What is this outrage over “Parokya ni Edgar” and its frontman Chito Miranda and a certain gig they had earlier this month?
Last September 13, the pop band performed at the Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena where the “Marcos Fiesta 2014” celebration was held. Ilocos governor Imee Marcos and Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. led the event where they also marked the 97th birthday of their father, the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos.
Soon after, photos of the event – and of Miranda imitating Marcos flashing the “V” sign – went viral, and social media communities went crazy as netizens gave their two centavos’ worth on the issue, and then some.
Philippine Normal University (PNU) economics teacher and musician Ferdinand Pisigan Jarin in a Facebook post said “What Chito Miranda needs is to study and learn from history. This is so he should know that back when Marcos was in power, bands like his weren’t able to do the crazy stunts like they do now. If these were the days of martial law, people like Miranda wouldn’t have the freedom or the right to express their opinions.”
[quote_center]What Chito Miranda needs is to study and learn from history. This is so he should know that back when Marcos was in power, bands like his weren’t able to do the crazy stunts like they do now. If these were the days of martial law, people like Miranda wouldn’t have the freedom or the right to express their opinions[/quote_center]
Writer Adam David has been posting Instagram pictures of what may or may not be his cat Biggles whom he states in the captions to be “pusang nandidiri at nalulungkot para ke Chito Miranda at sa iba pang rumaraket para sa mga Marcos.’ (Biggles: a cat disgusted and sad for Chito Miranda and others who are doing moonlighting work for the Marcoses).
David also captioned one such pix with “Bilanggo sa rehas na gawa ng moral bankruptcy ng mga rumaraket para sa mga Marcos. Si Marcos, bulok; pero ang mas bubulok pa ke Marcos ay ang mga taong rumaraket para sa mga Marcos.” (Steel bars created by the moral bankruptcy of those who moonlight for the Marcoses. Marcos was rotten; but more rotten than Marcos are those who moonlight for the Marcoses”.
“When it rains on the city it falls on all of us sinners and saints, except for the people who work on the side for the Marcoses, with their umbrellas bought with money stolen from the state coffers, umbrellas that may keep them dry from rain albeit drenched in the blood of activists, the disappeared, civilians who may have posited the wrong opinion to the right people. Sympathy and conscience were bought wholesale those days, apparently still being bought today. Hashtag black & white & red all over.”
Other posts and tweets are not as creative or diplomatic, but the gist is this: they are disappointed with Miranda and Parokya ni Edgar.
In response to all the vitriol, Miranda posted a tweet as @chitomirandajr : I don’t have to attend every argument I am invited to. Really wanna know what I think? For me, MUSIC IS LIFE. Everything else is trivial. :)”
Then, in a reply to a young fan’s appeal that he be an “ambassador of truth” and that he “reject the Marcoses”, Miranda said “I am not pro-Marcos nor am I pro-Aquino. I am pro-Filipino. Stop making a big deal out of it. Find something more relevant please.”
Miranda has since deleted this tweet, but maintained – as if in defiance – a tweet thanking his hosts, Sen. Marcos Jr., Gov. Imee, and congresswoman Imelda Marcos.
Controversial self-styled historian Carlos Celdran, however, defended Miranda. He tweeted. “Aww. Leave Chito Miranda alone. The Marcoses aren’t so bad just as the Aquinos are not all saints.” Celdran, not surprisingly, was also bombarded with tweets expressing outrage.
Some even went on to point out that Celdran loves the Marcoses, and reposted a picture Celdran recently posted of his plane ticket to the United States where he will mount his show “Livin la vida Imelda”. The show focuses on the life of the former first lady Imelda Marcos (In a 2013 interview with Rappler, Celdran is quoted as saying “One has to realize that [between] Marcos and Aquino, nobody is bad and nobody is good… Don’t polarize. Don’t look at the EDSA Revolution as hate. Don’t look at it as black and white,” he said.)
Former anti-Marcos activist Paul Galutera said “Money talks. It is that simple. Ikaw kaya sampalan ng ill- gotten wealth. May taong kagaya niya ang babaligtad sa amoy ng pera.”
Anniversary of Martial Law
This “other Chito Miranda scandal” (in reference to the first one which involved a sex video that went viral”) erupted days before human rights groups in the country were gearing to mount protests marking the 42nd anniversary of martial law which, groups like the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan say, was “ A dark chapter in our history that was only illumined by the struggle of millions of Filipinos who stood up for freedom and democracy.”
“We remember the massive human rights violations, suppression of the people’s democratic rights, curtailment of press freedom and other civil liberties, plunder of our nation’s wealth and surrender of national dignity and sovereignty.”
For the last two weeks, members of the First Quarter Storm (FQS) generation have been posting memes, old photos, blogs about what it was like during Marcos’ iron-handed rule. Never should be forgotten, they insist, should be the sacrifice of thousands of civilians and activists who stood up against the dictatorship and were abducted, tortured, killed or disappeared. Among the martyrs of the Marcos dictatorship were Edgar Jopson, Lorena Barros, Dr. Bobby de la Paz, poet Emmanuel Lacaba, labor leader Bert Olalia, student leader Billy Begg, and Liliosa Hilao. The names of hundreds more are in the list of the Bantayog ng mga Bayani.
Martial law survivor and women’s rights activist based in Mindanao Grace Mahinay said that there are those who ask them if they haven’t grown tired of calling for the downfall of imperialism, bureaucrat capitalism and feudalism when they’ve been calling for this since the 1960s.
“The answer is simple: NO. These three evil continue to enslave the Philippines, so the struggle continues. We have to remain vigilant because those in power always to remain in power, even if it means breaking the same laws they say they uphold. Even now incumbent president Benigno Aquino III is angling for a term extension. There’s already a yellow dictatorship in place. He doesn’t have to make a de facto declaration of martial law to abuse his authority. This is why the youth and today’s generation of Filipinos must know what happened during martial law and be vigilant against presidents who are acting like Marcos.”
But has this to do with the Marcoses now?
“Justice against Marcos remains elusive under the Aquino government’s watch. Even now many survivors of martial law and the families of the victims of Marcos have yet to receive indemnification. Yet what do we see? There’s a Marcos in the senate, the House of Representatives, and the local government! And they’re all immediate relatives of the ousted dictator himself! And never have these Marcoses admitted the crimes their patriarch committed against the Filipino people.”
Bayan president and FQS generation member Dr. Carol Araullo in a column wrote: “ It has been 42 years since Martial Law was declared and 28 years since the EDSA people’s uprising that led to the ouster of the US-backed Marcos Dictatorship. Society’s ills are fundamentally the same, even gone worse over the decades. Every “democratic” regime after Marcos has proclaimed that it would end poverty, inequality and underdevelopment by ushering in his or her version of “good governance” but these have all been proven mere deceptive rhetoric. The character of these regimes remains elite, oligarchic, averse to fundamental change and therefore violently reactionary.’
[quote_center]It has been 42 years since Martial Law was declared and 28 years since the EDSA people’s uprising that led to the ouster of the US-backed Marcos Dictatorship. Society’s ills are fundamentally the same, even gone worse over the decades[/quote_center]
For those who survived martial law, not much has changed in Philippine society. It should be expected that they, their families, friends and those who have friends and families died as they fought against the Marcos dictatorship should feel more than a little frustrated that there’s a generation of Filipinos who do not know what happened three decades ago.
In the meantime, as of this writing, news have it that singer-actor Mark Bautista was chosen to play the former strongman in the upcoming London production of “Here Lies Love”, based on an album originally produced by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim. This, according to reports, is a musical inspired by Imelda herself and based on a comment she made when she visited her husband husband’s frozen, embalmed body. Imelda was quoted in reports that the phrase “Here Lies Love” is what she wants to be inscribed on her tombstone.
It’s also likely that Bautista is unaware of the bloody human rights record of the Marcoses themselves when he posted this picture on Instagram:
Either that or he just thinks the Marcoses were one hell of a good looking couple and nothing more.