Marcos Senior’s legacy and the myth of ‘EDSA’

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I SAW the headline of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) edition of February 25, 2024, titled, “EDSA hero calls for end to bickering” and immediately imagined the number ZERO.

The PDI of course is expected to glorify EDSA Uno again as it always does for the past 28 years despite the progressive and unending dimming of the people’s belief in its mythology and failed promises.

This year, there is renewed effort amongst the stragglers of the EDSA believers to reinvigorate their movement primarily due to their mistaken notion that they have successfully recruited President Bongbong Marcos and his First Lady to their cause with the 2023 re-alignment of the Philippine government away from the Independent Foreign Policy and back to the arms of imperialist America.

The Bongbong government swallowed the bitter poison of America presumably with a combination of threats, conveyed by a Filipino diplomat and two defense and security establishment officials, of a U.S. sponsored ouster plan plus enticement of access to the Marcos wealth allegedly stashed in the U.S.

Marcos Jr. acceded to EDCA bases expansions and the “transparency strategy” of Project Myuoshu.

If the reader is not yet aware of Project Myoushu, here is a short background: led by ex-USAF Col Raymond Powell and presented in January 2023 to Marcos Jr. through Stratbase-ADRI to physically challenge China’s sovereign control of Ayungin and Scarborough Shoals through “transparency strategy” to “exact reputational costs,” “gather international support,” and “complicate” matters for China.

After 11 months of the strategy only the Philippines reputation is shattered with ASEAN partners and the only international response is opprobrium from the same ASEAN members; the Philippines now suffers the anxiety of facing economic reprisals from China if it does not heed China’s advice from the Wang Yi-Manalo December 2023 talks to henceforth “act with caution” as ties are at a “crossroad.”

DFA Secretary Enrique Manalo, being cautious, has taken DFA back into a professional diplomatic mode, shunning megaphone diplomacy, quietly heeding Marcos Jr’s December 19, 2023 public statement for a “paradigm shift” in the SCS dispute, admitting that “we have made very little progress” and that the new way should bring the Philippines and China “down the road to peace.”

I digressed into the SCS issues as there is a very significant tension building up, not between China and the Philippines as that seems to be subsiding if the sabotage efforts of the US and its Amboys are kept at bay, but that rejection of the U.S. strategy of “transparency” tension forms part of the rejection of EDSA Uno too – a rejection of US suzerainty over the Philippines.

The “hero” of PDI headline is Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan who did the EDSA Uno coup efforts for Juan Ponce Enrile who, in turn, was doing it for his own political ambition against the higher ideals of Presindent Ferdinand Edralin Marcos Sr. for the country.

It was Marcos Senior who started the 11 Industrialization Projects, expanded rice production, shortened US bases leases from 99 to 25 years. But like his boss Enrile, Honasan is the usual political exploiter.

Maybe Honasan can be said to be a genuine hero of the EDSA subculture as opportunism is one of the key traits of EDSA Uno. It is the same opportunism of the “haciendero” class of the Philippines exemplified by the icon of EDSA Cory Aquino, and the clan that manipulated the entire political system to transfer state assets to the Lopezes, Aboitizes, Ayalas, Razons, Angs etc., riding on America’s neoliberal “globalization.”

The senior Marcos, President FEM, was indeed pursuing revolution along with his contemporaries in the Third World such as Mexico’s President Jose Lopez Portillo railing against the debt trap of the IMF, charting an independent course setting up ties with the Socialist Bloc and China, waging an anti-feudal campaign with land reform – for all that he was tagged by the West as a dictator.

Marcos Sr. charted a course towards economic independence, setting up a national oil company, buying oil tankers from China to import oil and refining it here in the country instead of relying on “comprador” controlled Shell and Exxon, nationalized electricity and expanded the power grid to the far-flung areas of the country, subdued the Muslim secessionists funded by the foreign powers. He established the visionary Bataan Nuclear Power Plant for energy independence, ahead of Korea.

Marcos Sr. was an anti-colonial revolutionary through a slow, gradualist process but revolutionary nevertheless. EDSA reversed all the gains of Marcos Sr.’s revolutionary gains and EDSA I was a counter-revolutionary event backed by the imperialist and neocolonial U.S.A.

All Philippine governments except that of President Rodrigo R. Duterte were and are counter-revolutionary.

Gringo Honasan get appointed to lucrative government posts in almost every post-EDSA I government, hailed as a hero, but in reality, he has never done anything courageous for the nation.

The ZERO that is EDSA I reflects on all its icons. That is why Marcos Jr. must save himself and his father’s legacy before it is too late. He should return to the Bagong Lipunan paradigm while he still can.

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