Thursday, August 25, 2016

Marcos 'war medals'exposed, questioned (2)

Philippine Daily Inquirer/OPINION/by Ma. Ceres P. Doyo

Because of the outcry of tens of thousands of victims of the Marcos dictatorship over President Duterte’s plan to bury in the Libingan ng mga Bayani the corpse of president-dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. who died in Hawaii in 1989, I am serializing the piece “The Other Version of FM’s War Exploits” by Bonifacio Gillego published in WE Forum in November 1982. The long piece caused the raid and closure of WE Forum and the arrest of editor Jose Burgos Jr. and staff. It is included in the book “Press Freedom Under Siege: Reportage that Challenged the Marcos Dictatorship” (UP Press, 2017).

A strict accounting of the Marcos medals that would include such essential details as the General Order number, the date of issue and the issuing headquarters would reveal the following: Eleven of the 33 awards were given in 1963.
Ten of the 11 awards given in 1963 were given on the same day, Dec. 20, 1963. Three awards were given in one General Order, also issued on Dec. 20, 1963. One award was given in 1972. Eight of the “33 American and Philippine Medals” (“President Marcos: A Political Profile,” Office of the Philippines) are, strictly speaking, not medals but campaign ribbons which all participants in the defense of Bataan and in the resistance movement are entitled to. Awards are duplicated for the same action at the same place on the same day. One is a Special Award given by the Veterans Federation of the Philippines. All these are included in the count of 33 and foisted upon the unwary public as having been awarded to Marcos during the war. To repeat, most of the medals claimed had been acquired long after the end of World War II. Even as late as 1972, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) gave Marcos on his birthday the Philippine Legion of Honor (G .O. 121, GHQ, AFP, Sept. 11, 1972). On Dec. 20, 1963, almost 20 years after the end of World War II, the AFP awarded Marcos for services in Bataan and in the resistance movement two Distinguished Conduct Stars; two Distinguished Service Stars, two Gold Cross Medals; and three Wounded Soldier’s Medals. One General Order alone (No. 155, GHQ AFP, Dec. 20, 1963) granted Marcos three medals for having been allegedly wounded in Bataan on April 5, 1942 and on April 7, 1942 and in Kiangan, Mt. Province on March 17, 1945. If these awards were truly deserved why were they not conferred earlier? What prompted the AFP to go on an awarding splurge one day in December 1963? Those in the know believe that President Macapagal allowed the AFP to give Marcos awards so an appeased Marcos would not contest his (Macapagal’s) bid for reelection. For identical citation as guerrilla and underground leader, Marcos received two Distinguished Service Stars (G.O. 435, HPA, April 24, 1945 and G.O. 152, GHQ AFP, Dec. 20, 1963). For the same action at Panupdupan on April 5, 1945 when allegedly Marcos singlehandedly forced the enemy to withdraw after 30 minutes of combat, Marcos received two Distinguished Conduct Stars: on Oct. 16, 1963 (G.O. 124, GHQ AFP), and another on Dec. 20, 1963 (G.O. 157, GHQ AFP). Both Col. Romulo A. Manriquez, commanding officer of the 14th Infantry, and Capt. Vicente L. Rivera, adjutant of the same unit, in their signed testimonies, stated that Marcos had no participation whatsoever in any combat operations during his service with the 14th Infantry. As commanding officer of the 14th Infantry, Col. Manriquez never recommended as there was no basis at all, Marcos for any award. If Marcos, as claimed, was ever wounded at all, Col. Manriquez quipped, it must be that Marcos was bitten by a leech. With the wholesale and indiscriminate grant of awards in one day, the duplications, the multiple awards in one General Order, the inclusion of the campaign ribbons, etc., Marcos is truly the most decorated Filipino soldier in World War II by extrapolation. One wonders how the future will reckon with this man who has so audaciously, and unconscionabIy distorted our military records when men of the caliber of Col. Romulo A. Manriquez, Col. Narciso Manzano and Capt. Vicente L. Rivera will come out and speak the truth. In consideration of Marcos’ legal background, Manriquez assigned him as S-5 in charge of Civil Affairs. From the time Marcos joined the 14th Infantry to the time he asked for transfer to the headquarters of the USAF IP NL in Luna, La Union, Marcos was never involved in any patrol or combat operations. How could he, in conscience, Manriquez said, recommend a person for an award who had not even fired a single shot at an enemy he had never even seen while in Kiangan? He recalled that one day in March, Sergeant Manat, a native of Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya, came running to headquarters to report sighting of Japanese troops about a kilometer away. He thus placed headquarters personnel on alert and in position. He said he saw Marcos run to a nearby creek raising his .45-caliber pistol with a quavering hand. The Japanese were apparently enroute to safer grounds beyond guerrilla reach so the RCP was not subjected to any attack. But as reports of more Japanese troop movements were received at the RCP, Marcos, Manriquez said, asked for a transfer to Volckmann’s headquarters in Camp Spencer, Luna, La Union. Thus the saga of Marcos “heroism” in Kiangan, according to Colonel Manriquez, who vowed to face any person or court to expose Marcos. This much, he said, he owes to the real heroes of the 14th Infantry under his command who died in genuine operations in Kiangan. Asked if he knew anyone in his staff who could have signed an affidavit on behalf of Marcos, he recalled that his communications officer then, Lt. Conceso Bejec, was asked by Marcos for an affidavit. But, he said, he advised Bejec not to. It was at this juncture that Colonel Manriquez mentioned his former adjutant, Capt. Vicente L. Rivera. (Continued next week.) Read more: http://opinion.inquirer.net/96781/marcos-war-medals-exposed-questioned-2#ixzz4KJ4fJ0eE Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Marcos 'war medals' exposed, questioned (1)

Philippine Daily Inquirer/OPINION/by Ma. Ceres P. Doyo

Because of the outcry of tens of thousands of victims of the Marcos dictatorship over President Duterte’s plan to bury in the Libingan ng mga Bayani the corpse of president-dictator Ferdinand Marcos who died in Hawaii in 1989, I am serializing the piece “The Other Version of FM’s War Exploits” by Bonifacio Gillego published in WE Forum in November 1982. It was written for a major US newspaper, but publication was withheld because of Marcos’ state visit. The long piece caused the raid and closure of WE Forum and the arrest of editor Jose Burgos Jr. and staff. It is included in the book “Press Freedom Under Siege: Reportage that Challenged the Marcos Dictatorship” (UP Press, 2017). Gillego, a former soldier and member of the 1971 Constitutional Convention, was in exile in the United States and working with the Movement for a Free Philippines when he researched his piece. He became a congressman after Edsa I toppled the Marcos dictatorship in 1986. He died in 2002. His name is etched on the Wall of Remembrance of the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City.

How many medals did Marcos actually receive for his alleged feats of heroism in World War II? The count has become a numbers game. Hartzell Spence, in his book, “For Every Tear a Victory: The Story of Ferdinand E. Marcos” (McGraw-Hill Inc., New York, 1964), credits Marcos with 28, including American awards. More a hagiographer than a biographer, Spence has been the purveyor of embroidered tales about Marcos’ life and deeds to the credulous and gullible public, both Philippine and American. It was Spence who propagated the myth that Marcos singlehandedly delayed the fall of Bataan by three months—with the encouragement and consent, no doubt, of Marcos. It was Spence who recounted the ridiculous story that when Gen. Omar Bradley “saw Ferdinand’s six rows of ribbons headed by 22 valor medals including the Distinguished Service Cross, the four-star general saluted Marcos.” ADVERTISEMENT The story is patently false because in May 1947, the date of the comic Bradley-Marcos encounter in the Pentagon, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) could account only for six war medals. Most of the medals of Marcos were conferred on him by the AFP only from 1948 to 1963. On the occasion of the multimillion-dollar extravaganza (the Marcos state visit to the USA), the Philippine Embassy in Washington, DC gave the widest dissemination of propaganda materials glorifying the war exploits of Marcos. A brochure titled “Friends in War, Ferdinand E. Marcos in the Pacific War, 1941-45” tabulates 32 medals. The souvenir program contains, among others, a picture of Marcos with the inscription at the back that during the Pacific War, Marcos won 33 American and Philippine medals. A more modest claim, however, is made that Marcos delayed the fall of Bataan “by weeks,” not three months, as Spence propagandized earlier in his campaign biography of Marcos. The salvo of paeans to Marcos’ vaunted war heroism was part of a well-funded drive to influence the powers-that-be in the US to award Marcos the Congressional Medal of Honor. At this juncture, it may be recalled that it was Spence again who fantasized that upon hearing the exploits of Marcos in Bataan, Gen. Jonathan Wainwright from his headquarters in Corregidor called by phone the 21st Division directing that Marcos be recommended for a Congressional Medal of Honor. Accordingly, Brig. Gen. Mateo Capinpin allegedly made the recommendation but the papers got conveniently lost, hence the explanation why Marcos was robbed of the singular honor of receiving the much coveted American award. Claiming that the recommendation was “sidetracked,” Bataan, purportedly a Philippine magazine published in Washington, DC, came out with a special edition (Sept. 20, 1982) urging the conferment of the Congressional Medal of Honor on Marcos 40 years after the guns of Bataan and Corregidor were silenced! Unfortunately for the drumbeaters of Marcos, the grant of the Congressional Medal of Honor has prescribed time limitations. The recommendation has to be made within two years after the deed of extraordinary valor above and beyond the call of duty. The actual conferment has to be made within three years after such deed. Only the US Congress can waive the time limitation, but apparently the move for Congressional waiver was laughed off. There is not a scintilla of evidence in the files of the US Army Center of Military History, the National [Personnel] Records Center of the [National] Archives, the US Army Library in Pentagon, the Library of Congress, etc. that Marcos performed an authentic deed of extraordinary valor deserving the grant of the Congressional Medal of Valor. The reports of and about the defense of Bataan by the staff of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Jonathan Wainwright and George Parker Jr. do not show the faintest trace of Marcos’ single-handed feat of stemming the tide of Japanese advance in Bataan that delayed its fall by three months. Even the foremost deodorizer of the Marcos dictatorship, Carlos P. Romulo, made no mention of Marcos among the heroes he “walked with.” But the count remains. The statistical projection, whether it be 28, 32 or 33, creates and fosters the impression—as it is deliberately intended to—that Marcos was the most decorated Filipino soldier in World War II. None of the participant nations during the war could produce a hero with as many awards as Marcos—not excluding General MacArthur himself. That is, if the count of the Marcos medals is devoid of fraudulence and deception. What is deliberately concealed in the accounting of the Marcos medals is the date of issue of each of the awards. If this one essential detail is shown, the stark truth stands out. It was not during the war that he was awarded these medals. Marcos managed to have himself awarded these medals by the AFP long after the war was over! (More details in succeeding parts.)#

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The door at DepEd

Philippine Daily Inquirer/OPINION/by Ma. Ceres P. Doyo

On exhibit since two days ago (till Aug. 23) in the lobby of the Department of Education (DepEd) main office in Pasig City is a piece of a door with 13 bullet holes. This was the door in the house of Kalinga chief Macli-ing Dulag in Bugnay village in Kalinga. Macli-ing was killed by Marcos forces on April 24, 1980.

This Kalinga brave led the opposition to the construction of the Chico Dam that would have wiped out large portions of Kalinga ancestral domain in the Cordillera. April 24 is now celebrated as Cordillera People’s Day. Macli-ing fought the Marcos dictatorship and is hailed as a hero, so his name is among the hundreds inscribed on the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Wall of Remembrance in Quezon City.

Last Tuesday, Aug. 9, was World’s Indigenous People’s (IP) Day. Hereabouts, Aug. 9 is also National Indigenous People’s Day as provided in Republic Act No. 10689.

The DepEd observed the day not only by opening the mini-exhibit but also by issuing a memorandum dated July 21 and signed by Secretary Leonor Briones “enjoin[ing] all its offices and schools to observe the said national celebration, declared as a special working holiday, through various commemorative and advocacy activities.”

The memo further stated: “As the primary government agency mandated to protect and promote the right of every Filipino learner to basic education, including the inculcation of values that promote recognition of the nation’s cultural diversity, it is imperative for DepEd to actively contribute to the nation’s meaningful observance of the National Indigenous People’s Day.”

This is consistent with the aims of the K-to-12 Basic Education Program and—note this—the DepEd’s National Indigenous Peoples Education (IPEd) Policy Framework which stipulates that “within the framework of maintaining inclusive and effective learning environments, the DepEd shall nurture, among all learners and DepEd teaching and nonteaching personnel, respect for human rights and cultural diversity,” and that the DepEd shall “promote greater awareness and appreciation of the [IP’s] cultural heritage and history—and integral yet often neglected part of the nation’s cultural heritage and history.”

It is heartening indeed that awareness and appreciation of our IP heritage is now being pushed in early education so that ignorance and biases against IPs would be no more, and so that they would stand proud of who they are and of their roots. And stand proudly distinct, too.

Exhibiting Macli-ing’s door and important IP information at the DepEd lobby is a great move. Behind this activity is the DepEd’s Indigenous Peoples Education Office (IPsEO) coordinated by Rozanno E. Rufino. Yes, the DepEd has an IP Education Office!

I learned through the grapevine that the Aquino administration had approved the construction of hundreds of school buildings (with teachers, of course) in far-flung IP areas—not with a DepEd budget but with another agency’s budget. Here’s hoping that this does not get snared in an ideologically-tainted tug-of-war, if you know what I mean. Here’s hoping that Briones can stand her ground. Sadly, some IP areas are taken over by contesting groups with clashing aims—armed, ideological, religious, corporate groups—and turning these areas into hotbeds.

I was pleased to learn that included in the DepEd exhibit are excerpts from my book “Macli-ing Dulag: Kalinga Chief, Defender of the Cordillera” (University of the Philippines Press, 2015), along with the door. I saw and touched that bullet-riddled door when I went up to Bugnay in 1980 with a fact-finding team shortly after Macli-ing was killed. I laid my eyes on the door again last year, when it was exhibited with other Kalinga artifacts, at the book’s launch in UP Baguio.

Anthropology professor Analyn Salvador, an avid researcher of Cordillera culture, had asked for the door when she saw that parts of Macli-ing’s old home were being demolished for renovation. Salvador had lived among the Butbut (Macli-ing’s community) and made Bugnay village her field base for research. The door is now part of UP Baguio’s Cordillera People’s Archives and Museum. IPsEO’s Rufino asked UP Baguio if he could borrow the door for the DepEd exhibit.

There are now learning materials for greater IP awareness. I know that a group of Aeta and a group of Mangyan had written children’s books highlighting their culture. If I remember right, these were published by Assisi Foundation. I remember I wrote about these books for the Inquirer’s front page. It is so good to know that there are many efforts in this area. Even fashion designers are doing their part by coming up with wearables that are highly marketable.

The IPEd program supports education initiatives undertaken through formal, nonformal and informal modalities with emphasis on, but not limited to, these key areas: indigenous knowledge systems and practices and community history; indigenous languages; indigenous learning systems (ILS) and community life cycle-based curriculum and assessment; and education goals, aspirations and competences specific to the indigenous cultural community. It encourages elders and other community members in the teaching-learning process, assessment and management of the initiative, while recognizing and continuing the practice of the community’s ILS. All these were crafted in consultation with representatives of IP communities.

I suggest we all learn to write our names using our indigenous baybayin/alibata (the Mangyan have their own syllabary). Who said precolonial Filipinos did not know how to read and write before the Spaniards came? Under my byline in my latest books, I have my name also written in baybayin. Here it is:

Thursday, August 4, 2016

'Shadows of Light'


Because history is most often written from the point of view of the victors or the colonizers, the stories of and about the vanquished or the colonized are ignored and, if at all, remain in the archives, there to gather dust for centuries, until…
Sr. Mary John Mananzan, OSB, got a research grant to write the history of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines from the people’s perspective. The grant enabled her to do archival research in the Archivo General de Indias, the Valladolid Archives, the National Library in Madrid, and the Archivo General de Nacion in Mexico.

There is no dearth of information on how colonial history unfolded on our islands, but this was written by the conquistadores during the early years of conquest, and in Spanish at that. Now the data had to be dug up, read with new eyes, interpreted and presented to show what it was like from the so-called underside.
Mananzan’s “Shadows of Light: Philippine Church History Under Spain, A People’s Perspective” (Claretian Communications) does these and adds a twist to enable the reader to see, believe and understand why we are what we are. Instead of simply throwing out long-held assumptions that die hard with bolo (not sword) in hand, she presents another view. But she does not tread lightly, she who is unmistakably a true daughter of the Church—and more.
The book’s cover is subversive enough: in the background a hazy image of a Spanish-era church, and up front a cross that casts a shadow shaped like a sword. Didn’t we learn early on in history class that the Spaniards came with the sword and the cross? It is these two weapons—used to colonize and to Christianize—that cast shadows on these islands that Mananzan tackles to give light to darkened spots in our past and our present. Pardon the mixed metaphors, but aren’t we a somewhat mixed-up race with a somewhat mixed-up concept of ourselves and of our religious faith?

At the outset, Mananzan lays out a reality: the “split-level Christianity” on which groundbreaking Filipino psychologist Fr. Jaime Bulatao, SJ, had expounded. But “Shadows of Light” is not a treatise on Filipino psychology or sociology; it is about history. So like the historian that she is, Mananzan dwells on historical events and their impact, and invites the reader to see with “a people’s perspective.”

The first chapter opens with an illustration of a babaylan, a priestess-healer. (All illustrations are by Ziggy Perlas.) The chapter is about the “Prehistory of the Church in the Philippines,” and what culture and religion were like in pre-Spanish society. This is often glossed over in history class. Here Mananzan also provides a European context of the conquest of the Philippines, and what was happening in the Church in Spain during the 16th and 17th centuries. And then Christianization in the context of colonization—plantatio ecclesiae—the missionary activities that reduced the inhabitants to submission, the methods used, the suppression of “idolatrous beliefs,” and so forth. How the frailes—first the Augustinian pioneers, followed by the Franciscans (1577), Jesuits (1581), Dominicans (1587) and Recollects (1606)—conducted systematic evangelization alongside the conquistadores.

Mananzan tackles the role of the clergy in military conflicts, and the conflict between Church and state—for example, between bishop and the civil administration, between archbishop and governor general, between governor and inquisitorial tribunal. The development of the indigenous clergy is no doubt a high point in the story, and how it helped in the struggle for independence. The continuing struggle of the Filipino clergy exploded in the Cavite mutiny of 1872 that later saw the martyrdom—sentenced to death by garrote—of three Filipino priests, collectively known to us as Gomburza.

Let me say here that Mananzan was a history major in college (magna cum laude), and completed her master’s degree in theology and doctorate in linguistic philosophy (summa cum laude) in Europe. She is a feminist theologian, and served as prioress of the Missionary Benedictines Sisters and as chair of Gabriela. She is the founder and executive director of the Institute of Women’s Studies of St. Scholastica’s College (where she served as president for six years). She is now cochair of the Office of Women and Gender Concerns of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines.

Having said all that, one will not be surprised that Mananzan saves the best for last. The final chapter of her book, “The Impact of the Spanish Church on the Mujer Indigena,” first deals with the women in precolonial Philippines, their place in myths and legends, and, more importantly, their active role in the community. They were leaders, healers, priestesses.

Historian Fe Mangahas, who wrote the foreword for “Shadows of Light,” and coedited with Jenny Llaguno the book “Readings on Babaylan Feminism in the Philippines,” would have much to say on that pre-Spanish period, when women rocked!

Mananzan rues: “The imposition of a strongly patriarchal system had decidedly negative consequences on the role of women in society.

“Though the missionaries were forced to acknowledge the superiority of the mujer indigena (native woman) which they could hardly deny, they nevertheless condemned as vice any behavior which they could not reconcile with the moral prescriptions for women in their mother country. So they praised the women’s intelligence, strong will and practicality, but they censured her for being too sensual and too free in her behavior.”

Thus was spawned the stereotypical Maria Clara, “a delicate ornament of the home or the victim soul of the convent.”

Unrestrained, Mananzan exclaims in bold font: “However, she retained the subversive dangerous memory of her original equality!”

“Shadows of Light” is a good read before 2021, the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines.#