Factual truth-telling is not hate-mongering

By: Ma. Ceres P. Doyo - @inquirerdotnet - Columnist/Philippine Daily Inquirer | February 24,2022 - 08:00 AM

Historical revisionists would like to equate truth-telling with hate-mongering. That to tell the brutal truth is to arouse hatred among innocents, that it is stoking hatred for those who had brought harm and injury to their victims, hatred for those who plundered the nation’s wealth and fled with everything they could stash in hidden secret foreign accounts.

Alas, it is made to appear that truth-telling means corrupting the minds of the young. That forgiving and forgetting should be the be-all and end-all and that everybody should simply leave the past behind and begin again.

On the other hand, to not tell the truth that one knows and has experienced personally, to keep quiet in the face of rising tyranny and repression, is to give space to deliberate falsehoods and to consent to the erasure if not revision of factual truths about historical events and commissions of crimes that truly happened. These factual truths either played out while the world watched or were discovered by arduous truth seekers whose only desire was justice for the victims and retribution for the villains.

One also needs to be watchful for subtle false insertions into history by spin doctors hired with monumental sums by those who want to disinfect their names. Sadly, there are, indeed, persons who have been hooked, whose minds have been polished clean of what they once knew and believed in but through faults of their own when they succumbed to enticements and entitlements that they believed they can justify.

Be watchful then. The devil is in the details, the saying goes, and it is in these details that revisions and erasures begin. Before we know/knew it, an entire narrative has been spun for the gullible to feed on.

But the painful part is the tagging and tarring of truth-tellers as self-righteous hate-mongers and communists. My counterblow to their solar plexus: Aren’t these taggers self-righteous themselves? These taggers are not unlike those who deny Hitler’s Holocaust or that humans had landed on the moon. There could be no harm in thinking that the Yeti might exist but to herald its coming and promise that a golden age is nigh is the work of dupesters.

A Facebook friend and writer (she co-authored books with Bishop Pablo Virgilio David) Nina Tomen posted this on her FB page (which I share with her permission): “To those who are asking, ‘Bakit nagtatanim ng pagkamuhi sa mga kabataan?’ (Why are they sowing hatred in the young?), there is a difference between sowing pagkamuhi (sowing hatred) and pagkamulat (making aware of).

“When parents are killed right in front of their children for being part of an unvalidated purge list—that is sowing pagkamuhi, raising a generation of angry children who may end up as violent adults someday.

“When people recount their actual experiences about martial law and atrocities of past and current administrations—that is pagmumulat, telling the truth and reminding the youth of their responsibility to opt for a better future by choosing the right leaders for this wounded nation.”

During this people power week and with a little more than two months to election day (May 9, 2022), it behooves us to rewind and look back on history. Here are free films on the dark years of martial law that can be streamed online courtesy of truth-tellers:

“Imelda” (2003), dir. Ramona S. Diaz (https://youtu.be/rBS7A_-bnwA); “The Kingmaker” (2019), dir. Lauren Greenfield (https://flixhq.ru/movie/the-kingmaker-2pzp4/1-full); “Batas Militar” (1997), dir. Jeannette Ifurung (https://vimeo.com/314920652); “Eskapo” (1995), dir. Chito S. Roño (https://youtu.be/WNzqRg_V2d4); “Dekada ‘70” (2002), dir. Chito S. Roño (youtu.be/jLxwM-bYpEI); “Signos” (1983), dir. Mike De Leon (https://vimeo.com/304516355); “Marcos: A Malignant Spirit” (1986), dir. Rolly Reyes (https://archive.org/details/82519507257); “Bakit Dilaw ang Gitna ng Bahaghari?” (1994), dir. Kidlat Tahimik (youtu.be/TrpVynO42Oc); “Coup d’etat: The Philippines Revolt” (1986), dir. Geoff Satchell (https://youtu.be/BWQHSJJ8OyE); “Betamax ‘83,” dir. Marcial Bonifacio (starts at the 7:30 mark: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?ref=watch_permalink&v=630523444278320)

I appear twice to speak my truth in Mike de Leon’s “Signos” (38 minutes) which was for Betamax then. Glad to have watched it again.

Those links were compiled by @kayacnvs (Twitter: https://twitter.com/kayacnvs/status/1490346059838550016 with edited working links). There is also a compilation of martial law books and documents by JCJ Koo: bit.ly/MartialDocs


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