I am grateful to John Silva who gave me permission to publish his post on my blogsite. Its relevance here is obvious. Falsifying history is doing a great disservice to future generations. Libraries serve us to offer us the truth so we can, hopefully, learn from successes or failures of generations that came before us. They provide a two-sided mirror. The first side giving us accounts of what was. And the opposite side giving us a glimpse of what our futures could be. But that can only happen if what we read of our past is accurate. Silva’s personal story is our important. It is our decision whether we allow history to be rewritten by a dictator for is own self-glory. By allowing this we are guilty of perpetuating Marcos’s lies. We are guilty of not honoring those brave soldiers who gave their lives for Filipino independence. And we are guilty of distorting the truth for the next generations. It is your choice.
I manage a private library serving the general public. We have one of the largest Filipiniana collection initiated by a founder who believed that such a collection will enable our countrymen to learn, be critical and interpret Philippine history.
We have a significant number of books pertinent to World War II history and to events surrounding the Martial Law Era and the People Power Revolution.
I reviewed our collection in the light of the recent presidential decision to bury President Marcos in the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani (LNMB Cemetery of Heroes). I found almost no reference to Marcos alleging as having fought in Bataan, delaying single-handedly Japanese encroachment for three months, and awarded three American medals. The only time these appear are in American government military documents refuting these claims and several books written by Marcos’ biographers and himself.
In our collection dealing with Martial Law and People Power, the books, documents and photos overwhelmingly portray a country overthrowing a dictator to end more than decade of documented tortures, murders, thievery and economic morass. There are no accounts save for a few loyalists writing praises in American publications about Marcos’ New Society.
This is what we offer each day to young researchers and visitors, our collection probably similar to other libraries in our country.
President Duterte’s burial decision is premised on Marcos being a soldier and a president. Herein lies the incompatibility between his presidential resolve and our historical collection. Documents from the American National Archives and many other books refute Marcos’ war exploits and categorically state that no such medals were pinned on him. Likewise the Marcos presidency turned dictatorship has received the severest opprobrium on a national scale.
If a burial is allowed to happen, these thousands of books, documents and photographs become irrelevant, verging on a sham. The written accounts on our library shelves of the bravery of medalled soldiers, many of them buried at LNMB, lose the patina of courage and authenticity to be replaced by fakery.
The library collection has overwhelmingly adjudged the Marcos years as the most despised in Philippine history. The planned burial will repudiate that historical verdict and denigrate a nation’s once coming bravely together in a peaceful revolution that inspired the world. Our library and many others will be rendered inutile as the purveyor of our country’s past.
If you believe history is the guidepost to how we as a country learns from the past and chart its future, then you must make known your objection to the burial of Ferdinand Marcos at LNMB. Share this message. Write or tell President Duterte. Sign petitions. And be present at the rally to oppose the burial this Sunday, August 14 at the Luneta.