like us.
They, like us, are human beings who make mistakes, except that their mistakes have far more debilitating consequences that those of the average Juan.
Unfortunately, the history we learned from school never took that reality into account.
Senator Pangilinan wants to make us think that Historical Revisionism is intrinsically evil, even if it’s not. Historians are by no means infallible, moreso if the history they wrote has yet to stand the test of time.
Evidence-based historical revisionism is not a bad thing, as it actually helps us as a Nation avoid repeating the same mistakes that our forefathers made.
Borrowing the words of Gloria Steinem, the truth will set us free; but first, it will piss Senator Pangilinan off.