Martial law: Golden age of oppression | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Martial law-0228MANTRA for the week: “Forgiveness opens all doors to love and prosperity.”

Two Wednesdays ago, many Christian denominations began the observance of Lent through prayer, penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving, atonement and self-denial.


I am most surprised that the Lenten practice does not include the most important act of all—forgiveness.


In my over three decades of practicing New Thought and IAMISM, I have gathered enough evidence to show that whenever people have problems with their health, finances, relationships and success, there is always somebody, something or some situation that must be forgiven.


My Lenten gift to readers who may be facing some form of negative situation is to examine their consciousness and ask themselves: Is there anyone I have to forgive?


Oftentimes, many are not aware that they still have someone to forgive. When some information surfaces in the conscious mind, one can immediately affirm: “I sincerely forgive you and release you to your highest good and greatest joy. Whatever it is you are desiring for your betterment, I pray that it be granted you.”


It was Jesus himself who said, “You must forgive seventy times seven” because he realized how difficult it is to truly forgive. In my heart of hearts, I believe that Lent is just a reminder that throughout the year, in all the years of our lives, we must forgive.


Ramon Orosa book


Ramon Orosa recently launched his latest magnum opus, “My Life, His Story,” at Club Filipino with close friends and relatives in attendance.

Ramon’s book is mostly about his transformation from a worldly man to one who had developed a deep relationship with Jesus Christ.


I don’t know what Ramon means when he says, “Without faith, one cannot please God.” My faith lies in the goodness that can be found within each man and, when one is able to bring forth this goodness from oneself and others, the universe rejoices.


I believe that God was most pleased when Ramon became the youngest banker in the country, and used his God-given talents and other abilities to create business, thus providing employment to many.


Nothing wrong?


Last Thursday was Edsa Day, a day we can proudly look back to as truly Filipino, a day we can banner our peaceful triumph over an oppressive dictatorship —which illegally arrested 60,000 people; tortured 40,000; killed over 3,000 with hundreds of unaccounted disappearances and 75,730 still left to claim human rights violations.


And now comes this remark from vice presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos: “There is nothing wrong with martial law.”


Is that an indication that if one day, he becomes president, he will declare martial law like his father did because he believes, like many of his sycophants, that “life was better under martial rule”?


Of course, it was better—for all the cronies and/or dummies, for all the blue boys, blue ladies, kowtowers, minions and bootlickers who could literally get away with murder as Sen. Bongbong Marcos knows very well.


His public relations machinery is trying to build an image that martial law was the “golden age” of Philippine history. That is what ill-gotten wealth can do so easily and effortlessly, and the Marcos family has not even apologized for this. How then can we expect them to say sorry for what martial law has done to the country?


Here is what Bongbong, the only legitimate son of the dictator, has to say: “I am ready to say sorry if I knew what I have to say sorry for.”


‘XYZ’ generation


Here is what the “XYZ” generation has to know. It is unfortunate that you are referred to as such because corruption in the Philippines flourished with the first and best-known cronies of Marcos, Messrs XYZ. Ask your parents who they are. If they don’t know, let me know and I will remind them.


It was during that so-called “golden age” that corruption was institutionalized. I remember when one of Marcos’ cronies asked me to request my father, who was then considered a big businessman and a well-known columnist, to join the Marcos re-election campaign. The message, in so many words, was: “Join na lang kayo because we will win, and we will stay in power forever… We will steal the whole country, but we will not make the mistake that other dictators made, for we will not bring our accumulated wealth out of the country.”


The rest is history. Everything the Marcoses brought out of the country is still out there somewhere.


Edsa Experiential Museum


A visit to the Edsa Experiential Museum in Camp Aguinaldo gave a glimpse of what happened in those 14 years of martial law.


According to Raissa Robles in her book “Never Again,” Filipinos have been shown to be one of the best torturers in the world. We are creative and absolutely cruel. Filipinos torturing fellow Filipinos, how pathetic! It was, indeed, the golden age of oppression.


I have to look back that I was one of the first to be illegally detained, with Haydee Yorac, Jerry Barican, Amelita Reysio-Cruz, Louie Beltran, Celso Carunungan, Teofisto Guingona, Joe Concepcion, Amando Doronila and Ding Lichauco.


I wonder why ABS-CBN does not go all-out campaigning against Bongbong, considering that Geny Lopez was in jail for the longest time.


The irony of it all was when Amelita and I asked Geny why they were supporting Marcos in his second bid for the presidency in 1969 when he would probably declare martial law—as Ninoy Aquino warned because the Constitution would not allow Marcos to run for the third time—and then proceed to sequester the Lopez assets.


Geny just laughed it off.


Among the detainees, I had the privilege of being transferred from the Camp Crame gym to the stockade, where I spent an evening with Commander Sumulong, reputedly the most dangerous man at that time, who lay in one corner in a very tiny room suffering from asthma attacks. How dangerous can a man get?


‘Isang balota ka lang’


If it were possible today, I would suggest that anyone belonging to the XYZ generation be stripped of a cell phone, laptop or iPad so they may get an inkling of what it’s like to be deprived of the freedom of communication. And that does not even come close to what it feels like being behind bars for no legitimate reason.


If they insist on voting Bongbong Marcos for vice president, remember, it is only one bullet away from the presidency, as Marcos’ cronies used to remind Cory Aquino: “Isang bala ka lang.”


But I will always cherish soon-to-be-saint Cory’s rebuttal: “Isang balota ka lang.”



Be sure to watch the musical “Mabining Mandirigma” on its rerun at the Little Theater of the CCP tonight, Feb. 28 at 3 p.m. and on March 5 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at TicketWorld and the CCP box office.


E-mail the columnist:; visit and; listen to his “Positive Session” radio program on dwIZ 882 AM every Saturday, 9-10 p.m.

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