Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ferdinand Marcos, a hero?

It is said that Filipinos too often forgive their enemies. Nowhere is this more evident than with the Marcos family and their wish to bury Ferdinand Marcos in Manila's Libingan ng Mga Bayani cemetary.

The polemics of allowing or prohibiting the burial of former Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos at the in Manila dominates the controversy in its entirety. While some see the potential burial as an insult to the Filipino people because of how the Great Dictator raped and plundered the country, others see it as proper and befitting who was in their mind a great leader.

It is now shocking to hear that 190 members of the Philippine House of Representatives are trying to persuade President Noynoy Aquino to permit the burial, with more representatives to follow. Equally shocking is that, according to a report by the Asia Sentinel, "sentiment is growing in the Philippines to bury the late dictator" in the hallowed Cemetery of Heroes.

Blame it on an imperfection in their character or on the desire for purgative suffering ascribed to Roman Catholicism or on whatever else. No matter which way you go, it is not hard to recognize this all-consuming desire among Filipinos to forgive, no matter how egregious the offense.

To forgive those who are truly repentant, repentant that is, for the right reasons, is commendable. But to forgive those who are repentant solely for their own sake and salvation more so than for the pain and suffering they caused others is the height of callous self-interest. The notion of forgiving one's adversaries unconditionally is inscribed on Filipinos'cultural consciousness. Filipinos to their detriment, could not otherwise look at themselves in the mirror.


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