Marcos Cronies (Who Got Away With It)

Martial Law was declared 36 years ago to much pomp, circumstance and whereas-ing of things.

It took many deaths and fourteen years before the administration that brought us Martial Law was finally run out of the country. And we learned our lesson in those long, dark Marcos years. So much so that with our never-agains and our Ninoy shirts, any and all attempts to introduce discipline on Philippine society is immediately killed at the mere comparison to Martial Law. A proposed dress code triggered an uprising at the Ateneo de Manila University, for example. A No-ID,No-Entry policy at the University of the Philippines was likened to hamletting in the provinces, etcetera.)

Filipinos took the lessons of the Marcos years and focused on protecting their rights to free speech, free thought, and to do whatever the fuck they want because they have rights. Their right to a just and equitable society under a just and equitable government, however, was just too complex to turn into a slogan and fight for.

For their complicity in a corrupt and despotic regime,  any other country would have tarred and feathered these politicians. But the Philippines is a lot like Soviet Russia in the sense that in the Philippines, justice has you.  Also, the Philippines is poor.

Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, Jr.

Danding Owns You

Danding Owns You

What He Did: Boss Danding was a key Marcos crony, and bought out the ownership of San Miguel Corporation with funds collected from coconut farmers to, you know, better their lives with things like irrigation, farm-to-market roads and fertilizer. Cojuangco, being a long-view kind of guy decided it would be better to invest in a food monopoly that would some day benefit farmers by not doing so at all.

Cojuangco was thought to be a suspect in the assasination of Beningo “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr., figurehead of the political opposition and his cousin’s husband. When the Filipino people decided that shit like that just wasn’t cool anymore, Cojuangco hopped the same plane as Marcos did, and declared himself an exile.

Where Is He Now? Like bad VD, Danding came back in 1989,and regained control of San Miguel Corporation, and with it, pretty much the entire Philippine food market. In recent years, San Miguel decided that they had done as much as they could in the food industry, and would diversify their interests into shipping, real estate and the Philippine Islands.

He ran for president in 1992 and lost, but his Nationalist People’s Coalition vice-presidential candidate Joseph Ejercito Estrada won, so that wasn’t so bad. As of today, the NPC, of which Cojuangco is chairman emeritus, has two seats on the Senate of the Philippines, Francis Escudero and Loren Legarda. Plus, he owns everything.

Juan Ponce Enrile

What He Did: Juan Ponce Enrile was Defense Minister during the Marcos years, and it was a failed ambush attempt on him that set the wheels of Martial Law in motion. Never mind that he staged the ambush himself, that’s just stuff for paranoiacs,  conspiracy theorists and academic historians, he stood against the Godless Communists and defended our country from anarchy.

Under his leadership,  Philippine troops blocked an arms shipment from China and sank the M/V Karagatan before the communists could offload the cargo. His guys also nipped communism in the bud by causing the villages of Escalante and Lubao to not exist.

When the political opposition was gaining public support, Enrile switched sides and broke with Marcos. He and General Fidel Valdez Ramos holed up in Camps Crame and Aguinaldo until thousands of protesters came to save their asses and declared them heroes of the revolution they tried to suppress over the past, oh, two decades.

Where Is He Now? Despite being one of the architects of Martial Law, Enrile became President Corazon Aquino’s defense minister, and was elected to the Senate shortly after that. He has been in Philippine politics since then, and is currently a sitting Senator.

That he has been in power for so long shows that Enrile is a smooth operator, much perhaps in the same way that Lucky Manzano is with chicks.  That he’s pretty much won almost every election he has run in shows that maybe Filipinos shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

Fidel Valdez Ramos

Hold B 2 seconds, F + PUNCH SOMERSAULT KICK

Hold B 2 seconds, F + PUNCH SOMERSAULT KICK

What He Did: Under Marcos, Ramos was top cop of the Philippine Constabulary and was a member of Marcos’ inner circle, the Rolex 12.

Those midnight visits from the MetroCom your parents dreaded back in the day? Ramos was behind them, as he was probably behind the daily violent dispersals of activists with truncheons, water cannons and guns. Also, scores of deaths and disappearances.

In 1986, with the support of the Catholic Church and thousands of protesters, Ramos performed the historic Hands-Up Jump that brought the Marcos regime down and sent the Conjugal Dictators fleeing to Hawaii.

Where Is He Now? As a reward for this truly astonishing physical feat, he became Aquino’s military Chief-of-Staff, defense secretary, and later, her anointed successor.

While president, Ramos solved the energy crisis by throwing money at power producers and promising to buy their electricity whether we needed it or not. Ramos also gave our country the overpriced P9-billion Centennial Expo Pilipino in Clark, Pampanga, which, more than a decade later, someone has yet to find a use for.  Ramos was also allegedly involved in the PEA-Amari deal that raised billions to build a new city on Manila Bay and then was never heard of again.

Nevertheless, he’s one of the country’s elder statesmen, and his opinion is often sought on national issues. Just not the ones that he was involved in.

Imelda Marcos

What She Did: Imelda Marcos almost got the Beatles killed after the boys declined to have breakfast with her the morning after a concert in Manila.

Irked, the Marcoses pulled out police protection for the boys, had them roughed up all the way to airport, forced them to give back all their ticket sales, and forever put the country on the Beatles’ shit list. And that’s just one of the more amusing stories about the Steel Butterfly, Imelda Marcos.

If creating enough negative rock karma to turn us into the prime destination for washed-out musicians wasn’t enough, she also fast-tracked the completion of the Manila Film Center over the dead bodies of construction workers after the building collapsed on them.

As the country’s mother figure, Imelda showed her love for us with five-million-dollar shopping tours in New York, Rome and Copenhagen in 1983, and by sending a plane to pick up Australian white sand for a new beach resort. With her thousands of pairs of shoes, her ostentatious lifestyle and her lack of touch with reality, Imelda gave Filipinos a goal to aspire for. Mainly, a country without her, and a steady grip on sanity.

She fled the country with her husband in 1986  leaving behind 15 mink coats, 508 gowns, 888 handbags, 1060 pairs of shoes and millions of angry citizens.

Aw, come on, guys.

Aw, come on, guys.

Where is She Now? She returned to the country in 1991 and has regained her position as the slightly-kooky queen of Philippine high society.

Featured in an eponymous 2003 documentary, Imelda has become sort of an ironic, tongue-in-cheek, hipster cultural icon, and was instrumental in creating a society that allowed the birth and rise of the Gucci Gang.

She has a coven of rabidly loyal old ladies who gather in Luneta weekly and pretend that indulging their senility is a legitimate political exercise.

She has since regained most of the property she left in 1986. Her son is a governor, her daughter and a nephew are members of  Congress, and she is the singular most damning argument against the existence of a just and righteous God.

38 Comments

  1. To this day I cannot understand how people can accept Imelda’s return like nothing happened. The fact that she’s still walking around and parading in front of us like some sort of hallucinating diva is a serious affront on our national senses and intelligence. Seriously. That’s just fucked up.

  2. Again our history revealed that being freed from the Spaniards,
    Americans, Japanese, Chinese etc…. are all illusions.Fake.Drama.
    Hollywood. Marcos was the creation of his greediness and weaknesses exacerbated and intensified by the foreigners who sodomized us. Marcos ? Estrada ? Arroyo ? Macapagal, the father of Gloria, the president….there are more waiting vultures in the Philippines…wearing the KKK emblem (Fake) and shouting freedom ! Makibaka ! Huwag matakot ! Who said we are afraid ?
    We are just inherently indolent (alleged by the Fuckers-Spaniards)
    and resilient….actually survivalists because we survived your greed and avarice by fasting.

    Delpilar Bonnifacio

  3. “… and she is the singular most damning argument against the existence of a just and righteous God.”

    Guys, you took the words right outta my mouth on this one! I got perfectly the same sentiment.

    Maybe I’m sending you telepathic messages that you agree with kaya you always hit the nail on the head with these blog entries. Well, either that or it’s the other way around. Galing!

  4. Uh, sir? Until now, I still don\’t get what \’tongue-on-cheek\’ means. Haha. Very no0b of me. Anyway, nice entries you have here. You sounded like the one guy i know.

  5. are you a Filipino?,, yes you mr. webmaster, the one who writes all of these articles.

    i have so many things to say to people like you, your thoughts, your perspective of live, the way you look at Filipinos, and you.

    may i ask you for the purpose why you created this site?, to help Filipinos learn of what they are, to help them know that they are stagnant with this characteristics?, you have no point !, while you are saying that word(INDIO), you are not helping, its like saying bad words toy your parents, its like your putting your trash not on the trash bin but on your own bed, and after all that what will be left was trash. i believe that who ever says the Crab mentality, the PAL, etc are those person who are like that and that they cant accept their own self flaws that is why they include their fellow country men to cover up for his errors. you see now the effect?, from years and decades of many Filipinos like that , what we have now are Stereotyped Filipinos who cant get away with it easily and are not given the chance to do things correctly. you are not helping with the way you do things, i am sorry for the \"magulo\" of my comment , but thats just because my heart is flamming not of anger but of love for my country, my fellow FILIPINOs and my Future.
    first of all, i believe 95% of what is written here are mere stories you\’ve heard when you were 9, i am not a \"maka Marcos\", i am a La Sallian student who hates CORRUPTION. the way you talk about Imelda, its like shes has nothing done good. its all said and done, d

    do you know what really happened that time?, , i think you dont have the \"karapatan\", , because you dont have bases!!>

  6. @Don: Sorry, Who we are pala… hehehe…. but no I don\\\’t think that he\\\’s mocking us and our culture. He\\\’s trying to explain to us why we\\\’ve gone so little over the years. It\\\’s that pooh-poohing bahala na mentality that bothers him and people like me. You say that bshowing us the crap part of our culture that makes him an ingrate? Perhaps, but their is an interesting statement about the Pinas, it usually takes a foreigner to criticize. And that\\\’s the problem, because we can\\\’t speak up against the injustices, the social biases, the economic exploitation and what else.

    Their is an interesting anecdote about Imelda from my English teacher in college. She lived through Martial Law, so yeah I should believe her. She once asked a Hollywood star to help our country being poor and all. With a diamond studded dress she asked the actress for help. And you know what the foreigner said? Guess?

    This should prove enlightening, or not http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/columns/view/20090705-213905/The-woes-of-Ms-Marcos

  7. You, sir, are win. In fact, we all are win. Win win win.

    I’m hearing theres another Marcos vs Aquino in the elections next year.

    Also, where can i find one of those Imelda Marcos shirts?Bunchie-On-Fire.gif

  8. The Marcos’ really did take their toll on your country. Having said that, Martial Law isn’t always bad. It really depends on the intentions of the person who has declared it. In my country, some of our best rulers have declared Martial Law and with much public support! Democracy tends to prevail more so when we are under martial law lol.

  9. It’s not the best policy for everyone, onetamad. I’ve studied a lot of individual countries and some of them have suffered more under democracy than martial law. We might not be able to comprehend it since we’ve been trained in a certain way, but there are masses who disagree in other parts of the world.

  10. You have a point, Bob. And there have been times when I have wished the government enforced rules with a firmer hand.

    I have been brought up in a nominally democratic country, though, and the abhorrence for Martial Law is part of that country’s culture. True, it may be getting in the way of democracy , but what else is there?

    I see you’re from Napa Valley, so I guess we’re under roughly the same kind of government (in name, at least). Do you really think the US needs to be under martial law? Would your citizens even allow it?

    Thanks for dropping by and good luck with your business.

  11. This is excellent article all marcos cronies was able to enjoy most of the wealth that marcoses accumulated during his time.. This requires more scrutinies and invistigations esp. To the members of the so called rolex 12.. check out also marcosgold.blogspot.com

  12. these is a living example of Philippines short history.
    we have not learned our lesson yet………..proud to be pinoy.
    (abusado tayong pinoy)

  13. @Don, what’s La Sallian got to do with your opinion? By the way, La Sallians are students who dont have brains but have money.

  14. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this write-up on close Marcos cronies from more than 3 decades! [I’m looking for background info for a book.] These details are pretty relevant to the current state of rife-corruption and family-dynasty politics in the beautiful islands of the Philippines.

    This is a good read that informs and also reminds us of those horrific times.

    Ex#1 US lobbyist (now in prison) Jack Abramoff also had lobbied the fallen from grace ex-1st lady in the 90s how the Marcoses should resume their power hold …

  15. I traveled to the Philippines many times and had seen how this people live and is.They just want a fair wage and a decent job with a decent social system.My problem as seen from the outside is that the country in a whole is manged buy the rich and money and the rule of a bullet if you do not do what they want wild west style and then you still get away with it not to talk about the rich Dynasty’s it make me sick. They have so much money to splash on party’s and on expensive things and not to talk about taxes well I feel pity for the normal workers no wonder this lovely islands is being drain dry with workers working abroad.

  16. The Aquino family are too good that they allowed the Marcoses return to the country. Let us learn a lesson from other countries. Just to mention a few, the Iranians did not allow any of the Pahlavi family or loyalist to return to Iran. So with the dictator murderer Idi Amin. He was not allowed to return to Uganda even if he has terminal disease. The reason is moot and academic. Did the family of Amin and Pahlavi had control over Iran now? No.

  17. The Aquino family are too good that they allowed the Marcoses return to the country. Let us learn a lesson from other countries. Just to mention a few, the Iranians did not allow any of the Pahlavi family or loyalist to return to Iran. So with the dictator murderer Idi Amin. He was not allowed to return to Uganda even if he has terminal disease. The reason is moot and academic. Did the family of Amin and Pahlavi had made trouble over Uganda and Iran, respectively? Of course
    No.

  18. The list is not complete. Where are tge rest like romualdez,benedictol,disini, tan, at yung mga tuta like natanielz,keon,

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