Conspiracy theory

Leni Robredo
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ELVIS Presley faked his own death in 1977, and at the ripe old age of 81 still lives today as a grounds keeper in Graceland, the home he purchased in Memphis, Tennessee at the height of his film, music and television career in 1957.

The military-industrial complex — the alliance between the US military and the arms industry driven both by profit as well as the aim of maintaining US military supremacy — has the potential to undermine individual liberties and the democratic process.

Both are conspiracy theories — attempts to explain an actual or possible event as the result of a secret undertaking by groups or individuals to further their own purposes or interests. The first example above is patently false and the result of wishful thinking among some of the more devoted Elvis fans. But it can be argued that the latter possibility, since then US President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned about it in his farewell address in 1961, could very well happen or has already happened.

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Two elections

US President Obama voting (White House Photo)
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AS ANNOUNCED by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the official election season began last January 10 and will end on June 8 this year. It includes a campaign period starting February and ending in May; election day itself on May 9; the counting of the ballots; and the official proclamation of the winning presidential and vice presidential candidates and their inauguration.

Some cynical souls lament that the results of the triennial exercise—the election of the same scoundrels, incompetents, crooks and clowns and/or their clones—do not justify the 150 days allocated for it. But the unofficial period for campaigning for office is actually far longer, in many cases consisting of the entire three years between congressional and local government elections, and, for the presidential election, the six years during which the previously elected president sits in Malacañang.

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History as tragedy, history as farce

Sen. Bongbong Marcos in Pangasinan (Senate photo)
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FERDINAND MARCOS, JR. (“Bongbong”) was talking “revolution” last Saturday, October 17. The occasion was his formal declaration during a ceremony in Manila’s Intramuros (walled city) that he’s running for Vice President of the Republic in 2016.

He didn’t sound as if he were running for the country’s second highest post, however, but for its highest. He said he would “lead a revolution in the mind, in the heart, and in action (“Pamumunuan ko ang isang rebolusyon sa isip, sa puso, at sa gawa”). He also said “Hindi pa tapos ang rebolusyon. Hindi pa tayo lubos na malaya (The revolution is not yet over. We are not yet truly free).”

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His father’s son

Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. (Senate of the Philippines)
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IN A PERFORMANCE that would have done his father proud, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. managed to apologize and not apologize at the same time during a television interview last week (August 26).

Marcos Jr. was asked if he was going to apologize for martial law—that period in Philippine recent history, the length of which is still in dispute to this day. (Martial law officially ended in 1981, but in testimony to his own cunning, Ferdinand Marcos retained his authoritarian powers until he was overthrown in 1986.)

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No more than thieves

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“BEHIND every great fortune,” said the French novelist Honore de Balzac, “is a great crime.” The Marcoses most certainly have a great fortune, estimated at somewhere between US$30 to US$50 billion — much of it acquired, despite claims otherwise, during the martial law years from 1972 to 1986, which in both this country and elsewhere was also a period of great crimes.

Because of their enormity, no one should need reminding what those crimes were. But not only do many Filipinos not remember what they were; they’re not even aware of them. After all, no attempt has been made to systematically look into the period, which would have included a catalogue and description of the means the Marcos regime used to stay in power, including the human rights violations that among others characterized it.

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