Sep 3, 2020

In the middle of a pandemic and a billion-peso health service scandal (among other bad news), it seems like Congress still has the time to declare holidays. Congress just passed a bill that would declare the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ birthday a non-working holiday in his home province of Ilocos Norte. 

House Bill No. 7137 wants to declare Sept. 11 “President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos Day” to honor the man whose presidency marked some of the darkest days in our nation’s history. 

 

Literally two days after National Heroes Day, the bill was passed with a vote of 198 representatives affirming the decision, while only eight legislators voted against the bill and one abstention. 

The bill’s primary authors are Ilocos Norte 1st District Representative Ria Fariñas and Probinsyano Ako Representative Rudys Caesar Fariñas I and most notably, Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Angelo Marcos Barba (the deposed president’s nephew). 

Should the Senate follow suit and file a bill of their own, it would go straight to the president for approval after its third and final reading.

The latest in historical revisionism

This bill is the latest attempt to push the narrative that Ferdinand Marcos was one of our finest presidents and that his birth should be celebrated.

Other notable attempts at rewriting our history include former senator and failed vice-presidential hopeful Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos’s call to rewrite school textbooks on martial law, the sneaky reinterment of the dictator’s remains at the Libingan ng mga Bayani and the literal armies of online trolls being paid to spread lies and propagate false narratives to help the Marcoses regain power.

With every attempt the Marcos propaganda machine churns out, they blur out passages from the pages of their bloody past. The seemingly “little” things, like declaring a new holiday, just normalize his brutal legacy and pave the Marcos family’s way back into our coffers. 

Priorities, people!

Maybe instead of declaring holidays for disgraced dictators, Congress should look into more important matters.

As of July, the Philippines recorded its highest rate of unemployment at 45.5 percent. The rate of Filipinos going hungry is double what it was from December of last year. Activists are being red-tagged, tortured and killed for speaking up for their rights. The Philippines is also more than nine trillion pesos in debt in response to a pandemic the government doesn’t even have a solid plan for.

Although we do love an extra day off from work (we mean, who doesn’t?), we think another day at the virtual office would suit us all better.

 

Header photo from Inquirer.net

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TAGS: activism covid-19 covid-19 action plan debt former dictator-President Ferdinand Marcos holiday Marcos martial law nolisoliph opinion philippine congress unemployment