On Marcos’ birth anniversary, #ArawngMagnanakaw trends as critics slam holiday for ousted dictator anew

September 11, 2020 - 6:11 PM
Indignation rally denouncing Marcos
UPLB students led their indignant voices in denouncing the Marcos-era abuses. (Interaksyon file photo)

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.

READ: New attempt at ‘historical revisionism’ as House OKs bill dedicating holiday for ousted dictator Marcos

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.