I’m reading “Waltzing with a Dictator” so you don’t have to. 

9 Nov

Yesterday, the Philippine Supreme court decided that it was lawful for former president Ferdinand Marcos to be buried at the Libingang ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery). Some rejoiced, some groaned, most just went on with their lives. I think it is a good time as ever to at least educate oneself and look at other sources of info besides Facebook (there are also other blogs written by people about their experiences during martial law, will link as I go along) so I decided to dig out my copy of Raymond Bonner’s Waltzing with a Dictator: The Marcoses and the Making of American Policy last night and started to read. I’ll be posting interesting things from there. It’s an old book, not available on Amazon, and I’ve never seen it in a local bookstore. My copy was handed to me by my boyfriend. It belonged to his mom, who spent some time volunteering in the Philippines in the 80s. 

Myth of Marcos 

  • His dad Mariano Marcos was not murdered by the Japanese during World War II: he was killed by anti-Japanese guerilla forces for being a makapili, a collaborator. 
  • Ferdinand Marcos’s wartime medals, including Distinguished Service Crosses, Silver Stars and Congressional Medal of Honor were fake: his name doesn’t appear in any list of recipients for these awards. 
  • His commanding officer Romulo Manriquez had attested that Marcos traded in the black market after getting detained by the Japanese. He was later arrested by a US Army captain for “illegally collecting money”.
  • Marcos purported that he led an 8,300-strong guerilla unit during WW2 called “Maharlika” (noble), when in fact it had no more than 100 men and according to US army records, contributed very little value in terms of military service. 
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