Calls to oppose the proposal to honor the birth anniversary of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. persisted on Twitterverse on Friday, September 11.
Marcos was born on Sept. 11, 1917 in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte.
Last September 3, the House of Representatives voted in favor of House Bill 7137 which seeks to honor the dictator’s day of birth on September 11 under the “President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos Day.”
Filipinos accused it as another attempt of historical revisionism by Marcos’ supporters that aims to invalidate the oppression and corruption that ruled in his 21-year presidency.
His dictatorship lasted for almost a decade and mired by an era of impunity due to the curtailment of civil liberties, extrajudicial killings and unsolved disappearances, media oppression and economic recession, among others.
How to remember a dictator’s birth anniversary
On the day itself, activists and critics used the hashtag #ArawngMagnanakaw to remind one another of the billions of ill-gotten wealth and the atrocities during the Martial Law regime, which was considered the darkest part of Philippine history.
As of writing, the hashtag is on top Philippines Trends list of Twitter with more than 11,900 tweets under its belt. Related trends that also topped the list are the hashtag #MarcosNOTaHero and the names “Ferdinand Marcos” and “Marcos.”
These trends were filled with memes, witty posts and creative artworks that expressed dissent against Marcos and his family, which circulated around the micro-blogging platform.
This is how MARCOS should be remembered in Philippine History with all the historical revisionism going around on social media by Duterte and Marcos trolls. #FACTSonly #ArawNgMagnanakaw #MarcosNOTaHero pic.twitter.com/mlVaakNDp4
— 𝐌𝐢𝐬𝐬 𝐊𝐫𝐢𝐳𝐳𝐲 (@krizzy_kalerqui) September 10, 2020
— Jerry B. Grácio (@JerryGracio) September 10, 2020
The University of the Philippines-Diliman also joined the calls against the bill to declare Marcos’ birth anniversary as a national holiday.
“Ang tahasang pagpipinta sa imahe ni Marcos bilang isang bayani ay kalapastanganan sa alaala ng mga biktima ng Martial Law!” the post read.
“Iskolar ng Bayan, mariin nating tutulan ang pilit binabagong kasaysayan!” it added.
Ang tahasang pagpipinta sa imahe ni Marcos bilang isang bayani ay kalapastanganan sa alaala ng mga biktima ng Martial Law!
— UP Diliman (@Official_UPD) September 10, 2020
Poll lawyer Emil Marañon III, meanwhile, shared a photo of Marcos as a form of reminder.
“On a ‘dark moonless night,’ 103 years ago, God cursed this nation by the birth of Ferdinand Marcos. Let this day reminds us that greed can make monsters out of men. Never forget. Never again,” he said.
Some pundits, meanwhile, shared threads of available literatures such as articles and interviews that Filipinos need to brush up on about Marcos, his family and the martial rule.
To celebrate #ArawNgMagnanakaw, can anyone suggest some good content (literature, videos, articles, etc.) on the Martial Law era, the Marcos dictatorship, and active efforts by the Marcoses to rewrite history?
— Flynn Driver (@s0rbetero) September 11, 2020
Today is the birth anniversary of the Great Dictator (to borrow a title from Charlie Chaplin) and it would do us all well to read up and reflect. So, a thread of readings. pic.twitter.com/bwqpGH4IuF
— Manuel L. Quezon III (@mlq3) September 11, 2020
Philip Jamilla, public information staff and researcher of human rights group Karaptan, cited other tragic incidents that happened on September 11 in other parts of the world aside from Marcos’ birth.
September 11 in history: Chile's socialist president Salvador Allende was overthrown in a United States-backed military coup in 1973; the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was born in 1917; the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center collapsed in a series of terrorist attacks in 2001.
— Philip Jamilla (@pmjamilla) September 11, 2020
Jamilla also cited the establishment of progressive youth group the League of Filipino Students on Sept. 11, 1977 as an event worth commemorating.
“On the good side of things, the League of Filipino Students was established in 43 years ago, in 1977, initially as a nationwide alliance of students in various schools against tuition fee increases and rampant campus repression during the fascist dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos,” he said.